June 5, 2012


practice? make? listen?How do you put passion into your work?

Having passion is a good start. Let's say you do. Let's say money isn't your main motivator.

You might argue that passion is too expensive to include these days, that clients won't pay or value it. That's not quite true.

Who Has Passion?

Artists exude passion. Actors, painters, directors, poets, musicians, Olympic athletes, writers. They wouldn't put in the 10,000 hours on the path to mastery without a burning desire. Quitting is much easier.

Watch any "making of" documentary and you'll see how much takes place behind the scenes to get things just right. Steve Jobs is an extreme example.

Counting The Ways

There are different ways to be passionate (in a business setting). Perhaps you
  • pay extra attention to detail
  • practice longer
  • study more
  • simplify your sentences
  • use simple graphics (like Carl Richards in his napkin drawings)
  • include extras without charging extra
  • provide service which is better, faster (or slower), ...
  • create more (e.g. more prolific in writing)
  • answer more questions (like Guillermo del Toro and Neil Hetherington did recently)
  • use better ingredients
  • give more away for free
  • have a quality assurance process
  • guarantee satisfaction
  • show more patience
  • accommodate special requests
  • remain in touch after the sale
There are lots of ways.

Do your clients know?

Perhaps you have a peer review process to ensure that your solutions are precise and optimal. You're doing extra work that the client may never see, and hence never appreciate.

You might get better results by making mistakes and recovering quickly, though not as a deliberate strategy (see recovering from bad service at Mercedes).

Maybe your clients will notice your passion. If they don’t, are they to blame? Maybe you need to tell them what's special and help them appreciate the difference.

Do your clients care?

To help clients care, you can show the steps in your process and explain the reasons for them. The best place is online. Clients who value your extras can now communicate them to others. Going through the process helps you explain too.

Those who don't care aren't really your clients, are they? Rather than spending more time to win them over, maybe it's best to part ways.


PS If your passion is low or gone, can you restore the magic?

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