A fundamental question we should all ask ourselves is; ‘What Am I Really Passionate About?’
If you are not happy doing what you are doing now, and you are not building anything of value for yourself while you’re continuing to do it, then serious consideration should be given to making a change.
As I have said in previous writings, everyone has a right to be happy. That usually means finding something you are passionate about, and making money doing it.
However, the question of passion is a tricky one. Many people make significant mistakes by getting into a business that has to do with their personal interests. They are passionate about the subject matter, and feel that they can make money by throwing themselves into a related business venture. They may enjoy doing it for a while because of that personal interest, but if there is no solid business case for that decision, they often fail, or end up spending time at their ‘hobby’ and never finding anything close to real success.
The result is not only a failed or very marginal business, but usually a loss of passion for the thing that was a personal interest in the first place, so it’s a double loss.
“The question of passion is a tricky one”
People that can cook go into restaurants, people that like sports go into sports-related businesses, people that dress well go into fashion retail – and they all fail to reach the success they deserve because they followed their heart instead of their head. The reality is that if you are successful in business, you build the resources and freedom to enjoy your passions, not the other way around unless you are terrifically lucky.
I doubt that the guy that owns the lug nut factory is really passionate about lug nuts but he saw an opportunity to build what he wanted to build. Now he enjoys his personal interests and passions to the greatest extent.
In the same vein, I doubt that the guy that realized that sheep manure was a good fertilizer was really passionate about sheep manure.
In my personal case, I really don’t have a passion for debits and credits but the knowledge I gained by becoming a Chartered Accountant created a significant opportunity for me to build my own business. It also created resources to pursue whatever I want.
“I doubt that the guy that owns the lug nut factory is really passionate about lug nuts”
Frankly, I don’t have a deep passion for the actual subject matters of telecommunications, or merchant services, or energy either. We have many subject-matter experts in the company that handle those subject areas with a great deal of skill. However, I do have a passion for the opportunities they present to me by allowing me to build a business around them to create wealth and freedom.
Many people will seek a ‘dream’ position or ‘dream’ business and never make any changes at all. They continue to wallow in their current situation, and never really achieve the happiness they deserve because that ‘dream’ opportunity never presents itself.
That makes me think about what I am passionate about, and I am proud to include the following items as my drivers:
1) Creating a great business for myself and my family in order to make the money I want, and to build an asset that will be very valuable in the future. The significant niche need of the business market place allows for that.
2) Operating a professional business, and the respect that comes with that profession in my community and beyond.
3) Being able to help other businesses increase their profits, and knowing that I was able to advise them to be more successful is tremendously fulfilling. The fact that the subject matter happens to be telecom, merchant services, and energy isn’t really that relevant to that equation – that’s just the way I help them reduce costs so they can increase their success.
4) Dealing in a business-to-business marketplace where there is a significant need for what I can do for other businesses.
5) Creating the freedom and flexibility – and control, to do the things I want to do. Of course, it is hard work but I have never shrunk away from that, and yet I never have to miss any event or function with family or friends if I don’t want to do so.
These are just words to provide a little food for thought when you get to the point where you choose your own path. Many people stay in positions they don’t enjoy, and that have no real opportunity to build happiness because they just can’t pull the trigger on change. They are also affected by the multitude of naysayers that surround us all, which is actually the subject of another article I wrote some time ago.
My counsel is to not get caught in that trap. So whatever you do decide is right for you to achieve the things you want from life – just go for it, and with gusto.
I did that years and years ago, and I’ve never regretted it for one minute. It doesn’t mean there aren’t ups and downs but I really do look forward to each and every day in my business. It’s all because of those items I listed above that fulfill me, and are driven by my true passion.
“Everyone has a right to be happy”