September 5, 2011

Growing Bananas?

I recently spoke at a conference for banana growers. Youíre thinking, What does Phillip Di Bella know about growing bananas?î Nothing! So why did they ask me to speak? What could I share that would inspire farmers?

The answer is PASSION! The importance of passion in work, my own passion for my work, and my mission to inspire passion in others, whatever their ambition. I think it’s a message that we all need to be reminded of from time to time.

If you are thinking, “What does passion have to do with business?” then perhaps you are in the wrong business. Passion is the key motivator towards achieving any great dream. It’s the common factor of many successful people, and it is something that can’t be taught. In the words of Muhammad Ali: “Champions aren´t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.” Passion has everything to do with business – especially hospitality! These days, customers don’t just want the ‘what’; they want the ‘why’. Yes, they want to buy, but they also want to ‘buy in’ to the brand you are creating; they want to feel a part of something, and they want inspiration. So ask yourself: why would customers choose your business?

Starting a business for the right reason is the first step to success. Identify your passion, and see if you can build a business around it, rather than focusing on the business part first. Owning your own business is not a passion; it’s a vehicle. Your passion will drive your business.

Building a business around something you are passionate about will not only make you stand out, but allow you to better endure the challenges, potential hardships, and provide the commitment and energy needed to get your business off the ground and keep it going. If your work is already driven by your passion – congratulations! You’re living the dream. The key now is to continue pursuing your passion, without it being smothered by work pressures. Here are some tips to keep your passion alive in your work:

Employ people with the same passion for what they do: Passionate employees mean great customer service, a strong work ethic, and a happy workplace.

Don’t let your passion become your sole focus: Only caring about one part of your business will allow weaknesses to develop in others. Invest passion in all your business decisions, no matter how insignificant, as these decisions will filter through to your customers in one way or another.

Outsource: Can seem like a dirty word to business owners, but if you aren’t passionate about something, doing it might kill your buzz for your business. Find someone who can give it the attention it deserves, and you can focus on the parts that you do best.

Business skills can be taught, finance can be loaned – passion can’t. Make sure you’re investing as much passion in your business as you are time and money, and people might start to take notice.

By Phillip Di Bella

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