I was introduced to the world of motivational speaking and self-development when I was a teenager and some of my best teachers were John Mason and Zig Ziglar. They are famous for propagating that we should find our gifts, be original and pursue our passions. I was fascinated by the idea that I was created with a special purpose and some gifts and taking their advice to find my passion has been an interesting journey filled with challenges and triumphs.
A lot of people who start a business or project start it with a great sense of excitement that they are finally going to do something they love and are passionate about. Some others who have not been able to take the step, look at them with envy and wish they had the courage to step out. Social media does not help matters as it gives us the opportunity to see the ‘luxurious lives’ that our celebrity role models and mentors are living and you dream of the possibility of living the good life like they do.
One of the most memorable speeches I have listened to was given by the late Steve Jobs. In the speech, he encouraged us to do work that we love and are passionate about; he gave this advice because he reiterated that pursuing your passion was laborious so if you didn’t love what you were doing, you would give up easily. If you are on either side of the divide wondering if you should pursue your passion or you are already doing it and it’s not going the way you expected, here are a few things I have learnt about pursuing your passion:
IT IS HARD WORK!
If you are really ‘pursuing’ your passion, you would work harder than you have ever worked in your life. There would be a lot of sleepless nights trying to figure things out, or creating your products and services. You would have to spend many days and night ‘rehearsing’ before you get to the main stage.
IT MIGHT TAKE LONGER THAN YOU PLANNED
When you start a new project or a new business, you have an idea of when you would break even or begin to make profit to live the good life, but the truth is; it usually takes longer than you envisaged. If you thought it would take you two years to break even, it might take you longer than that. A popular proverb says: ‘it takes 10years to create an overnight success’, so you have to commit to it for the long haul.
YOU WOULD SUFFER REJECTION AND DISCOURAGEMENT
This is a hard reality people don’t want to deal with, but it is the truth. It would take a few very adventurous people to try a new product or service. Most people usually thread cautiously before they try something new, especially in this side of the world where there is a lot of suspicion and people have had their fingers burnt. So get ready to deal with the discouragement and rejection and keep at it till you begin to gain acceptance.
YOU MIGHT RUN OUT OF MONEY OR ENERGY
It has been proven by research that you need more money to start a business than you think you actually need. Some experts even advice you to have twice as much as you think you need to be on the safe side. A lot of entrepreneurs I meet are struggling with inadequate capital because they thought that they would make money faster than they are making with not as much investment. You might suffer burn out and just give up on the pursuit if you don’t prepare for the long term.
Pursuing your passion is a marathon and not a sprint, so if you have started don’t give up just yet. And if you have not started, you should still do it because like Zig Ziglar says; ‘what you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become’. Pursuing your passion would stretch you and bring out strength and talents you didn’t know you had!
So are you currently pursuing your passion or thinking about it? I would like to hear your view.