Why “Observe Your Ardour” May Be the Worst Profession Recommendation You May Observe
This article was translated using AI technologies from our Spanish edition. Errors can occur due to this process.
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
The average age of entrepreneurs in Mexico is currently 33. Of course, there are very young entrepreneurs … and others who already have gray hair start out and achieve success. What is certain is that millennials make up more than 80% of new businesses today. And if there is one piece of advice millennials have given thousands of times, it is: “Follow your passion.”
Entrepreneurship is not the same as success. Very few entrepreneurs “meet” it for the first time, and most large entrepreneurs know it. The CEO of Tajín, now a successful multinational, once told me with complete confidence, “I have bankrupted more companies than I managed … and there were a few moments when I thought about closing Tajín.” But perseverance pays off and every defeat becomes a new stepping stone into the future.
If you’ve ever thought about starting your business or wondered where to start? Perhaps you have met a friend, your parents, a teacher or a supposed expert who will tell you: follow your passion!
“Follow your passion!”
This is perhaps the most common advice … and one that can do the most harm. The modern world offers us thousands of opportunities, and it sounds tempting to “follow your passion” because, as they say, it “never really has to work that way”. Who could actually contradict this logic?
The logic falls apart very quickly, however. You know – and I do too – many people who try to follow their passion but never get on their feet or feel satisfied, happy or free. In the end, they work on whatever it is and, if they are lucky, devote their weekends to their passion. These are the people who hate Mondays who have never found their place in the world.
And while doing something that you are passionate about is very important, finding a path that will lead you to success is not enough.
When asked “Where do I start?” or “Which business do I choose?” It is not enough to say “do what you love!” The correct answer consists of three steps:
- Identify your talent.
- Connect with your passion.
- Learn the business!
These are only the first three steps. Passion is a strong feeling that drives us, but like all feelings, it can be changeable; and it is certain that some days you will feel less busy than others. Also, and very importantly, the fact that you “like” or “love” something does not mean that you are good.
Passion is not enough
There are people who “like” to sing or whose “passion” is to play football. But that’s not enough. If you want to be successful, you have to be talented. Talents are different for everyone, and discovering yours can be the defining moment in your existence. Talents are a matter of course for us, we were born with them and it is our duty to develop them.
The ideal place to start a business or a career is what Ken Robinson calls “the Element”. This is where your passions and talents combine:
In the environment of success, your talent is the first step. You have to do something that you are good at, and you can also improve yourself through training, practice, and learning. I’m going to tell you something that might sound cruel, but someone has to tell you, if you have two left feet, it doesn’t matter that you are passionate about football: you can never be a professional. If you are 1.45 tall it doesn’t matter that you have a passion for basketball. Most likely we won’t see you at the Olympics.
So first look in the mirror and ask yourself what your talent is. If you don’t know, ask those who do know. Now push it further; Make yourself the best of what you do. Author Malcolm Gladwell, author of the bestselling book Out of Series, says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to maximize talent. It is not enough to have talent; you have to develop it. But spending time doing something you have no talent or love for is going to be purgatory and a waste of time.
The third step: make money on your item
There are those who choose their careers because they believe it can make money. But beware! There are successful people (and money) in all activities. There are millionaire athletes, accountants and lawyers, but also poets, dancers, teachers and writers. What you do well and what you love can turn into a very brilliant career! Money is everywhere. The difference is in the way we apply our element to the business format.
So, no, talent and passion are not enough either. There are excellent actors who nobody hires or great singers who don’t get a fortnight. Once you’ve found your article, the next step is to learn and understand the business. You need to understand how to make money using this talent. Learn to work, sell, keep accounts, run projects, collect, delegate, and grow. This is your business and no one can do it better than you.
While there are people who disagree with what I’m about to say, I’m sure it’s absolutely true: it’s worth looking for people and places to study, even if they won’t pay you at first or they pay you very little. Sure, working for free doing something you don’t like is easy exploitation. But when you are in your element, learning will be the best payoff possible.
Do you have a talent and passion for cooking and do you want to become an entrepreneur? Then you don’t mind spending days and nights in a restaurant knowing it’s only one step to keep growing (remember the 10,000 hour rule?). Laws are your thing So yes, even if you start making copies, look for a place where you can learn how the business works, how to find customers, how to run the processes, how to hire, how much they charge, what are the risks, crises and headaches? To be a wealthy lawyer, it is not enough to be a good lawyer; you also have to learn the art of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship has its less fun parts: the numbers, the regulations, the taxes, the annoying customers. Just because you follow your talent and passion doesn’t mean everything will be easy and fun. You have to get involved directly, learn the machinery and build with foresight. This means thousands of hours invested; many errors; many challenges and many sleepless nights.
What I can promise you is this: if you work in your element, things will be four thousand percent easier for you. When you find and know your talents and connect them to your passions, you can move further, faster, and with greater joy than anything else. Copying deals just because it worked for others is a career you will always lose. Instead, discover your own career.
When you are there, at the height of your own success (no two are alike), others will see you and say, how lucky you are! But you and I know that it’s not about luck, it’s about finding your talent and developing it further. and face the challenge of turning it into a business.
When you are in a career that is not advancing, ask yourself, am I really in my element? If the answer is no, stop, open your eyes and start building. Trust me: it’s never too late to be in the right place.