I came across a baker the other day who was talking about leaving his corporate finance job to open a bakery and he kept repeating “follow your passion”.
And it got me wondering, is that really good advice?
Can you really turn your passion into a fully fledged business?
So I had a look around at passion led businesses that succeeded and those that failed and what they did differently.
And the insight I got was fascinating.
You see it boils down to one specific characteristic of the business.
Let’s take two people.
One is extremely passionate about fishing and one is passionate about creating dioramas with epoxy resin (yes – very very niche, but you’ll see where I’m going).
Most people would assume that a fishing based channel and group would do well.
But the fishing person’s passion for fishing really just goes as far as themselves.
They’re not massively interested in sharing with other people.
The diorama person however tells people that they make miniature fantasy scenes using 3D printing and epoxy rein and art – and people say “that’s a nice hobby”.
But they’re determined to share their passion and art with the world.
The fishing person tells other people they’d love to turn their passion into a business, and people assume it’d be a no-brainer.
Big market, popular sport, lots of ways to create content and attract an audience.
But the fishing person really just wants to be paid to fish, rather than share it with the world.
On the other hand, our diorama creator films each of their building process and shares a few tips or even reviews a product that they use while creating a miniature diorama of a mutant squid eating a boat.
While most people in the diorama artists local network and friends and family have ZERO interest in diorama work, and secretly they think it’ll never work and it’s a waste of time, the artist is uploading regular videos of their work.
Over time, the fishing person has half heartedly tried a few pursuits like Instagram and a Facebook group and YouTube. But they never stuck to it.
Meanwhile, our diorama artist now has a following of millions of people for their extremely niche art.
But they’re approached by video game companies and films and TV shows to create dioramas of their products.
You see it’s not the passion that makes the money or income or business.
It’s how you use it.
Critically, how you share it with others.
Yes, at the start it might seem like no one cares about your thing.
But share it enough, and you might just find that there are thousands, maybe even millions of people that do share your passion.
Success isn’t from the passion, it’s from the work that comes sharing the passion.