What Would You Choose? Passion vs. Purpose

These 2 words get tossed about so often I'm almost ready to retire them to the old & clichéd list.  They often get used interchangeably & I think that's a mistake.  So I'm resurrecting passion & purpose one more time to clarify.

"Passion: the feeling of excitement or enthusiasm you have for your work." Ex. I'm passionate about providing access to clean drinking water to communities in 3rd world countries.

"Purpose: the sense that you're contributing to others, that your work has a broader meaning." Ex. My work providing clean, safe drinking water gives me a sense of purpose knowing that I'm helping prevent disease & save lives.

In corporate America (the guinea pigs of the workforce) psychologists did a study, employees were grouped according to whether or not they were high or low on both purpose & passion.  Then they mapped employee performance results on top of them.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the high passion & high purpose group did the best.  Your work should feel meaningful AND you should be enthusiastic about it.

But if you had to choose which one led to better performance...which would you bet on??

a) high passion -> low purpose


b) high purpose -> low passion

If you picked B you're right.  Purpose trumps passion (by a lot) when it comes to job performance.  I wonder if the same is true for job satisfaction?  I have a feeling it is.  Because although excitement & enthusiasm might wane over time purpose (or meaningfulness) feels more enduring.

So, what if you're feeling a little low on passion these days?  How can you spice up your entrepreneurial life?

Good news, when you work for yourself this is limited only by your creativity.  What would it take to get excited again?  To do something new & fresh??

Make a love/hate list of all your responsibilities & either outsource what you hate or find a way to shift the focus so you're spending more time on what you love.

There is a gazillion (approximate number) of ways to get out of your comfort zone, stretch yourself & spice up your relationship with your biz.  If you can't think of anything hop into your favourite biz group & ask for suggestions.


What if your purpose is feeling a little lack-lustre though?

What if your work isn't feeling meaningful anymore?  Or what if you're not feeling like you're creating the impact that you crave?  Time to call it quits?

Actually, purpose or giving your work meaning can be cultivated.  And that's exactly what you should aim to do with all of your copywriting, make meaning.  Here are a couple of suggestions for reconnecting with your meaning...

1) Start a Love Notes File
Put in all the testimonials/compliments/nice things anyone has ever said about your work either on social media, blog posts, emails, messenger etc.  Just gather them all into one place (I use Evernote).  Re-read them regularly - make an appointment in your calendar if you need to & actually make a point of going in to read a few.

2) Connect to Your Why
Ask yourself why you started your business?  Why did you decide to do THIS thing of all the possibilities on the internet & IRL?  Keep asking why until you dig down to the biggest contribution you're making to your clients.

3) Reflect your Values in Your Brand
Remember your business is what you do.  Your brand is what you represent.  Use compelling storytelling to bring your values, your why, your purpose to life & keep it front & centre for you AND your clients.

Passion + Purpose is the best formula.
But when you cultivate purpose...everything else follows.


Jess DruryComment