Dallas Mavericks owner and Internet billionaire Mark Cuban recently wrote a blog piece titled “Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort.” The gist of his advice is to work hard and find passion in what you do to make a living. His post was widely shared across the web with thousands of impressionable entrepreneurs accepting his advice as gospel.
Needless to say, we “passionistas” were shocked, shocked!
Sometimes Mark Cuban is right on the mark, but other times he’s bouncing around the court like a mad man. This is one of those times when I’m left scratching my head. Mark’s post about abandoning passion for the bitter embrace of a cubicle is one of the most irresponsible pieces of advice I’ve ever seen offered.
Contrary to Mark’s take, “follow your passion” is indisputably the best advice anyone can receive. I can only guess that what he was trying to get across is the harsh reality that making a living from your passion isn’t too realistic – a point well-taken. However, that reality doesn’t make following your passion any less legitimate a path to pursue.
People work ten times harder, faster, better when doing what they love to do. To Mark’s supposed point, the big unknown is whether that passion and drive can be turned into money.
To be sure, success through passion takes years, sometimes even decades. At some point you either reach the summit or have to retreat to the “real world.” The fundamental question for every dream-seeker is for how long to chase a passion.
Most frightening of all was Mark’s assertion that passion follows effort. That point of view is dangerously naive and just plain wrong. Taking a “real” job in hopes that one day passion will sprout up out of nowhere is not how it works. Mark Cuban’s own path proves that. It’s plainly obvious that he’s immensely passionate about technology, and he managed to turn that passion into billions. So why would Mark Cuban teach others to pursue a different path than he himself took? I couldn’t tell you.
Effort follows passion, plain and simple. Love something enough and the work will cascade out of you like a waterfall. What we need to hear from successful people like Mark Cuban is that the seemingly impossible is possible if you do what you love. If we end up having to settle for less then so be it, but not a moment before our dreams are given their fair shot at becoming realities.
Click here to see Mark Cuban’s original post.