“The goal is not to do business with people who want what you have; the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” – Simon Sinek
I love to talk with talented people are serious about wanting to get a business off the ground.
It often goes like this…
We’ll discuss their marketable skills, combine them with what’s going on in the marketplace, and figure a relatively clear path to significant cash flow within 3-6 months. After stepping back and taking a look, their response is often: “yeah, I see that, but I don’t really want to do that.”
I have a hard time relating to this attitude. Maybe I am just kidding myself. I imagine myself cutting the conversation short and running home.
I suspect the intent of “I don’t really want to do that” in these cases is to preserve options and to wait for something that’s a better fit. The irony is, it’s those who go out and commit to serving the marketplace who generally end up having more options.
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I was thinking of these issues this week, wondering, is this related to the issue of passion in business? Is passion the same thing as “something you want to do” and so on, when an interesting comment came through on our recent episode on the topic (emphasis mine):
…the takeaway from this particular interview will be counterproductive to most of your audience members, and I sincerely hope that most people don’t take the message from this particular episode too seriously.
…for most of the “ALBOs” (Aspiring Lifestyle Business Owners, aka your audience), the basic goal is to develop/build the business so they can enjoy the lifestyle/travel/family/free time/occasional luxury toys and not be trapped in their business.
It’s really not about awakening and/or finding some great inner purpose or all-mighty entrepreneurial spirit.
To put it in practical terms, for most ALBOs, the end-goal is nothing more than achieving $200K-$2M personal after-tax annual income from a business that they generally enjoy and that requires little work (or alternatively, a sizeable exit that guarantees similar levels of income for years to come)… [full text here]
Which inspired me to ask the question…
Does “follow your passion” advice affect different groups of people differently?
Almost without exception, the people who achieve the type of outcome that the comment outlines do have a passion– for enterprise, systems thinking, leadership, money, and commerce.
I decided to create 2 groups (along with “ALBOs”) to try and see if the passion message might have different impact on different
1. PABIGs – People who are “Passionate About Business in General.”
Mark Mason, as he describes himself when he was just getting started, was a PABIG. He does everything— his writing, his speaking, his consulting— in an enterprising way. He is confident. He is a leader. He is willing to ship and to make mistakes. He is willing to do painful things for long periods of time for future benefit (that critical part of the enterprising spirit). His is willing to put a price tag on it.
PABIGs embody the entrepreneurial spirit– they find what they are passionate about in the world and ask the enterprising question: how can what I care about benefit others?
A non-PABIG follows their passion to travel the world and writes a “follow me on the road!” blog, whereas the PABIG hits the road and writes a “watch me interview bank managers around the world to help you set up accounts” blog.
Non-PABIGS tend to prefer “yummy” work. What do I want to do right now!
It doesn’t look like it on the surface, but I bet the aspiring online publisher (okay, blogger) who decides to write the bank blog ends up, in the long run, having more “fun.”
For PABIGs, follow your passion advice has a lot of upside potential.
2. ALBOs – “Aspiring Lifestyle Business Owners.” Are you not so hot on cutting deals with reality (and with clients), and business stuff in general?
Is Mark’s message harmful to this group of people? Probably not. Most often these people 1) lack the will and courage 2) lack the ability to focus or 3) have an invasive problem area elsewhere in their life (or other concerns that get priority). 4) Don’t really like being enterprising or doing business (and that’s okay!)
ALBOs are in love with the benefits but aren’t willing to do the work.
I can see how passion advice gets blamed for leading these individuals astray. I’m not sure it’s the case, however. Perhaps in lieu of the enterprising spirit, the passion approach is a way to get people moving.
Should we be spending any more time ministering to this crowd of people who see the insane benefits but aren’t willing to pick up the phone and make a cold call? Maybe we should send them to Cal’s blog.
I don’t believe ALBOs are really our audience (although maybe I’m just getting cute with the definitions). We are trying to network with people who have skin in the game. Ya know, people who are willing to knock on some doors.
If we provide some kind of inspiration to ALBOs, that’s a nice side benefit.
3. HABA – “Has a Business Already.”
For this group, I think Mark’s message is extremely useful. People value a broad range of things, and I think it makes sense to create a business that’s like an Iron Man suit. It ought to extend your reach and ability to impact the things you most care about.
The entrepreneurs who I know who only serve their business, rather than the other way around, tend to be more miserable and do less interesting work. My sense is that creating a business you are passionate has a strategic significance that’s difficult to quantify. To get some case studies, I’d check this out.
I’m not sure I addressed your concern but appreciate the opportunity to think about this stuff further, would love your thoughts as always.
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