Lose Your Passion and Become a Cynic

by Brad Harmon on February 3, 2010 in Leadership

Lose Your Passion and Become a Cynic | marketplace christianity

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How many times have we seen a young entrepreneur cross our paths who is just full of passion and out to conquer the world.  He has big dreams, big plans, and is naive enough to think they are all going to come true.

A few years later, after the world has kicked him in the teeth a few times, we put our hand on his weary shoulder and say, “Welcome to the real world kid.”

I started thinking about this scenario today while I was reading the first chapter of Psalms.  It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how many times I read a passage from the Bible I take away some new insight I hadn’t seen before.

I guess this could probably be said about all great literary works to some extent, but none more so, for me, than the Bible.  It’s not only the literary aspects that speak to me, but the historical, philosophical, and spiritual as well.

My revelation today was that there, in one simple verse, was the reason so many entrepreneurs lose their passion – not only lose it, but become cynical in the process.

Whose Counsel are You Walking In?

Psalms 1:1 starts out by warning us not to walk in the counsel of the wicked.  As entrepreneurs, we need the counsel of others to be successful.

It’s been said that no man is an island, and that is especially true in the business world.  In 5 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Shark Tank, I pointed out that one mistake new entrepreneurs make is not assembling their own shark tank to go to for advice.

Surround yourself with the best people possible.  Make sure that they have a passion for what they do.  It’s also important that they will be honest with you and provide positive reinforcement.  Without this support, you will find it hard to keep your passion.

Whose Way are You Standing In?

Psalms 1:1 goes on to warn about not standing in the way of sinners.  Did you catch the imagery?  The warning went from walking to standing.

You’ll hear a lot about the fast pace of business as an entrepreneur.  There are certainly times when we need to pause and regroup, but one luxury we do not have is to let everything come to a screeching halt.

Sometimes, we listen to the wrong people and hit a dead end.  Too often, we listen to so many voices we don’t notice that we’ve stopped moving.

It’s when we stop moving that we’re likely to be run over.  Get wise counsel, then act.

Whose Seat are You Sitting In?

Psalms 1:1 finishes by warning against sitting in the seat of the mocker or scornful.  See the imagery?  Bad counsel leads to dead ends and confusion causing you to come to a standstill.  If you stay that way too long you end up parking it.

In You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out! – Who Wants Your Business to Fail?, I pointed out several types of people that want your business to fail.  The cynic tried and failed on their own, but now they’ve given up and give excuses or blame others for their failures.

They wallow in their own self pity and make success seem so far out of reach.  The more they bring into this cacophony of “woe is me,” the more legitimate their “reasons” start to sound. It’s easier than you think to end up here.  All that it really takes is to stop walking, stand still listening to the excuses, and the next thing you know you have your own seat at this pity party.

Blessed is the Man

Hopefully, when I started out this blog you thought to yourself, “that doesn’t sound like me.  I would pat that young entrepreneur on the back, tell him to keep his chin up, and that his dreams were just around the corner.”

If not, then recognize where you are above.  The Scripture starts out by saying blessed is the man that doesn’t do the things above.  Successful entrepreneurs get back up and keep moving.

Stand up, surround yourself with good counsel, and get moving again.  This is the way success is earned.  Start talking about your dreams again instead of your failures.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

MikeHolmes February 3, 2010 at 6:41 pm

It's funny you say that…I think another thing is watching what your mind dwells on. I was watching this recent DVD from Joyce Meyer "Battlefield of the Mind." Awesome teaching by the way! She basically said if the enemy can get you in your mind, he's got you. Sooo that's why I believe its so important to watch what you let get in your mind


Brad Harmon February 3, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Good counsel is so important. And not just getting it, but surrounding yourself with people who give it. It's so easy to get bad advice and to surround yourself with people who tell you all the reasons you can't do something. Often, it literally stops you dead in your tracks. If you just keep dwelling on it then the cynicism kicks in and your rear is squarely planted in that seat.


Paula February 3, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Your comment about surrounding yourself with the best people possible is so true. In this business, if you really want to suceed, you need to search out those that have already suceeded.
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Brad Harmon February 3, 2010 at 11:59 pm

The sad thing is that too many entrepreneurs wait until it's too late to get good counsel. It never ceases to amaze me how many great people we have all around us who would be willing to offer their advice for just a cup of coffee.


Laurie Neumann February 4, 2010 at 3:27 am

Good post, Brad. Good counsel is SO important. And it brings to me the verse " anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,but a good word makes it glad." Proverbs 12:25 We have the opportunity to be good counselors and to offer "good words" – words of encouragement to those who are down or weary.
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Brad Harmon February 4, 2010 at 2:47 pm

You bring up a great point Laurie. All of us can be good counsel to others if we choose to be.

I've written before how some of the best advice you will ever receive is from those who have failed in life but are open to sharing their mistakes and what they've learned from them. It doesn't always have to be the "successful" people around us that offer good counsel.

If you see someone who has stopped moving give them a good word of encouragement to get them started again. Just as it is important for us to be surrounded by good counsel, it is important for us to be a good counselor.


dana February 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

It is impress me that you can find the relevancy between business and the bible — especially in this article. It is perfectly match. And yeah — what you said in this article surely can help us to keep our passion in business.
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Brad Harmon February 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

It amazes me too. Don't get me wrong – it is not me. The Spirit speaks and reveals new meanings to old passages. I'm sure I never do as great of job conveying it as it is conveyed to me, but hopefully it at least tunes people into seeing how Scripture relates to every facet of our lives. I think it is one of the reasons we are told to meditate on Scripture.


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