Albert Einstein once said: “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious”. It was his passion for understanding science that drove him to greatness. In fact, most successful people display a clear passion for their pursuit, and that passion is the driving force behind their work.
In business, a loss of passion and meaning is actually remarkably common, and it’s something you should be wary of. This is because day-to-day distractions that do not 100% engage with your passions become overwhelming and can be demotivating. If you are passionate about your business idea, it’s very unlikely you are passionate about company admin or day-to-day operations! Whilst these are vital components of a successful company, the issue here is that they serve as distractions. So, when planning your day, or filing your VAT return, it’s easy to have negative thoughts about whether you actually enjoy your job. You probably didn’t picture this before you started, and suddenly your mind is filled up with thoughts about day-to-day deadlines and not thoughts about how your business is going to positively change the world!
This process is entirely normal, but it’s also vital to keep your overall focus on the long-term and constantly remind yourself of what you want to achieve and why you’re passionate about what you do. This is vital for both your personal well-being and the success of your business.
Two examples of famous and successful entrepreneurs stick out here: Sir James Dyson and Walt Disney.
Sir James Dyson is absolutely passionate about his hoover suction technology (if you have any doubt, just watch any Dyson advert!). Amazingly, he developed 5,126 failed prototypes of his vacuum cleaner before he had something that worked, and even then, it took him over 10 years to find a manufacturer that would handle his product. Eventually he set up his own company and the rest his history. The important lesson here is never once in those 14 years between developing the idea and finding a manufacturer for it did he lose sight of his passion – otherwise he would have given up!
Walt Disney was famously told that “he lacked imagination and had no original ideas” by a reporter in his early career. But his passion for his creations never waned. His idea for the Walt Disney World theme parks was his real passion, and despite being turned down by several hundred investors for Walt Disney World, Florida, he eventually got his wish. Ultimately, he died before it even opened, but his focus on his passion and larger vision took him through the tough times.
These guys have successfully proven that channeling your passion to keep your eyes on the prize is very lucrative for business success. When you strip this down even further, it’s easy to see why.
First of all, a focus on your passion will lead to a happier self. You will approach work invigorated and ready to go. You will see small distractions as a hurdle that needs to be cleared in the context of a much larger picture of success. This will ensure you don’t view these distractions in isolation and instead view them in a positive light – which will improve your day-to-day performance.
Secondly, a focus on your passion will lead to a better performance from your team. A large part of leadership is ensuring that you inspire your team. If there’s a chance that you, the person who set up the business to pursue a passion, can lose sight of the reasons why you started the business then there’s a much higher chance your team will lose sight of what they are helping create. Everyone approaches the day-to-day craving meaning for their actions, and the best way to encourage your team to see meaning in their actions is to show them why they are doing it. Simply put, if you exhume passion every day, then this will rub off on your team.
Thirdly, remember your passion is infectious. This provides the best benefits when making a sale or suggesting collaborations with other business. The most convincing way to get people on board with your idea is to act convinced yourself. This will give the person you are trying to convince confidence in you and therefore it will more likely result in a successful outcome. Passion is what drives the best salesman, and therefore it’s important to be passionate every day.
So, it should now be obvious that there is a great need to focus your mind on your passions in order to sustain business success. But how do you do this most effectively?
A really good way is to have half an hour of reflection every week. Take some time to enliven your passion and recognise why you are doing what you are doing. A good way to approach this is to write down your goals on a piece of paper, or even discuss it with someone else. Also, take some time in your week to meet with fellow business owners to have general conversations. It can sometimes take a need to articulate your feelings for you to recognise them.
This is also the essence of the Reflect and Reshape model. Reflect and Reshape recognise the importance of a passionate outlook and having the right personal motivations as a key part of the reflect and reshape philosophy. Along with organising sessions to improve your time management and operations within your business, reflect and reshape help you lead a happier and more successful day-to-day life and keep your focus on the right areas to target growth. If you are at all unsure on how best to approach redirecting your passion, then reflect and reshape will help you. The impact on your business and personal life could be extraordinary!
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