Want to build a business? Don't follow your Passion
Here is the inspiration for today’s Blog Post.
Sorry for the Rant! But I’ve needed to get this thought out for a while now…
The article in Fast Company is a great read and goes into detail how Steve Jobs became Steve Jobs - and it’s not what he said in his famous speech to the Stanford grads. He didn’t found Apple by doing what he ‘loves to do’, he found it by accident.
All over the internet, Facebook and Blogs, it’s spread like a virus that:
The key to occupational happiness is to first figure out what you’re passionate about and then find a job that matches this passion.
It’s not True
‘“do what you love, and the money will follow” has become the de facto motto of the career-advice field’
Follow love and the money will follow is not totally true as well
There are a million books, articles and courses on how to discover your Love & Passion. All there, so you can chase after it and do what you love. It’s like a Hollywood dream that many of us (including me) have been chasing for a long time. It seems to capture some of the fascination we have with music artists, actors and sports athletes.
No amount of Passion can overcome picking a market that’s not viable to begin with, or starting a business that doesn’t have a way to monetize. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have love or passion, but I now think now that this is the wrong place to start from.
The article finally ends with some great practical advice we can all follow when trying to find that elusive business idea/lost love (this is how Steve Jobs actually founded Apple Computers):
How do we find work that we’ll eventually love? Like Jobs, should we resist settling into one rigid career and instead try lots of small schemes, waiting for one to take off
Don’t follow your passion - experiment with a few ideas and test what works. The Passion and Love can come later, after you start delivering something you can be proud of. I don’t have any science to back this up, but I’m sure more successful businesses were started this way more than any other method.
I’m not saying you can’t love what you do. You can grow to love and be passionate about the business you start - but searching for passion as the starting point seems like nonsensical advice to me. How can you do what you love when most of us struggle with that?
It’s almost impossible to pin down what our true passions are and we usually find them by accident no? (I’m still trying to find my passions and when someone asks, it’s the universal love of music, art, technology, etc like everyone else)
Don’t drink the Kool-Aid anymore. I have some successful friends that are really great and passionate about what they do, but they didn’t start off that way.
Here is the book that this story idea came from.
What do you think?