“Follow your passion” is great advice if you’re pursuing a hobby.
Passion alone however does not make a good option for a trade, occupation, or a business.
Matter of fact, I once heard of a woman who left a 15-year career in marketing because she was burnt out. She was passionate about Yoga. So, she quit her job, took a 200-hour yoga certification course, and began freelancing – teaching yoga.
Here’s what happened – While she was passionate about Yoga, she didn’t have the proficiency (career capital) as a yoga teacher. Things went much too slower than she expected. Nobody wants to be the guinea pig for a newbie professional. Mind you, this was before the 2008 financial crisis. When the crisis hit, the gym she taught at, shut down. And her private clients also began cancelling session, at a rapid speed. Things got severely bleak from there. It wasn’t until 2013 when things began turning around for her.
Here’s what changed – When the recession hit, things got tough. But she understood the value of career capital and began gaining it in the yoga industry. More her career capital grew, her options expanded, and her business prospered.
More so, because of her career capital, she was able to command a premium price for her services.
So, while passion is important, proficiency matters even more in the pursuit of so-called freedom from Corporate America.
Lastly, profitability needs to be factored in. Without profitability, one can be amazing at what they do, but they would also be eating Ramen noodles and PBJ for the rest of their life. No, thank you.
Here’s what I learned – When passion, proficiency and profitability are aligned, there are only two things to do. First, make sure the world knows how good you are. Second, deliver the very best of what you provide.
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When two people exchange a dollar, they each have a dollar. When two people exchange an idea, they each have two ideas.