What excites you? What keeps you awake at night? What do you spend a lot of your time doing? What do like to find out about, experiment with and do?

Passion is the driving force of your success. It helps to outline Your Vision and guides you towards that success. Passion is also the *perfect* antidote to procrastination.

Its really important you have a business that excites you, because when the doing gets tough (and it will), things go wrong and it becomes all-too tempting to pack up shop and quit - passion is the fire that keeps you going to fulfill your vision.

Could you make this guide better? Add your teen business advice here

Gary Vaynerchuk talks here about passion (colourfully sometimes...), how it shapes his life and decisions, and how it should influence you too.

Why is Passion So Effective?

Dan Pink wrote a book called "Drive" about the surprising science of motivation. Here he pins down three distinctive characteristics of highly-motivated people, and all of them stem from passion.

Money ≠ Passion

Its a myth. Money is not exciting. What’s exciting is having spent money on cool stuff and having fun with that. As Tim Ferris points out in 4-Hour Work Week, we don’t want to be millionaires - we want to live like millionaires.

Sure, we need to be paid enough to make work worthwhile, but more money does NOT equal more passion. The carrot-and-stick idea goes straight out the window when its your own spare time, your own meager amounts of money and your own risk.

In 4-Hour Work Week, there's a fantastic story of a Mexican fisherman and an American businessman arguing about more money.

The Mexican is already in his paradise - and money can't buy more of that...!

Martin Luther King never said "I want money".
He said "I have a dream"

On the topic of money, don’t settle for “any” profitable business. Just because you can make a couple of penny’s off each sale does not make it a worthwhile venture. ‘Real money’ will let you buy awesome gadgets, a car and put you through University. That’s a real goal.

Its rewarding yes, but it won’t make you get off your backside, turn off the TV and go and make something remarkable. Its more of a nice little bi-product. Don’t think of “money” as your primary motivation, or even secondary. Its just not fulfilling day to day. Promise!

Read Paul Grahams on How to Lose Time and Money and How to Make Wealth

What the hell is passion?

Passion is not a question of what you do. “I swim every day.” “I sell used TVs on ebay.” “I spend 5 hours practising singing every single day.”

So what?

The real question we want to know is why. What you’re passionate about is the driving force behind Your Vision, how you try to be successful, and what you do to get there. You need to watch this talk to understand how this becomes so, so important:

So What’s My ‘Passion’?

Identifying your passion, why you are what you are, will empower you to go and achieve the goals you’ve mapped out.

"What are the things you’d do for free?”

Take a look at this awesome guide on Zen Habits: The Short but Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion. Its like a checklist - a workbook even - to guide you through figuring out what really makes you tick. Use it. Do the exercises.

Before You Move On, Identify Your Passion

(Or passions) Because without your passion at the forefront of your business, you’re going to forever lack the real motivation, the real drive that you need to make your dreams come true. Without your passion, you’ll never be truly successful.

Simon Sinek and Sunny Bates both talk again about finding your passion and what to do with it.

Love the Process, Or Else...

Be careful though... being passionate about something isn't enough on its own. Love selling cakes, but can't cooking and moving stock around? You're destined for failure; you've got to love the process too.

Awesome Links and Further Reading

  1. TED Talks: Ben Zander on Music and Passion [VIDEO]
    Ben Zander is the director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, a renowned speaker on leadership and "creating possiblities" in other people. Here, he talks about music and passion at TED.

  2. Greatness Starts and Ends with Passion Simon Sinek, the same guy from the 'How Great Leaders Inspire Action' talk, discusses how passion is kind of like the "bookends" to greatness. It includes a video as well.

  3. Expertise and Passion
    Seth Godin explores the incredibly powerful combination that comes from expertise and passion. "Write what you know, Write what you love."

  4. Don't Follow Your Passion
    Wise words of warning here; watch out about only starting a business for passion. Be careful of turning what you love into a "job" - you'll kill it.

  5. TEDx Talk: Restoring the Human in Humanity [VIDEO]
    Remember, passion is a human thing. And passion will spread like wildfire if you can infect other people with your passion. Small startups and internal cultures are perfect for this kind of stuff. But you've got to understand the "human factor" in it - Simon Sinek explains...

  6. Maxing out Your Triangle
    A really smart look at why people do start new projects; to learn something new, to make money and because they love doing it. Here's a really smart way to think about what you're doing with your time.

Go to the Next Chapter: Finding and Organizing Resources

With no tools, training and startup money, your big dreams are going nowhere. Here, you'll learn how to bring everything all together to make your business happen.

Teen Business Strategy Guide | Previous: Personal Strengths | Next: Resources

Return from Passion to Your Teen Business

Go to the Next Chapter

  1. Your Vision
    Why dreaming big can have such a huge impact on your business, but how "getting real" is what will make your dream a reality.

  2. Personal Strengths
    How and why to build a business based on your personal strengths, why you should embrace your limitations and how to maximize your talents.

  3. Passion
    Passion is that unusual force that means you wake up in the morning; here, you'll learn why money doesn't equal passion, how to find your passion and what to do with it.

  4. Resources
    How to get all the people, the money, the kit and the training you need to make your business actually happen. Without this, you'll be forever frustrated.

  5. Business Mentors
    Having experienced experts guiding you through this whole "business" landscape is the single fastest-accelerator for your teen business. Discover the secrets to successful networking here.

  6. Masters of Marketing
    Marketing is the single most misunderstood part of everyday business. Here, get introduced to the Masters of Marketing who will really teach you how to win customers.

  7. Make It Happen!

    Its great having a strategy to this elaborate business of yours, but its another thing to actually make it happen. This is your guide to getting things done

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The ideas in this guide were inspired by lots of different books and videos, but none more so than Rework. Written by the guys at 37signals

Here's a quick summary by Jason Fried of what's in the book

It was also heavily influenced by Cameron Herold's TEDxTalk on Raising Kids to Be Entrepreneurs