It would be an overstatement to claim that we originally chose to provide custom software development services because this has always been our passion. Had we decided more than a decade ago to set up shop following our passions, heaven knows where we’d be today. And yet we pride ourselves on being truly driven experts of custom software development. Does this sound paradoxal? Read on and we’ll clarify.
What Is Your Passion Worth?
“Follow your passion and do what you love” is advice we have all heard so many times it doesn’t occur to anyone to question it. Except to Georgetown University professor Cal Newport, who claims it’s totally wrong.
In his view, this mantra has probably done more damage to small and middle enterprises than the worst recessions, because in the majority of cases, business success is not built on passion. He says, “Passion is not something you follow. Passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.”
Considering starting a business in pet hairstyling, door-to-door beer delivery or custom software development services – but not sure if it’s a fulfilling career choice? Don’t ask what the job can do for you, focus instead on what value you can produce through your work, advises Newport. The quality, significance and influence of any business can be measured in financial terms. Money is a reliable indicator of value: potential customers care about price tags, not passion. What sets a hobby apart from an activity with business potential is whether people are willing to pay for it.
Put Business First, And The Rest Will Follow
So the key to launching a successful business is not to follow an obsession per se, but to identify a passion that’s relevant to real needs on the market. Once that’s sorted, the work itself can provide the necessary drive through a spiral of success and the resulting satisfaction.
Take our example with custom software development services: feeling justified in having chosen a viable business solution, we were motivated to expand and refine our output. Landing the first clients inspired us to further improve to be able to attract more clients. The more responsibility and authority we gained, the more it spurred us on to become even more competent in our field. This positive feedback loop has only strengthened with time: more experience has allowed us to see more added value of our work and to establish sound professional relationships with business partners and clients.
“Producing something important, gaining respect for it, feeling a sense of control over your life, feeling a connection to other people – that gives people a real sense of passion,” Newport says. In other words, passion is not a precondition of business success, rather its outcome and constant reinforcement.
So now you understand: it was after having put in all the legwork and the hours that we became as passionate as we are about custom software development services.
What passion fuels your business?