Passion can be interpreted in many ways. It can mean love to a teenager who sees a beautiful girl or handsome boy, or it can mean anger to a basketball coach who is frustrated about the outcome of a tournament. For the entrepreneur, Passion is the key to success. Passion is what drives the entrepreneur to take action and to last long. Passion is what makes him do things for the sake of it. Passion is what gives him the positive side of things when situations get bad.
In music you have Beatles. In basketball, you have Michael Jordan. In technology, you have Steve Jobs. In investing, you have Warren Buffet. My examples did not become successful in one stroke, all of them have gone through many trials. But because they love what they were doing, they worked hard to see the day of their success.
But is passion all there is to succeed? I don’t think so. A lot of people pursue a business venture because it is their passion, but fail a few months after operations. Why? This is because Passion does not equate to business skills or entrepreneurial character. Business skills involve an understanding of the business dynamics like market behavior, competition, strategies, etc. Entrepreneurial character, on the other hand, involves perseverance, optimism, opportunistic, etc. Truly, there is an advantage to do something that you love, but staying power, longevity, and success in business involve more than just passion.
Take the example of John Lasseter, the famous movie director from Pixar. He is the guy behind Finding Nemo, Toy Story, wall-E and others. John is very passionate about the outcome of his work. For him the viewers come first, this means that the movies he make must be entertaining both for kids and adults. In fact, if he thinks the story sucks, he would redo the whole story together with this team. Therefore, passion is not only doing what you love to do, but understanding what sells to the market and pushing yourself to achieve perfection. Putting hard work and passion together is what brought fame to John Lasseter.
Here is my simple formula for turning your passion into profit.
Passion + Purpose + Performance + Perseverance = Profit
Passion is a tool we can use. But like a nail, you need hammer to drive it inside inside. Passion works best when you have the right business tools to make it work. As seen in our formula, Passion alone will not bring profit.