I was reading an article in my favorite local magazine recently about a small sample of business people that had found their true passions in life (career-wise) and were now pursuing them. (Of course, the article included an easy five-step guide on how all adults could follow in that group’s footsteps if they wanted.)
While I generally try to steer away from anything that guarantees to make my life better in anything less than ten steps – standards please! – this particular article got me thinking. How many of us factor how passionate we are for something into our career choices? And does our passion, or even our personal strength, for what we do translate into our success?
I recently placed a call to an agency and was greeted with the following message “Why, it’s a sunny day at (insert generic insurance agency name), thank you for calling. How can I brighten your day?” I’m sure you’re probably thinking that this is a really fun and original greeting, and it probably was when the agent first thought it up, but the person that recited it said it in a complete monotone.
Obviously, the passion for this particular job had run out. Unfortunately, the person’s lack of passion for their job was directly translated to their success because they were the first person any consumer came into contact with when calling their business.
OK, maybe this is a fairly obvious example, but it’s also one that causes more lost sales than people realize.
While it’s neither logical nor practical to take what we’re literally passionate about and then do that exact thing every day (I have a passion for shoes and sleep, but I don’t work in a shoe store or sleep 24 hours a day!), it is possible to take a look at what drives you and apply it to your business in a positive way. In order to do that, of course, you have to KNOW what your strengths are first.
Are your strengths in line with your business values and purpose? If you need a little help in this department, might I recommend a great read, Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. Once you’ve got your strengths and your passions all sorted out, sit down and figure out how you can apply them to growing your business.
According to the StrengthFinder in Now, Discover Your Strengths, one of my strengths is Woo, which means I enjoy meeting new people, and I find the challenge of meeting and winning over strangers energizing rather than intimidating. This has been a very helpful strength for me to have in this business.
To find your strengths, you can go to strengthfinder.com or purchase a copy of the book.