Tips & Tricks

8 Hard-Earned Lessons About Following Your Passion While Building a Business

By July 16, 2015 May 27th, 2020 10 Comments

I am a huge proponent for building a business built on what you are passionate about. I am truly passionate about creating businesses and teaching others how to build businesses so they can live a life they want through personal financial freedom. I’ve also worked on businesses that I wasn’t passionate about, thinking money was all I needed, and trust me, it is NOT worth it!

Below I share eight hard-earned lessons I’ve learned over the years about following YOUR passion in business. I explain why passion is so important when building a business, and also why it isn’t the only thing you can rely on for success.

1. Money doesn’t provide satisfaction.

In my experience, more and more money can actually equate to more and more stress. Luckily, I love what I do, so it excites me. However, I have abandoned profitable businesses that did not align with my passion. If you think that… “once I get money, everything is going to be better”… you may be in for disappointment. Money does not provide satisfaction. Money is a tool, and that’s all I ever look at money as. Money, in my opinion, should never be an end goal, but a resource that helps you achieve that goal (such as in my case money is the tool that helps me achieve my goal of a specific lifestyle I want to live). The reality is you usually don’t need as much money as you think you need to achieve and if the way you are making money now is causing you to be stressed and miserable? Do something else (yes, YOU are in control of that choice)!

2. Believe in what you’re doing or selling.

If you don’t, your customers are going to notice. Sell something that you are actually proud to recommend to your grandmother, to your grandfather, to your best friend. If you’re embarrassed and don’t want people to tie you to the company of what you’re selling, or you would not even purchase what the product (or service) yourself, chances are it is going to be felt on the customer’s end as well. It’s close to impossible to provide a great customer experience when you don’t believe in what you are selling. If your customers do not feel the company behind their purchase is passionate about what they offer, they will eventually leave you and migrate to one that does.

3. You need to find out what your passion is.

What causes you to get louder when you talk? What things do you feel extremely comfortable talking about others with? What do you wake up in the morning excited about? For example, I think being healthy is mandatory for long term happiness in life, but I am not passionate about the topic. I don’t get up and get excited about it, the only reason I get up to exercise is because I force myself to so I stay reasonably healthy. What I do get excited about however, is creating, growing, and running my businesses, and teaching people how to do the same. I love reading business books, reading business articles and talking about business. Figure out what you love to read about and talk about, then figure out how to monetize that passion.

4. Commit to it.

Fear will destroy everything you build, even if you are passionate about your business. You’re going to face moments where you’ll NEED courage to push through. Passion isn’t always enough to push through… sometimes you need that extra bit of courage to keep doing what you love. The words I live by are, “Today, do the things you are afraid of, so tomorrow you can accomplish what others only dream of.” Just because you are passionate about something, does not mean fear will disappear. Passion simply helps fuel your courage, but at the end of the day, if you are not truly committed to your business (willing to have courage through the difficult times and do the things you are afraid of), no amount of passion will help.

5. If you’re not having fun, then you’re just working a job.

Just because you’re working from home, and you’re your own boss, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy. You could still hate what you’re doing, and it will feel like you’re working another J-O-B. In fact, sometimes it feels worse because if you are doing it alone, you have no one else to talk with and the negativity can start to take a toll on you both emotionally but also physically. I wake up in the morning excited to work because I absolutely love what I do and feel like I am making an actual positive difference in people’s lives, and that is in every business I am part of (real estate, investing, e-commerce, online business education).

6. Roadblocks are going to happen. Passion gets you through them.

If you don’t like what you’re doing and roadblocks come up (even small ones), what’s going to give you that energy to push through? Your business is going to have big hits happen, and they’re going to be uncomfortable and sometimes even stop you in your tracks. If you’re not doing something that you’re passionate about, and that you enjoy doing, when those roadblocks come, it’s going to be VERY difficult to want to push through. On the other hand, when you are passionate and excited about what you are doing, roadblocks seem to become dramatically smaller and ‘giving up’ is pretty much removed from your vocabulary.

7. Don’t compare yourself to others.

It’s your passion, not theirs. If you compare your passion to your peers? you may start thinking, “I’m not good enough. My passion isn’t as good as John’s. I really should be doing what he is doing.” Stop focusing on what everyone else is doing, and look within yourself. Your passion could be something you already do daily. A passion is personal to you and only you. Focus on yourself and your passion, and try not to compare yours to your peers and friends.

8. If you’re not planning, you’re failing.

Being passionate about something doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to be successful. You must have a plan of what you want to achieve because if you don’t have a plan, you’re planning to fail. Your business might be something you are very passionate about, but you still must treat it like a real business. Research how you can monetize your passion, create a plan, stick to your plan, and help your passion become a truly successful business (passion cannot do it alone).

Are you following your passion? Have you suffered trying to run a business for the wrong reasons? Have you ever experienced starting over to follow your passion? I would love to hear from you and your thoughts about this, so please comment below and let’s share our knowledge together.


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  • Ben Cummings Ph.D. says:

    I lost my father when I was about nine years old I was raised with my two brothers by a very strong woman. That was just at the beginning of World War II and my two older brothers went off to fight a war. In the years that followed I got a good education at the California Institute of technology. I served as an Air Force officer. I worked on a team that advised the President about defense matters. I was an assistant Prof. at UCLA. I spent most of the rest of my professional life working to help those who served in the military to live and fight safety.

    I am retired on 30% of what my salary was when I was active. What I’m passionate about is still those same guys who fought for our country. And in fact I know something that could help them if I could sell it. The keyword is sell! So I am here learning to sell.

    If you would like to know more about me, look at my
    blog: I have not worked on that lately but if you look at it it will give you a flavor of who I am.

    God bless us all

    • Jason Katzenback says:

      Hey Ben, I love it! Having a bigger purpose to why you want money is so incredibly powerful. That is a fantastic passion to follow through on that not only will give you so much fulfillment but is something that will actually help make this a better world for everyone.

  • Ali Azfar says:

    This article was just very natural. Well my vision and passion since my teenage years was to be an online entrepreneur. Which you and Matt have helped me achieve. The next part is to find my real product passion to which niche to be in. I am sure I will find that soon. There are too many things I like. But I agree. We should wake up happy and excited for our business. If we are not than we are not doing it right.

    • Jason Katzenback says:

      It took me a while to accept what my passion was. I kept wanting it to be something different (‘the grass is greener on the other side’ type thinking). What that did was cheated me and my customers out of being the best I could for them. Once I really understood what I loved to do, it helped me shut off the distractions and allowed me to laser focus in.

  • Dmytro Kubrak says:

    Thank you Jason for sharing this important lessons!

    I figured out for myself that I always have to study and improve my knowledge by learning from successful people like you!and it is really helpful to grow and pass roadblocks that every one of us is facing once in a while!


    • Jason Katzenback says:

      Thanks for comment Dymtro. Something that I feel I have always been good at is learning from my mistakes, and one of the earliest mistakes I made was not listening to those that have been through what I am wanting to go through. So often, we want to pave our own paths (which is great), but the question I have is why? If someone can share with you the lessons learned and it can prevent you from going through something painful, why would you not want to do that!

  • Char says:

    Hi Jason, your article was great! I came to eager and enthusiastic to learn all about this business simply because my whole life I’ve always felt I should be my own business person. After following the modules to seek out my product, I was stumped when it came time to chose? I wanted it to be something I was passionate about!! These days my passions are my spiritual walk, reading the bible, talking the bible, speaking about his Word, memorizing his Word…every morning…… How do you monetize that??? Needless to say I’m still stumped, but not giving up, I pray that I get this up and running before I retire from my government job in the next 10 years (btw, my goal is to leave the 9-5, soon) I never found a mastermind group, because I don’t know how? Are there other people out there, willing to help? Anyway, Thanks for your awesome article, it has really made me think about things, blessings to you. 🙂

  • Jim Bowe says:

    I have been self-employed for most of my life. I did run a company that I did not have passion for and I changed course. Now, I run two companies that are helping people live healthier lives. Joining Amazing and learning the online products business is another passion I have. When I was younger I was told how hard it was to be in the wholesale business….it was for bigger companies…overseas business? You can’t do that. I was held back and fear came in on those passions. Now, doing the ASM training and learning how it is done and getting a product from it is truly a new found passion for me. My goal is to help people. And if done to the best of my ability I will earn a great living from it. I see people seeking money over duty and that does not go as far as duty and conviction to a purpose you truly enjoy. Thanks for insight and tips. – Jim B.

  • Nico Jannasch says:

    I’m currently traveling in Asia, and I’m just hobbling along with my first small business. (Working VERY hard)

    It’s a challenge to follow your passion when the money is tight. When you’re just thinking about the day-to-day you can even forget the big aspirations at times and cloud your mind with thoughts of unpaid rent! Getting through a situation like that, however, helps clarify that yes, you’ve found your passion.

    When the testing time passes you’ll be able to follow that passion with more resources behind you, less stress, and confidence from knowing what you REALLY want to do.

  • Dyson says:

    I had this same right-versus-wrong mind-set when picking a college and a husband. But after querying friends and educators about my dilemma, I realized that each choice had benefits and drawbacks.

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