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Why Passion and Money Counts When it Comes to Business and Leadership

Jen’s business was on the rocks but I was a bit surprised when Jen came into the office and told me that she had just taken a job. Jen’s business was 18-month-old and she had been referred to us for business development to help her capture a new market. Our previous two meetings had been focused on identifying possible new revenue streams that would help her grow the business and get it profitable by focusing on corporate customers. However, when she came into the office on this particular morning, she sat as close to the door as possible, and as she told us later, expected us to yell at her when she dropped the bombshell news that she was giving up.

Jen’s rationale made perfect sense to us. She told us that while she could see the value in

focusing and building a business with corporate customers, it wasn’t her passion. Since our last meeting she said that she had really done some soul searching and if she was to continue the business in the spring, she needed to be passionate about it, and the business needed to provide enough money that she wouldn’t need to worry about meeting her expenses.

I get it! It feels great when you can jump out of bed in the morning and do something you love.I have been lucky enough to have been able to create businesses where for the most part, I am passionate doing what I love, and getting paid well for it. However there have been times in my career where that passion has been lacking. I remember taking a semester off in college and working at -30 outside in construction. It wasn’t fun and the frozen fingers and toes, made me realize that there were more opportunities by going back to college than there were for me in doing something I wasn’t passionate about.

Money too is important. While the obsessive focus on the money by some entrepreneurs and many leaders is misdirected, without making money we face many other stressful challenges. In 2001 after struggling with a second business that was bleeding cash, our family income dropped from around $100,000 a year to just $30,000. My wife had quit her job to look after our young children and we had just built a new house. While our mortgage wasn’t big by today’s standards, the lack of cash to pay the bills and put groceries on the table caused considerable stress and anxiety. Its nice to be passionate about your job but at some point there needs to be a financial payoff to enable you to meet your needs.

We can’t all have jobs that we are passionate about and we can’t all make the money we feel

we deserve. However, when we have a job or a business that we have lost the passion for and we are not making the money we need to survive, there are some decisions that need to be made. We all have choices and at times we have to balance passion with money to survive.

Dave Fuller, MBA is an Award Winning Certified Professional Business Coach and President of the Professional Business Coaches Association of Canada. Passionate enough to email


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