Author Khalifa Dankadai

The last time I was on this platform I wrote about the best way (at least according to me) to get a business idea for wanna-be entrepreneurs. Now, for those that have gotten the business ideas (especially the ones that got their ideas using the technique I recommended in my previous article - which is by finding your passion); I also strongly recommend that you read this short article on turning your passion into a profession.

The English word passion originated from a Latin word "passio" which means suffering. Little wonder why Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam maintained that "a dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep" thus your dream is your passion

Your passion is anything that:

  1. You can't stop thinking about
  2. Your heart is unconditionally attached to
  3. Doesn't feel like work while you're doing it
  4. Time flies while you're at it
  5. You don't feel like you lose when you invest in it
  6. Your conscience disturbs you when you're not doing it or even when you're not doing it right
  7. Etc

We’re often told that if we pursue our passion and do what we love as a career, we will  — to quote Confucius — never have to work a day in our life. And let’s not forget Oprah who popularized the phrase: “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

In theory, pursuing your passion as a career should be easy, effortless and create a monetary nirvana where income flows and happiness prevails. Reality, however, demonstrates that few who follow such advice will ever reach their desired destination.

Most times chasing passion turns sour:

It seems like a dirty trick. We’re encouraged to chase the carrot and before we know it, we’re miles down the rabbit hole with nothing to show for our efforts but mountains of debt that may take decades to repay. Consider the countless examples of those who quit their day jobs to pursue passion-related opportunities (makeup & fashion, anyone?) only to end up emotionally, spiritually, and financially drained.

But despite all the grim realities mentioned above, creating a flourishing existence that provides a strong sense of fulfillment, contribution and monetary reward is absolutely possible. To increase the odds of this happening, keep the following in mind:

1. Recognize that activities you enjoy often have nothing to do with how you’re naturally wired to excel: Frequently, people confuse what they’re passionate about with the true gifts they’ve been given.

For example, I love to sing (especially in the car… when I’m alone) and when I do, I’m passionate about it. When my favorite song of the moment plays on the radio, I’ll sing along at the top of my lungs.

Although I enjoy the sound of my voice, if the car window is open and others unwillingly end up with a front row seat to my performance, the look I get makes it clear they could live without the noise pollution I’m creating. For me, a successful singing career is highly unlikely unless there’s a sudden demand for the wistful lullabies of Tiny Tim (lol)

2. Understand that having passion is not enough: There is a monumental difference between enjoying a particular activity and being able to turn it into a thriving enterprise or career.

For example, perhaps you love gardening. Every year, your tomatoes are the talk of the town. They taste incredible, they’re perfect in color and all you have to do to grow vine after vine of your prized delicacies is sprinkle a bit of magic into the soil, add water, and voila… perfection is realized.

But are you really going to buy a large parcel of land and invest the time, energy and resources required to build a full-flung tomato farm that provides significant income??? Odds are, the answer is no.

Hiring, managing, and firing employees; sourcing and operating machinery; negotiating terms; buying products and raw materials; setting up distribution; marketing your little red delights and attaining profitability is a much different language game

Few have the knowledge and ability needed to get to that level… and, far fewer have the desire to do so.

3. Identify the three crucial pieces missing from life’s most important equation: The notion that the secret of life can be found by identifying one’s passion has been perpetuated far too long. Most people are left with more questions than answers after identifying what they love to do because three crucial elements are absent from the conversation. It’s the combination of these three elements that comprise what I call your “WHAT.”

The first missing piece is identifying your gifts. They have chosen you; they are not what you have chosen.

The second missing piece is identifying the vehicle you will use to share your gifts with the world. For example, if your gift is healing, the vehicle you might choose to share it could be body massage. If communication is your gift, your vehicle might be writing or speaking or both

The third, and perhaps most important, missing piece is identifying the people you are most compelled to serve. Identifying your gifts and the vehicle to share your gifts is meaningless unless you know your target audience.

Reflect on your life experiences, attributes, beliefs and interests to begin your exploration of who these people are. The more you are able to focus your efforts, the easier it will be for you to have massive impact.

Put these elements together and you’ll have the necessary foundation to affect not only those who share this lifetime with you, but also those of lifetimes to come. In the end, you're the solution to someone else’s problem. They’re waiting for you now.

By next week, we shall discuss more on the practical steps we need to take in course of turning our passion into a profession.


  • Abdulhalim Sannusi
    Sat 12th Mar, 2016

    A very professional write-up. Enjoyed reading it. Looking forward to more interesting write-ups

  • umar ayesha laraba
    Sat 12th Mar, 2016

    its very professional, and enlighten..thank u so much ..keep it up.

  • Sufyan Abdul Kauru
    Sun 13th Mar, 2016

    Nice piece, it indeed a great write up for our talented youth who misused what they have passions for.

  • Mubarak Bala
    Sun 13th Mar, 2016

    Wow! An eye opener to beginners at enterpreneurship. I'd like to follow and learn how to make money work for me. Those things hardly last. Good one Malam. More grease to your elbows. On-On!


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