How To Convert Your Passion Into Success

Over the last year or so there has been backlash against following your passion. Even Scott Adams (the creator of Dilbert) has been misquoted as saying that following your passion leads to failure. 

This is wrong.

Following your passion is the only way you get to #betheboss in your career. I’ve met and continue to meet too many people who are letting lie to waste the thing that will give them fulfillment. See, fulfillment is what most of us are looking for in our jobs, not money that comes from doing what we do. Only through following your passion will you find fulfillment. Most people (especially if you are reading this) have enough skills and abilities to put food on their table.

For a long time I always struggled with ‘doing what was expected' in terms of career; you worked hard and got into the best universities (Warwick University & University of Chicago), you got a professional degree (Engineering) and you got a traditional well paying job (power plant operations) and you never quit a regular job. But my passions have always been writing and ‘futurecasting’. Only when I combined those things with the expertise I’d gained in the energy industry to build and eventually sell a company did I truly feel fulfilled. That realizationcontinues to fuel all I do.

So how do we get the fulfillment we all desire? Three steps

  1. Follow your passion: Yes. It’s the first step in even getting close to finding fulfillment. You will have to ignore the noise you hear from everything and everyone around you about their own expectations for you. I have a dear friend who is one of the smartest people I know who got her MBA from one of the finest universities in the world. She ended up at one of the top financial institutions in the world. But she always cared more about baking than derivatives. She ended up having to make a decision about her career and decided to finally pursue her passion. She now owns a few successful bakery franchise locations in London. 
  2. Stay in your lane and attain mastery: The anecdote above would be incomplete and unhelpful without mastery. Stay in your lane and get even better at the things you are good at. Mastery is what you need to take you that step above everyone else who shares your passion but fails to work on their craft. Interestingly, mastery of the craft does not have to be in what you are passionate about. My friend above was already a master in the fundamentals of business (revenue - expenses = profit/loss). She did have to learn more about baking and this she did, even coming to Atlanta for some training.  
  3. Augment your capabilities: Technology is changing at breakneck speed. Our children will live in a world where they can order anything throughAlexa and have it delivered by drones, and have their skills augmented byArtificial Intelligence. Technology will be a force multiplier that enables you do even more than you think you can. Technology provides you access to all the information and tools you need to build your business and #betheboss.
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Passion + mastery + technology will enable you to achieve all you aspire to. And more. Even Scott Adams ended up creating Dilbert because he tapped into the things he was passionate about (drawing, humor), the things he had mastered (business) and the overlap is where he has found success. If anyone had told him he’d become more successful than he’d ever imagined by drawing satirical white-collar office cartoons he probably would have cracked a white-collar joke and forgotten about it.

Scott Adams followed his passion and gave us Dilbert.

You can follow your passion too. Your career will probably look nothing like the one you imagined it would...