Every time I hear some entrepreneur guru say “find what you’re passionate about and do that for business” I roll my eyes. This is usually the worst advice out there and if you take that advice, your chances of failure increase exponentially.
Now before you go get your pitchforks and burn me at the stake, let me explain.
Currently, we think that passion means “that which we love, and feel motivated to do.”
But notice something very important in that definition. If you use that as a basis to start your business, you’re starting with the idea that it’s all about you and what you want. The right kind of business is about serving others and that’s never easy.
So, is having passion wrong?
No no no…It’s not that Passion shouldn’t be a part of our calculus to start a business, and in truth, the entrepreneur gurus aren’t wrong either when they say to do what you’re passionate about.
It’s actually our definition of what Passion is that is wrong.
There is another definition that is right for us and will be the difference maker between success and failure in business. It’s old and long forgotten, but truly, it is exactly what we as entrepreneurs desperately need to ask ourselves before we create another failed attempt at virtual freedom.
The Passio of the Christi?
The original meaning of the word “Passion” didn’t use to be about self-interests. Far from it actually.
The word Passion comes from the latin word “Passio” which means a willingness to suffer for others.
The word Passio was created after hearing the telling of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. He so loved the church that he was willing to suffer and die for mankind. This wasn’t about self-interests or what motivated him. It was about serving and he was willing to die for those that he served.
It’s for this reason that the famous movie by Mel Gibson was called “Passion of the Christ.” Something I thought was very odd at the time but now I fully understand its true meaning and why it was selected – the word “Passion” came from that one act. It was the originator!
And so, the original meaning of Passion used to be about being willing to suffer in order to accomplish one’s goals. Being truly motivated that no matter the cost or hardships, you’ll do whatever it takes.
That’s the real definition of passion that we entrepreneurs must take for practice.
Passio doesn’t work Without Ethics and Principles
Passio is about the suffrage for others, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be for your customers specifically.In truth, it wasn’t teaching others to market their books that was my passion. Instead, it was about being home with my family and being able to support them as much as possible.
That was my passio.
That’s what I was willing to suffer for. That’s what got me up at 4am every morning. That’s what kept me going, even when things got really tough – and they did. I was not going to let my children down or miss another Christmas. I was going to do whatever it took!
However, this isn’t to say that I don’t care about those I teach. I would have failed if this wasn’t the case.
It’s definitely not to say that I have cheated people because my followers are not my passio. I do right by anyone who places trust in me. Because of my core ethics and principles (both of which are strongly rooted in each of my businesses), I will work hard for anyone who places trust and respect on myself, for I fear only God and dishonor.
So, I have passion for my family, but because of my ethics and principles and desire to be a real man to my children, I’ll bend over backward to maintain my honor and truly create products that help and deliver.
So, have your passion, but ensure it’s deeply rooted in your ethics and principles as you move forward.
Passio vs. Passion
So, the real question for you as an Entrepreneur is whether or not you’re ready to suffer for the cause.
If you start your business due to self-interests, will you stick with it when the going gets tough? Will you keep at it, hustling as hard as you can when it no longer interests you or isn’t fun anymore?
No. Like many other entrepreneurs before you, you’ll stop. You won’t go that extra mile and you’ll quit.
So, ask yourself:
Are you ready to suffer for the purpose of your business?
If the answer is no, then find something else. If yes, then get started. But whatever you do, don’t use the modern version of Passion to decide the purpose of your business.