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Emma Sue Prince

Unimenta

Director

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On passion and perseverance

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http://blog.unimenta.com/wp-content/uploads/Fotolia_41650498_XS.jpgLast week I gave a talk at a women’s business networking event, partly to promote The Advantage and mainly to encourage women to set up their own businesses and create work that fits in with their lifestyles and families. Passion and perseverance were key elements I wanted to highlight as crucial for anyone doing their own thing.

Why passion? It’s a pretty strong, emotive word. In fact, passion come from the Latin verb pat-i meaning “to suffer” – an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. Perhaps not something you would immediately associate with work. Typically, entrepreneurs are often told to “follow your dream”, “do the work you love” implying that if you do, the money will follow. Being passionate about what you do is important and will help sustain you when times are tough. However, to say that passion is the most important ingredient to fulfilling work would be misleading. Sometimes you find passion by pursuing meaning. Sometimes you create fulfillment when you find a community and a shared purpose. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing your limiting beliefs about work. Often, it’s about having the right working environment that works for you.

The only way to make this happen is to take responsibility for designing your ideal work. The perfect business or job will not fall out of the sky. You will probably have to create it. Passion needs to sit right alongside planning, fulfilling a real need in the market and constantly trying out new approaches, taking new risks and understanding the financials of what you do. And the same probably applies for those who are wanting to create work-life balance.

So this is where perseverance comes in. Many people think that perseverance means to never give up, no matter what. But, actually, it’s a lot more than that – it’s about understanding that if a certain approach is not working, you need to change what you are doing. And you need to figure this out pretty quickly and not just keep going blindly, telling yourself you will never give up! These days, we have to be a lot better at recognizing if something isn’t working and then changing that or trying something different until it does work. The more likely scenario, though, is that we do give up quite easily and often at the first hurdle or difficulty instead to assessing the situation realistically and non-emotionally. Either that, or we doggedly persist in a kind of blind, determined way investing more and more energy and time into an action or plan that isn’t working.

We live in hugely dynamic and fast-changing times. In many ways, the time has never been a better one to “do your own thing”, “follow your passion” – job security is gone, most work is performance-based and short-term. Women returning to work after maternity leave or taking time out to have a family find themselves in a very different work environment – one where they need to up their skills fast and stuff full time hours into a “part-time” role. And one that doesn’t necessarily value or acknowledge work-life balance either, in itself a cliche now.

Passion and perseverance – yes, you do need these to create the kind of life you want. In many ways they’re top of the list of a longer one which recognizes the need for hard business skills, critical thinking, resilience and an openness to taking risks.

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Author Profile Picture
Emma Sue Prince

Director

Read more from Emma Sue Prince
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