Most of us live in our professional lives in industries where it would be very simple to consider our chosen profession just like any other consumer goods category. An adult and logical approach would dictate that it would be proper to write about and discuss who the volume leaders are, their brand share of market, and to generally take a very cerebral, intelligent….and, frankly business-like approach to our industry. Success is to be measured strictly in profits and market share terms, with just a little strategic vison thrown in to assuage the elite business professors. All very clinical and detached. And, hey, why not…. it’s just business, right?
And there is not only nothing wrong with that approach - at a certain level, that type of perspective IS required. Good thoughtful, unemotional decision making is a must for any business to succeed. So, certainly the idea of having passion for a product, a category, or an industry is secondary to any “real” business approaches. Or, is it?
Passion is a funny thing. Being intensely devoted to an idea, a concept, a brand, or even a category is akin to having a religious fervor. A “mental illness” as described by some. Some to business-school clinicians might quickly argue that passion “clouds the mind” and gets in the way of “clear-headedness” when it comes to decision making. Is being dis-passionate a sign of a more mature perspective, therefore a more thoughtful and analytical approach that truly solid business leaders must possess?
Consider for a moment that just the opposite might be true.
Passion is where “it” all begins. The “it” is the idea that your idea or product can truly make an impact or difference…can truly change the “world”. The great here news is …. you get to make the choice on exactly what that “world” is. From passion comes energy and excitement, along with a never-ending desire to learn and improve on your idea or belief. Passion is what will get you through those toughest of days that inevitably occur whenever great dreams are pursued.
Remember, when people tell you that you’re crazy for chasing something they cannot see, they are really paying you a compliment. Differentiation can never be achieved doing the same thing as everyone else. Passion is what gives you the drive…and the confidence to keep pushing when others choose to give up. Passion often leads people to go where others have not gone. The energy that comes from the passionate pursuit of a dream is contagious to those who follow. Passionate leaders truly care about their followers and those followers know it. Passion is where the “it” all begins.
Passion resides in all of us. But, often, somewhere along this journey of life, too many people find reasons to bury their passion. Perhaps it is a business school professor who teaches students to be “analytical” or “professional” in their approach. Maybe it is a manager or boss who strikes fear when reports aren’t on time or sales don’t materialize according to some pre-ordained schedule. Most people choose to bury their passion in order to accommodate and, often, survive. Once again, I’d argue just the opposite is needed.
We all need to look to find ways to re-kindle our passions. Move your life towards your passion in small steps if you must, but never lose sight of that dream. For those of you who choose to pursue your passions, you must keep working towards that warm sunny spot on the horizon that, often, only you can see.
Find a way to step closer to your passion every day and I promise you that your life’s journey will be richer and more rewarding. True passion and fervor for an idea draws others who are similar in thought as kindred spirits will always find one another. Building a community is a key component to achieving your goals. Finding others who get “it”, add their own passion to the cause and who will support your passion is critical, but can often be difficult in the early going. Dream seekers who are passionate must remember that often the journey is long, with many detractors all along the way. Though sometimes challenging, the ability to keep going to that place where all the dots all get connected, where you can see your “world” changing in small…and, sometimes, not so small ways is required. The benefits are infinite on so many levels.
For those fortunate enough to be in an industry and a position they truly love, how lucky are we? Whether we are in heavy industry, government service, or perhaps in an industry that serves others such as the hospitality trade, having the ability to “change the world” through a passionate resolve is inspiring to others – and to ourselves.
Changing the world is not easy. But, that’s ok because it’s possible.
So…passion is not required…. if we want to be that person who simply gets through the day. And repeats the same day all over again tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after.
However, why not try to be different? Be a little crazy. Unbury your passions, re-kindle the fire inside yourself and determine your “world” and then, go ahead,… begin to change it.
Black Cow Media
Branding for the real world
Sites We Like...A Lot