WHY PASSION IS ESSENTIAL FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS
Last week I wrote about the role of passion in business success in my article Business Lessons From Rio 2016. This week, I thought I’d explore the topic further, and look at why passion is essential for business success and what business owners with passion do differently to their counterparts.
When you find something getting done, anywhere, you will find a monomaniac with a mission.” Peter Drucker
So why is passion essential for business success?
The answer lays in extensive research conducted by Jim Collins for his book, Good To Great. Collins concluded that what he termed good-to-great companies founded their business strategies on a deep understanding of the following:
- What you can be best in the world at? And equally important, what you cannot be the best in the world at?
- What drives the economic engine of your business?
- What you are deeply passionate about?
Collins concluded that good-to-great companies – those I call Built To Succeed™ - successfully balance all three factors. In the case of passion, good-to-great companies focus on those activities that ignite their passion.
Take Richard Branson whose passion and enthusiasm is visible for all to see. He launches himself into new ventures with such energy and gusto that even when sometimes they don’t work out, he doesn’t regret trying and learning.
When Passion Meets Mastery
Dr Robert Vallerand of the University of Quebec has made a study of passion as it relates to psychological wellbeing. Vallerand contends that passion is self-defining i.e. we choose our passions:
Passion is a strong inclination towards a self-defining activity that people love, that they consider important, and to which they devote significant amounts of time and energy.”
Passion doesn’t necessarily require expertise although there is a clear correlation between the two. Vallerand studied 187 musicians and found that those who focused on perfecting their performance - what Vallerand calls “mastery” - developed a far higher level of expertise than those who focused on being better than other musicians. They were more interested on excellence and realising their personal best. Their passion, combined with focus on being the best they could possibly be, created genius. As Galileo said:
Passion is the genesis of genius.”
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What Does Passion Look and Feel Like?
One way to understand passion is to think about what makes passionate people different from everyone else. Here are 6 ways they distinguish themselves from others.
1. They’re Obsessed
Passionate people are obsessed with their muse – albeit in a healthy way. They’re the kind of person who is inspired the quote, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” They think constantly about their passion- because it excites, inspires and makes them happy.
Leadership expert Robin Sharma is a great example of somebody who’s monomaniacal about his mission. If you don’t follow Robin, his aim is to help as many organisations, businesses and people as possible to ‘lead without a title.’ His passion and enthusiasm shines through every one of his videos on You Tube.
2. They’re Excited and Optimistic
Passionate people tend to get excited more frequently and stay excited for longer. One explanation for this is they focus their energy on just one or two things. This enables them to make faster progress, and the momentum this garners re-fuels their excitement. This attitude is contagious. Passionate people are always chasing their next goal with the unwavering belief that they’ll achieve it.
Founder of Wishlist Member and now Tribe, Stu McLaren embodies excitement and optimism. Listen to any of his videos, especially those for his current launch, and you cannot fail to be energised by his boundless excitement and optimism.
3. They're Focused
Passionate people don’t do anything half-heartedly. They’re fully focused until they cross the finish line. You see this quality in athletes during race time. There’s no in between or half measures with passionate people. If they’re relaxing, then they’re fully relaxed and still.
The best example I can think of for focus is Warren Buffett. You might enjoy this story, from the late Scott Dinsdale, outlining Warren Buffett’s simple but effective process for narrowing your focus.
4. They Don’t Waste Time
Passionate people don’t have a minute to lose. You won’t find passionate people wasting their time on social media or taking time out of their working day to procrastinate. Because they devote every available second to their passion. This doesn’t mean that they don’t take time out to relax. They do. But they structure their time in a way that’s intentional and productive.
For me Michael Hyatt is the best example of somebody who’s highly intentional and productive. I don’t imagine he wastes a minute! Michael’s about to run an online summit on productivity called Time To Focus. The link to find out about it and register is here.
5. They Get Up Early
Passionate people are far too eager to get going with their days to sleep in. It’s not that they don’t like to sleep; it’s simply that they would much rather be pursuing their passion. When the alarm bell goes off, their minds are flooded with ideas and excitement for the day ahead.
This doesn’t mean they don’t sleep! Passionate people generally have excellent sleep habits, with a clear routine, meaning they go to sleep and rise at the same time each day, waking fully rested.
6. They Talk About Their Passions All The Time
We’re talking about people whose passions are inseparable from who they are.
I talk about business a lot! This doesn’t mean I discuss business to the exclusion of all other topics. That would be rude and boring. But my business is one of my big passions and is central to my mission. So I read about business. I study the works of top business leaders. I listen (selectively) to videos and podcasts by business leaders. I spend a lot of time researching and trying to understand the challenges of business owners trying to scale – and how to overcome these. Because that’s who I am.
Join The Conversation
Question: Now that you know what separates passionate people from everybody else, do you think you have enough passion in your life? I love receiving your feedback so please do comment in the box below.
Explore These Additional Resources
Did you miss?
- Business Lessons From Rio 2016
- The Mindset Of A Champion
- How To Develop Mental Toughness Like The Pros
- 6 Steps To A Compelling Business Vision