One piece of advice you hear over and over again is to “follow your passion” and all will be good. As much I believe this to be true — it is also (sometimes) a false promise.
Recently I spoke with an entrepreneurs who was deeply passionate about a specific problem in the developing world. He had ample experience with the problem through his on-the-ground work. He deeply understood the problem space, could easily put himself into the shoes of his users and understood the complexities of dealing with a multi-stakeholder environment.
And yet — he was, in my eyes, doomed to fail.
Despite his passion for making the problem go away, his solution requires deep technical expertise and skill — none of which he had. He operates in a field which is littered with failed attempts. A field which makes some of the best technologist in the world scratch their heads. And he can’t even see the challenges ahead, as he simply does not have the required skill.
The best entrepreneurs are the ones who are deeply aware of their skills, abilities and limitations — and who marry this with their passions.
To be clear: You don’t always need have the skill to do something. As long as you can attract the right talent, you are golden. But that’s a skill in and off itself.
What are you really good at? What are you passionate about? And how do these two things fit together?