Why Passion Is Worthless Unless It Translates Into THIS…

Follow your passion?

Do what you love?

Sound familiar?  It should.  It’s guru speak and the clones love it.   While this kind of “feel good” stuff sells books, the market is indifferent.

Next time your rent or mortgage is due, try paying it with PASSION.

Passion doesn’t pay the bills!

For PASSION to work, it has to translate into money. To make the translation, you need to do the one thing that most people ignore.


PS: The interview I did which this vid mentions is TheSurvivalPodcast.com – check it out, great site!


  • Anonymous

    One of my (very few) complaints about your book, and your overall philosophy, is your indifference to passion. With this video, you at least explained your view better, that passion is important for motivation.

    I think the key that you are missing, is that with passion, you can better understand what your market wants and isn’t getting, and can thus provide it. If 50 people in a town of 100 are baking bread, but you too want to bake bread, then yes – the town does not need more people baking bread. But if you are truly passionate about it, then you can find a new way to bake bread (inventing some new dish), or a new way to present it (like starbucks did with coffee), or a new delivery mechanism (like pizza hut did with pizza), or any other multitude of factors.

    Ultimately, you have to find the cross-section of your passion, your abilities, and what the market wants. You can not follow just one of of the three. It has to be a combination of all of them.

    If you don’t have passion, you will get burnt out and give up. If you don’t have the ability, someone else will do it better. If the market doesn’t want what you have you will not make any money.

    • EXACTLY.  That passion has to focused into something the market wants.  And, passion can help motivate one to do a better job, and set themselves apart from the rest.  In my book I DO SAY that “passion” is the motivational fire for the Fastlane.

    • “If you don’t have passion, you will get burnt out and give up.”

      How do you know that?

  • I don’t think having passion about something is necessarily a requirement to enter that business. Often people start businesses thinking they get to do what they love, but soon find out the business requires skills they don’t have or details that they are not prepared to get involved with. Someone may be interested in shooting amateur videos with their Flip cameras but to build a lucrative video production business takes so much more than pressing the record button. I think people also tend to mistake something they have a passing interest in with something they’re passionate about. The world is filled with people who open up a restaurant because they like cooking but have to close up because the restaurant is not profitable. They dive into a business based only on a whim or what they think makes them happy. You can substitute the analogy for quilting, photography or just about any hobby or interest and you’ll see examples everywhere. On the flip side, you don’t need to be passionate about something to make good money with it. You can be passionate about skydiving and make a successful living as anything other than a skydiver. Your life is not a waste just because you don’t depend on your passion as a livelihood. I think MJ’s message is right on.

    • Thanks Lily!  This is why I believe “passion” is best when it is generalized.  Passion about freedom, passion about helping, passion about making money, passion about inventing, passion about something … because then your actions are more about the market, than yourself.

  • Radzw

    Exactly, and well said.  We’ve been sold a fairy tail of passion turning into wealth.  If success is when preparation meets opportunity, then wealth creation is when when passion meets market needs.  One without the other will not create wealth.  Just like in the world of inventions, if you invent the perfect product for people with red hair and one blue eye one green eye, you’ll never make it because the market for your product is too small, no matter how passionate you are about your product.  Listen to MJ, you’re not going to be more passionate about many things greater than your free time, your health, and your family.

    • Health, freedom, and family — those are things to be passionate about!

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  • Tomoko

    Hey MJ, I love a good paradigm shift and you have delivered. Heard about you from Jack. I didn’t hear the initial interview but when he recapped I thought “this MJ is a clown” (or something to that effect.) So of course I looked at your site and thought “the name is perfect for late nite television” So I download your book sample, listened to your argument on passion as a biz model and I must say I’m intrigued.

  • Dp2522

    Yes, you need passion. If you want to be a great photographer or carpenter or fashion designer or whatever else for that matter. But passion does earn you money directly. Passion keeps you going to be good or great at what you do. It’s cleverness and research that will monetize interests into money. It’s the skill or innovation or insight that creates a business that can generate income. As an example of mine: A lot of aspiring filmmaker believe they can scrape together a few thousand dollars and create a short film that will be brilliant enough to win at a film festivals and they will get noticed and hit it big; or their feature length film will be so great someone will get it projected in theaters. That’s nonsense. A smarter thing to do would be save and invest $10,000 in to creating a film that is marketable. You can go to distributors and ask them what genre film have sold the most for them, many sell overseas for $30k or more from a $10k budget. Larger budget films sell for a ton more. You can create a site to hype up your film and draw traffic by promoting a trailer on you tube. Sell a DVD version on your site and add tons of behind the scenes footage on how the film was made for so cheap. You can create training material on DVDs or eBooks for amateur film makers and have products to sell that can make you money 24/7 and around the world. I have seen this done and I even bought their DVD. Those guys made a killing. I’m sure they put a lot of passion  into their film making; but it’s a going thing they found ways of making money from it.

  • Felicity

    I understand your advice that passion is worthless and I agree when it is used on grassroots type business with no plans for world domination but I am going to follow a passion. In fact, it got to a point where I have changed career a few times to follow the money and I have had my revelation about how to use a lot of what I have learned from each area. When I studied law I grew particularly attracted to one area that intersected with all my past careers. I now want to put it all together. It is a big plan as I am not young and don’t want to start at the bottom of anything anymore. I have told a few people so far, the ones that I know can join me in the everyday running. I have my first investor and I am so excited. Being able to put all the things together that have interested me through my life, film, publishing, IT, law, now feels like it all had a meaning.

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  • Violina

    It makes perfect sense. And there’s another point waiting to be made. One can be passionate about, say, teaching and earn as little as teachers do all around the globe, each month for 40 years.  Many people kind of give up, too tired, too underpaid… even if they keep working, the thrill is not there anymore, so they surredner on the inside while their empty shell still goes to work to provide for the family. That’s why I quit, started a small business in other field, but essentially I love teaching and do it occasionally.  So, what impressed me most here is that this man, who is obviously a great  teacher, was smart enough to start his teaching carreer now when he has made a fortune somewhere else. This is an excellent way to teach without worries. And this is probably the only way to make decent money teaching. Keep up the good work, I’ll enroll in this Academy.
    Hi from the Balkans    

  • Anonymous

    totally floored by your book…writing this from Krysgstan (of all places)..to say that I will be following this site for years to come is an understatement..thanks for what you do MJ. Hope to correspond with you sometime.

  • Chris Johnson

    Passion has to lead someone to create value or provide value to the marketplace. Russell Simmons is passionate about the cultutre of hip-hop, but he had to create value in order to get people to purchase his books, Phat Farm gear and other products. Wu-Tang Clan said that “cash rules everything around me”. The marketplace is NO different.