We have written before that the key to business success is passion. Gary Vaynerchuk does a great job articulating this in this short video below:
The trouble with this line of thinking is that we can't all be passionate about the services and products we create. Somebody has to work the toll booths, someone has to pick up the garbage, and someone has to clean the streets. People want to follow their desires, but not everyone can truly turn that desire into passion.
99% of People Who Follow Their Desires Won't Like What They Get
First of all lets clarify that "desire" and "passion" are two different things. You have to be completely invested to be passionate. You can have a desire to start a business, but you can only be passionate once you run a business for years. Most desires will not turn into lifelong passions; there are simply too many barriers:
- Most desires are not unique. If you desire is to run a coffee shop, you're competing with millions of other people who have the same exact desire.
- Turning a desire into a real business (passion) can kill that desire. You may love coffee, so you decide to open up a coffee shop. You taste and make hundreds of different types of coffee, but you may discover that you can't stand to taste or make another pot of coffee afterwards. What you like to do in your personal life may not translate into a business.
The Leap From Desire To Passion
The leap from desire to passion happens when you invest yourself and gain more appreciation for the challenges. You desire to start a business, you're passionate about running that business. Amy Hoy published a great post titled Don't Follow Your Passion in which she describes these very challenges:
If you want to run a successful cafe ' and enjoy it ' you need to love a lot more than coffee. You'll also have to get some kind of pleasure, even satisfaction, out of the daily grind. (Ha ha.) Which means, of course, interacting with customers, hiring & managing wait staff, handling the day-to-day necessities like ordering supplies, cleaning, paying rent, marketing your butt off, and dealing with customers who want to squat on your valuable tables all day for just $2 of brew.
Takeaway: Invest Yourself. Appreciate the Challenge.
Passion is about an investment in and appreciation for the challenges. A lot of that has to do with finding meaning in what you do. Finding meaning comes from your strong desire to shape a result. 37signals published a great interview with Bryan Johnson, founder of Braintree, in which he admits that he is not particularly passionate about credit card processing but that he found meaning in his business:
'I'm not particularly passionate about payments, but I am passionate about trying to build a good company.' Johnson gets satisfaction from making customers happy, creating a workplace that employees enjoy, and improving 'an unscrupulous and broken industry.'
To sum this up: Desire to shape a result. Invest Yourself. Appreciate the Challenges along the way.