Passion is one ingredient

It is passion that drives us towards our goals. It is that same passion that makes us continue a journey or change it completely. Once it is found, our lives begin to have a meaning. Our life purpose begins to get defined.

This is true about many aspects in our lives and is especially true when it comes to our careers. Being passionate about what you do can be the key to your success. Having the necessary enthusiasm and drive can actually make you achieve more. It can differentiate you from your peers. It can make you wake up every morning and want to get to work. It probably will make you not want to leave work on some days.

But being passionate is not enough. You need to follow through with determination and conviction. You need to have a goal that will bring your passion into context with reality. It’s not enough that you love doing something. That something needs to have meaning. It needs to add value.

A number of times you see aspiring entrepreneurs carrying their passion with them from one meeting to another and yet you see them leave meetings with disappointment after another. Although stakeholders can see their passion radiating, they can also see beyond that passion. They can tell when you have a good proposal but it’s just not right for them. Whether it’s for budget reasons, timing issues, competition or any other reason, it’s just not right for them.

IMG_0087That’s where you need to show them how you will add value. Show them how you will be different, a real tangible difference that they can measure and see.

Be prepared

Always cover your basics. Know your target audience/customers. Research them, find out as much as you can about them. Get to know where there problems lie, what stresses them out, where the bottlenecks are, and what frustrates them. The more you research the more you will know how your product/service will add value. Be prepared to have all the answers about what you are offering and how it can help. But first be prepared to know the problem so you can match your product/service as a solution to that problem.

Network hard

A lot has been written about networking. It is that important so don’t neglect it. Make sure to build relationships that will last. Building relationships doesn’t take a day, it requires continuous effort. So get started immediately and be honestly interested in your potential network. Humans are wired to identify fakeness but they are also wired to associate with those who like them and who show genuine interest in them. So be real and authentic in all your relationships.

Learn from failures

Make sure that you use your previous failures as learning opportunities. Celebrate failures because these are the accumulation of your experiences. Keep an eye on what went wrong so that it never gets repeated and then adjust your plans accordingly.

As you add more ingredients to your success story, you will be able to bring that passion of yours into context and only then will being passionate about what you do be more meaningful.