In the past several years, the phrase “follow your passion” has become the new mantra for those wanting to “have it all” . . . whatever that means. I’ve heard this phrase uttered, mostly by those (like me, I must admit) who have in the past had difficulty holding or keeping a job, or difficulty earning money from their own business or enterprise. Finding your passion is what you do if you don’t really have any other job to do.
That may sound a bit harsh, but as I said, I’ve been among those shouting this phrase the loudest over a period of several years.
So why am I so down on passion now? Quite frankly, I’m not. I’ve just discovered there are different types of passions, and the ones we think we want the most are usually those that either
- Don’t have a large enough market, or
- Have have the most competition.
When it comes to your market, size DOES matter! If, for example, your passion is about the life and death cycle of the three-toed sloth, those who might pay you for this knowledge would be few and far between. Your options for making a living would be as a biology teacher or a zoology professor somewhere.
As for competition, the ones with the biggest passion usually dominate. So unless you have a passion greater than, say, the most devoted baseball blogger, travel writer, or restaurant critic, it may take you a long time to break in to these markets, if at all.
Following your passion does not mean following in the steps of the “starving artists” who shun earthly rewards for higher feelings or insights. You as a coach can guide others towards finding fulfillment at the same time you are seeking greater financial rewards. Some of mankind’s greatest artifacts were created by those who went for the money.
In the video below, I give a few of the more famous examples and suggest that following the money can, in itself, be a kind of passion!