Work with Passion isn’t Really Work


When not handling retained search assignments for organizations, I enjoy teaching.  In one of my classes for entrepreneurs, I share that business success is the result of four ingredients.  Careers, like businesses, benefit from the same four ingredients:

  1. Desire (dream or nightmare)
  2. Plan (business vehicle)
  3. Mentor (coach/adviser/council)
  4. Work (consistent and persistent energy and effort)


Work, or as my grandfather calls it “elbow grease,” is that last necessary ingredient.  Our source of motivation for work changes over time and lifestyle.  Consistent effort is critical for success, so be aware when you are burning out, losing focus, or losing energy.  When that happens, or preferably before, go back to the other three ingredients and get re-energized.  Like businesses, making money is not in itself a Mission Statement.  You need to refocus on your passions to become re-energized.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, was recently quoted in the Silicon Valley Business Journal as saying “Don’t work for money- it will wear out fast, or you’ll never make enough and you will never be happy.” Amen to that!


Last week I met Nobel Prize Winning Economist Dr. Robert Merton, who shared this career advice: “Pursue passion in your career.  Be the solution in business.  Build trust and social capital.” Sound familiar?  Work with passion is not work.

When working in your career, remind yourself what a great job looks like.  Associate with people pursing similar goals to yourself. Put in the effort to stay focused on your passions and goals…and your energy will be limitless!

In summary, for career success, define your dreams, refine your plan, actively engage mentors, and then consistently work with passion.  By following your dreams, or people you trust with dreams, it won’t even feel like work.

if you happen to be someone’s mentor, then encourage them to rekindle their passions and find themselves in their work.  Contact me if you would like to connect with career or organizational coaches who can help.  Let’s turn work into fired-up passion!


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