Passion. This is a topic that’s talked about all the time in the entrepreneurial community, and it’s one I’ve talked about on multiple occasions.

But there are two reasons I want to talk about it again today.

One, I just spent the last 6 days at the USA Climbing Youth National Championships where 860 youth rock climbers poured their heart and soul out on the walls. Passion was alive and well, and it was awe-inspiring to watch.

Two, the second entrepreneurial trait of the six we’ve been talking is about is Passionate, “showing or caused by strong feelings or a strong belief.”

You, as an entrepreneur, will never be successful if you’re not passionate. That seems obvious to say, but I’ve seen too many women start a business only to walk away when the going gets hard.

When you have passion – deep belief and feelings – for your clients, your service offerings, and your idea, you have a special strength that propels you forward. Passion makes you want to get out of bed and get back to it, even when things feel like a hot mess.

Passion also makes it easier to connect with your clients. It’s inspiring to hear people tell their story, to connect with why a person is doing what they’re doing. In fact, Christy and I have told our $54,000 story countless times, and it never fails to inspire women to think about the way they’re showing up, what they’re asking for, and whether or not they’re acting like the CEO of their business. That event in 2017 unlocked a passion so deep, we couldn’t help but act.

In fact, when I think about my own leap story and the subsequent years of business building, I know this is true. I left corporate life in 2010 and started my first successful business – When Cookie Met Cupcake. I knew how to make beautiful cupcakes and super soft, cakey sugar cookies… and I had a killer buttercream. In my spare hours, while still working a full-time job, I baked all the time. People told me I was amazing at it – and I was – and when I left my job behind, I really built it up. But after three years of baking on demand, I realized I wasn’t truly passionate about making Dora and Elmo cupcakes.  Yes, I had a vision for where WCMC could go in the future – building a proper bakery of my own, catering events for famous people… but when it came to me being fixated on the product, standing for hours on end, squeezing an icing bag or rolling out cookie dough… I just didn’t feel it. There was no fire. It just happened to be something I was very good at.

But that wasn’t enough.

When I closed the doors, I knew it was the right decision, and I don’t regret it because it allowed me to dig in and figure out what I truly loved to do and go after it with gusto.

Now, Christy and I help women leave corporate life behind and build professional services businesses that give them real freedom, flexibility, fulfillment. That work lights us up in a big way. There is nothing I want to do more than help a woman build a corporate escape plan, lay the foundations for a truly successful business, and help her show up powerfully, fully confident in her ability to be the CEO of her business.

With all that said, passion does have a downside. When you’re singularly focused on building and growing your business, like you are in the early years, you make sacrifices with your time, with your family, friends, and sometimes your health. It won’t always be like that, but passion will override those things.

I saw it last week as I watched athletes who were passionate about climbing, competing, and being the best, bring HOURS of training, hard work, and sacrifice to life on those climbing walls.

I see passion at play in my own business, and I see it in the businesses of the women we’re working with. Being passionate means you’re willing to do what it takes – ethically and legally – to create and grow your business. And often that means you have to make sacrifices along the way.

My challenge to you this week: Take the assessment and see how passionate you are about your business. And if you’re know you’re not truly passionate, make the hard decision to walk away and do something else.

It may be hard now, but trust me, it will be way less painful now than it will be after years of struggle and loads of wasted dollars. If you need help, I’m just an email or phone call away.

P.S. Join the Employee to Entrepreneur Community on Facebook. Surround yourself with other women who are passionate about serving their clients and building profitable, successful businesses.