My new business friend stared earnestly at me across the café table. “Would you say you’re passionate about your work?”
Her question caught me off guard. I chewed my lip for a second, unsure how to respond.
Entrepreneurs are supposed to be passionate about their work, right? You’ve read the memes. We’re meant to ‘do the thing that we just can’t not do’, trust our intuition and ‘leap so that the net can appear’…
As I stirred my coffee, I felt this pressure building inside me to give the “right” answer, to prove my entrepreneurial chops by declaring myself passionate about my work.
The trouble is that passion has become such a loaded term. We talk about it as this all-consuming state of being, an overwhelming desire to do this thing and this alone. The kind of obsession that you’ll recognise when it smacks you over the head.
I believe that we all deserve to love what we do, and to find joy and meaning in our work. I’m just not convinced you have to be passionate about it – or that building a business around your passions is always the right thing to do.
Like you, I’m passionate about many things. Languages, books, the art of the written word, travel and connection. I’m passionate about raising other women up, about finding the freedom to explore your gifts and create a life of one’s own…I could go on.
Many of our passions are connected to moments of private pleasure, but work is full of difficult, challenging and mundane tasks too. A case in point – just because I love sinking into a hammock with a new novel did not mean I enjoyed writing book reviews. And sometimes, adding the pressure to make an income snuffs out the very fire we hoped to accelerate.
It seems to me that we’ve blown the meaning of “passionate” way out of proportion. When I pull out my trusty Oxford Dictionary, passionate is defined as “having, showing or caused by strong feelings or beliefs.”
Maybe we need to shift our focus, from being “passionate about your work” to finding passion in your work.
Do you experience moments of joy in your work? Do you feel connected to others? Are you operating in your zone of genius, where ideas seem to drop into your head and you know you’re on a roll? Do you get bursts of inspiration and a desire to try new things? Do you experience a warmth rising in your chest, and a desire to step onto a metaphorical soap box because you’re so darn fired up about what you have to share?
To me, all of these things are moments of passion.
So am I passionate about my work? Not in the sense of it being the one thing I would do if I knew I had only a few days left on the planet.
But do I find passion in it? Absolutely.
Where do you find passion in your work? Let me know in the comments below.
If you’re ready to start capturing those moments of passion in your copy, book now for a FREE 20 minute mini session.