It’s been a busy month starting new projects and finishing old ones. Starting projects is always easy, finishing them is the challenge.
Can you relate? Why do we peter out on projects? Why can’t our passion sustain?
I took a deep dive into the word PASSION this past month as you’ll read in my blog post below. I was inspired by a conversation I had with a client about passion being overrated. Midway through writing a dissing passion, I decided I wasn’t going to give up on it and wrote an entirely new article! Hope you enjoy and let me know your comments. – Eva
Turning Passion into Gold: Be the Craftsman
Do you ever feel like your passion comes and goes for your profession?
Maybe you get a gust of inspiration and then it fades.
Something that you once had so much passion and conviction for, slowly fades. And time allows doubt to creep in.
It’s happened a few times in my career.
Many people said to me, “Eva, you don’t sound ‘passionate’ about your career anymore, why don’t you get a job.
More confusion and some not so good opinions, right? You doubt yourself more, get stuck in fear and inaction, and before you know it, decide to move onto something else.
I see this happening to other entrepreneurs, too – a stopping and starting that keeps us from reaching our goals.
That’s when I took a dive into this word “passion” that we hear so often:
Passion (from the Greek verb meaning to suffer) is a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something.
Included in the definition is both pleasure and pain (the derivative of the work comes from the Greek to suffer)
We misunderstand that it’s supposed to be all pleasure, excitement and fun.
And if it isn’t, we think we don’t have “passion” for it anymore.
This blog post is about how to transform passion into lasting perseverance (your fuel and focus are your gold).
And turn an idea or a passion into something real.
That’s where the magic lies.
Passion is not a static emotion.
Passion doesn’t always feel the same way, day in and day out.
It’s a commitment. Self-generated by you.
Just because you don’t feel “in love” all the time doesn’t mean you don’t love that person and should leave. We don’t say, “Hey when things get tough, don’t expect me to stick around.”
If we did, then we’d know it isn’t real love.
Same goes for passion.
What are you making your experience of passion mean for your business?
How to keep your passion going.
When I worked inside companies doing branding, I wasn’t fulfilled because I felt like a cog in a machine and was bored. I thought I didn’t have passion for what I did anymore.
What I really wanted was to have more creative impact and freedom in what I did.
So, I left to start my own business.
I went through a whole new set of challenges as an entrepreneur and that made me feel less “passionate” about my profession yet again.
I felt constant pressure to learn how to market myself as an entrepreneur. Even if you’re familiar with marketing strategies and tactics, marketing yourself is a completely different beast!
I overwhelmed myself with doing all the marketing things.
And when success doesn’t come quickly enough, I thought I’d lost my passion for my business.
Here are 3 lessons I learned that will help you turn your passion into gold.
1. Develop the Craftsman Mentality of Mastery
Here’s an example of someone that didn’t go after passion but had a craftsman mentality:
“If a young Steve Jobs had taken his own advice and decided to only pursue work he loved, he would probably have been a Buddhist teacher. Apple Computer was not born out of passion, but instead was the result of a lucky break.” – Derrick Sivvers
Even though Steve Jobs became passionate about personal computers and technology, that came second after developing a high aptitude for his skill in design and developing computers. His pursuit of quality and craft led him to create a company that changed so many things in the world today.
The Stages of Building a Sustainable Business
Stage 1: A craftsman asks, “What can I offer the world?” (Not, ”What can the world offer me?”)
Not all passions are created equal. You might not have a natural skill in something that you’re passionate about. Or maybe it’s something so special to you that you want to save it for a hobby or something you give away like the Steve Jobs example above.
Asking, “What’s in it for me?” is not the right frame of mind to be in when you want to adopt a craftsman mentality.
Here are some questions you can ask of yourself.
– What are you good at and enjoy?
– How can you target that to an audience that needs and will pay for it?
– How can you narrow that down to a specific audience that you share values with?
Example: I’m a natural visionary and intuitive. I also enjoy business and love the project oriented creative work that comes with branding. Often clarity is the problem when trying to figure out your business and brand so I help people see what they can’t see yet and help them create and implement their plan through the brand strategy process. The people I speak with understand the value of branding so they are willing to invest in it.
The common value that I share with my audience is our interest in self development and growth. This informs me on the underlying core values that I want to speak to in my message.
What is it for you?
Stage 2: A craftsman continually develops and improves his unique skill.
A skill becomes more unique when it’s a combination of two skills.
Copyblogger, for example, made their mark by intersecting writing with online marketing. They offer content on both topics since their audience cares about both areas — how to be a better writer and how to market online effectively.
For me, it’s branding and self development. I keep up with the latest marketing strategies both on and offline as well a personal growth since those two topics overlap for my target audience.
What activities to do you to keep your skills in check?
Change your focus from marketing to mastery your skill.
I am reminded of the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear the words.”
This is what happens when you focus on mastering a skill.
I’ve seen many entrepreneurs including myself, fall into the mistake of focusing too much on the latest marketing and sales trends and tools, whether it be social media, SEO, software, and etc.
It can all overwhelming and distract you from becoming a better business owner (and from further developing your existing skills) at what you do.
For the Beginner Business: Especially when you’re just starting out, it’s important to focus on getting practice and experimentation (beta tests are so important) rather than marketing just for the sake of sales. It’s the best way to gain valuable research and clarity for your marketing so you don’t waste your valuable time and resources.
For the Advanced Business: You’ll want to develop more skills in mastering the other elements of your business such as marketing. Once you’ve going clarity on your unique offering and your ideal customer, you’ll be able to get the greatest return on marketing things such as websites and ads. As you build your business, you’ll also get a better understand what tasks to outsource and the ones that leverage your strengths.
It’s important to remember, too, referrals account for up to of 80% of new business. Yet, we often spend the bulk of our time and resources on marketing and promotion.
If you focus on doing a great job for your clients, they will do the marketing for you. Remember the 80/20 rule.
III. Don’t fixate on the end goal, keeping going no matter what
Whenever I find myself anxious and frustrated, it’s when I start thinking about how far I am from my goal.
I remember running a race where a large tree marked where the finish line was. The more I fixated on the tree, the farther away it seemed. And the more I looked at it, the more tired I felt.
When I stopped looking up at the finish line and instead looked down at my steps, I was able to stay present to my breathing and avoid obstacles that might make me trip and fall. When I did finally look up, I was surprised to see how much closer I’d come..
I like to remind myself of this run whenever I feel far from my destination.
Can you relate?
Your journey is not a fixed path. It’s a constant evolution.You’ve got to stay present to your path to avoid veering away from what your heart wants.
Remember: there will be growing pains (don’t give up)
What makes me happy is the ability to be more creative, have more impact, and control over my day. That’s what fuels my passion.
When I was starting my business, it was hard to feel any creativity or freedom. I was wearing multiple hats and learning new skills that didn’t fuel my creativity. These were the same reasons I left my job.
Has that ever happened to you?
You think you’re off track. That something is wrong, either with you or the business (your passion).
But there isn’t.
After putting in time and dedication (the craftsman mentality), I did fall in love again. I (eventually) had the ability to be more creative and in control of my days.
Are you experiencing growing pains as part of your passion? And what do you make them mean?
“Most people give up right before they are about to turn the corner.” Albert Einstein.
I wrote this article so you don’t give up.
I wrote this article because I wish someone would have said these words to me.
Be best way to create some alchemy in your life is to focus on the magic within yourself.
Real magic is generated from us. And like any ritual, it must be practiced over time until the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Fall in love with what you do by developing a craftsman mindset, and allow the other pieces to fall into place.
There is so much to say about the topic of passion.
What’s your definition of passion and how does it connect to what you do?
How do you nurture it?
Reply back and let me know. I’d love to hear your feedback.
p.s. If you’d like to get help honing in on it is that you are masterful at, you can schedule a 20 minute discovery call with me here.