Following your passion…

… Is a bad idea… it’s overrated. Get over it. Sooner the better.

Yes, I know people have built a life around their true passions. Not everyone is able to crack the code, however.

Sure, the Personal Development Gurus would have you think otherwise. They’ve built their lives around telling people to “follow their passions.” What we need to understand is that besides showing up on stage only a few actually have a track record of running a successful start-up or a business or even a small team within an established company.

If you’re not in the speaking industry, listening to them is a waste of time. I’d rather listen to someone who’s done what I want to do.

I remember a conversation I’ve had with an NLP Master. He asked, “Sunil, what do you really want to do?” I replied, “I want to change lives and encourage everyone to follow their dreams and become the person they want to.” And the master calmly replied, “Well, Sunil, you clearly are a threat to the society! If everyone starts to do their own thing… who’s going to work for the big corporations? What will happen to our GDP? Our economy would crash!”

I laughed. But couldn’t help but think — could he be right?

I dropped the idea of changing lives and encouraging people to “follow their passions” the moment I realized he was right.

People are smart enough to figure it out on their own. They just need some clarity.

In my opinion, you’re not ready to “follow your passion” unless you’ve figured out a way to scale it up. You can do that by running your idea by experienced people who’ve been there and done that. Or just talk to a lot of people in general. Take in feedback, observe patterns and draw your own conclusions. (Don’t get married to your idea, please!)

Here’s the best part — you can do all that while working on your existing project — it could be your job or something else that pays your bills. Just keep at it until you have data and social validation (why not run a survey on Facebook and/or other socials?). Make Peter Drucker’s “what gets measured, gets achieved” philosophy the core part of your strategy.

Most people do it the other way — follow their passion and build a business around it. Bad idea. I’d rather have something concrete to rely on and then work towards building a business that supports my lifestyle than the other way around. Which is what most people do. Which why all they do is fight fires and get burned out.

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