Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey & Warren Buffet. What Do They Have In Common?

If I mention Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey or Warren Buffet, the word ‘success’ would probably pop up in your mind immediately.

Though these individuals are different in gender, backgrounds and specialisations, they are extremely successful in their own field. Did you know they have something else in common?


A while ago, a job interviewee asked me if passion = success? I knew in my heart the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’ since it was passion that has directed and fuelled me to where I am today! However, since I have yet to reach my aspired level of success, I was intrigued to see if there are more ‘evidences’ of this equation.

And these are what I found…

When Jordan was turning 50, he had an interview with Ahmad Rashad. At the end of the interview, he was asked to complete this sentence, “The greatest thing about the game of basketball is____”, and to which, he answered:

“The greatest thing about the game of basketball to me is the passion and the love I have for it. Because when you have a love for anything, you’ll go to the extreme to maintain that level. That’s what love does, it drives you to do everything to maintain that connection. If I didn’t have that love for the game of basketball, all the things that I just penned out to you in my career would have never been achieved by me. But it’s true my love for the game that kept me pushing to be the best basketball player that I could be. To be the best at anything, you got to have a certain love for that to make you overcome all the obstacles that will be thrown in your way. That’s how the game of basketball have been for me.”

Out of his many inspiring quotes, I believe this is probably one of his most impactful one, where he shared the reason behind his success — do it for the passion and work hard at it.

As Steve Jobs Once Said, ‘People With Passion Can Change The World’

In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple after a 12-year absence. The company he had co-founded was running out of cash and close to bankruptcy. Jobs held a staff meeting and explained the role passion would play in revitalising the brand:

“Apple is not about making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we do that well. Apple is about something more. Its core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.”

Warren Buffet has made billions throughout the years. He revealed that the secret to his success is simply, passion.

“I found what I love to do very early…when I was seven or eight years old I knew that this particular game really, really intrigued me. And then I had some great teachers along the way.”

Buffett began pursuing his passion in business early; when he was seven, he began selling Coca-Cola to friends, family and neighbours. He made his money along the way — he bought the six-packs for a quarter and sold the bottles of Coke for a nickel — and used his profits to buy his first stock when he was 11. The rest, as we are know, is history.

“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.”

Oprah Winfrey reiterated that when we are doing what we love, we’re probably going to a better job.

I can go on and on to show you scores of extremely successful people out there, past and present, whom we can easily pinpoint a common ‘ingredient’ in their success stories — their passion.

What we need in life is not more education, more money or more ideas. If you are a leader, it’s about continuing being the best in what you are passionate about and inspiring others around you to find theirs. If you are starting out in your career, it’s about finding that passion, that something that excites you 365 days a year and putting your 10,000 hours at it.

So what am I passionate about? Helping brands and organisations solve problems creatively, digitally, excellently and awesomely. I also love to help people who work with me find their passion and gifting, and be awe-inspiring.

That is how I built (and am still building) Carbon Interactive; I don’t believe in offering anyone just a job but I strongly believe in giving someone, who’s gifted in doing what he/she is passionate about, a space to express… and at the same time, get paid. After all, if you really love designing, regardless of whether you are paid, you will continue to design. If you are someone who loves to write, you will continue to write even if you don’t hold a writing job. So, Carbon Interactive is a space that brings together passionate and talented individuals who are raring to make our world a little bit more awesome, one day at a time.

Since we spend 60% to 80% of our time at work, isn’t it great to do something that we love and believe in?

If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

I think this is what separates the best from the good or average.

So, my take? Passion = Success!