Monday, April 14, 2008

The Essential P's of Business

by Karen D. Swim

"Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul, if either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.”--Kahlil Gibran

Do you watch any of the cooking shows? Cooking shows make everyone feel as though they can be a gourmet chef. Great cooks unveil the secrets by revealing the ingredients and instructions for putting them together. I especially enjoy recipes with no more than 5 ingredients. This week, I'll be sharing my recipe for business success and just like my favorite cooking recipes there are only 5 ingredients.

I call my recipe the The 5 Essential P's of Business. Each day I'll discuss a different ingredient. Like any great recipe there are other touches that you can add to make it your own.

The first ingredient is Passion. The dictionary defines passion as a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything. Communications Coach, Speaker and Author, Carmine Gallo believes that passion is what makes a great communicator. In a 2005, Business Week article, he wrote that the hallmarks of a passionate communicator are "a willingness to share that driving sense of mission -- and a burning faith that others will embrace too."

Passion is the fuel that motivates you to act. It is the enthusiasm driven by an absolute belief in your business value that will enable you to communicate with others. Without passion you will not only lack the motivation needed to sustain you long term, but will have difficulty convincing others to buy from you.

Does passion ever wane? Yes it does! The bright flame of passion can be snuffed out by overwork, stress, administrative issues or plain old life issues. When you find that business has become a chore, it may be time for a break.

Take some time to recharge your batteries and reconnect with your core passion. Critically examine your business and the day to day operations. Are you spending time on tasks and activities you do not enjoy? Have you become overwhelmed with administrative issues? Has the business gone in a direction that doesn't align with your vision?

I've been there. Every day became a chore. I procrastinated on projects until the last moment. I was working endless hours and began to wonder, "Is this it?" I took a weekend off to clear my head. I took a hard look at my business and decided to make changes. I eliminated "energy vampires" (people that suck you dry) and focused on my high value, ideal clients. I lightened my load and increased my income. The changes helped me get my business groove back and I was once again able to effectively market myself.

I learned the hard way that without passion, it's just work!

Are you passionate about what you're doing? How do you keep passion burning? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Ellen Wilson said...

Hi Karen.

I know I'm passionate about writing and photography, but I have to watch the other extreme you speak of, the passion fire that subsumes everything. That only causes burnout. And when a fire goes out it take awhile to kindle it again.

I like the idea of focusing on "high value" clients. Clients who treat you well and with the respect you deserve.

I like the quote from Kahlil Gibran.

Words For Hire said...

Hi Ellen, I know we're all subject to burn out even when doing the things we truly love. It's so easy to let "stuff" get in the way and steal the joy from doing what we love. May we all have more clients who treat us (and pay us) well!

Your writing and photography are evidence of your passion. How do you keep it from feeling like "work"?


Brad Shorr said...

For several years I was in a job I was no longer passionate about, and that is no good, let me tell you. Maybe that experience is what keeps me passionate about my new career as a copywriter/consultant/coach. Whenever I get down, I think about how lucky I am to have a chance to do what I love. I've also learned that no matter what kind of work you do, no matter how much you love it, there are down sides. In short, count your blessings and remember the grass is green where you are. BTW Karen, Your definition of powerful writing on Joanna's blog blew me away. It gave me a little passion boost about writing!

Words For Hire said...

Brad, thank you so much for sharing that. My hope is that everyone would be able to wake up every day with passion for life and their work. I hope that by sharing this that we can help guide them to lighting that flame. I am so glad that you have found your passion. Reading your experience brings me great joy! Also, thanks for the compliment *blushing*. I really connected with your definition! We writers truly are kindred spirits. :-)


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