passion over profit

Is Passion Over Profit Realistic?

24 May 2021 | by Cindy Johns

Passion over profit sounds all warm and fuzzy and full of virtuous intent. But if your business is all passion and no profit, is it realistic? Can you really call it a business?

After Gina’s glowing book review, I recently read Anything You Want by Derek Sivers. There are only two business books I’ve read that I believe genuinely deserve a recommendation. Derek’s book is one of them. (The other is Losing My Virginity by Sir Richard Branson) It’s my opinion that both books strike the perfect balance between passion and profit.

My favourite chapter in Anything You Want is ‘Make a dream come true’. 

In it, Derek states that essentially, this is your business. Make it a dream come true. That’s the passion. 

But Derek started a small business and sold it ten years later for 22 million dollars. That’s a whole lot of profit, and it takes more than passion to generate that kind of money.

passion over profit

What about profit over passion?

What if we flipped our title and let it read: Profit over passion. 

How does that make you feel? 

It makes me feel uncomfortable, queasy even. It’s is the reason why people invest in corporate franchises. They buy into systems and procedures that create cookie-cutter end products. 

Often the result of these cookie-cutter products is the pillaging of our earth for material gain.

To me, business without passion means a business without a soul. And a business without a soul results in more harm than good.

So is it possible to have a business that places passion above profit but still makes money? 

Yes – and the secret sauce is discipline.

profit from passion

Discipline is what turns your passion into profit 

Whatever you’re passionate about, I guarantee there’s someone else whose passionate about it too. 

But how do you find the other people who are passionate about your thing? 

Simple – research your target market.

And once you’ve found them, what then? How will you sell your passion product? How will you package it? Deliver it? And what about repeat business?

You see, business is so much more than passion. To reach profit, you need to have systems and procedures that you may not have a passion for. 

But if you apply the secret sauce of discipline to your passion, you will reach the point where you can spend some of your profit hiring someone who is passionate about systems and procedures.

The truth is, you can’t have passion without profit or profit without passion. A healthy business requires both. 

And both require discipline.

So, the ultimate recipe for sustainable business success is Passion, Discipline, and Profit.

How do you feel about this term? Leave me a comment and let’s continue the discussion there.


  1. AS Renner

    27th May 2021 at 6:25 PM

    Thank you, Cindy, for this great article. Passion, discipline and profit. I would add bravery. Especially us building a business around our passion are prone to be afraid. Doing what we love so passionately can make us vulnerable, and we might fear failure even more.

    • Cindy

      7th June 2021 at 9:31 AM

      I agree. Passion can amplify fear of failure, so bravery certainly needs to be in the mix.

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