What Passion Feels Like


Passion is an interesting thing. It can’t be taught or told. It can sometimes be influenced or shared. It sometimes evolves and changes. It usually relates to something — some idea, some topic, some purpose, some problem, some vision.


Entrepreneurs are typically very passionate people. We’re restless, hungry, fast-paced and intense. Most of us have the skill-set to land a comfortable 9-to-5 corporate job working for ‘the man.’ But we usually make terrible big co employees. We can’t stand not being able to get things done. So our passion leads us elsewhere.


It takes a rare breed to be involved with startups. Startups aren’t always “fun.” It’s a long and sometimes lonely journey. For that reason, people involved must be passionate about what they’re doing. They have to take joy in going toe to toe with their Goliath. They must embrace obstacles with a wide smile. Waves will come crashing down, and just when you get your head out of the water for air, another will come pounding on top of you. It’s a war and the team has to be committed to the cause and to each other. The team’s collective passion is the fuel of the enterprise. That and money. It’s your oxygen.

The Feeling

You’ll know exactly what passion is when you have it. It’s what you’re thinking about when you’re waiting in line or driving your car. It’s what you’re dreaming about when your head hits the pillow at night. It’s what you’re doing any spare moment you have.

If it’s a startup you’re passionate about, you wake up every morning, bouncing off the walls excited to get to work. Days just fly by. At the end of each day you have a hard time leaving the office, not because there’s a lot of work (though there always is), but because it doesn’t feel like work at all. You love it. And when you’re home, you’re working. And if you’re not working, you’re thinking about working. Your mind feels like it’s about to explode with excitement. Your body shakes with optimism. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Your friends/significant other have to drag you away and force you to eat, sleep, exercise or hang out. It consumes you. It’s life and it’s *the* life. It’s a fantastic feeling.

We got one shot at this thing called life. Follow your passions today. Tomorrow might never arrive.

  • Jack

    So true, Mick… And so well written. Thanks. I bounce off the walls from the moment I wake until I drop at night. Days fly by as I gasp for entrepreneurial oxygen. I love it.
    Japanese Zen Master, Shunryu Suzuki once said, “When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”
    Rock on, Mick.

    • http://www.mickhagen.com/ Mick Hagen

      Thanks Jack!

  • http://www.odower.com Andy O’Dower

    Taking a quick break from my startup to get some perspective. Really inspiring to hear your drive Jack. The startup bug hit me a long time ago and I just don’t see it letting up. I’ll be lucky if I can live a long life with new challenges every day, week and year. Thanks Mick.

    • http://www.mickhagen.com/ Mick Hagen


  • http://www.guotime.com/2012/03/3-simple-ways-to-stay-inspired-motivated-as-an-entrepreneur/ grant

    How true!

    • http://www.mickhagen.com/ Mick Hagen

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  • http://jarodb.x10.mx Jarod Billingslea

    ye im definitely not passionate