There’s been a lot of debate around the subject matter of whether to follow passion or follow the money for years, with so many quotes from successful people validating both sides of the argument. Well, one thing I see as a common ground for most of these successful people is that they built a structure around what they did to succeed whether it was from their passion or not.
For most people who started with passion, why many often fail to become sustainable and successful over time is that the individual failed to think about the passion as a business and ask critical questions that a business-minded fellow should ask.
Anyone can be impressed by your passion and give you applause or moral support. But no one pays you to catch fun and feel good for following your passion. People only pay to solve their problems. So, what known problem can that passion solve? What’s the market size of that demand? What is the viable profit model to adopt for it? Is it scalable? And so on…
Those who go this way with their passion often end up successful IF the passion passes the test of those vital questions. If not, it becomes very obvious it should be dropped, or kept as a hobby (fun activity), or charity.
So, to put it better, passion is what you carry along. It’s not what you follow. Passion is not a good leader. However, passion is a good compass. A good leader would be Purpose, not Passion. And in the world of business, we define purpose mostly as a mission. And your mission is why anyone would care that your business exists, which points us back to “relevance.”
Dangote is not passionate about salt and cement. Mark is not passionate about Facebook. But these people are deeply passionate about the problem their products are solving. No one should be passionate about the product/service. But everyone should be passionate about the problem he/she is solving. Tope Awotona, the founder of Calendly whom many of us just got to know recently (Q1/2023) and started celebrating everywhere talked about failing in certain businesses just to discover that he truly wasn’t passionate about solving those problems.
It is irresponsible passion that keeps you broke and makes that thing you’re doing unsustainable. The moment you begin to consider the stakes and the odds around your passion, you’ll be forced to think as a business-minded person.
Now, the catch is, I’m passionate about what I do. That passion compels me to always push myself to give my clients the very best. It gives me the energy to press on especially when there is no reason to do so. It increases my taste for excellence and my curiosity for better ways of doing what I do. But what enables me to afford the best I give them is MONEY! The money I charge gives me the capacity to give the best. But it is my passion that compels me to do so. And you’ll agree with me that paying good money for a service/product does not automatically guarantee that you will get the best of it. It always depends on THE PERSON handling the job.
I’m not passionate about branding and web solutions. I’m only passionate about the impact these things have on people, platforms and businesses. So, that’s me being passionate about the problem I solve, not just the tool I use or the skills I deploy. It’s about the problem, the people who have the problem, and the solutions l’m able to gainfully create for them.
I remain your BrandCore Strategist, as always!