Do you know how to architect your passion?  This might not be easy to answer, but here are a few key indicators that you aren’t operating out of what you really care about: It takes twice as long to convert in your business, you’re often drained and excited to leave work at the end of the day, or you aren’t reaching your ideal clients.  Here’s what small engines and Louisville Sluggers taught me about architecting your passion into what you’re doing…

 

screws scattered across white paper

 

It Started With a 4H Competition

 

I grew up in rural Alabama with a hard-working dad who farmed. I learned a lot from him about work ethic, the quality of your work, and finishing a job.  But there is one particular lesson he taught me that I did NOT want to learn.

 

My dad has spoken at many different farmer’s meetings and associations over my lifetime.  When I was a kid, maybe 12 years old, he wanted me to enter into the 4H speaking competition. I wasn’t too keen on this, but if you know my dad, you know there’s no getting out of what he wanted me to do. 

 

At the time I was the only one entered, so I was set to win automatically.  Easy!  There was just one tiny problem.  The talk was on small engines.  I didn’t know anything about them, didn’t care, and if we’re being honest, to this day I still don’t know or care about them!

 

This wasn’t much of a concern since I was the only competitor.  The day of the competition rolled around, and I was prepared as much as the only competitor needed to be.  My dad had given me tips on how to speak a certain way, and off I went.  Quite frankly, I bombed.  No big deal right?  I was still going to win.

 

Little did I know, someone else had signed up.  At the end of the day, I got second place out of two people.

 

boy holding baseball bat in mitt

 

What Happened When I Architected My Passion

 

Next year, my dad was going to make me do it again.  Because I had to do it, I figured I might as well speak on something important to me.  Sports have always been important to me, so I spoke on Louisville Slugger baseball bats.  I learned about how they were made, what materials were used, and the full production process.  I actually cared about it.  Guess what?  I made it all the way to state with that speech!  In the process, I had spoken in front of 100s of people.

 

While my skills probably improved after the first year, I doubt it would have been improvement enough on its own.  However, the second year I spoke about something I cared about.  That is what I believe made all the difference!  So what does my passion for Louisville Sluggers have to do with you?

 

neon sign with text fuel your passion

 

What’s Your Passion?

 

As business owners, the same principles apply.  I love to geek out about business things all day long.  However, there are some things I don’t really care about.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t love what I do, it just means that some areas of the business are more interesting to me.  The good news is that someone cares about the things you’d rather avoid!  This is what makes your team members and collaborators so important.

 

It’s important to pursue the things we care about the most!  This will make your work more enjoyable and sustainable.  You’re the owner!  It’s your choice to architect a brand around the things you care about, regardless of your industry.  These are the things you could talk about all day without getting paid, and it would still fire you up.

 

Of course, it’s easier said than done.  Only about 20% of people in a recent study said they were passionate about their work.  Harvard data showed that people who believe their passion is fixed are less likely to feel they’re pursuing it.  They