Live and work with passion

Kara Kuryllowicz

Canadian Business Online, March 27, 2006

How do you stay energized and enthusiastic about your business and life? It’s not a moot question. As leader, your employees look to you to set the tone and culture of the company, so make sure your attitude is saying the right things. Indeed, the only thing that’s more contagious than enthusiasm and passion is a lack of it, says Nina Spencer, a motivational speaker and author of Getting Passion Out of Your Profession: How to Keep Loving Your Living Come What May.

It’s not easy staying pumped day in and out, says Spencer. Long hours, handling work overload, office politics and day-to-day challenges can easily zap your passion. Still, you can learn valuable strategies to help you maintain a healthy attitude, renew your energy and deal head on with any business challenge that diminishes your outlook.

Spencer offers five ways to get passionate about your life:

  • Ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?” Remind yourself why you wanted to be an entrepreneur. Was it the freedom of making your own decisions, satisfaction, the challenge of making it on your own or the potential money?
  • Focus on the positive and celebrate your successes. If a client or employee is driving you crazy, look at their experience / expertise, the revenue they generate and the referrals that come with them. If you truly can’t identify an upside, figure out how to improve or stop the situation. If you simply must wallow and beat yourself up, do it for a few minutes only — it’s a debilitating waste of energy.
  • Get back to doing what you really love. Focus on the tasks that you do better than anyone else because those are typically the ones you’re passionate about. Then delegate the rest.
  • Use positive language. “Negative language and imagery in your written and verbal communication can really work against you on a subliminal level,” says Spencer. Train your brain to think three seconds faster than your mouth. Try saying, “Is this a good time to chat?” instead of “Have I caught you at a bad time?” Put the onus on yourself in a positive way. Tell an employee, “I want to be more clear about what I need.” Rather than “You missed my point.”
  • Hang out with people who inspire and energize you, and avoid or minimize the time with those who drag you down. You can do this by joining clubs or you can rely on family and friends. “As entrepreneurs, it’s vital that you protect your self-confidence and energy,” says Spencer. “Surround yourself with people you can trust to be great sounding boards and who will let you shake off the negative, then move forward.”
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