I read Seth Godin’s post today which essentially says it’s the ideal time to follow your passion. Maybe. Seth goes on to remind us that we need to abandon the idea of making our fortunes while following these passions. That I fully agree with. Few people’s passions lead to financial reward, especially when the reward becomes the goal of following the passion. One look at Godin’s Squidoo.com site shows us that people have ‘passion’ for some pretty useless stuff.

To that rather nasty and negative thought about following your passion, I’d like add that many people simply don’t have that choice. If you’ve got a mortgage to pay you had better not run your credit card to the limit to open that doggie treat business you are ‘passionate’ about.

We’ll still need people to help us at Walmart, fix our cars, paint our houses, fix our plumbing and run our factories.

I’d like to offer a sort of compromise idea to following your passion. Bring fun back to your work. Look for possible improvements in what YOU DO NOW and make those improvements. If your idea needs approval, get to work on a presentation to sell your idea to your supervisor. Don’t give up.

Your work, no matter how mundane, can be fun again if you work on making improvements and enjoy seeing those improvements produce results.

You see, I really do agree with Seth. But I’m tired of the overuse of the word passion. Frankly, when I’m hiring I prefer to see drive and talent much more than passion. The ones with passion have generally driven me nuts with chatter about their passion but have been low on productivity. Rather than passion, I want people who can see the fun in improving a billing process or making a customer happy.

I try new things every day. Most don’t work out. But some do. And some are very successful. And because I do this every day, I see lots of success with my ideas. And that’s a lot of fun.


Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog
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