What’s your passion?

This is an edited of a post from June 2012

What drives you? Why are you in business? What gets you up in the morning?

Is it success? About that success, is it YOURS or your client’s success or both? Is it the new challenge? Is it the people, products or services you provide?

While speaking at my networking group, I asked what makes a good networker. It was an exercise in self-awareness; helping to identify why THEY are networking themselves. I received very quality responses, but I ended with this question: “What’s your passion?” Initially, there were blank stares, people grasping for an eloquent answer. However, at the end of it all, the question was about putting words to their personal passion. Each individual had a unique response to their own passion; to that thing that drives their success. See, passion is unique to the individual. I believe every business owner wants success, but there is that one “other thing” that sets them apart. This got me thinking about why passion is important and what it means for entrepreneurs and business owners.

You need to be passionate about your craft. Notice I didn’t say about your product or service or whatever. I believe that if you’re passionate about what you do, you can sell and promote anything. You can always learn product knowledge, but if you aren’t passionate about your craft, that lack of passion will have a negative affect on your current clients and ability to capture new ones.

Be passionate about your mind. Never stop learning about your profession, your products, your health, etc. Treat your mind like a muscle. If it doesn’t get exercise or use, it atrophies. Read books, blogs and articles. Take time to get into some quiet places, sit still and meditate on whatever feeds your soul. Create something; write, draw, cook. For me, I love to cook. It gives me satisfaction when my family sits down to eat what I’ve made. This feeds my soul and exercises my mind.

Be passionate about your clients. This seems like a no-brainer, but even I sometimes get an email or call from a client that I don’t want to answer or talk to. That’s a poor way to maintain a client base and it will show in the results for your client. Make them feel as though they’re the most important person in the world to you for that moment you’re talking to them. For that time, they are. They’re not only paying your salary, but they’re relying on you to help their business grow. If you’re not targeted on them 100% when you’re interacting with them, you could miss a vital piece of info that could help you up-sell or close more business with them or any number of things.

Your family is everything, be passionate about them. For some in sales, our families are our motivation for success. This drives us to meet with that extra client or do that one extra thing. We want to provide an amazing life for our families and that passion for them can be a powerful motivator. Nothing is more important than your family. It is easy to become so entrenched in work; accomplishing every task on your “to-do” list for the day, but ultimately, it will not mean anything if you are not available for your family.

Be passionate about your team. If you have a team of direct reports or a team of people actually producing the product or service you sell, be passionate about them. Without this team backing you up or producing a high quality product, you have nothing. Make sure they’re appreciated. Let them know how thankful you are that they work hard to help you help your clients.

What other things can you think of that we need to have passion for? Leave your comments below.