Danny Star, CEO and Founder of Website Depot Digital Marketing Agency, has helped hundreds of small businesses grow and expand.
“Follow your passion” can have different meanings. It could mean “pursue a career in the arts,” or something else that may not be traditionally considered lucrative or sustainable. The phrase could also mean “do what you want, and don’t worry about consequences.”
In recent years, there’s been a strain of business advice that basically says don’t follow your passions. Instead, the idea is that you make a lot of money and then do what you want on the side.
In my experience, working hard revealed exactly what my passions were. Then, I could incorporate those into what I and my team do.
Like Attracts Like
You’ve probably heard some version of that, too. Essentially, the idea is that you’ll come across people in your life who are similar to you. Perhaps they believe similarly or act similarly, and so forth.
MORE FOR YOU
When I started Website Depot, we wanted clients. Through hard work and dedication, we were able to develop a client base. Sure, we had clients in all kinds of industries. But, after a while, we realized something: many of our clients were detox and rehab facilities. This isn’t something we planned on. While we were grateful for it, it’s not like we intentionally sought them out over clients in other industries.
In a way, it caught us by surprise. Why did we have so many clients in this industry? Then, after we did some reflecting, we realized that it wasn’t a surprise after all.
The Makings Of A Connection
The rehab industry isn’t very similar to the full-service digital marketing one. However, there are real similarities. For lack of a better phrase, it’s a “people” industry, too. In rehab, detox and rehab professionals have to be able to talk to and connect with their clients. They need to be able to evaluate them and help them to put together a plan. Through constant, thoughtful hard work, they put their clients in a position to be able to ultimately succeed.
When looked at through that prism, running a rehab facility and running an online marketing company have quite a few similarities indeed. Now, no one is comparing the work a detox and rehab facility does with that of an online marketing company. Their stakes are much higher; they’re helping people to deal with the underlying trauma that causes addiction. We’re helping folks to rank higher on Google. That said, once we thought about it, we realized exactly why we’ve drawn so many rehab facilities. Then, we decided to do even more.
In order to truly discover your passion, it’s important to be on the lookout and make deeper-level connections. Look deeper beyond what’s on the surface and use it to fuel your next move.
Where Passion Can Lead
Years ago, I started a site, an offshoot of my company called Reputation Rehab. The idea was that we would “rehab” a client’s reputation, should it have been sullied online, etc. It was always there but we never did much with it. But, after working with so many rehab facilities, I began to see how we could do more. So, I hired mental health professionals to my staff. If it was good for our clients, it should be good for us. Then, we rebooted. Now, we help more detox, rehab and mental health facilities than ever to reach more people.
Be open to where passion can lead. It could very well lead you to an old project or a new venture that drives your business forward.
How This Applies to Your Passion
Maybe, when you started your company, you knew exactly what you wanted it to be. More than just successful, you wanted to make a difference, one way or the other. Or, perhaps you knew what you wanted to do, but beyond “be successful,” you didn’t necessarily have an end goal in mind.
If you have a moment, look around to see who you’re attracting to your company. You could look at your clients, but also your staff, audience, investors, customers, and more. Do they have something in common? Are they who you want to bring into your life?
After all, we’ve all heard so much about the threat of “burnout,” of feeling “unfulfilled.” For many, that’s become even more prevalent during the pandemic. If you don’t feel fulfilled by what your business is doing, who it’s attracting or where it’s headed, of course you’re going to feel burned out and empty. That’s just human nature. If that’s the case, then you want to take steps to change that.
If you have clients whose work you believe in, think about what it is about them that appeals to you. Then, reflect on why they came to you in the first place. You might even want to talk to them about it. “You were the best in your field” might be why they initially reached out to you, but odds are that’s not why they’ve stayed with you.
From there, you can take real, tangible steps toward figuring out exactly where your passions lie. Then, you can go after them with all your heart and business aptitude.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
Go to Source
Author: Danny Star, Forbes Councils Member