A few years ago, my husband and I drove out to Ocean City, Maryland for a mini vacation. I admit, I wasn’t completely present in the moment of the experience. I felt almost guilty for immersing myself in a pleasurable activity when my thoughts were wrecked and lost with the “would haves” and “should haves” of my life. It’s as if I had unfinished business to do (literally) and I was wasting time by not attending to it “immediately.”
What would my life look like if I had stuck it through in 2002 and not sold my very modest sized business? Would I be feeling fulfilled professionally? Would I have wanted to get up every morning oh so vibrantly and ready to take take on the day?
Have you ever experienced an intense feeling of knowing you were meant to do something else?
Something bolder. Something better. Something that screams PASSION.
Granted, I am immensely grateful and proud to have collected degrees that have afforded me the opportunity to earn a decent living. But in that journey, I failed to realize that I had spent a decade searching to fill a void and I was looking to fill it in all the wrong places.
What the heck is blogging?
Prior to my decision to venture out into the online world, I had been following one blogger – Pat Flynn. Of course, I didn’t realize he was a “blogger” back then. I didn’t even understand how blogging worked. I’ve always been sort of a laggard when it came to technology and online trends.
But I just knew that somehow, with my limited knowledge of technology, I was going to figure out how to start a business online – one that I intensely connected with.
So when I got home from my trip, I began to fanatically search for ways to start a business that I could fall in love with. And there were a few things I learned in my old offline business that allowed me to be crystal clear about what I wanted. Here they go:
- I wanted to start a business from home.
- I was passionate about business, personal development and wellness and wanted to find a way to inspire people.
- I wanted to earn a full time income.
- I wanted to stay healthy and sane while doing it.
- I wanted enough time left to engage with the people who matter to me the most.
Passion vs. Customers
There is much to be said about giving your customers what they want.
However, I’m really feeling the idea of doing what you love, then finding the right customers.
I read a great article by Jonathan Fields recently. My takeaway was the notion that often times other areas of your life compensate for the dysfunction created around a business that is ultimately not a good fit for you.
In retrospect, that’s exactly what happened with my old business. In essence, I bought myself a J-O-B. My customers became my bosses and the situation was possibly the equivalent of my worse job yet.
Why? Because I was responsible for creating it.
Black or White?
There are various schools of thought in entrepreneurship. There are some who say passion won’t help you create a successful business. Yet others who beg to differ.
I go with the latter.
I believe passion will keep your engine running. It will also sustain your thinking on your feet and motivate you enough to keep you moving forward. As you progress, you will learn to find solutions to obstacles that will come, and these will enhance the skills necessary to help you reach your vision.
There will be forks on the road…
But resiliency tends to present itself with much fluidity when you’re really feeling what your doing.
I learned along the way that it’s not easy to trust yourself when you have such a deep-seeded desire to want to put something out into the world (via a blog for example), to then become frozen by the naysayers.
However, I suppose that you’ll put more focus and attention when you zero in on what matters in your world while also finding a way to provide value in the world of your customers and followers.
Clate Mask, the CEO of Infusion Soft, made this statement in an article written for Fast Company. He said:
“The rewards of personal growth and self-actualization that come from creating your own success far outweigh the risk of stifling your entrepreneurial passion.” – Clate Mask
He also proposed that there is a fine line between being passionate and being delusional. That line can be blurred and it is important to know the distinction.
Laura Roeder, has another view on having passion for business. In an article she wrote for Dell, she describes how passion can actually doom your business because it creates an emotional attachment. She also argues the idea that passion has a shelf life.
I agree. There are many times people do run out of steam for something they were once passionate about. But the beauty in the nature of the beast is that you can design a business that allows you to rebrand as you see fit.
It’s not easy I bet, but doable.
Darren Rowse attempted to described what makes any particular blog stand out in 140 characters but found it challenging. Although, he described, there is no one thing that makes a blog great the one thing that does shine through is passion. Passion is what draws people in.
With that thought, allow me to revisit the statement made by the late Steve Jobs:
“You need a lot of passion for what you’re doing because it’s so hard. Without passion, any rational person would give up. So if you’re not having fun doing it, if you don’t absolutely love it, you’re going to give up. And that’s what happens to most people, actually.”—Steve Jobs
My One-Way Street
I don’t think that I quite had an opinion about any of this back when I found myself overwhelmed with my thoughts during my trip. But today, one thing is for sure - I whole-heartedly refuse to create a business solely for the financial gains.
I want to LOVE what I do. Call it passion or delusion but rest assured, I am on a mission to prove that I can create a hugely profitable and passion filled business from the comfort of my home.
So I invite you on the challenge and ask you to explore this: How does passion play a part in your business?