“Follow your passion!”
Research shows this well-meaning advice can set you up to fail in two ways.
Firstly, the advice to follow your passion typically promotes a sense that things will be easier if you do so, increasing the likelihood of giving up when things are more challenging than expected.
Secondly, following this advice makes us less likely to notice and pursue ideas and opportunities outside of a narrow focus. As a thought leader, your work depends on generating new ideas. You are most likely to find the innovations that will elevate your work by looking in non-obvious places outside of your passions.
Additionally, I find that passions change too much with time to be a reliable compass, especially for creative entrepreneurial types.
To be clear, the research above doesn’t suggest you are doomed to boredom and dread in your business.
On the contrary, I think it’s more important than ever to create a business derived from the core of who you are and what you can best bring to the world.
However, passion isn’t the most reliable compass to guide you toward a successful business strategy.
Instead, I use the following five principles to help my clients grow a successful and fulfilling business without falling into the “follow your passion” pitfalls.
5 Principles to Follow Instead of Your Passion
1. Leverage your unique strengths in every aspect of your business.
2. Continuously follow your curiosity to find new ideas and possibilities.
3. Focus on serving the customers for whom you can get the most significant results.
4. When evolving your business model and planning your strategy, focus on the journey with these two questions.
“How can I enjoy the journey even if I don’t get the results I want?”
“What would make this fun for me right now?”
5. Look at business strategy not as a fixed plan but rather as a series of hypotheses and experiments.
When you follow these five principles, your business will provide you with maximum fulfillment, and you will generate the most significant impact for your customers.