How to Find Your Passion (the easy way)
Can’t find your passion? Don’t worry.
My Father used to tell me, “Do what you love in life, and the money will follow.” There’s some truth in that.
For me however, I discovered a passion for the entrepreneurial journey, not just the product I was selling, the industry I was serving, or the technology I was utilizing to deliver value to others.
This, by very nature, is contrarian to what many business books and gurus indoctrinate – to “Find your passion and make it your business.”
Let’s unpack this notion of “passion” for a second, because it has metastasized rapidly in startup and corporate culture, that I think it deserves highlighting why it derails most.
What the hell is “passion” anyways?
In one sentence or word, if you had to define it, what would you say “passion” is? To me, passion is:________________________________________________________
Did you write “excitement”? Did you write “a willingness to do something day in and day out, even without getting paid”? Did you say “passion is a specific project, like a passion project”? We’ve all heard people boast about finding that. Or, did you define passion as “a specific area, field, industry or technology”?
When I look back on my life, when I was six years old I was passionate about dinosaurs, then by nine airplanes entered the picture, and dinosaurs became extinct to me. A year later, Legos® took center stage for my attention; I spent countless hours in my bedroom building forts, space ships, and imaginary towns.
By eleven, I discovered the outside world, and the art of fishing hooked me fully. Another year hence and baseball by twelve, driving my first car by sixteen, cooking by seventeen, and playing golf with buddies by eighteen. It seems that every year I flew in and out of “passion” with something radically new — a new hobby, a new game, a new sport, a new industry and a new world.
So if my interests in various industries, projects and areas evolved over time, but my excitement to learn something new, get completely engrossed in building or doing never waned, then would it be more accurate if we re-define “passion” as a state of mind, right?
So am I measuring passion correctly then?
Would I have been willing to do any of those activities day in and day out at that point in my life?
Would I have been willing to be un-paid to build rocket ships with Legos in my bedroom, or wait countless hours on the dock waiting for a fish to bite? You bet! I did it, therefore, I was passionate, right? I never converted any of those activities into startup companies — that was, until I discovered music.
Passion is not an external thing outside of us. It is state of mind within us. We must determine what triggers us into this state so we can stay there regardless of what project, startup or problem we are working on solving. Stop looking to be passionate before you start your business. Just start — passion will catch up to you.