Have you ever been told by anyone to just follow your passion? Or been told to just do what you love in life?
I get it, it sort of makes sense. The idea that if you love it that much you’ll probably beat your competition and do well.
It’s a nice idea, but in my opinion it’s misguided and misleading advice to anyone looking to work out what they should be doing with their life.
In my opinion there are 2 key issues with following your passion.
- What if you are rubbish at it?
Have you ever seen X-Factor auditions on TV? I’m not a big fan, but even I’ve been subjected to the wailing screeches of contestants who love singing but are absolutely rubbish at it. This doesn’t just apply to singing though. I love American Football. I watch it as often as I can. But I’m not going to try out for the New York Jets. Because my passion for it doesn’t trump the fact I’d be rubbish at it. This is a very important factor when trying to work out what path you should take in your career/work.
- What if no one wants it?
Money is a very simple thing. If you want people to give you their money you need to provide them with something of value. It might be something that makes them happy, it might solve a problem they have, it might teach them something, it might make them look good.
But just because you are passionate about something doesn’t mean anyone else is.
You can be passionate about making chocolate roof tiles. You might even be bloody good at them. But if there’s no demand for it, and it doesn’t solve a problem for people then they’re probably not going to buy it. A disaster if you want to make a living from your chosen career.
Being passionate about your purpose is hugely beneficial. When you have a bad day your passion will push you through to still deliver. When you get knocked back being passionate about your career will keep you on your tracks and stop you from giving up. Being passionate also can help you stand out above the crowd. You’ll go the extra mile. And people can smell that. They recognise it. If you want financial advice would you rather go see the advisor who doesn’t really like their job and is doing it for the money? Or the advisor who loves what they are doing, spends spare time reading up on the latest financial news and products and genuinely cares about getting you the best deal possible? I know who I’d choose.
So passion is great if you have it for the work that you are doing, or plan to do….
But on its own it’s simply not enough.
So don’t fall into that trap of just assuming you should do what you love. You will likely fail despite what many coaches and gurus will tell you. Take a step back and check that there’s more behind your purpose and career than just enjoying what you do. The last thing you want to do is jump into the wrong thing, costing you more time, costing you your happiness and probably a fair bit of money.
Give yourself a better chance of success out there.