Find success and passion comes easy

‘Follow your passion’ is bad career advice. Passion does not come from the work we do, it comes from the result. This can be hard to grasp for people who are starting their careers. In my career, passion is fueled by doing something right, getting recognition and accomplishing goals. Passion is fueled by success and the purpose of a career is to create income. So what has a better chance of creating income? Passion or success?

I read an article recently that fundamentally changed the way I think about passion in my career. Neil Perken wrote a blog titled “Is ‘Follow Your Passion’ Bad Career Advice?” which delves into the relationship between success and passion.

Just before reading this, I was at SMX East 2012, an event that recharged my passion for my career in search marketing. I was never passionate about SEM to start with. I fell into this career and a lot of people at SMX did as well. When I first started my career SEM seriously looked dull from the outside. My passion out of college was creative design; a distant cry from the highly analytical search marketing field.

However, I have found success within search marketing roles and I can say that those successes fueled my passion. My clients noticed when traffic and revenue increased and I was recognized for it. The recognition for a job well done is fuel. Its was that simple. We have to realize the essence of our passion and focus on ways to fuel it. You need to celebrate the small wins and big wins alike.

The essence of my passion is success. For some people its hard to maintain passion about the trivial things or the work you do. Could you imagine if my passion was creating mass back-links and spinning content (an outdated SEO tactic)? What would I be doing post Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates that wiped that tactic off the shelf? ┬áThe tactics in this industry changed but my passion remained over time. I found success and I wanted more so I adapted to changes to allow for it.

If I was going to give career advice to someone I would say this:

Find success and passion will come easy.

I believe passion in a career is the result of success. I also believe that ‘Follow your passion’ as career advice can be misleading. The purpose of a career is to create income. If your work does not create value or solve business problems then your career will not flourish. This is a dead simple principle for entrepreneurs and corporate climbers alike. Its very easy to be passionate about success. Find it and passion will fire up fast.