I just answered this question for the entrepreneur.com website, and I’m intrigued with the question itself, I wonder what you think is a good answer.
Here’s the question (and let me say that the IP here belongs to entrepreneur.com, not to me, and I thank them for allowing this here) …
"When starting a business should you focus more on what you love or what you are good at? I’ve started two moderately successful advertising companies with revenues of more than $250,000 in the past two years. However, I don’t necessarily "love" advertising sales, I’m just pretty good at it. In the articles I read month after month, the truly successful people are doing what they love and doing the thing they would do even if they didn’t need the money. That is where I feel my career track is off. If I ever made enough money, I would never, never sell another advertiser again! This makes me think that I should dig deep and find the thing that will get me out of bed at 5 a.m. every morning excited to start working. So my question is even though I’m good at sales and advertising, should I stick with it or find something that I’m passionate about? What’s more important–passion or ability?"
What do you think is the right answer? Focus on what you love or what you’re good at? I’d love to hear from you with this one. I think it’s a very interesting question. I was taken aback, because I’m afraid I’ve always assumed what you love is going to be what you’re good at, and this example seems to pose a different picture quite well.
For the record, here is my answer to that person:
Great question. I think I’ve always assumed a connection between what you like and what you’re good at, but you have a good example here too.
You don’t say what you do love to do. That matters in this case, doesn’t it? Is what you love a business possibility? If you love carpentry or business planning or cooking Mediterranean cuisine that’s one thing, and if you love long walks on the beach or playing golf that’s another. Although even there, people teach golf and start golf equipment shops, but you get what I mean.
Don’t you like anything related to the advertising business? If you started these two businesses, do you have to be the one to do the selling? What about maybe doing the creative or the accounting or some other part of an advertising business, some part that you do love?
Everybody should be able to do what they love and get paid, but it doesn’t seem to work out that way. There are only so many writers, artists, dancers, actors, and athletes with jobs. Then there are the teachers of writing, dancing, and acting, the coaches, and others who build businesses around what they love. And there are websites around what people like to do, and some of them make money.
So I apologize for not having a more definite answer. Thanks, you made me think about these things.
So that’s what I answered, and I’m anxious to broaden this discussion. What do you think? Passion or ability? I hope you’ll add a comment here.