If You Want To Play Golf, Don't Be A Golf Pro - Profit vs. Passion Debate April 28, 2012

The passion vs. profit debate has always been interesting to me. My view on the subject as a whole goes back to when I was 13 years old and just started golfing. My next door neighbor was a golf pro and I was taking a lesson from him when we had the following conversation.  I told him how awesome I though his job was, getting to be outside and play golf every day. He laughed and explained he shoots a 3 hole round @ 6am but then he has to shower up and get the pro shop opened,  followed by lessons all day.  He told me "If you want to play golf, don't be a golf pro".  This quote has always stuck with me and I have quoted it many times.  It really framed my concept of work and play. Within the debate, there seems to be two distinct tribes that have formed.  On one side you have the follow your passion crew.  They assert the very romantic notion that if you follow your bliss you will be successful due to the sheer momentum you will build up following your dream.  On the other side is a slightly more analytical group that feels it is best to follow opportunity, even if it  isn’t something you are in love with.  We will call this group the profit crew. I fall on the profit side; I'm 28 years old and have been operating my ecommerce website for the past 4 years.  While I was building my business, I supported myself by waiting tables.  I really love the product I sell, it is high quality and people really enjoy them however, I wouldn’t say I’m passionate about train horns.  I am simply way too ADD to have one passion that I put all of my focus into. Right now my passions are building a business, homebrewing and kiteboarding. However, in the past 5 years the list would include: guitar, snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking and whitewater kayaking. My strategy is to make money in my niche so my passions can stay passions and my work stay work.  I like to kiteboard however I'm not sure I'm any more passionate about selling kiteboarding equipment than train horns, I just want to ride.  I fear that you can get too wrapped up in the business aspect of your passion and lose all the joy when what is really important is taking action. I quit my job as a waiter 28 days ago and this is due to the success of my strategy.  At work, a few of the servers were interested in my online business and wanted to start business of their own. They would ask questions about starting a business and niche selection. They always wanted to do something that they were interested in, instead of something they could be competitive at.   I told them to be careful - I would have loved to tell them to follow their dream, however they asked for advice and I wanted to be honest with them. I would like to share some great articles I found that offer additional insights as well as other views on the subject.  Some of the authors were even kind enough to share a quote on the topic which I have included next to their article. What are your thoughts on the subject?  It would make my day if we could get a little debate going in the comments.   The Profit Crew:  John Falchetto - "You have to be passionate about an opportunity to succeed, you don't have to create opportunity from your greatest passion." Marty Nemko - Remember that, in the end, the key to career contentment is a job that: -- isn't too hard or too easy -- has a boss who's kind and helpful -- involves an ethical product or service -- requires a reasonable commute -- pay reasonable well and offers benefits -- doesn't require 70 hour work weeks -- offers opportunities to learn and grow. You're more likely to find these things and, in turn, career contentment by pursuing an unpopular career than the millions pursuing a "cool" one. Click Newz Pot Pie Girl Peace and Profit Mark Cuban The Middle Ground: Chris Guillebeau - "I'm not sure what you mean by this. I don't think there's a divide, and if there is I don't think I'm strictly on the "passion side." The whole point is to combine your passion with something that is valuable to the world. Without that, there is no business. But without the passion, there is no life. That's why I don't see a divide. :)" The Passion Tribe: The Profit Share Zen Habits

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