Confession time: a couple weeks ago, I made a mistake.
And not a little “oopsies”, but the big kind. The kind that cost me a client that I really admired.
What was that mistake?
For one moment, one article, one client… I lost my passion. And it’s honestly taken me this long to forgive myself.
For about two years of my life I used to work as a barista and baker at – to this day – the most amazing coffee shop I have ever walked into. I used to love it: the energy, the people, the mix of paces, the beautiful smell of coffee…
But I recognized, as I worked behind the counter or amongst the ovens, that I was on the wrong side of things.
Every day I walked into that café for work, I would look out at the people on their laptops – sipping coffee, pursuing their passions on their own time and schedule – and I would promise myself that would be me one day.
That one day I would walk into a café, order my favorite cup of liquid happiness, and sit down to do what I loved for clients across the globe.
On my lunch breaks, I would spend every second obsessively researching freelancing or building up the bare bones of a blog. On my off days, I would pour through trainings, instructional posts, and dream boards.
I craved it – that freedom, that sense of purpose, that financial return for my deep love of writing. Some days it was all I could do to not jump the counter, grab my laptop, and make a beeline for the nearest window seat.
My writing was my passion, in the purest sense. But more than that, I wished to write for others. Not just to be read, but to actually make a difference and help people.
Eventually, I was given the intellectual tools and built up enough of a platform to realize that dream of mine, and oh, do I love it!
To have my own business helping people find and portray their talents to others is such a rewarding field, sometimes its all I can do to not scare clients off by being overly excited.
But, like everything in life, there’s a season for everything. And, gosh dang it! Being your own boss can be hard sometimes.
If I’m not careful, every now and then stagnation will arise. Motivation will drop. I’ll procrastinate. Lose focus on what I really do.
Every now and then, I’ll lose focus on my passion…
Well, I’m here to tell you that nothing is more deadly to a business than that.
Passion is the beating heart at the center of every successful business. Every service, every claim, every blog post, every client testimonial, every skill is dead without passion behind it.
And if a business lacks life, it’s useless as a whole.
A couple weeks ago, I made the mistake of losing my passion. I went through the motions, I wrote what was asked, I sent it through on-time and error free… but it lacked heart. I lacked heart. And as a result, my client politely declined the article and ended our contract.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Publicly declaring your failure as a business owner, are you an idiot?!
Maybe. But, to be honest, I don’t really care.
I’m glad I made that mistake, and I’m so thankful to that client for so kindly slapping me in the face as she did.
It woke me up to the deadly disease seeping unnoticed into my precious brain child, and since then I have been able to rededicate myself to my business and clients like never before – with, I might add, some pretty exciting plans for the future.
I continue to see this disease everywhere in businesses today, and it’s terrifying to watch owners be clueless as to why their business is suddenly failing.
If you love what you do – truly, sincerely love it – if you feel a deep sense of fulfillment from serving others through your work… hang on to that. Encourage it. Exercise it. Put up reminders and practice daily habits of mindfulness towards that passion.
Share it with others. Get excited over it. And never be afraid to keep improving or fix the problem when you see one.
There are going to be days when you just aren’t feeling it. Lord knows I have my fair share of those…
But what we should never, ever do is become complacent with giving half of ourselves – especially to something and someone we claim to care about.
So, find your passion, reader. Take a moment to reclaim that excitement you first felt when you opened your business doors to the wide world. And if you can’t? Don’t be afraid to drop everything, and run after that which you love.