You Can’t Compete With Passion
What makes you stand out? What makes you different? What make you BETTER in your professional your personal life than others?
Some people have it, only a select few know how to communicate or act on it, and most are too afraid to even feel it.
If you’re fearful of feeling something or believing in something so powerful it can bring tears to your eyes, this post is not for you. You’re one of the “afraid to feel” people and that’s fine! At some point, you’ll wonder why you climbed the proverbial ladder but never made it to “the top” or never started your own business.
For those of you who love being inspired, love inspiring, strive to be the best, know that you have “it” in you – you’re just not sure what “it” is yet – keep reading; this post was written for you.
Because people can’t compete with Passion.
4 Simple Steps:
Find Your Purpose
Everyone has a purpose. Your purpose may not be something you’re proud of outwardly, it may not be something others would find important – but it’s important to you. If you don’t know what your purpose is, seek out different people, different industries, new organizations; something will click. And when it does, you’ll know it. I never knew what I wanted to do in college; but I knew I was competitive and I liked to out think people (another way of saying that would be MANIPULATE). Because I was outgoing, everyone told me I should be a lawyer. I didn’t love the law, I didn’t have a passion for the law; but I aced my LSATs and got a full ride to law school – so I went. And proceeded to get A’s. And further proceeded to drop out – which was the best decision I ever made. Looking back, I guess I wasn’t quitting because I didn’t stop because it was too hard. I stopped because I didn’t like it. I wasn’t excited to wake up in the morning.
So what next? I ended up being referred to a job at Kaplan University. By the second day of a 2 week training course, I knew 3 things: 1) I would be really good at this job because I believed in education 2) We had ‘goals’ to meet, so it met my competitive nature 3) I got to be on the phones all day talking to people about themselves. This was perfect for me.
What I didn’t count on was the heart that went into the job. I consistently overachieved goals and was constantly asked and listened in on by senior management to see what it was I did differently; they didn’t find much. I used the same questions, similar responses…but there was one thing other people could not emulate – and that was the burning desire I had to help people better their lives through education. And yes, it sounds SO CHEESY – which is so unlike me; but it was true. To this day, I still know the names of the first few folks I enrolled, I still have letters and emails from people thanking me for changing their lives. Unknowingly and without trying to – I had found my purpose.
Purpose Drives Passion
And that purpose only served to heighten my passion. Being on the phone, I was only helping one person at a time; I wanted to scale that – I wanted to help more people back to school. So I trained others -and what I found was interesting. I could train many people to be average and above average – but only very few to “great” and it was at that point I learned the difference in being passionate about something and ‘just having a job’. Passion is not something that can be taught; it can be inspired for bursts of time, but it’s innate.
Passion Drives Success
I was becoming disenchanted with training; so when I was offered a role to work as a member of the Education Connection management team – I jumped on it. There’s nothing better than building a start-up and taking it through profitability, new product launches, and the intellectual banter and learning experience is worth any 3 corporate jobs. I worked for two men – to this day, still 2 of the only men I know – who knew how to direct their passion towards profit and do so while keeping their beliefs and remaining 100% ethical.
We had started an internet lead generation company, the only one / the first one at the time to drive students to go back to school using national television. Although we drove students to a website, we received 2-3 calls per day. Students had researched and gotten our contact information. Although I was constantly slammed with work, I took the calls. I missed talking to students. I took the calls because I knew that these students must be truly motivated to better themselves if they were researching and calling us. I spoke to the student; went back into my old role – to advise the student on the school that would best fit their needs. Once I had spoken with students and found a school and program that met their needs, I transferred the student directly to an advisor. Not only were the conversion rates 7 X that of the normal admissions conversion rate, but the students were so appreciative. I had found a way to take my passion, helping students, and bring that into my current role.
Innovate and Scale
But it wasn’t enough to help 2 or 3 per day. I told my CEO what I had been doing. He said, “Jamie – congratulations – you’ve come up with a new business model that’s never been done in the EDU space before. This is our new business. You have 60 days to build out this advising center, hire people who share our passion and vision, and train them to do what you do”.
And I did. I finally learned how to scale my passion. And it wasn’t only successful, it started a new lead type in the education industry. Don’t run from your passions; continue to work at them. Success will come; you may have to be patient, but finding your purpose, your passion, and continuing to embrace it – eventually you will find a way to make it a business. Keep w