Why Picking a Passion Really is Key (and what it all means to the common person like you and me).....
Not that I am calling either you or myself a "common" person - we all have our gifts to offer and that's just the truth of it - but I know the concept of "picking something you are passionate about" for your next business venture is a concept that one can read about pretty much anywhere on the Internet - and offline in motivational print material (that still exists :) ) for that matter as well. We see this headline so much we become blind to it and start thinking one of two things: A) Quit trying to convince me, I already know this!, or B) Who cares?! Well, since I know there is a high likelihood that you are probably thinking one of those two things right now anyway, let me go ahead and just jump right in with my two cents on the subject.
I mention this a lot in my blog posts and here on the Biz Opp Empire website: picking a passion really means a lot and can help set you up for failure or success. Now, before we go any further, however, I should point out that the words "can help set you up..." in the previous sentence are key! Simply starting a business in an area you are passionate about in and of itself is NOT going to make you rich - neither overnight NOR in the long run; neither "on paper" nor in cash the physical, tangible world! Just like anything else in life that is good and worth pursuing, the amount of time and energy YOU personally invest into your business venture is what is going to be the biggest determiner of your returns, not simply whether or not you "were passionate" about the concept of your business when you started it. However, with all that said, though, picking a passion in the first place helps greatly with the motivation, drive, and desire aspect of investing time and energy into your business venture and can be a major boost to keep going even when times get tough or you just "don't feel like it right now". If you are passionate about what you are doing, you are more likely to stay motivated with it in the long run. This is kind of a no-brainer concept, really, but what exactly does "being passionate" about your business or other money-making venture mean? Let's take a look at some myths about what the term doesn't mean or how it shouldn't be interpreted and how we can change the way we look at these things to maintain a healthy outlook:
Being passionate about your business or other money-making venture does not mean that it has to be your one and only passion in life. Yes, you are a person, too, and you are allowed to have more than one passion in life, and, yes, you are most definitely allowed to have a "life" beyond and outside of your own business even though it is yours. You are not a machine. Don't fool yourself into thinking you are one unless that's what you really want out of life. Some people take the "all-in, go-big-or-go-home" approach to starting their businesses and work themselves into the hospital with nervous breakdowns and/or other health problems just because they want to see their businesses succeed. I am not going to say that people like this are bad. Definitely, unwavering dedication like that to any task is something that is really commendable; however, what I will say is that if you don't find yourself in that camp, don't give up hope. Some people like to work that way, and some people don't. Personally, I am a big advocate of healthy balance in life, and a work-life balance is of top priority to me, whether that means working as an employee for someone else, or working for myself. The point is, YOU have to find the right cadence and balance in your own life with your unique venture and circumstances. You want your business to succeed, right? Think about it this way: if you are too burnt out to devote any time or energy to your business, then how is your business going to succeed?
Being passionate about your venture does not mean you can't express frustration, disagreement, and dissent about certain aspects of your venture or industry. Again, you are human, too! It's O.K. to act like one! No human-made venture or industry is ever 100% perfect. If you are employed by an employer, try this: think about your job and the "big picture" reason of why you like it. If you hate your job through-and-through inside out, think about someone you know who actually likes their job and why they like it (talk to them and ask them why they like it if you have to). When I think about my "day job" as an educator, the main reason I can come up as to why I like it is because I enjoy working with the human mind. Yes, I could have gone into counseling, or psychology, or psychiatry, but I figured if I went any of those routes there is a good chance I would be working with a lot of ill or misguided minds (nothing wrong with that, though; and more power to all the counselors, psychologist, and psychiatrists of the world!); but I chose education. In the world of education I see ALL SORTS OF MINDS! Some are ill and/or misguided, yes, that is true; but some a razor sharp, some are dull, some are slow, some are fast, and there are minds of all other capacities in between these extremes as I well that I work with on a daily basis - and I love it! Now, does that mean that I am always 100% enamored by every single task - large or minuet - that I must fulfill on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis as an educator? Of course not! Oh boy, don't even get me started! But, in general, I really love what I do as an educator, and that passion helps me keep going - even on the bad days. And, furthermore, I am willing and able to openly discuss and communicate with others about the different aspects of being an educator and what I like and don't like about it. I can even say the same for this blog and other web projects I work on. There are things I like about them, and things I don't, but I choose to work on web projects with special interests to me so that I can remain motivated by the concept and big picture of what I am doing even when mundane, boring, or difficult task crop up related to the project (which happens all the time). When you can really feel comfortable holding views of and talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly of your venture and/or industry while still enjoying and being motivated by it overall, you are well on your way to sticking with what you are doing (and sticking with something consistently helps to breed success!).
Being passionate about your venture does not mean you can't experiment, scrap your idea all together, or change and tweak things as you go along. Just because your initial idea morphed into something else doesn't mean it was a bad idea and you are a useless entrepreneur or freelancer. Ideas change, business climates change, economies change, societies change, heck - everything changes! I am not saying I advocate starting a business like randomly shooting buck shot into a forest and hoping to hit something (although some people like to take this gamble), but be prepared for change to happen within the area you choose - whatever area that may be. Apart from taxes and your own birth and death, I can also assure you that change - however large or small - will happen. Starting a business with a fixed mindset of nothing ever changes and nothing ever will change is like walking into the whole thing head-on into a gale-force headwind. Of course, no one can truly prepare for the unexpected - that's why it's called "the unexpected" - however, being prepared from the start for unexpected things to crop up - whatever they may be - will help you think more realistically about your venture and its future.
So there you have it. To help you stay motivated with your business venture, pick a passion, but stay realistic about it. In the end of the day you are only human, and the reason you want to start you own business in the first place, ultimately, is to make your own human experience better, not worse.
International K-12 Educator,