Should You Chase Your Passion?

Talkeenta Coffee
Turning your passion into your work is probably not a good idea.

I’m not really sure what my passion is in life.

Well, I shouldn’t say that I have no passion. I have many passions, but maybe I just don’t have a single passion.

I’m passionate about my wife, making her happy. The same goes for close family and friends.

I also love playing golf, reading and I also enjoy running a business.

So that’s kind of my collection of passions in life.

Chase Your Passion?

Have you ever been told to chase your passion?

It seems that many of us have. We’ve been told to focus on a passion and to follow it through all the way and never give up and then we’ll never have to work a day in our lives. The money will just magically appear.

I’m not sure if that’s the best way to approach your career.

In a TED talk, Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs discusses a lot of different things, but one item he mentions is passion. Many of the jobs he goes on have people that never chased their passion in life.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not happy. In fact, Rowe says that to him these people are happier than every day working people including those that have followed their passion.

Sports Stars And Record Labels

Another story I’m reminded of comes from Andrew Brandt. He’s worked in the NFL for decades. I don’t remember where he wrote about it or where he said it, but he said that he would specifically tell players to not focus on their passions for businesses.

Players always seemed to want to start record labels. Many love music and because they love it they want to start record labels and follow their passion.

Brandt’s advice was to look for areas of the economy with regular, stable demand including blue collar businesses. This was if they really wanted to get into some kind of business. Brandt said that he had seen players succeed in this area because the demand was there and the player’s name often held value with locals especially where they played football.

Looking For Need In Unlikely Places

Many of us have passions in life that others share. This is where following your passion can be dangerous in life. We do something we love and look for others that have been successful. That can be good, but it can also be dangerous.

In business, you don’t always want to do what others have done. And if you’re in a popular industry then there will be a lot of competition and that can make running whatever business you start very difficult.

When I started Ghost Blog Writers I had no idea that it would turn into a business. I wasn’t looking at the blogging industry as an opportunity. I wouldn’t say blogging or writing was a passion either.

However, opportunity presented itself. I found that I could fill the demand. I also found that blogging was something people wanted, but didn’t always want to do themselves. It’s not a dirty job in the messy sense, but it’s not a glamorous job or at least it doesn’t have that perception.

But I think that’s why it works. When something is difficult to do or uncomfortable or uninteresting, there is less competition. That means a higher likelihood for success if you’re in that industry.

Enjoying Your Passions

Earlier I mentioned my wife, family, friends and things like golf.

My work doesn’t have anything to do with those things, but I still enjoy them. I work so that I can enjoy them. It’s easier for me to put work on hold and be fully into the passions I have in life. I guess some would call that compartmentalizing and it works.

When I’m working, I’m working.

When I’m doing what I love, I’m doing what I love.

Maybe that’s a better way to approach business and your passions.

But if you still want to turn your passion into work at least look for the least competitive areas. Look at what people don’t want to do, but that people need.

That’s where the best opportunities are.

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