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Mind Your Business: The Passion of Steve Jobs

Mind Your Business: The Passion of Steve Jobs

Yep, it's another Steve Jobs column. Another take on the innovation, the genius and the cultural impact of the late, great Steve Jobs. Only this time, it comes from someone doesn't really think much about technology.

Instead, what struck me most about Steve Jobs was the passion he had for what he did. More than any of his other accomplishments, his creations or his branding brilliance, the thing I admired most about him was that he loved what he did. His excitement and enthusiasm was often called charisma, charm and drive. Ultimately, though, he was really just a guy who found his niche and worked it for everything it was worth.

Finding a way to do what you love – even if that something is cutting grass or towing cars – is the secret to being great at what you do. It's also the shortest route to achieving that all too elusive state of work-life balance .

Sometimes, though, it's hard to figure out exactly what it is you love. It's even harder to figure out in what business you'll be able to do that work. Too often, someone who loves cooking finds out too late that running a restaurant involves mostly managing and accounting. People who love kids find out that teaching can be more about paperwork and parents than quality time with children.

The best way to be sure that your future career – as an employee or owner – is really what you're bargaining for is to get out there and find someone who does it. Ask questions. Hang around with them for a day. Maybe you could get a part time job in the business for a while. As glamorous as any business seems from the outside, a few days behind the counter might tell you otherwise.

You may also discover that what you love to do is manage or organize or design. Skills like that can transfer to many industries. That kind of discovery could seriously increase your opportunities.

It's also important not to confuse passion with desire. Desire is what you experience when you see a business or a job that seems glamorous or exciting or rewarding from the outside looking in, but for which you may not be well-suited. I, for example, think being a stewardess seems kind of cool, except when I remember that I hate to fly. I'd also like to own a bakery – but I don't want to get up at 3 o'clock every morning.

Passion is what you feel when you get excited about the actual tasks involved in a job or business (not the image what the job looks like from the outside).

Learning the difference between the two and being honest about what you love to do and what you just think you might love to do will go a long way toward helping you find your niche.

Once that's done, it's just a matter of some good luck and lots of hard work to put you on a path to success.

Jeanette Mulvey is the managing editor of BusinessNewsDaily. She has written about small business for more than 20 years and formerly owned her own e-commerce business. Her column, Mind Your Business, appears on Mondays only on BusinessNewsDaily. You can follow her on Twitter at @jeanettebnd or contact her via email at jmulvey@techmedianetwork.com

Jeanette Mulvey
Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.