Passion is an essential tool for the LDRBRND
Here are a few reasons why
Passion is one of the tricky subjects when it comes to leadership, marketing, and branding. We hear and read so many people talking (and yelling) about this idea of following passion. And there is definitely something to the idea.
If we don’t have some sort of burning desire to do the work that we are doing, then we can’t possible sustain it for the long haul. Longevity is definitely a factor when it comes to a modern LDRBRND. But I don’t want to go too far off in that direction with this post (later post for sure).
The flip side is this growing contingent of people that say it’s not just about following your passion. We can actually become passionate about the work we do over time. I can see this. It has happened in my career. Whether that was being in the military, working at a bakery, or tinting paint in a retail store.
But I also left those jobs because there was a seed of discontent within me. I knew I was built to be more, do more, and ultimately affect more people for the better. With that kind of yearning, it was hard to keep the passion there.
Maybe passion just evolves over time? As we grow and mature, as we enter new life stages, our desires change. We start to think about things like legacy and impact. How will we be remembered when we move on from this mortal life? Things to keep in mind.
But what if we took this passion conversation in a different direction?
It’s not about the passion that we create inside of ourselves for our work. Instead, it is about the passion we create in others as we serve them.
I see this as the mark of a true LDRBRND.
When we give of ourselves- our gifts, talents, unique ideas and perspectives, and time – we create a depth of connection with the people we are trying to help. It’s their passion for the brand that is the sustaining factor.
First of all, it breeds more passion in others within the community. We refer to this as word of mouth marketing and fueling the raving fans. The idea is that we deliver such remarkable service in our area of expertise that people can’t help but tell their friends. That is a great model. It’s a healthy model with longevity built into it.
Second, the passion is infectious for the LDRBRND. We are all humans and we need encouragement from others to let us know that our efforts are not wasted. That passion from the community is a wonderful to indicator to do more of what is working. It can help us as content creators when we are feeling exhausted by the day in and day out grind of using our brains to teach and help.
So passion is simply a desire to serve with all we have for the benefit of others. That is the heart of leadership. Service. Without that crucial connection we can never realize the ultimate potential we have. And our marketing and branding will fall flat.
Another way to think of it is through a lens of love. It’s a word that we may not use all that often in a business sense. But I think it has real significance and resonance here. It’s not a romantic love. It’s closer to a friend love. But the love we feel for our audiences, communities, and fans is real and it must be expressed. If they don’t feel it, they won’t want to be a part of our brand.
The competition is fierce out there. No matter what business you are in. Even though I just mentioned this idea of having lots of blue ocean in front of me, I remain a pragmatist. People can learn about marketing, branding, and leadership from a number of resources. But what separates me is the emotional connection I have with people. This happens because of the passion I have to serve people. It comes from a place deep within me. It comes from a place of faith.
But you don’t have to have the same beliefs as me to understand that love creates passion that fuels service. People are drawn to that. They are pushed away by marketing tactics that are obvious and self serving. Tactics that treat people like dollar signs and data points instead of people with real emotions and real pain.
We as LDRBRNDs can be the ones to go against the grain. With passion for our people (that extends to our employees as well), we can stand out.
But what about the work and the industry?
I’m glad you asked.
Over the last few years, I’ve developed a real passion for marketing. As a first time entrepreneur, my business plan was this:
To teach people about leadership
That was my background and I thought I might be able to help a few people grow as leaders. But I started to familiarize myself with marketing principles and tactics. I knew that there was a way to reach people that I couldn’t otherwise. So I found myself becoming a practitioner of social media marketing in particular.
I’ve gotta say I don’t regret it at all. Even though I never purposefully set out to be part of the marketing industry, I fell in love with the industry because of the people. I’ve been able to connect and meet with some of the most brilliant minds, dedicated individuals, and passionate souls. Truly, it is an absolutely privilege to spend time with all of you.
There was no initial passion for marketing. But there was an initial attraction. And there were remarkable people. Then there was a decision. For me, that came when I decided in my heart that I was a marketer. I had never considered that label for myself. But I saw that was where I needed to be. And that I could bring a unique view on life to the table.
I made a pivot of sorts (even though I hadn’t clearly defined my brand) and said I need to be where marketers go. That lead me to attending my first Social Media Marketing World in 2018. There was some risk involved. There was a great financial cost for me as a solo brand. But I chose to view it as an investment in my brand and a way to connect more deeply with the people I had been in contact with online over the prior year.
Being in close proximity to so many passionate marketers began to fuel my own passion for the industry and the work. So I would say my passion came from a decision and taking a chance to go deeper and be more intentional with the relationships.
As a LDRBRND, the passion has to be intrinsic. Even if it isn’t there initially, we have to take measures to find it, develop it, nurture it, and ultimately keep the fire burning. Sometimes this means taking a step back. I get this. The brightest fires burn out the quickest.
Maybe it means shifting attention to another passion for a time. Do we have a passion for a hobby of some sort? The very act of engaging in that passion gives a break to work passion. When we return to the work, we can do so feeling renewed.
In the end, I see passion as a double edged sword. It can keep us moving forward, growing our LDRBRNDs, and seeing success (whatever measure we use to define that). But it can also drive us to the brink of exhaustion, sleeplessness, and ill health. So let’s keep an eye on each other. There will always be a place for brands who are passionate about people. We can be one the premiere ones. As long as we practice temperance.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. It was written by me with no editing afterward. I didn’t spell check or grammar check it. You are getting a real and raw look into my writing process. I love being able to type out my thoughts. Writing is a passion of mine.
But I can get sucked into this endless process of getting it perfect. It’s not about perfection but about conveying a message and getting it out there to the people that need it most. I guess we could say I have a passion for communication.
When we communicate clearly, we create real and positive change in the world. This is my attempt to do exactly that. I also have a passion for bringing people together and being a bridge builder. It’s so amazing what we can do when we bring amazing people together.
I have a passion for orphans, adoption, and kids in foster care. That is part of the reason why I even began this entrepreneurial journey. This brand LDRBRND is a way to leverage my gifts and strengths to help more kids.
My wife and I fostered and adopted triplets. As you can imagine, this is quite a lot. They are going to be 10 and we have had them since they were 5 and a half. The day in and day out work of being a parent is demanding. There is lots to teach (particularly around big concepts like honesty, integrity, kindness, respect, and self-control).
But we remain consistent and focused on the long term. My wife and I are passionate about seeing them become the people God created them to be. So we have patience in the short term, knowing that later the efforts will pay off. Not in a financial sense. But considering that these kids will become functional and impactful adults.
Back back to my biz. Part of the money that comes in, goes to help other kids going through foster care. The need is great. The helpers are few. But this biz can help be part of the solution. Passion for people comes back into play. Not only the people I seek to directly serve but the cause that is greater than myself.
So that is why I show up and I pour my heart out into this writing. First of all, it helps me gain clarity around my own thoughts. But because the passion, the love for the people fuels me, and fuels my consistency (going back to my previous post). Passion is part of the infinite game (looking forward to that book from Simon Sinek). And I realize that I am definitely in this for the long haul.
Passion fuels perseverance.
So let’s not knock passion too much. The term may be overused and watered down in some ways. But the concept is important for us to be keyed into. A LDRBRND is passionate.
I’ve been helping leaders become better marketers for over 21 years and would love to help you take the next step in your spiritual leadership journey.