- Any powerful or compelling feeling, such as love or hate
- Strong amorous feeling of love
- Strong sexual desire. A person to whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.
(Calm down, ladies and gentlemen. It’s 8 o’clock on Friday morning. You’ll have to keep a lid on number three for a while. Besides, there’s another noun to consider…)
- (in North America) 2nd February, when the groundhog is said to come out of its hole at the end of hibernation. If the animal sees its shadow – if the weather is sunny – it goes back into its hole, which portends six more weeks of winter weather.
- A situation in which a series of unwelcome or tedious events appear to be recurring in exactly the same way
On the face of it, passion and Groundhog Day have nothing in common. We all know both feelings – and they couldn’t be more different. But to me they’re two concepts that sum up exactly what running your own business is all about.
LinkedIn recently sent me a ‘must-read.’ Like most people ‘must read’ for me means ‘would quite like to read it but don’t have time so I’ll try and come back to it later but I know I never will.’ This one was different though – the title was ‘Do What You Love’ is Horrible Advice. As that’s the diametric opposite of what I believe I simply had to click through – and came to this article.
Its basic premise is simple: people will rarely pay you for what you’re passionate about. Starting a business based on a passion, “has probably resulted in more failed businesses than all the recessions combined.” What you have to do is find a business – or a career – that is commercially viable. You work at that business/job and as you build competence and ultimately expertise then the passion will eventually come.
“Passion,” it said, “Is not something that you follow; passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work.”
That’s the basic premise – and to that basic premise, I say…
Well, I can’t say, because a guiding principle of this blog is that I don’t swear and I try not to be offensive.
But it’s nonsense. Absolute nonsense.
One of the things I love about what I do is spending my days with people who are absolutely passionate about what they do. They’re passionate about their businesses, they’re passionate about delivering on their promises and they’re passionate about excellence. How can I not love what I do?
(For the living embodiment of those three qualities may I commend Supervet on Channel 4 to you? If you want to see someone whose every working moment is underscored by passion, look no further than Noel Fitzpatrick.)
One thing I will absolutely guarantee: if you go into business purely to make money – if you’re not passionate about what you do and you’re not passionate about making a difference for your clients or customers – then you will not succeed. Because make no mistake, we all have Groundhog Days. We all roll out of bed some mornings and think, ‘Oh no, another damn meeting with X today.’ Passion is what pulls you through Groundhog Day. Passion is what makes the ‘jam tomorrow’ principle I wrote about last week possible.
Start a business or a career without passion and what happens? You end up echoing the words of Thoreau: “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” You end up sitting in a traffic jam on the ring road thinking, ‘there has to be something better than this.’
Well there is. It’s running your own business. And it’s your passion that will make your business succeed.