What’s your passion? Dictionary definition is “a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.” Why do people start their own businesses? Is it for money, for freedom (from corporate structure or otherwise), for power? What would you want to do if you didn’t need to work? Some people might answer that they’d want to lie on a beach or watch television all day which might not pay you (though maybe it could!) Is it possible to do something you’d want to do whether or not you were making money – and actually make money? Of course, but if it were that easy, everyone would do it.
My previous posts have suggested you should do what you love, but I hadn’t followed my own advice. Why is it so important to pursue what’s important to you? Here’s what I’ve learned since deciding to focus on my passion:
– It comes naturally. When you have a passion for something – you enjoy it and it means something to you. That doesn’t mean it won’t be work, because as I said and as we know, everyone would do it in that case. However, creating a plan and following through on it will certainly be easier when you’re passionate vs going after something you have no interest in.
– It keeps you motivated. It’s easy to get an idea and be excited about it – and then move on the next one. When launching a business is not due to genuine interest, but necessity, it can be difficult to stay on track. While having new plans and dreams is great, how powerful is it when you can pick something up and finish it!
– It’s not about the money. Of course, money often does play a part in it, but that’s not why you do it. Money should never be what drives you, if you can help it. Pursuing only for money can leave you feeling desperate and certainly not happy or secure when it doesn’t pan out.
– It teaches you discipline. When you stick to something, you can accomplish it and make a career out of it. Being committed is a must and you have to train yourself to get to that mentality. Once you’ve developed a routine and a plan for what you need to do to succeed, you will be more dedicated to the ultimate goal.
– You’re proud of it. Sure everyone is pleased when they get promoted, feels pride in a big accomplishment, or when they start and own a business. But imagine the exponential increase you would feel when you do something you believe in.
– You advocate for it. Not just the typical business promotion – but rather “guess what I get to do for a living?” People can tell when you are truly excited, and if you feel good about your business, it will help others feel that way too.
– It makes you feel good about yourself. Maybe this is a given, but who doesn’t need a boost of confidence now and then? Don’t you always feel better when you do something you believe in rather than something you don’t? Or almost as bad, something you’re apathetic about? At the end of the day, feeling good about yourself and being happy about what you do every day will lead to fulfillment that you likely couldn’t get otherwise.
What are your suggestions for doing what you love, and what are you passionate about?
As written for YoungEntrepreneur, January 5, 2011