It’s an interesting word, for sure.
So what does it have to do with business?
More importantly perhaps, is what does it have to do with success in business?
Let’s find out…
Passion is a word that has several meanings, all but one of which are lost to every day use.
Did you know that one of the meanings is suffering?
Yes, you read that right – one of the meanings of ‘passion’ is ‘suffering’ – as in ‘The Passion of The Christ’.
And it’s this meaning, as well as the more widely known meaning, that together have something very useful to tell us about success in business.
You are in business, or thinking of going in to business in order to fix, achieve and/or avoid something. Chances are, it’s a combination of several of these. I doubt you are doing this simply to generate cash – you want that money for something!
Your business is not an end in itself… it’s a means to an end…
… so why not make that ‘means’ as enjoyable and motivating as possible?
So go in to an area of business, or service a market, for which you have some genuine passion.
The usual meaning of ‘passion’ certainly makes sense in this last sentence. But what about the part to do with suffering?
I think we all know that business can be tough – you will have some frustrating times and decisions ahead of you. Things won’t always go according to plan. Some days will be poor in terms of cash generation. What will help you stay the course is in the passion you have for what you sell, for how you sell it, for what it can do for your customers, and for their appreciation. That and the vision you have that your business will help you achieve…
Simon Sinek (see http://www.startwithwhy.com/) suggests in his ‘Golden Circle’ that all organisations and careers function on 3 levels:
- What you do
- How you do it
- Why you do it
It’s very easy to be clear about the first 2.
Not so much with the third – why you do it – and this is where the passion comes in…
Without a clear sense of ‘why’ – when the suffering part of ‘passion’ begins to dominate, it’s not so easy to rebalance, to get that other part of the passion back and drive through the challenges and get closer to success.
So where might you find this ‘why’ and your passion that goes with it?
Well, only you can really know, but where it connects to your business is in some combination of these areas:
- The market you serve – it could be individuals, it could be organisations, there is no limit – your passion is in the ‘who’ that you sell to.
- The products & services you want to offer – your passion could be in the ‘what’ that you sell.
- The problem or situation your products & services tackle – your passion could be in the ‘why’ customers buy what they buy from you.
What is certain – if you have no real passions in any of these 3 areas, you are going to find it much tougher to generate the cash you want & need to achieve your vision.
So my call to action is a simple one…
Give thought to your ‘why’ and the passion that connects with it.
Where and how does it connect with your business?
What possibilities and opportunities become available to you if you move your focus to a different combination of market, product/service and problem?
Reflect on these questions. Check out Simon Sinek’s web site for further insights. All this takes time, so let it.
And if you’re up for a challenge, why not share your ‘why’ with me? I’d love to learn more about people’s ‘why’ – and perhaps help you out as you refine & clarify…