Happy Valentine's Day. People everywhere are buying roses, thinking of romantic dinners, wondering if they'll find some love or just gorging on some chocolate to pass the day away. Regardless, today is the one day a year where everyone does think of love (that is, if us Marketers have done our jobs effectively).
It should go without saying that I have a strong love for my family and friends, but beyond that, I love this Blog. It's not about the traffic, the comments, the trackbacks or the accolades (though that does help keep the energy high). I love writing. It's just that simple. I don't see Blogging as work, or as something that I have to do as a part of my job. I see Blogging as who I am. As someone who used to be in the traditional magazine publishing business, I am always amazed that I can type, click "publish" and *voila* the content is there for the world to see. The process and publishing of the Blog is almost as exciting as writing the content.
To really love something, it has to be either cathartic or a part of who you are.
With that in mind, here are...
Six Ways to Find Your Love And Passion:
1. Passion - it may sound like a clichÃ©, but if you're not passionate about what you're doing, you are either in the wrong position, industry or both. Yes, you can develop passion over time, or find something within your current gig that you are passionate about, but to really get a kick out it (enough to want to Blog about it constantly and consistently), it better be something you are passionate about.
2. Curiosity - questions, prodding, taking people to lunch, attending meet-ups, spending your own money to attend events and unconferences, etc... is an amazing way to find out what you truly love. As a former Journalist (although, I guess that is still one of the many hats I wear), my job was to be curious. I never let go of that. If you've been following this Blog at all, you know that most of the posts (including this one) start with the seed of a question (or two) that I am grappling with. Be curious.
3. Something you can talk about for hours - you know you have found something you love if it's a topic or area of interest you can talk about endlessly (without the use of PowerPoint or slides) for hours on end. Just this past week, I was on a road trip with both Hugh McGuire (The Book Oven and LibriVox) and Julien Smith (In Over Your Head and Media Hacks). With over twelve hours worth of driving, we didn't turn the radio on once. The entire trip was spent talking about the topics we're all equally passionate about (marketing, media, publishing, books, etc...).
4. Part of your value system - another big disconnect is when the work you're doing does not match your value system. Maybe you did it for the money, maybe you figured this would be a good bridge career on your way to what you really want to do, or maybe you were stuck and simply had to take the job. Whatever the case is, it's always easier to Blog or create videos (or whatever you chose to do with these digital channels) when it fits with your value system.
5. You would do it for free - no, I do not get paid to Blog, but Blogging is one of the only marketing channels we have used to grow Twist Image. It has helped us get to over 60 employees with multiple offices. It has helped us get new and interesting clients. It has helped get us representation by two speaking bureaus and it even played a large part in securing a publishing deal. There's no doubt that it also played a major factor in getting us a regular business column for both the Montreal Gazette and Vancouver Sun newspapers. The truth is, I would keep Blogging if none of that happened.
6. Can't imagine your life without it - before Blogging, I would run over to the magazine store with strong hopes that one of my favourite magazines would have a new issue hot off the press to devour. As you can well imagine - more often than not - I was disappointed. Forget about all the great stuff like RSS, Google Reader and Twitter, if it all went away and we were still left with the ability to write one's thoughts and then instantly publish them, that would be amazing enough. Basically, I can't imagine life without this Blog.
Now, it's your turn... what else do you think are the "must-have" skills or traits to find your passion and love?