I love sitting around in beachfront bars, sipping a cold beer, occasionally glancing up from some esoteric tome to observe the passing totty. Regrettably, I can’t find a way to “monetize” that. I also love talking to people about their aims and objectives, and asking awkward questions they don’t want to confront. I have found a way to monetize that. It’s all about picking the right things that we love – the ones that answer my two “Big Business Questions”:
- How much do I want to do this?
- Will I make any money at it?
I’ve managed to monetize my passion for what I call “inquisitive analysis” – by a lot of bloody hard work, and by doing some stuff I would really rather not have to. I’ve studied successful businesspeople, trained in NLP and communication, created a rather nifty analysis tool … and left the suburban comfort of my home office and started selling to people.
It’s only fairly recently, largely through the excellent work of one of my mentors, Nick Heap, and also of my coach Jules Cooper, that I came to realise that if I wanted to have a successful business, then I’d have to do some things that right now I’d really rather not do. Asking people to hire me for a start. Expecting them to pay for the time I’d been giving away for free. Or selling them my products. Even cold calling!
Of course, we can all point to examples of successful people who say their work is their passion, and they’d do it even if they didn’t get paid. And I believe we *can* all achieve that blissful state. But not by just ‘doing what we love’. When you look at some of the most famous successful work-lovers, we can detect a common theme. They all identified what they needed to do, so that they could be successful at what they love. And got on and did it. Top personal development trainer Chris Howard talks about how he grew his business after he learned to love cold calling. Chris says that we’re told that successful people are the ones who are willing to do the things that others won’t, when in fact it’s that successful people are the ones who learn to love the things that others hate.
Bill Gates loved computer programming, but he recognised that he needed to get good at selling, marketing and putting deals together. Pretty soon he was more about doing the deals than writing the code, and appeared to absolutely relish creating them. Warren Buffet hated speaking in public, yet he recognised that he needed to present his vision for his companies, made himself do it, and eventually became an entertaining speaker who appears to have great fun on the podium. Oprah’s passion is as a broadcaster and presenter, yet she has created for herself a love of running a business such that she is involved at every level of Harpo Productions.
So it’s not a case of successful people do what they love, and the money magically comes flowing in. They work out how to add value doing what they love, and what things they are going to have to do, to deliver that value. And then they learn to love doing those things too.
So it’s not “Do What You Love” – it’s “Love What You Do”