The Passion Trap

All of my work around Joyful Genius is about one thing: getting you loving what you do for a living, and making a living doing what you love. And most of us entrepreneurs, and especially us healers, therapists and coaches, have been there – fed up with the work we’re doing for somebody else, feeling like there just has to be more to life than this.

So we make a big change, and go follow our passion.

After all … like they say … “Just do what you love and the money will come!”

Well, I’m sorry – I have to tell you, that’s just RUBBISH!

Don’t get me wrong … when you’re doing work you’re passionate about, the money does flow more easily, and in much bigger quantities. But that doesn’t mean it all happens by magic … far from it!

As well as the passion, you also need a pragmatic business plan, and a solid business model to turn all those prospects your passion attracts into paying customers.

You see, I think you will probably have heard or read my view, that there are only two Big Business Questions:

  • How much do I want to do this?
  • Will I make any money at it?

The entrepreneurial path is littered with people who didn’t quite make it – no matter how wild they are about their idea, if it’s not a sound business idea, it’s not going to work.

And, even if it *is* a great idea, there are going to be times when things get a bit tricky – and that’s when you need a big chunk of love for your work, to give you the impetus to keep on going, to go the extra mile and make it work.

This is why loving your work is important: Enjoyment-Performance Theory says that we perform better at work that we enjoy. So if you’re going to be working at your best, offering real value for your clients, then you’d better be enjoying what you’re doing for them.

Here’s the thing – it actually NOT about doing what you love. It’s about loving what you do.

So, here’s an exercise you can do – I use it with a lot of my clients, and it really helps them deal with the Passion Trap:

Take a sheet of paper, and divide it into four squares by drawing a line across the middle, and another one down from top to bottom (or use this download: On the right hand side at the top, you want to write down something that you could do well, that adds real value for other people, that is meaningful for you, and that you genuinely enjoy doing. And don’t worry about the money – this is something that you would do even if you never got paid a penny for it, if money just wasn’t in the equation. It’s what I call your Soul Work – the work that the world needs you to be doing.

And now, in the top left-hand box, write the main thing that you are currently being paid to do. It might be the same thing, if you’re very lucky, but maybe it’s a bit different – or possibly very different.

Now, on the right hand side at the bottom, write down what it is about that activity that makes it enjoyable and meaningful – 3 or 4 things will usually be enough.

And then, on the left hand bottom, identify which of those elements, if any, are present in the activity people pay you for. And if none of them are present – is there anything you can change about the activity, or how you do it, that means one or more of the aspects that makes your dream work could now apply to it?

So … can you now see how you could add that essential element – Profit – to that Passion work that you would love to be doing, to really add your value to the world? Or that equally important element – Passion – to what you already do for Profit.

As I said at the start: there are two ways to get paid for doing what you love – you can get paid for what you love, or you can love what you get paid for. Or, in my language, love what you do for a living, and make a living doing what you love.

Which are you going to change – the work you do, how you do it, or how you feel about it?

About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of Joyful Genius Coaching, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The A to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon

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