Passion is infectious across sales teams and to customers.
Result: more sales closed.
When Claude* came to see me, she believed that if she tried ‘hard’ enough and kept working till she dropped exhausted every night, then she ‘knew’ what passion was and was therefore ‘living’ it.
But when I asked her how this ‘passion’ of hers was showing up in her business results, she shyly confessed she was struggling at bringing new customers in. She even said she had been living from pay cheque to pay cheque lately. This told me how Claude had done what so many of us do, falsely equate passion with sheer will.
Through my talking with her, I found out Claude was considering skipping ship; she was considering moving to a competitor of her current employer. When asked why, she said she felt like she wasn’t growing as a person and she blamed her employer for failing to provide her with a work environment conducive to her personal and professional development.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you were stagnating?
Asked what she was doing to attract new clients, Claude shrugged and quickly mentioned she had put a couple of ‘visible’ ads in her city’s main newspaper with little success. She also added how she was counting on her employer to ‘step up’ and assign her more clients.
Can you imagine what it feels like to rely on others to ignite (y)our passion?
Claude was at her wits’ end. At home, she was often bickering with her teenage child because, as she said, she kept thinking of work and how she was going to support him as a single mother. At work, she had made a mistake on her client’s order and got reprimanded by her boss who told her how ‘lucky’ she was to work for them.
Afraid to lose her job, Claude told me this is why she kept trying harder, willing herself to get through each work day. From constantly falsely equating passion to sheer will, Claude had become emotionally exhausted. Can you relate?
In my professional opinion, Claude needed to find her passion, so I asked…
In a perfect world, what would you rather be doing right now?
Claude’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. She answered, ‘Anything? I can dream big?’ Like so many others, she was waiting for some kind of permission to go ‘there’. Encouraging her to share her ‘wildest’ dream with me, she told me how she had seen a gap in her industry for at least ten years and how there were actually very few people with the proper work experience to fill this gap. Filling this gap was her big dream, her goal, her aspiration, for she said, ‘being able to do this is my everything!’
When I asked her why she had not filled this gap (her idea was genius, to me), she regurgitated a litany of excuses. She said she would need investing in a specific certification and she had ‘zero’ money. She said she would need to travel throughout Canada and USA to build expert recognition level and who would take care of her teenager during her absences, etc.
Let me ask you…
Why do we become afraid of passion?
Why do we pursue playing small over igniting passion?
I believe the answer is, because we think it will be better.
Is it though? How was Claude’s constant hiding behind her excuses ever going to advance her dream of becoming the expert who closed the gap in her industry?
Clearly, pursuing playing small does Not work for passion.
With this in mind…
How do things become better?
I believe, things become better when we focus on
becoming real with self. ‘Where am I playing small in life?’
becoming intentional. ‘What can I do to ignite my passion in the areas I am playing small right now?’
becoming accountable. ‘How do I ensure I am held accountable for showing up in all areas of my life?’
I could certainly relate to Claude. As I started my business years ago, I played small, I played safe. I allowed my fears to prevent me from showing up. My life changed when I learned to become real with self, intentional, and accountable.
Here are five keys to assist you who may suffer from lack of passion in business:
Be genuinely curious. Be open to explore new avenues. My client Claude researched how to get her accreditation fast and asked for a grant from her employer who readily agreed to split the cost, saying to her, ‘It’s about time!’
Challenge the status quo. Be open minded. My client Claude started doing live stream videos of her work and consequently has become well-known as an expert in her field. She now does tutoring videos for beginners, intermediates, and advanced.
Agree to fail. Have a compassionate heart. When I suggested the live stream videos to her, my client Claude said ‘I’m no expert, what if I f**k up?’ I picked up my phone and asked her to start each video with what it is that makes her passionate about what she does. Her face softened and she shared a story of how she had suffered as a child for not having had the kind of service she is now providing to others.
Keep improving. Keep learning and applying knowledge. Passion is a flowing feeling. Passion is invited in the heart, Not the mind. This is why equating passion with sheer will always fails. A mind alone can never ignite the flowing feeling of passion.
Have an accountability system/person in place. Though many of us say we ‘know’ we need to ignite our passion and feel genuinely fulfilled in the process, we become more conscious of our words and actions when another person holds us accountable for what we do or refuse to do.
Now imagine somebody has just read these tips…
What do you believe will be their greatest challenge?
Before she came to see me, Claude had all the best intentions in the world, BUT as soon as she became afraid of her passion, she immediately reverted to the familiarity of excuses to keep playing small. Her greatest challenge was, she lacked a solid accountability system that would keep nudging her forward.
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who holds her clients highly accountable so they get to ignite their passion and, like Claude, get to make sure their clients never get to have a bad experience with their products (the way she had suffered as a child).
For coaching inquiries, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,