Transcript: Should Your Passion Stay A Hobby Or Become A Business?

April 11, 2023

AMY PORTERFIELD: “Rather than asking yourself if you're passionate about your business idea, try asking, what skills do you have right now that you can add value to the world with? Then, look for ways to hone these skills and become so good at them that you can't be ignored. The minute I did this and shifted my focus to improving my online-marketing and teaching skills, my business, and more importantly, my impact, exploded.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Let's talk about a podcast I am loving. Inclusion and Marketing, hosted by Sonia Thompson, is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Inclusion and Marketing digs into important topics like belonging, customer experience, and diversity, and how you can practice inclusive marketing authentically. Because when you lead with inclusivity, you win the attention, the loyalty, and the trust of a broader group of consumers. I think one of my favorite episodes to date is when she shared about cultural appropriation and inappropriate use of a culture not your own. Such an important conversation. You can listen to Inclusion and Marketing wherever you get your podcasts. 

Hey, there. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. 

I wanted to check in with you. How are you feeling? Let me know. Like, give me one word, one word that best describes how you're feeling. Did you say it? Do you say the word? If that word was positive, great. If it was not so positive—stressed, stuck, overwhelmed—you're not alone, my friend, but I want to remind you, you are still in the game. If you're listening to an online-marketing podcast, you still are in the game. You are still going for it. And that, to me, is winning.  

All right. I want to let you in on a little secret that might surprise you in this Shorty episode I've got for you. Are you ready for this? Here it is. I don't wake up in the morning thinking, “I can't wait to help someone create a digital course today.” It's true. I've built a wildly successful and fulfilling business around something that's not necessarily my passion. But stay with me here. You might be thinking, “Okay, Amy. But I'm listening to you because I want to leave my nine-to-five job,” or “I've already left my nine-to-five job, and I want to build a business online, and eventually, I want to have a digital course. Isn't that what you did? Isn't that what you teach?” And my answer is yes. When I left my corporate job, it was so I could be my own boss and fill my days with work that I loved. But if I had waited for a business idea to roll around based on passion alone, I would have never found the courage to give my two weeks’ notice in the first place. In fact, in my book Two Weeks Notice, I talk about this journey, so check it out: I'll link to it in the show notes. But I talk about this very thing. 

Now, today I want to talk to you about your business and how you might be letting the pursuit of passion block you from moving forward and making an impact in the world. Did you hear that? Your pursuit of passion and mission might actually be blocking you from moving forward and making an impact in the world.  

One of the reasons this topic is on my mind is that I recently interviewed my friend Joe Polish on the podcast, and he talked about how most successful entrepreneurs don't have a business based on passion. Rather, they hone in, develop, and get so good at a specific skill that they can't be ignored. I relate to this so much because it's exactly what I did in my business with digital courses. He went on to say the following quote that I want you to keep in mind as you dive into the rest of the episode today. This is what he said: “When you're trying to pursue passions, you're thinking, ‘What sort of value can the world bring to me?’ When you're pursuing skills and capabilities, you're thinking, ‘What sort of value can I bring to the world?’” There's so much truth in this quote.  

I've seen many aspiring entrepreneurs try to build a passion-based business and get stuck because they're asking questions like, “Is this idea really my passion,” or “Am I making the right decision moving forward? What if I find something I'm more passionate about later on?” Do you hear how these questions make building a business all about the individual? They leave no space to dream about the impact and value someone can offer the world, so they keep people playing small. 

I know this because I've been there. It's what kept me in my corporate job longer than it served me. So if this is you right now, please know there's no judgment here, but I encourage you to shift your mindset and stop pursuing passion as your primary focus when building your business. Rather than asking yourself if you're passionate about your business idea, try asking, what skills do you have right now that you can add value to the world with? Then, look for ways to hone these skills and become so good at them that you can't be ignored. The minute I did this and shifted my focus to improving my online-marketing and teaching skills, my business, and more importantly, my impact, exploded. 

And to give you clarity as you step forward and bring your unique value to the world, I want to run you through one of my signature frameworks called Finding Your Sweet Spot. So to start finding your sweet spot, picture four quadrants. If you're in a place where you have a pen and paper handy, feel free to draw this out. Otherwise, you can just follow along in your head. In the upper-left quadrant, you have your skills and your know how. Remember, this doesn't need to be something you're passionate about. It just needs to be something that you can get people results with. So what are you good at? Where have you gotten results in your personal life and in your business life? What do people ask you to show them how to do all the time? Or do they say, like, “Why does that come so easy to you?” What comes easy to you? So think about where you've gotten results, what you're good at. Okay, so that's the upper-left quadrant. 

The upper-right quadrant is, who do you want to serve? Who is your ideal-customer avatar? But more importantly, what are they struggling with? Because we need to make sure whatever you're good at, you're solving a problem or a challenge that your ideal-customer avatar has. So who's that customer avatar? What are they struggling with?  

And then, the lower-left quadrant, the question is, are people spending money on what it is you want to create for your business? So when you think about what are you good at? where have you gotten results? well, will people spend money to learn how to do that or have you do that for them? So if you think about the topic you want to create a business around, are there books about it, programs about it, coaching about it, podcasts about it? Are people spending money in that area to get results? And if the answer is yes, that is great. If you start thinking yes, because, Amy, a lot of people are already doing what I want to do, I think that's the greatest initial validator. If someone's already doing something that you want to do and they're doing it with success, great. Then, you'll do it in your own way and attract your own audience. So it's a good thing.  

And then, the final quadrant, bottom right, is, what lights you up? What lights you up? Notice I did not say, “What is your passion? What is your mission in life?” No. I just said, “What lights you up,” because I'm not saying build up your skills and your knowledge even if you don't like that area of expertise. Don't do something that you don't love to talk about and to create. It just doesn't have to be your end all, be all. You don’t have to create a business around your passion. I just want you to enjoy what you’re doing. The goal is to find a business idea at the intersection between all of this. What lights you up, your skill set, the struggle you're going to solve, and, also, what people are gladly paying for. 

I firmly believe that when you put that all together, that is your sweet spot. And I get into this much more, in much more detail, in my book Two Weeks Notice. But that's really a great place to start.  

The best part about building a business using the sweet-spot formula is that you'll often uncover passions you never knew you had along the way. So, for example, by honing my digital-course skills and teaching people how to do digital courses, I can show people that there's another way outside of the traditional nine to five to create financial, creative, and lifestyle freedom. That is what I wake up passionate about every morning. And I would have never known that fourteen years ago. If I didn't just get started and hone my skills in a very specific area, I wouldn't have known that I am absolutely passionate about helping people leave behind a job that no longer serves them and step into a world that they don't even know how good it can get. Can you even hear in my voice how much that lights me up? I would have never gotten there if I didn't just get started.  

Another benefit of your business not having to be built on your passions is that you can protect and save them in your personal life. I love that I can focus on developing my skills at work and pursuing my passions in my personal life because it's created a really wonderful work-life harmony, full of intention and fulfillment. Essentially, I can achieve what my mentor, Michael Hyatt, calls the double win. I can win at work and succeed at life. And I want that for you, too, my friend. So don't discount the beauty your passions can create in your personal life. 

I have a friend that always says not every passion has to be a business, and I really believe that. Maybe save some of those passions for your personal life, where you don't have to monetize them, because the minute you have to monetize, it's a whole different ballgame. I think we can all agree with that, right?  

So, for example, I think it's incredible to have tons of personal passions, and I know mine bring me peace and joy and variety and excitement. And that's a huge win for me. And I love that I don't have to make money with all of them, because you're bringing in another layer, another dynamic that gets a little tricky at times.  

So as we wrap up this Shorty episode, please know I'm cheering you on every step of the way. I can't wait for you to find your sweet spot and hone your skills and all while protecting your personal passions along the way. And when you do this, I know that you will be unstoppable. And for those of you who don't yet know what your passion is, you don't know what your mission in life is—like, I absolutely had no clue fourteen years ago—just remember that action creates clarity. You've got to get into action, and every action you take will lead you closer and closer to what you want, where you want to go, what it is you're looking for, but you've got to get into action.  

And if you still haven't started that business, if you're not sure what it's going to be, if you want to get a side hustle and you're still in your nine-to-five job, go to, grab my book, get the bonuses, and get going on moving toward that future that you absolutely deserve.  

I hope you love this Shorty episode. It's always fun to jump in here quickly with you, give you a little shot of inspiration, and I'll see you on Thursday for a longer episode, more step by step to help you build the business of your dreams. I love you to the moon and back, and I'll talk to you soon. Bye for now. 

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