Many of us are mourning the recent loss of visionary, entrepreneur and philanthropist – Steve Jobs. I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately and something he once said struck a very familiar chord with me: “People with passion can change the world for the better.” Passion. It seems to be a common element in the DNA of every great innovator.
Take Sir Richard Branson, for example. As Founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group of Companies (a multi-billion dollar, global publishing, retailing, aviation and entertainment conglomerate) based in London, England, Richard Branson has plenty of passion. And chutzpah.
What distinguishes him from so many other brilliant entrepreneurs is that he always has fun. If asked “Who do you want to be when you grow up?” I would say — without hesitation — “Richard Branson.” I admire him. I respect him. And, he makes me smile.
Here’s what he says about the importance of passion:
“Ideally, since 80 percent of your life is spent working, you should
start your business around something that is a passion of yours. If you’re into kite-surfing and you want to become an entrepreneur, do it with kite-surfing.
Look, if you can indulge in your passion, life will be far more interesting than if you’re
just working. You’ll work harder at it, and you’ll know more about it. But first you
must go out and educate yourself on whatever it is that you’ve decided to do – know more about kite-surfing than anyone else. That’s where the work comes in. But if you’re
doing things you’re passionate about, that will come naturally.”
As writers, we should always be passionate about what we write. Otherwise, why write? (clearly, it’s not for the money!).
So, follow your passion. And, as Sir Richard has stated (most likely with that wonderfully wide, infectious smile of his), “Life is a helluva lot more fun if you say yes rather than no.”Yes, sir – it is!