Should you really build your business based on your passion?
You have heard the advice: turn your passion into a business, or follow your heart and success will automatically follow.
Of course, you should love what you do, but that does not necessarily mean you should build a business purely centered around your passion, nor that you need to try to figure out what your true passion is before devoting your heart and soul to starting a business. I am certainly passionate about my business and even obsessed with it. I’m beyond excited about the amazing clients I work with, about my plans for the future, about the goals I can’t wait to achieve, about my message and the impact I want to have – all these things spark me and definitely do not feel like work.
However, before starting my business I had no idea how much joy and passion it would bring. Instead, if asked about my passions – my answer would have been focused on things I loved: riding horses, travelling, great food and company, etc. Did I start a business based on any of these passions? No. Not to say I did not consider it: equestrian sports had always been a huge part of my life and I felt they were my true “passion”, so of course I thought I should give it a shot. I considered riding professionally, or working for a top barn (even as a groom) and working my way up. I spent many summers mucking horse sh*it, working from 7am to 9 pm in the barn. I loved it, at the time, but what I really loved was riding.
However, I also knew that making it as a successful professional takes tons of money and talent. Even if you do make it, you often don’t own your horses, and have to deliver results under pressure from the owners. Only the a hand-full make it to the highest level of the sport. It’s a tough environment, and not necessarily one I wanted to pursue from a career perspective. I did know that I wanted to enjoy riding as part my life, but on my own terms, competing as I pleased, and most of all because I loved it and wanted to have fun.
Rather than sacrificing everything and attempting the long, hard route of turning my passion into a career, I built a business that would enable me to pursue these passions. I started with the end result, the life I wanted, the elements I wanted to incorporate in my life, the freedom, the abundance – and then worked backwards and found a business model that leveraged my skills and allowed me to design a life on my own terms.
Seth Goddin says that waiting for a calling is wasting the time of your lifetime. In his view, the whole calling or passion thing is nonsense, and is simply resistance to taking action. There is no right answer waiting for you, so don’t wait! There are only challenges you can immerse yourself in, some which you will want to take on and some which you will chose not too, and experiences to live. Looking back you will always regret not doing anything, and never regret trying.
Don’t hold yourself back because you have not found your passion yet, because you’re not clear on which passion to choose, or because you’re not sure how to turn your passion into a business. You don’t need to start a business based on your passion. You need to get clear on what kind of life you want. You will then infuse passion into your world and business. From there, you will probably discover tons of opportunities you were not even aware of! It also means you will be able to do the things you love for fun, and truly lead a life you are passionate about.