Follow Your Passion

A few years ago, I published an article on the irrelevance of the economy.   More specifically, the economy that had (by most measures) reached historic lows in our region. Preposterous?  Maybe, from a macro economic perspective.  But, not for a small business owner.  The point of the article was to focus on what you can manage – marketing, changes in product design, quality, and other controllable items to continue to grow your business.

Earlier this week, I was reminded of just how irrelevant a stagnant economy can be, and should be, to a small business or nonprofit agency – if we capitalize on another controllable factor.  Passion.  The passion we have when we wake up each morning to fulfill our mission – the passion we illustrate when we share success stories about how our organization has changed lives of our customers, clients, or participants – the passion that fills our hearts knowing we are doing the right thing.

Many of the themes in this blog delve into the technical side of strategic planning, business plans, process improvement, and leadership.  We sometimes assume our passion is simply part of the package.  If you have passion for what you do, are you directing your energies in ways to make a real difference?  Well, you know me enough to realize I can hop up on a soapbox and pontificate for a solid hour on a subject like this one.  So, let’s drop the rhetoric, and conduct a little exercise.

Pull out your business plan, strategic plan, or that little sign on your wall that displays your Mission.  What does it really meant to you?  Do you get little chills every time you read it?  When was the last time you read it out loud to your staff?

Missions, or mission statements, are sometimes confused with visions.  A vision is a statement of our desired future.  A mission is what we do today.  It is our purpose, our reason for being.

How does your mission resonate with your energy, passion, and focus?  I cannot teach you how to be more passionate about what you do.  That comes from your heart.  But, we can discuss how each of us focuses our passion within our own organizations.  Or, in other words, are our hearts in the right place?  The purpose of this exercise is to help you become more cognizant of your passion, and hopefully you can transform this passion into business success.

Think about how can your passion help you build deeper relationships with clients, strategic partners, or vendors?  This isn’t about creating a perception that you are more passionate about your mission or cause than others.  This isn’t something you can fake.  This is about instilling confidence and reassuring us that if we are truly passionate about what we do, we can overcome many of the obstacles that are waning our competition’s desire to move forward.

We’ve heard it a million times – “if you believe it, it will happen”.  Well, if you have passion for what you believe, how can it not happen?

Trust in yourself, follow your passion, and you will succeed!  Toss out those business books, because that’s all there is to it.