Saturday, January 31, 2009

Follow Your Passion

I was watching an Oprah Winfrey show recently where she interviewed some very successful and rather young entrepreneurs. Tony Hsieh, CEO of the very successful online shoe store valued at $100 million, and Gurbaksh Chahal, founder of BlueLithium, which Yahoo bought for $300 million. And of course the Olsen Twins. You can check out the slideshow here.

And it's not the money that drew me into the show, it was their stories and the passion they have for what they do that really grabbed my attention. While the money they earned was a bonus, it was not the primary driver. The pure enjoyment of doing what they do is what brought them to where they are now.

Success is defined so differently for so many people. Some define it with material possessions, some define it with personal fulfillment. I think the latter is what drives me, and is by far the more healthier way to go (mentally & spiritually). I love my business and my career because I am passionate about growing it, about photography, and about delivering the best service experience. Sure, if you own & operate a multi-million dollar business, that's great. But if you're not passionate about it, what's the point? Maybe you're passionate about money, lol =)

Here are some things to think hard about for those wanting to go the entrepreneural route:

  • Find your passion. Even if it's not a big money maker, you'll be happier and more fulfilled than any million dollar account could make you.
  • Think outside the box. Identify & market your unique selling proposition that makes you stand out in your chosen industry.
  • Network, network, network. As you've heard before, your network is your net worth. Surround yourself with a good team of associates, colleagues, businesses, and services that can help grow your business.
  • Deliver an experience, not just good service. Think of ways you can give your clients more than they expect. Ways that you can still reap the value of your worth and price point, but still able to deliver a strong customer service experience. This positive experience will spread through the viral market of word of mouth, resulting in brand trust & brand loyalty. Wouldn't you like your customers to evangelize for you? =) It's a powerful thing, especially in my industry.
  • Never rest on your laurels. Always strive to improve, enhance, and grow your business and yourself. The world changes, you must change with it or stay ahead of it. There's always more to learn so continue to challenge & educate yourself. Complacency could lead to failure. Reinvent, refresh =)
Those are just some of my thoughts on the matter and how I challenge myself to do business. If you have anything to add, please share in your comments below! Thanks for visiting =)


Sarah Hodzic said...

Dude, I SO LOVE that you were watching OPRAH!!!!

You are my new favorite dude.
Any man that can openly say he watched Oprah of his own free will is 100% coolio in my book. :D

Armin DeFiesta said...

LOL, yes Sarah I was watching it and I'm happy it elevated my status in your book =D. As one of the most successful business women in her industry, it's good to see what she's up to once in a while. You can learn a thing or two along the way =)

Rob Holley said...

Excellent post my man! Great stuff.

melissa said...

For me, the thing about passion is that it's so (so) motivating. And the other thing is that I have never felt more alive or more purposeful in live than when I am doing something I am passionate about.

Now if only I could translate that passion to the elliptical.

David Burke said...

great post Armin. Without passion it is pointless. I am compelled to do what I do. I love it. I always tell my wife, "even if we have to live in a shoebox, I will be happy doing what I do." Money comes and goes. Passion grows and you take it with you always ;-)
btw - you watch Oprah. you rule.

Natalie Franke said...

I really really love this! I feel like the people who end up being the most successful - are usually the most passionate about 'what' they do. If you truly love what you are doing, money is only an added bonus!