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Why Following Your Passion Is Bad Advice

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  • Rich Brooks says:

    Great provocative title, David!

    You’re absolutely right that many businesses are successful w/o the founder possibly having a passion about the type of business he or she is in. (Port-o-potties come to mind.)

    Still, those people probably have a passion for the art of business, and profitability, and follow their passion that way, irrespective of the widget they’re selling.

    I will say that I wouldn’t be able to get through the grunt work on my own business if I didn’t have passion for what I’m doing.

    I can’t imagine a business succeeding w/o passion, you just need to determine where your passion lies. It may be in the product or service, or it may be in another aspect of your business.

    Good post, and thanks for sharing.

    • David Risley says:

      Good points. And, nice to see you again at NMX. 🙂

      • I totally agree with @Rich’s point.

        It’s the passion behind the scenes that pushes me forward in times when I am frustrated but again without a business that first provides a solution to a burning pain/problem that your target market is experiencing and a direct response way to market and sell your products/service nothing is going to happen. Plain and simple!

        @David thanks for another thought provoking post!

  • Jacko says:

    Good post.

    Everyone has to accept the fact that in business you do not have a right to make a profit.

    You have to earn your keep.

    If you’re humble enough to follow success to where it takes you there’s no telling how you could experience your true potential.

    Example: You may have a dream of becoming a hair stylist and end up selling a line of hair care products instead. Or have a dream to be a NASCAR driver and end up selling custom cars.

  • Yup you are right. I personally HATE when Guru folks and blog talking head blab about Passion as a key driver to business success. My passion ain’t got squat to do with my success. My success in business depends solely on my ability clearly understand the burning needs/problems facing my target market and then being able to deliver results to meet their problems and get paid for it.

    Passion is selfish and it’s all about oneself. When focused on meeting the burning needs of your target market it’s all about them and never about you. Once you know the problems and have crafted your own unique solution to the problem, to really make bank, then you have to study direct response marketing like it’s going out of style and implement the heck out of it. What good is your unique solution to a problem is no one knows about it?

  • Right on, David. I’m reading “The E-Myth Revisited” and this post falls right into alignment with the author’s point about being a successful business owner.

  • Michael says:

    Great timing – reading this post. This really makes sense Dave.

    Just this morning I stumbled across a niche that both matches my passion and solves a problem – almost an exact example of what you are describing here.

    BTW, enjoy the cruise. 🙂

  • Mike Lamb says:

    David, for years I’ve been waiting for someone to talk about this myth. Nearly every online marketer I’ve seen over the last ten years has used that premise. Follow your passion and the money will follow. I’ve learned many, many times in working with clients their passion doesn’t translate into revenue.

    You gotta be passionate about what you want or what you’re doing. But passion should be used a driving force. Not as a key point in a business plan.

    It took guts to share that post. Not surprised it was you.

    Your authenticity continues to impress me.

  • Johnny says:

    I’m one of those that believe it starts with passion. But I also see it the other way as well, it’s a tough call.

    – Basically, you need motivation one way or another. Motivation keeps you going through the tough times and gets you past all the challenges and obstacles. It doesn’t matter how logical or how easy your business fits together because nothing stays easy and simple over the years. Competitors show up, markets change, people change, times change, everything goes…and if you don’t have the motivation, your business won’t make it.

    if you’re the kind of person that’s only motivated by money and can’t dream of anything else other than how rich you’re going to be and how nice your big house and car will look, well then yes, money motivation is all you need.

    On the other hand, if you’re motivated by your passion, that can be all you need. It’s true that you might not make as much money as a dollar-oriented person, but you certainly can make a big difference in the world and leave your imprint on your passion. You can change things forever and give yourself something to do for years to come. Or you can be a serial entrepreneur and keep jumping ship from one startup to another.

    At the end of the day, you can decide for yourself if you wanted to make a ton of money, or actually made a difference in the world, or even both. But it’s silly to think you can live a fulfilled life without passion in what you do.

  • J says:

    Excellent because you hit it on the head. Your passion does not equate a successful business. You have to solve a problem or provide a person with something of value that they can use for fun or pleasure. I looked at my passions and they are not passions that can solve problems and even though they can be used for pleasure, it doesn’t mean that people are willing to blow money on them just because they like them.

    I really like what you said and it needs to be at the top of your post. Passion is not going to get it but instead solving a problem.

  • PJ Brunet says:

    I decided to respond with a full 4am blog post, take it or leave it:

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