Stop me if you’ve heard this before…
You’re so good at ______________! You really should start a business!
We all have. Because we’re all brilliant, talented, passionate people.
It’s a terrible reason to start a business.
How about this one?
I really love to _____________. I’m going to sell it!
I think at this point, you realize it’s not that easy. Right?
You want to pursue your passion and build a thriving business? Fantastic. I love it. Please do. But understand that you’re missing a step.
You’re missing the most crucial part of developing a business that works for you. You’re missing the thing that makes people take notice. The key to creating viral marketing campaigns. The cornerstone of community building.
When your business is built to make money from your passion, you are constantly struggling to find the model that enables you to do that work. It’s an endless pursuit of the right system, the right tactics, and the right marketplace.
It’s business based on self-interest.
What if, instead of focusing on your own self-interest – impassioned as it may be, you focused on how your passion enables you to serve others? Why are you in business? Why do you what you do?
The answers for to these questions are crucial. As Simon Sinek would say:
People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
Your widget – no matter how beautiful or how well made – doesn’t open wallets on its own merit. Your service – no matter how well-executed or useful – doesn’t move people to click the “buy now” button.
We live amidst abundance. Every where you look, your widget choices abound. Services are aplenty. Never before has there existed such an accessibility to exactly what you need.
What we need may be utilitarian. What we crave is nuanced, meaningful, experiential.
This is why making money from your passion just isn’t enough. This is why there is a third part to the equation.
Often, when I ask an aspiring passion-driven entrepreneur what their “why” is, the answer is, “Because I just love to [make, create, give advice, write, etc...].”
That answer always falls flat.
The response to “I just love to…” isn’t a transaction, it’s a pat on the back.
Back pats don’t pay the bills.
Of course, your passion – your unceasing desire to do what you do – is key to creating a business that serves you well in the You-Centered Economy. But it’s not an end itself.
Your passion is an opportunity. It’s the inspiration.
Your passion is an opportunity to serve others with clarity & inspiration.
To teach. To advocate. To support. To comfort. To motivate. Click to tweet it!
You don’t make money from your passion. You create the opportunity for commerce around the way your passion inspires you to serve others.
The hipster food truck owner doesn’t only have a passion for selling Mexican-Korean fusion tacos. He is creating an opportunity to educate others about foreign food cultures. He is offering a hub for human connection. He is inspiring others to try new things.
The jewelry designer doesn’t only have a passion for making elegant jewelry from recycled metal. She is empowering women to feel beautiful in their own skin. She is creating opportunities for boyfriends and husbands to delight their girlfriends and wives. She is jumpstarting wardrobes.
The copywriter doesn’t only have a passion for the written word. He is bringing clarity to his clients. He is enabling business owners to see a new side of their business. He is creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to better serve their own customers.
It’s not the passion that triggers the transaction. It’s the service.
You can love what you do – completely – while making others the foundation of everything you do.
Use your passion to inspire the service of others and, in that service, create the opportunity for commerce.
Ask yourself, What am I teaching and whom am I serving by practicing my passion?
Your business is built from there.
A system of commerce based on the service of others transcends individual passion even as it elevates it and those who feed the system.