Passion Doesn’t Pay Your Bills…

By Jennifer Olney | Small Business

Follow your passions and do what you love! Have you heard this before? There are some very successful “gurus” who will sell you a book or a webinar on this and you know what…that’s their passion not yours.

The advice to follow your passion and do what your love has resulted in more failed businesses than you can shake at stick at my friend. Passion is not something you follow. Passion follows you as you put in the hard work. It’s far too easy for folks to confuse hobbies and interests with career passions. The reality is that pre-existing passion is rarely valuable to others. Before you embark on new venture, take a moment and write down something you are passionate about. Now ask yourself this question “Who is going to pay me for this?”Passion Doesnt Pay Your Bills... image passionplay2Passion Doesnt Pay Your Bills...

We will all live in the real world. It’s a “pay to play” world. Citibank doesn’t take your passion for your mortgage payment. And consider the ideas you have and how others will pay you for your ideas. Are bringing values to others with your passion? Will a potential customer give up their hard earned money for your passion?

Your Passion May Not Be My Passion

The key to being a success entrepreneur is to identify relevant “passions” of others not your own. Far too often entrepreneurs “assume” what they are passionate about will transfer to others. They feel their passions will just naturally be the passion for their customers. Your passion may not be your customer’s cup of tea – unless you can convince them. Creating a respect for a passion takes time. Producing a product or idea of import, gaining an acceptance for it and connection with consumers takes a long time. The best advice is don’t quit your day job while you are building your “passion” on the side. You need to eat and keep a roof over your head. Nothing is built over night. The “sideline” passion is much different from the kind of passion you hope to find in your business career.

Passion Vs. A “Calling”

What we call “work” can be broken down into a job, a career, or a calling. Most of us have a “job” and that pays the bills; a career is a path towards increasingly better work; a calling is work that is an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity. Most of us would love to have a “calling” in life. A calling can be predicted by the number of years of experience we put into our work. The more we work at it, the more we are likely to love what we do. Why? The more experience you have you have acquired better skills and the greater your satisfaction in having those skills. The more experience you have the more you can see how your work has benefited others. And you’ve had more time to develop strong professional and even personal relationships with some of your employees, vendors, and customers.

Here is where passion comes to play. When you have put into the time and effort into your work, you will develop a passion too. You want to come to work – you want to bring the value to your job. It’s not prerequisite to have a “passion” for your job – you have passion because of it. Passion is a side effect of mastery. Most people come to have a passion because of the practice they put into their work.

Working Smart Trumps Working For Nothing

Want to love what you do? Pick something financially viable. Pick something people will pay you to do or provide. If the work is interesting and there’s a market—where people will pay you for that work—that’s working smart. The satisfaction of achieving one level of success spurs you on to gain the skills to reach the next level, and the next, and the next. Focus on creating a business that will eventually provide you with a sense of respect, autonomy, and impact. And keep your eye on the focus that the goal is providing value to your customer at the end of day. Keep your passion for always bringing the value to your customer by giving your best – in actions, everything you do.

This post originally appeared on GingerConsulting

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