Passion, Purpose and Profit

by James Conaway

love-your-workPassion, purpose and profit should be considered inextricably linked, like milk and cookies, peanut butter and jelly, or yin and yang! There is usually a catalytic explosion when these three factors meet. Consider some of the most successful people that you know. Does it ever seem like they are working? Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Granted, work is still work, but if you actually do what you love, it will be that much easier to focus on it everyday!

As young boys tend to do, I admired my father and wanted to be like him. I loved spending time with him, and one of our favorite pastimes was working on puzzles of all shapes and sizes. I felt a deep connection with my father during these times and will forever cherish these memories.

Years later, tragedy struck. My father suffered a heart attack, which left him with a traumatic brain injury, unable to direct his affairs. As a result, my family lost three businesses, a rental property, the family home, and almost all of their wealth. It is impossible to describe the frustration I felt because I was unable to do anything to help. This galvanized my resolve to solve real-world puzzles by helping people.

I found my passion and my purpose, and then built a business around these two pillars to power my pursuit to profit. How do you discover your purpose and passion, then intermingle these two aspects to create a profit? Everyone must find their own formula in creating a successful path out of these three factors, but here are three tips that might help you on this journey:

Define Your Passions. Uncovering your passions is easier said then done. Ask yourself the question “What drives me?” Is there a goal you want to achieve? Most of us have many different passions and interests. How can you possibly know which passion to follow? I suggest getting together with a spouse, or a friend who knows you very well. Make a list of your top passions, and then drill down until you have 10. Describe each passion to your friend in vivid detail, and it will be their job to identify when you light up the most.

Decide Your Purpose. Your purpose can be most easily described as the “how” of your passion. Once you have decided on your core passions, start to explore the “how”. Start looking for the connection points between your passion and your business, or the business you would like to pursue. Are you impacting the world and making a difference? Imagine if you were a mattress salesperson. Would you simply be selling a mattress, or would you be selling a good night’s sleep? Would you be selling a mattress, or would you be selling better health? The more you align your passions and your purpose, the less work you will find you have to do, and the more results will be available to you! In what ways will your business or your job now line up with your passions?

Discover Your Profit. Once your passions and your purpose are aligned, it will be much easier for the profit to follow. The profit is not a means to an end, but rather a tool to enhance your passion and your purpose. When you make money and are in control of it, you will be deciding what impact it has in the world. Too many people let money control them, but your “profit” can become a tool in assisting you to measure your impact.

Let’s say you have turned your passion and purpose into a business. How can you quantify these factors into a profit? I like to refer to the 40/40 Rule ©. For example, let’s assume that your goal is to make $250,000 a year. Divide $250,000 by the number of weeks you want to spend working on your business, in this case 40. The second 40 is the number of hours you want to work per week. In order to earn $250,000 a year, divide $250,000 by 40, which equals $6,250. Then divide that by 40 again, which equals $156.25. In order to achieve your goal, you will need to make $156.25 per hour. This is much more of a tangible number then just hoping you make a profit. Creating a metric system for your business helps your track how much you are making on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

My wife and I discussed our passions and our purpose with each other and our coaches, and in 1996, we were able to open Conaway & Conaway, a wealth strategy firm! We have been able to do what we love, and make a profit! As a direct impact of our work, we have raised over $25 million through Planning Giving for various charities. Now can you see the catalytic impact of combing passion, purpose and profit?

The challenge for you then, is to find the following:

– Define your passions

– Decide your purpose

– Discover your profit

Work all these elements together with your wealth plan, and hopefully you will discover your work to be easier, less stressful, and ultimately more impactful!

By James Conaway