I believe that if you’re going to do something, you have to really commit to it. Whatever you do, give it the best of yourself, not just “enough.” A big part of that commitment is having great passion for whatever it is you’re doing.
If you look around at the people giving business advice, you’ll hear a lot of “do what you’re passionate about.” Most often they say that what you should do is “discover” your passion, figure out what it is, and then do that thing. For me, I’ve always found that it works a bit differently.
I am capable of being passionate about all kinds of things. If I’m doing something that provides value for people and helps them, and I’m good at it, then I find myself becoming passionate about it. Passion, I think, comes from a combination of belief and activity. You have to believe in what you’re doing, that it matters and has value, and you have to put your hands in the soil and do it. Without action, all you have are ideas. Without the belief, it’s just robotic task completion. You have to have both.
That combination of belief and action leading to passion has helped me to reinvent myself and do new things all through my life. Playing in the NFL, training managers at manufacturing plants, hosting a television show, building a software company, to all the things I’m doing now to help small business entrepreneurs with tools and education, I have felt passionately about all of them, because I believed in them and I jumped right into the opportunities I had.
Even now, at 79 years old, I’m still discovering new things—and developing new passions. It doesn’t stop. In fact, I think it’s going faster than ever, because I am learning more and at a faster rate than ever before. For me, every passion represents a new way to help people, because I believe that’s the mission of business.
So many business people miss that sense of purpose and passion. They don’t have a noble belief system, and without that belief, they don’t have the passion that you need for lasting success. Without a deeper purpose, they might jump into something at first, but they eventually fade into the sunset, and into the next thing that catches their eye for a moment. Whatever you’re doing, you want to connect with people who have the belief and passion to be around for the long term. Anything else will ultimately lead to trouble.
This article was originally published by AMAC SBS