Find your passion. Grow a business. RIP Jake Burton Carpenter.

Will this work? Am I crazy? How am I going to make payroll? This mistake is really going to set us back. It’s 2 AM and I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. All familiar thoughts of entrepreneurs building a business. Entrepreneurs that make the decision to find, create and grow a new product or service have no way to understand the impact their decision makes on the lives of people. Rarely will an entrepreneur start with the end in mind because it would be crazy to think that you could change the world without having any evidence for your efforts. Instead, entrepreneurs will chase an idea using their skills, talents and experience to go where few are prepared to go.

Creating something out of nothing is a talent that I believe many entrepreneurs don’t know they have. While there are entrepreneurs that chase riches I believe there are far more entrepreneurs that simply want to engage in meaningful work and leave the world in a better place once their time is up. Having a higher level purpose for the work you do can help you get through the tough moments, keep you inspired through the challenges and give you energy to lead your team when they need it most. If you luck out and find an untapped market to deliver a product or service to, then you have won the lottery. Luck favours the prepared (of course) and if you are truly passionate about something, chances are very good that you will find the opportunity you are looking for.

Jake Burton Carpenter, arguably the godfather of snowboarding, passed away this week at the age of 65. Burton Snowboards was created in 1977 after Jake got inspired by the Snurfer which as a hybrid of a snowboard and surfboard. Building over 100 prototypes by hand from a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, Jake seized a moment and found an opportunity to provide people and families with endless amounts of excitement and fun. Over 40 years Jake experienced everything that an entrepreneur can reasonably expect to experience while trekking into a new market . There was no path to success. There was no guidebook available to read that identified the pitfalls and wrong turns. Jake forged ahead using his passion and if you have ever listened to him talk about his business, you would be hard pressed to find a man chasing riches. You would find a man determined to make the most of what he had available to open up a business opportunity that will provided returns, both financial and non-financial, for decades to come.

While you may not consider yourself a Jake, take a moment to consider the reasons you pursue business growth. Assume you will have some measure of financial success that will enable you to do more of what you love. What would that love be?

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