Is Passion Enough?

Ask a successful woman the key to success and she’ll tell you it’s doing what you love. But is the persistent call to follow your heart overrated? Too many women business owners and execs follow their passion, only to find that no matter how much they love their work, it might not pay the bills.

“That ‘follow your dreams and you will be richly rewarded’ stuff can lead to very sad outcomes if people don’t realize that some basic economics have to fall into place for them to live on a business,” says Rita Gunther McGrath, associate professor at Columbia Business School. “All too often, people indulge without recognizing that unless the passion is shared by the buying public, it isn’t a business.”

Gunther McGrath and others urge women to get experience running a P&L, make sure the business model works, and even consider an EMBA.

What to do?

Jontus Media recommends reevaluating how you’re marketing your business, use data to see if you’re adding social value, and “don’t just trust your gut.”

Think about fulfillment vs. passion and you may end up redefining what “passion” means to you, says Carlos Castellon.

Illuminated Mind explains it this way: “No one cares how passionate you are about what you do. They want to know what’s in it for them.”

Bonus PINK Link: Check out our online exclusive, where top women explain how passion may be overrated.

Minute Mentor: Want your passion to make business sense, too? Joan Coonrod says going back to school may help.

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By Cynthia Good

“When work, commitment and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.” Nancy Coey

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