To be or not to be Passionate about your work
To be or not to be Passionate about your work

James Caan recently posted a blog on LinkedIn with the heading: Pay or passion: which comes first?
It sparked more than 50 replies and comments ranging from a clever play with words “paysion” to “being passionate about your career is something unattainable if you are not wealthy, in other words, it is a luxury and not attainable to all.”

This article sparked my thoughts about my passions. My passion has always been freedom: freedom of time and freedom of thought. Being an entrepreneur and not having worked for a ‘boss’ in 20 years, I feel, is a by-product of my passion. My businesses have all been created around my personal passions instead of finding my passion through my work; I created my work around my passion.

My comment on James Caan’s blog was to choose and take responsibility of your choice of career/job. When my staff wanted to leave catering to fulfil their dreams, I encouraged them to leave my shop and pursue their dream job. I never wanted to hold onto to anyone who would be unhappy as my employee or be held back from his or her passion.

In the coffee shop industry there are a lot of students or staff ‘passing through’. This can be frustrating but my philosophy always was: “ Take the best of them while they are here”.
When your employees are happy they become fans of your company, this allows their passion to flow.

Should we employ passionate people or do we employ people with a passion for their role in your company?
My coffee shop sales soared when I employed a very passionate manager and barista. I noticed that when someone is passionate about something, in his case coffee, they have so much more knowledge on the subject. He became invaluable to my business, not only because he was passionate about coffee but his passion became my coffee shop and his achievements as a manager.

I urge employers to ask their interviewees about their passions and to explore their knowledge about their passions. Passion can be faked in an interview but this can be brought to light by exploring their knowledge about their particular passion.

Whenever I interviewed a barista, I always ask, “which coffee machines have you worked with?” Most baristas with a passion for making coffee will tell you straight away. Like asking a guitarist the make of his guitar and a make he would like to use or has used/played.
I ask myself whether passionate people feel passionate about different things throughout their life or whether we stick to a passion and it gets expressed in different roles in our lives?

In the Oxford dictionary passion is defined as: “ a strong and barely controllable emotion”. So how does one decide whether to choose money or an ‘emotion that is strong and barely controllable’???? But sadly so many people do!

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