What is your passion? You don’t know it, right? or maybe you think you know it but you’re not sure it really is your passion?
Knowing what your passion is sounds like something you should do as a first step, because without a passion you can’t pick a niche. But at the same time, it can feel so difficult to exactly pin it down!
The problem is you’ve been taught what passion is the wrong way.
Passion is not this mythical beast you try to conquer throughout your existence. Getting to the gist of it shouldn’t be your primary goal.
Let’s see how to find out what your passion is.
A gruelling task
I bet if you seated down right now and tried to define what your ultimate passion in life is, you wouldn’t be able to come up with a definitive answer.
Maybe it’s because you like many things and can’t pick one. Or you may be interested in a few things, but nothing really gets you going so much that you can call it a passion.
So what have you got to do in order to answer the scariest question of all: “What is my passion?”
It’s easy, you don’t have to know the answer to that question in the first place!
Knowing what your one and only passion is is a useless exercise. It won’t make much of a difference in your quest to start a business.
The small steps will lead you there
What will make the difference is following the little things that interest you.
Every day you might encounter things that will get you: “Mmh, sounds cool, let me check into this.”
And surely you’ll have a few topics or activities that have the ability to distract you from everything else you’re doing.
Are those your passions? Maybe, who knows, but really, who cares!
Just follow those leads, follow the rabbit trail. Go see where those things will lead you and maybe at the end of the trail you’ll have found your passion. And you’ll not know it, but you’ll be so psyched about it, you won’t be able to think about anything else, let alone trying to define what your ultimate passion is.
You don’t need a passion to start a business
To start a business you need to follow your passion, you may have heard this before. I certainly had. And that’s not true! You don’t have to follow your passion to start a business.
The things that interest you will ultimately define which kind of business you’re going to start, but it’s not by defining your passion beforehand that you’ll get there.
And maybe your business won’t even be about the things that interest you the most!
Not every interest, not every passion, is fit for a business.
They may lead to a business idea, but they won’t necessarily make for a good business idea.
Passion and love: a story of misunderstandings
When you think about passion, you think about love. And when you think about love, you think about this crazy feeling you should have for another person.
The kind of feeling that will get you to make stupid things. The kind of feeling that will give you butterflies in your stomach. The feeling that you don’t need anything else in your life but the object of your love. You’re ready to fight, you don’t care about hurting yourself in your quest for love. You can stay awake for three days just thinking about your love. Who needs to eat? You’ve got love!
I think you get the idea.
But that is not what love is! It might be what falling in love does to yourself, but falling in love is a different beast.
Love is a more gentle thing. It’s empowering, but it’s not all-encompassing. It touches you, but not so much that it should hurt you. And at one point, it will become day-to-day business, not a boring routine, mind you, just something you take into your life, making it a part of you, but not so much that everything else loses its meaning.
And passion is the same: we’ve been lead to believe that your passion should have a disruptive effect on your life, that you should obsess about it, that nothing else will have meaning in your life. But it’s not how it works…unless you want to develop a bad case of myopia!
Stop thinking and get doing
What I think you should do is to stop thinking about what your passion is. Stop trying to answer the passion question.
And go do something. Go work on something. Go read a book you think might interest you. Go talk to people smarter than you. Or even dumber than you, who cares.
Enjoy the small bits and pieces you find on your path and when you find something that makes you stop in awe, take a little diversion and see where it leads you.
In the end, you might discover, that you actually have a passion, you might realize what it is, but you won’t get there by wondering about it, you’ll get there by chance.
And chance is how you’ll discover your passion.
And the way to start a business, is not by following your passion, it’s by following all the different experiences you’ll encounter in your life, by listening to the people around you, by thinking how you can do something differently, by thinking what favour you can do to the people you meet.
So follow your experiences, not your passion, as those are much more likely to lead you to ultimate success and freedom.
So what do you think? Are you still looking for your passion? What are you working on right now?
Do you want to start a business?
In my career, I started more than 10 businesses, some where great, others not so much and a couple of them failed hard. At 23 I was nominated by BusinessWeek as one of Europe's Best Young Entrepreneurs. It was and still is a great ride and I want to share everything that I learned with you.
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