Scale Your Passion

I was speaking to someone a few days back. Let’s call him Jim. Jim is new to product management and has been working in one of the top product consulting companies headquartered in the Bay Area, San Francisco.

Jim and I got talking about podcasting, blogging and products. But soon the talk went into an interesting direction which started by Jim asking me “Karthik, I have a personal question that I’d like to ask you if you don’t mind”. As someone who’s never held back secrets, this brought a smile to my face and I said “Sure, shoot”.

Jim has been a successful product consultant and business analyst for over 15–17 years at least. He started to blog on his favourite topic “Agile Methodologies” on LinkedIn, and he also wore the developer hat to code and release 5 Android apps into the Google Play store. Now, you probably can see where he was going with all of this…at least it was apparent to me at this point as to what he was going to say next. I’ve been through this. So what did he have to ask?

Jim and his wife have been a working couple for many years and they have two beautiful little daughters. Both Jim and his wife have had this “itch” to “quit the rat race” as he told me. So his wife quit her job to take care of the two girls and started to blog about what she loves the most – “arts and crafts”. She wrote a couple of ebooks and they were purchased by a few. He said he wanted to “quit the rat race” and do something on his own. But here comes the challenge for Jim – he wanted to do something that will scale and give a steady source of income. He wanted my advice or ideas on what he should be doing.

I was first off, very happy to see the interest of at least thinking on those lines. Having been through my little journey from a “wantrepreneur” to an “entrepreneur”, I’ve seen and learnt a few lessons that chose to share with him. Why am I writing this article? Well simply because I know Jim is not alone and there are many more Jims out there – this is for them.

I told him one thing that most books on startups or entrepreneurship doesn’t talk about. I learnt it from observing one of my all time favourite entrepreneurs – Sir Richard Branson. What’s the idea?

Do something you are passionate about…passionate enough to scale – Karthik Vijayakumar

I’ve seen the word “passion” being overused in the entrepreneurial circles. It’s not what you are passionate about today, but what you would be passionate even 1 year or 5 years down the line.

In a world that’s so focused on startups that raise venture capital, I urge you to think about and focus on adding value to the world. And that doesn’t happen if you lose the passion for the problem and instead start to focus on capital after the initial period.

So, are you looking to have a larger impact on the world by being an entrepreneur? Identify your innermost passion that makes you wake up every day, that drives your thinking deep and to seek answers. That’s where you can truly make an impact. Money is important, but you won’t make money a year down the line if you’ve lost the love for the problem that you are passionate about solving.

Love the Problem, Not the Solution – Ash Maurya

Great, you think you’ve identified your passion? Come up with a bunch of ideas and validate. I teach a few techniques in how to think effectively in this episode.

Listen to Ash Maurya in this episode talk about how you can do that.