Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Passion Paradox

Passion is illusive.

For years we’ve been told that if we find it, follow it, channel it, leverage it and stay committed to it, then eventually, with a lot of hard work, we can profit from it.

How romantic.

I fell for that fairytale when I started my company nearly a decade ago. And while I’m still a believer in passion and the profitability thereof, unfortunately, because of the nature of passion, because of its white-hot burning fire in the deepest parts of our hearts, we quickly forget that passion isn’t without its own share of problems:

First, passion is not a substitute for reality. Without an intersection between our obsession and the marketplace need, we’re just passionately irrelevant. It’s the difference between making something useful and just making something.

Secondly, the thrill of our passion dissipates once it becomes a daily task. Sometimes what used to bring purpose, meaning and mattering to our lives slowly begins to cause stomach ulcers. To avoid this, our passion must be both scalable and sustainable.

Third, passion without purpose is pointless and leaves us penniless. Without a strong why, without a foundation that comes from our truest desires, our passion becomes a blazing fire that burns everyone we touch, including ourselves. Careful.

Fourth, passion isn’t the only activity that occupies our time. If we work a job doing what we love, we still have to deal with the menial, soul-sucking activities that have nothing to do with our passion. And if we don’t delegate those tasks, our passion becomes a chore.

Fifth, passion without commitment is just an expensive hobby. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Hobbies are essential to life. But if we want to turn a profit, if we want to make dent in the universe, we have to make the decision to play for keeps.

Not to rain on your passion parade or anything.

Because the good news is, every year, people around the globe make millions dollars doing exactly what they love. Passion is, was and will always be, a profitable enterprise.

And as long as we’re willing to confront the realities attached to making a living from our passion, there’s no reason we can’t be one of those people too.

We just have to make sure we’re not dreaming in the wrong direction.

What is the paradox of your passion?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting
Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012-2013!

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