Skill vs. Passion: Which is More Important for Entrepreneurs?

Skill vs. Passion: Which is More Important for Entrepreneurs?

This is an interesting video containing a slightly different perspective on how to develop the career and life you’re destined for:

Here’s a breakdown of Tai’s main out-takes from the book by Cal Newport:

1. Experience Creates Passion: Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski published a paper called, “Jobs, Careers, and Callings: People’s Relations to Their Work.” She discovered that the strongest predictor of seeing work as a calling was the number of years spent on the job. Experience at something seems to create love of what you do. Practice and years in the career matter.

2. Passion Is A Side-Effect Of Mastery: Daniel Pink is mentioned in the book along with a 40 year scientific framework called “Self-Determination Theory.” The theory goes that intrinsic motivation comes from:

A. Autonomy – Having control over your career and feeling that what you are doing is meaningful.
B. Competence – Feeling like a master of the skills you practice at work.
C. Relatedness – Having strong social connections at your job.

So you must have a well rounded approach to finding your life’s work. It’s not as simple as just finding your passion. This theory of ‘relatedness’ actually shows that “WHO” you work with is almost as important as “WHAT” you do for work. Social life matters – even when it comes to work.

3. Strengths Before All: My personal experience is a bit different than this book. I think that more important than just having a lot of experience, autonomy, competence, and relatedness, you must have ‘APTITUDE’ – what are you good at naturally?

Gotta love the Ferrari 458 in the backdrop! He also has a Lamborghini Gallardo that isn’t quite visible right beside it. Damn!

Anyhow, I think this post is really best suited to people under 30, but at the same time older folks who haven’t found what make them feel fulfilled can also benefit from the advice. When examining all the business successes out there, very few started out in the same place they ended up. Most bounce around, essentially finding the areas in life where they’re strong, developing their skill set and network, before slipping into the business that brings them wealth and happiness.

This reality is quite different from the path that a famous artist (actor, singer, painter, etc.) generally takes. Very few fall into their success and fame. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that passion is super important in the arts.

My main takeaway from this video, especially for anyone considering a 2+ year stint in college or university is that it’s really a complete waste of time and money for most, if not all entrepreneurs. Harsh, I know. But it’s hard to bounce around when you’re sitting still at a desk…


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