Why We Balance Passion With Reason

Why We Balance Passion With Reason
Image credit: Nigel Parry/CPI
Amy Cosper, Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Magazine
Magazine Contributor
Former Editor in Chief
3 min read

This story appears in the September 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”
—Benjamin Franklin

Passion. What a thing.

It’s that adrenaline pump that wakes you up in the middle of the night with a vast idea -- one that will be the next (insert something big here). But here’s the catch: Passion also causes insomnia. It overrides your saner instincts. It is fully absorbing. Passion is chocolate cake: You can’t subsist on it alone. You have to know when to give passion a break.

You have to know when reason should step in.

I admit: I’m not very good at toggling between the two. I’m mostly stuck on passion -- speeding my motorcycle down a winding road, traveling until I’m run ragged, staying in an industry I adore (print magazines!) even as the rest of the world tells me I’m nuts. As an entrepreneur, I know you’re with me: You, too, struggle to balance passion with reason. After all, passion is what got you this far. Now we both have to figure out how to let our saner instincts in, too.

Passion slams the gas; reason steers us safely. Passion throws us out of an airplane; reason pulls the parachute cord. Passion made you launch a business; reason, I suspect, made you pick up this magazine. And in this issue, you’ll find people attempting this balance in real time -- people who are fueled by their passions, who took gigantic risks and now are making it work.

We do this issue every year. Truth be told, I cringe at our annual title: “Young Millionaires.” I love celebrating people for their passions, and so the focus on money just feels...tacky. But you know what? It’s OK. It’s a catchy phrase. (See how I’m embracing reason?) And these young entrepreneurs’ financial strength is only emblematic of their larger success: They have passion and reason. The perfect package.

You’ll meet Connor Franta, a kid who quit college to pursue the insane dream of being a YouTube star and is now plotting an even bigger move. There’s David Choi, who poured all his money into a taco truck, and Tara Reed, who built an app without knowing how to code. And there’s more! The collective horsepower of the next generation of entrepreneurs is always fascinating, and I know you’ll take inspiration no matter what age you are.

But we don’t want to forget the lessons only a seasoned and veteran entrepreneur can tell, which is why we also visit with Roxanne Thurman, the 66-year-old proprietress of Cry Baby Ranch, an iconic cowboy store in downtown Denver. Her wisdom is not only ageless; it’s priceless.

Be inspired. Stay up late planning and plotting. And then, please, get some sleep. You need to be fresh tomorrow.


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