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Passions are for the rich!
This week New York Magazine posted this quote from Professor Scott Galloway on its Instagram account:
“Your job as a young person is not to find your passion. Don’t believe that bullshit. If someone’s telling you to follow your passion, that means they’re already rich. Your job is to find something you are really good at and then become great at it. America is a terrible place to not have money.”
As you can imagine, such a philosophy can lead to a big backlash! And yes, the post received hundreds of furious comments! My favorite one was:
“Yes, passions are for the rich!”
I don’t agree with this idea at all and I’m going to discover what is a better and more practical approach to “a modern creative career”.
Lost and Found
I believe that there are two types of people in the world. The first group are lucky people who:
are passionate about what they do
are good at it
learned how to monetise it or were born with the advantage of a toe hold in their desired profession
I believe Scott Galloway’s kind of advice is targeting the second group: this group feels lost. They don’t know which path to follow: passion or skills? And some of them are not even sure what they are passionate about exactly.
I remember the feeling of being part of the second group; lost with so much stress. I had a couple of different skill sets and different passions in cinema, entrepreneurship, social projects, and also teaching. My biggest problem was that I didn’t know which path was THE BEST for me.
I'm up all night to get lucky
I still consider myself an entrepreneur in the making, but I’m not feeling lost anymore. What finally gave me a reliable path to follow was realizing that:
Finding your THING in the world is not an either/or scenario. The question of “passion OR skills” is wrong. Magic happens for creatives when we combine the two: your passion/curiosity + your specific skills.
When you do that you will create a very narrow and unique niche that belongs to you.
Here are some examples:
Sam Dunn is a Canadian filmmaker and musician. He combined his filmmaking skills with his calling for music and created a well-known company specialized in music documentaries: Banger Films.
Efe Cakarel is a Turkish entrepreneur. He was a cinephile and wanted to be a scriptwriter. Instead, he combined this passion with his background in computer science and business. And that’s how he founded the most unusual streaming platform, Mubi, which is dedicated to cinema masterpieces and extraordinary movies from all around the world.
Scott Adams is an economist who combined his knowledge of business and corporate culture with the world of comics and illustration and created a unique career. He believes: “You make yourself rare by combining two or more skills until no one else has your mix”.
Making very personal niches is the way to compete in the future. It might take time to be recognized in your very own niche but once you get there you will be unstoppable.
We just scratched the surface but I hope this piece gives you something to ponder.
Stay passionate, stay yourself
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