Since writing my first book "Unlock the Passion Within You" back in 2009 I've been fortunate enough to share my message with many business owners across the world on the importance of passion for life and business success.
When I speak of passion, I don't mean it in the romantic way. What I mean by passion is the powerful feeling of enthusiasm we all have inside of us.
We are all enthusiastic and passionate about something, whether its finance, food or a favorite sport. That enthusiasm is very powerful. When we can combine it with our work, we are setting ourselves up well for achieving true success.
Why Passion Is so Important
When we are enthusiastic and proud of the work we do, the better equipped we'll be to overcome the many obstacles that will surely arise in the process of starting, building and selling a business.
Also, the more enthusiasm we have, the more inclined we are to work harder at improving ourselves. This will allow us to continuously get better at the work we do. The better we get at our work, the better we can get paid for doing it.
But passion is not enough
Whether it be in a forum, networking function, seminar or a book, I'm sure you have probably heard others preach the importance of passion for your product or service but in my opinion this isn't enough.
To be a successful entrepreneur you have to be passionate about business as a whole not just your product, service or industry.
A slight shift but a huge difference to how you play the game of business. Those who have achieved success rarely are passionate about one particular industry as much as they are passionate about business.
To gain a deeper insight into this subject I recently spoke with Anfernee Chansamooth from Confidentpreneur.com, a leading expert at helping unfulfilled professionals identify their passion and develop the confidence to take action towards making a living doing what they love.
Demonstrating that it is completely possible to turn your passions into a viable business Anfernee is leading by example currently combining his passion for philanthropy, women's empowerment, entrepreneurism and travel by creating the first Warrior Women Mastermind healing retreat in Laos.
"Having trained, coached and mentored over a thousand professionals within the corporate and entrepreneurial spaces, as well as having studied and interviewed high achievers and successful entrepreneurs, I've observed that there are several factors in addition to passion that contribute to being successful in any chosen path.
These include strong work ethic and discipline; committing to the journey not the destination; persistence and not giving up when the going gets tough; choosing greatness over mediocrity; trusting your inner voice and surrounding yourself with greatness (this includes mentors, coaches, team members, business partners and clients).
If your daily thoughts and practises are not conducive to producing positive results then no matter how passionate you think you are about something then you're just not going to do well" Anfernee Explains
In my experience, running your own business is a lot harder than working for someone else, contrary to what most start-ups believe.
When you work for someone else, all you have to do is show up on time, leave on time and, in between, you have to do the work that your boss tells you to do.
When you go home, you probably leave all that behind and enjoy your time with family, friends and, maybe your Xbox.
When you work for yourself, you go from wearing one hat to wearing many hats. You need to know a little about a lot in order to succeed.
All of a sudden you need to understand the basics in and around accounting, sales, marketing, branding, PR, operations and the list goes on.
From the time you wake up, to the time you go to sleep, you'll be thinking about your business: how to increase sales, how to increase income, how to get more done, how to handle challenges, how to get more time out of the day.
As an entrepreneur you have to love every aspect of doing business and be willing to go through the many challenges and learning kerbs business will throw at you in order to reach the pinnacle of business success.
Whether you own your own business or thinking about making the shift from the corporate life, below Anfernee shares 5 easy steps you can take to discover and ignite your passion for entrepreneurship and business.
1) Start with your "WHY"
A great way to work this out is to answer this question: "If you could have someone come in and take care of everything for you - from your work to your kids and your relationships, your day-to-day tasks, and all of your financial responsibilities - what would you be doing with your time that would contribute to making your world a better place?
Unless you have a compelling "why" it will be very difficult to stay focused or stick through challenging times, and there will be difficult times.
2) Identify your interests and what's driving you at this point of your career and life.
Take a look at your book shelf and social media feeds and take note of what topics you like to pay attention to most.
If you've got a stack of books about travel and your Facebook feed is full of posts relating to travel then that's one major indication that you're probably passionate about travel.
Human behaviour specialist Dr John Demartini says no person is committed to anything but the fulfillment of their highest values, and to understand a person's values all you need to do is take a look at how they are actually spending their time.
Note: there can be a difference between what you think you value and what you actually value, and it is possible to shift your values.
Why do you want to be in business? Where are you in your life currently and what do you want to create in your life and business in 12 months, 5 years, 10 years?
3) Get clear on what you want and what you've got to offer
Identify and uncover your desires, your natural abilities, temperament (environmental preference and personality), and what your assets are E.g. Professional and social network, client list, reputation, financial resources.
4) Create a plan for achieving the results that you want
Starting with the end vision in mind, work backwards to mark actual milestones and clear success indicators so that you can track progress along the journey.
This does not need to be a complicated 50-page document. You could simply draw a timeline on a piece of paper and jot down what needs to happen in 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, etc. so that you know that you are on track.
5) Execute your plan
Thinking about being in business is not actually being in business. Unless you go out there with something to sell and get customers paying you money for it then you don't have a business.
The same way that you don't become a swimmer by just reading a book about swimming and not getting into the water, you're not in business until you've got things to sell and customers to buy them.