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Passion

I know many people working in jobs that make them heaps of money who aren’t happy, but I don’t know anyone who works around their passion every day who isn’t loving life. As I said earlier, I could take some shortcuts to make more money and thus shorten the time it takes for me to meet my goal of buying the Jets—but I don’t, because those things wouldn’t make me happy. I’d rather wait and get there on my own terms. We’re on this earth for only a short time, and the bulk of our adult days are spent at work. It’s worth taking the steps necessary to make sure those hours are as rewarding, productive, and enjoyable as possible.

Every one of the people interviewed for this book agreed that there’s no point in trying to be an entrepreneur without passion. Your business can’t be just a job; it has to be a calling. Andy Frisella, founder of nutrition and fitness brands Supplement Superstores and 1st Phorm, explained it best:

You’re going to go through a time where you’re not going to make any money. It’s not going to be a week, it’s not going to be a month, it’s not going to be one year. It’s going to be years. And during that time, if you don’t love what you do, it’s going to be very hard to stick it out. That is something that people don’t understand when they hear, “Follow your passion.” They hear rainbows, unicorns, bullshit. But the truth of it is that it’s important, because if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re going to be that much more likely to quit when shit’s hard.

When you’re passionate about what you’re offering the world, whether it’s a sales training method or vintage toys, the quality of both your product and your content will more likely be what it needs to be to get noticed, valued, and talked about. Interestingly, many of the people we interviewed pointed out that you don’t even have to be passionate about the product or service you’re offering. What’s imperative is that you are passionate about giving. That’s what Shaun “Shonduras” McBride discovered. Before developing his massively successful personal brand on Snapchat, he sold jewelry online. The guy was a skater and snowboarder; he had little interest in jewelry per se. But after reading Crush It! in college, he decided to sell jewelry to test the book’s principles and confirm what his instincts told him were true: that engaging with customers and involving them in the development of his brand would pay dividends no matter what he sold. As you’ll see later in this book, he was right.

Finally, most entrepreneurs will tell you that passion is protective, buoying you when you threaten to become overwhelmed by the stress and frustration that is a natural by-product of entrepreneurialism. Passion is your backup generator when all your other energy sources start to sputter. And passion keeps you happy. When you love what you do, it makes every choice easier. When you decide to keep working the nine-to-five you hate because you need the health benefits until your business takes off, when you agree to work for less money than you want because the experience will pay off later, when you eat shit—passion makes it all go down easier.

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