Allow me to destroy some perfectly dangerous advice you’ve likely been fed at one point or another… I’m sure you’ve heard it before:
“Follow your passion!” Just do what you love, man. The money will follow.”
It’s almost the same as saying: “Just build it, they will come.” If you have a good product, a skill, or something else of value, people will beat down the path to your door.
When you follow your passion and only do what you love, focusing only on yourself, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
“Follow your passion and the money will follow”, is $20,000/head seminar guru speak for boosting people’s moods and states so they’ll buy more.
I don’t know who started this, but it’s a catchy one that picks up and takes wings with the masses. Today we’ll obliterate it, and for good reason.
I hate to burst your bubble, but I’m helping you long-term.
Why Follow Your Passion Advice Is Horrible
People don’t pay you to do what you love. They pay you for what you can do for them.
Remember, one of the biggest psychological biases is the inclination to help ourselves first. We almost always see things through these tinted glasses for how we can benefit.
For this reason, people are willing to pay for things that help boost their credibility, their exposure, or their network. Consumers don’t care about what you love, and they certainly will not pay for you to sit around and do it all day.
How would that benefit them? How does it add value to their lives?
They need a solution to their issues, a mechanism for furthering their success, entertainment or happiness.
People pay for concerts to be entertained. They don’t give the musician money because he loves doing what he does.
People pay for sports events to be entertained. They don’t pay athletes because they love the sport.
People pay for financial planners so they can organize their money and direct their business. They don’t pay the planner because he loves accounting.
People invest in education and seminars because they want to improve themselves. They don’t pay public speakers and success coaches because they want to support the person doing what they love.
These producers add value, they market services and products, and they contribute to others’ lives. This is why they are well paid, not because they “followed their passions”.
Do What You Love BUT Find A Market & Fill A Need
I’ve known people who never do what they love, but they love making money.
I’ve met others who always do what they love and don’t make any money.
You can have both…
If you’re interested in doing what you love to do on a daily basis, just know that you can find a way to use your skills in this area and get paid. You just need to find that cross-section between the passion and the need.
Again, no one will pay you for your passion if it doesn’t help the person in some way. There must be a demand.
People want to know what you can do to help them, and by all means you should find ways to help them. It’s a win-win because you provide value and help someone, do what you love to do, and also get paid.
Whenever people complain about something, that’s an opportunity to fill a need. When there are certain things you love to be involved with, and you know how to fix people’s problems, you’re able to help people solve issues and get compensated.
It’s crucial to find a need and fill it, as opposed to just doing what you love.
The old conventional wisdom of just building the best product ever and having people form a line to your doorstep is crumbling. The thorough study of marketing and sales are vital nowadays, no matter what field you’re in.
Marketing Starts With Your Product
When you begin to build a product or service, you’ll need to know why (get your why right) you’re doing it in the first place. If there is no mission or end goal to strive for, there will not be much benefit.
This marketing starts before the first minimum viable product is created. It’s far easier to bring something from idea to reality if you are driven by why you’re doing it in the first place.
This allows you to keep your sights on what is important and gravitate towards that direction because you’ve got so much to do.
On the other hand, you’ll have a much tougher time just creating a product or service and then trying to convince people of its worth. If you know why you’re making it, you really believe in your cause, and if you put it in front of the people who want it, you will sell it.
Remember the keys to selling effectively:
- You must find people who need what you have
- You need to figure out a cost effective way to get it in front of them
- You’ll have to continually tweak this method until you minimize costs and maximize profit
If you’re willing to keep these important components in mind and stay consistent enough to see results, you will prosper by selling value to people that they actually need or want.
If you go willy-nilly and do what you love all day and only follow your passion, you will burn. Your money will dry up and your purpose will not feel very fulfilled. One of the greatest feelings is when you can provide things people want to buy and it benefits their lives in some way.
Follow your passion to the extent that it helps others and you will never worry about money again.