Should You “Follow Your Passion” To Be Successful in Business?

These days, the question about whether following your passion leads to business success is a pretty hot topic…
I get it. You look at professional athletes, for example, and think, “Well, they look pretty successful, and they’re obviously following their passion.”
Or entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs ‒ people like that are very passionate about what they do. So isn’t it pretty obvious? Isn’t the path to success to just discover your passion and then find a way to monetize it?
Well, it’s just not that simple. But it is an important topic, so here are just three of the reasons why following your passion may not lead to as much success as you’d like it to.
If you follow your passion to become successful…

You May Come To Hate that Particular Passion
Let’s say your passion is cooking gourmet food with your family. It’s a lot of fun, it’s central to your family’s happiness, and it’s a great way for you to unwind after a week of… let’s say, being an accountant. (You’re good at accounting, and it pays very well ‒ it’s just not your passion in this case.)
So you decide to open a restaurant. That way, you can prepare all that gourmet food, make lots of money, escape your “day job”… and be happy. Right?
Right. Except… Starting and running a restaurant is a whole different animal from cooking food at home with your family. Even if you do acquire the skills and pull it off, it will take a lot of time, effort, and money.
By the time you’re done, you may discover that you don’t particularly like running a restaurant… you prefer the relative ease of your accounting job over being completely responsible for the success or failure of your new business… your family time is now largely gone…
And you hate cooking at home now ‒ because it reminds you too much of work!
What a shame: an enjoyable pastime or hobby is effectively ruined for you. And your family time has suffered as well. In this case you were probably better off not turning your passion into a business venture.

Passion Is No Replacement for Business Skills
I just used the example of someone who works a day job as an accountant ‒ and who’s good enough at it to support their family that way. It’s interesting: whether they’re obviously passionate about their work or not, that’s not the reason people pay them. Clients pay them for their skill set.
An accountant who’s “nice and friendly,” and who passes out candy while telling their clients how much they love the fascinating world of accounting… is still going to go out of business if they consistently make mistakes and lose those clients money because of a lack of competence.
Skills trump passion in a very real way.
And if you’re going to build a successful business, what you need are business-building skills, not “passion” about your widget.
Think about it. Who’s going to be more successful at building a profitable real estate investment portfolio ‒ the person who reads real estate investing books all week, follows 72 Websites about it, and who does nothing but talk about how great investing in real estate is? Or the one who actually puts into practice what they read and study… and builds up real-world experience of the nuts and bolts of investing in real estate?
One person has passion. The other has skills.
Sure, it’s probably not a good idea to build a business around something you hate. And having a genuine passion for real estate or gourmet food or whatever could give you a slight edge in some ways. But it’s not necessary.
You Probably Don’t Know What Your “Business Passion” Even Is… Yet
Here’s the thing: successful business people usually do end up being very passionate about their business. But what they’re excited about is some combination of having become successful in the first place… overcoming challenges and adapting along the way… acquiring new skills and new enthusiasms related to business building… and enjoying new relationships and partnerships.
In other words, it’s more of result of having gotten really good at what they do ‒ including monetizing their skills ‒ than a driving force that led to the success.
It’s a whole new passion. And it’s fundamentally different from many other passions they keep and develop on the side (like enjoying gourmet food with the family, skiing, or playing guitar.)
So, if you try to start with “your passion,” you’re very likely not to uncover the very thing you’re actually looking for ‒ the new business passion that comes from applying yourself to new kinds of challenges and overcoming them.

Count the Cost
Again, it’s not that there’s some hard and fast rule saying that you absolutely cannot turn your passion into a successful business venture. Maybe you’re one of those exceptions to the rule.
But even if you do, it’s probably going to be a very different journey than you originally thought. And for most of us, it’s probably better to think in terms of not ruining our hobbies and pastimes by trying to monetize them… not neglecting to develop our business-building muscles and skills… and not thinking that our business passion comes first, instead of as a result ‒ of becoming successful in business!
Ready to become a successful real estate investor? One who acquires the right training and skills and uses them to build a successful retirement income one step at a time? Give us a call at (801) 990-5109 or schedule your free appointment here to build a personalized Wealth Plan. We’ll help you become a pro ‒ regardless of whatever other passions you pursue…

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