Should you follow your passion?

I recently attended the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce‘s annual Summit conference. It was an inspirational day focused on all elements of GROWTH (for your business, for you etc.).  A major take out of the event was that if you follow your passion you will love what you do and the money will follow.  Such a great way to think about running your own business and true (all the best business leaders are passionate about their business) but the question on many people’s lips was – how do I find my passion? and how do I turn it into a successful business? Because, let’s face it, passion alone won’t pay the mortgage!

This got me thinking because it sure felt like lots of people are searching for this elusive ‘passion’.  But what if you already found your passion and are just ignoring it?  After all we are awake 2/3rds of the day doing something with our time.  We’re’re talking about something. There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of our free time, our conversations, our web browsing, and it dominates without  consciously pursuing it or looking for it.  It could well be right there in front of you, you’re just avoiding it, for whatever reason. You’re telling yourself, “Oh well, I love making handicrafts but that doesn’t count. I can’t make money out of making cushions!”  But have you tried?  No, because you tell yourself  “It’s just not a realistic option,” or  “It won’t pay the bills.”  The real truth is that you already enjoy something, in fact many things.  You’re just choosing to ignore them.

Maybe the problem isn’t finding your passion but the priorities you set. If you really want to turn your passion into your career are you willing to take that risk? Are you willing to earn less money (at least in the short term)?  Are you willing to make the investment?

Even when you turn your passion into your career you need to realise that there are times and aspects of the job you won’t be passionate about and won’t want to do.  That’s just reality – and even the most passionate person would admit to that.  So find a way to delegate these aspects to someone else (I use a virtual PA) or hire staff who have a passion for the things you don’t!

Once you have established your business based on your passion you need to shut yourself in a dark room (or hire a coach) and write your short medium and long term vision and business plan.  Next week I will write more about keeping the passion alive once it becomes your business.




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