A common piece of advice that I hear frequently for people wanting to start their own business is to “follow your passion”.
This piece of advice has become popular for several reasons.
First of all, people want to believe that running their own business will not only be highly profitable, but also fun.
Secondly, when doing something for a long period of time, it makes it much easier and sustainable if the process is enjoyable.
However, to understand why this can be dangerous advice, we should first look at the definition of passion.
According to dictionary.com, passion is defined as follows:
“any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate”
The problem with passion is that “passion” is an emotion. And emotions eventually fade. Emotions are temporary, but businesses require ongoing execution to survive.
Running a business requires perspective and sustainability. And truth be told, while some parts of running a business are enjoyable, there are probably other aspects you may not enjoy.
So why else is “following your passion” not the best advice for business and what should we do instead?