I hear it all the time from people. “I’m passionate about it.” “I’m not going to quit, It’s my passion”. Or I hear it as advice to students and others “Follow your passion”.
What a bunch of BS. “Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.
Why ? Because everyone is passionate about something. Usually more than 1 thing. We are born with it. There are always going to be things we love to do. That we dream about doing. That we really really want to do with our lives. Those passions aren’t worth a nickel.
Think about all the things you have been passionate about in your life. Think about all those passions that you considered making a career out of or building a company around. How many were/are there ? Why did you bounce from one to another ? Why were you not able to make a career or business out of any of those passions ? Or if you have been able to have some success, what was the key to the success.? Was it the passion or the effort you put in to your job or company ?
If you really want to know where you destiny lies, look at where you apply your time.
Time is the most valuable asset you don’t own. You may or may not realize it yet, but how you use or don’t use your time is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you .
Let me make this as clear as possible
1. When you work hard at something you become good at it.
2. When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more.
3. When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it
4. When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.
Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it.
217 thoughts on “Dont Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort”
Great insight, i agree with you on this marvelous topics
Comment by M. Hakimmuddin (@MHakimmuddin) -
Pingback: Anatomy of a Great Niche
Mark Cuban you are god…thank you for imparting your infinite wisdom. I see now why I am such a failure because I am not a billionaire. There are so many people who do so much more good and have such a better grasp of reality. To take this guy’s advice or buy his book is a complete waste of energy and time. His effort is clearly fueled by his greed and ego moreso than any passion. He has a desparate need for acceptance that he hopes his money and attempts at fame will fulfull.
Comment by Philip (@Weikel) -
Mark, lots of comments here. First, thank you for making the point, it is generally correct. The criticisms above (for example that doing something more doesn’t necessarily make you better at it (please refer to books such as “The Talent Code” and “Talent is Overrated” for examples of the nuanced differences, which by the way should be taught in school)) are largely fair but miss the point.
There is something missing from your comments though, which is the opposite of passion.. In my experience if you hate doing something you’ll almost never get good at it. The reality is yes as you do something more you get better at it, but it takes that initial motivation to get going. Probably one of the biggest things that’s worked for me in business has been delegating things I dislike doing.
So yes, pay attention to where you spend your time, learn how to get good at what you’re doing and get much better at it. Don’t worry about some airy fairy esoteric answer of “what you’re passionate about” or thinking it’s just one thing, but if you really dislike something find something else, life is too short to spend the majority of your time doing things you hate.
Comment by Michael Bruce Rosmer -
Pingback: Dont Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort « Thinking Out Loud
Pingback: Nice Soccer Betting photos | namadomain
Pingback: Billionaire reinforcing MJ's unconventional advice
Pingback: Create your own luck | Yoga Vida: Movement for Life
Pingback: 4 Recent Blog Posts I Recommend «
Pingback: Sick of “Passions, Calling, Purpose, Dreams”? | Free Agent Academy
Because it’s important! Thank you for addressing a hugely over discussed under appreciated and unanswered dilemma in today’s human crisis of how to make money. Do we need money as human beings, yes we do! So how do we do it, not at McDonald’s flipping burgers, that’s how. Yes, unanswered once again. But you addressed it and you know, because you’re experienced. You started at the bottom like all the other squids and crabs in the sea. Most humans are crabs, pulling each other down. The few who get out of the bucket and escape the frying pan, write a book, and throw it back to the other crabs. It says, “exit plan, here’s how I did it” But here’s the wrench in the works Mark: there were a Thousand other Donald’s trying the Trump the real estate world, a Thousand geeks named Bill trying to create their own Microsoft, a Thousand Oprah’s, and so on. How did that one, make it? I’ll be honest and you know it’s true: they all did the exact same thing and only one was chosen. All exact replicas, no difference. So is the game pure luck? Well here’s an answer, finally, does your passion or your effort give you that edge to succeed, yes, the answer is yes. Is it who you know, or what you know, the answer is yes. Should you work for somebody else, or go into business, the answer is yes. Because in the end there will always be losers and winners. The real question and real answer is will you get anywhere if you go nowhere and do nothing? When a person gets up and does something, something happens. They lose or they win. But guaranteed they’d never lose, and they’ll never win, if they don’t get up and do something. Passion drives the masses forward. Effort is them moving forward. This will create winners and losers. Most will lose, so here’s what somebody needs to tell the masses, here’s the book that needs to be written: not “how I did it” but “alternatives to losing” because as Mark pointed out not everybody’s passion equals a winning strategy. Famous Action Storming Jackson wanted to use spears instead of guns when attacking the enemy forces of the North. That was awesome great passion! But General Lee didn’t think it was a winning solution. I think you agree. Sure we have financial advisers saying invest in this and that. Save, buy a house, get an education. That’s what they’re saying, maybe they’re right, but it won’t make you rich. It won’t save you when Jackson comes to your town with an army on horseback carrying spears. You need options, that are not scams, that really work. How I did it, won’t work for everybody, often it only works one time for one person. Will there be a second and third Microsoft or Oprah or Trump? I doubt it, maybe if he has better hair this time round. I can’t answer which is better, who you know, what you know, effort, passion, but I appreciate that somebody tried tackling it and giving us a straight forward one or the other kind of answer. It takes a person of real courage and determination to help, to do something like that, because sometimes there’s no right answer and a leader needs to just pick one, and it takes a real leader to do that when that leader knows the truth is that there’s no right answer. That’s called: doing your best regardless. That’s the definition of effort, without passion. You know you’ll probably lose, you know the masses can’t get rich, but gosh darn it they’ve got to try. That’s what Mark Cuban is saying here: it’s impossible for you to get rich, but you’ve got to try!!! And Mark is praying that you do, and that you win. Because he cares about you, or why else would he have a blog? People don’t love rich people, most people on here tear him up, and yet he still does this for everyone. A great man. I pray everybody listens to him, and does something. And maybe something will happen. Maybe even a win! Don’t just follow your passion, find what you think might work, and do it. A rich friend said it best: “my job didn’t make me happy, it wasn’t my passion, but the profits, that made me happy, and what I did with those profits, that was my passion.” -Ben :0)
Comment by Ben Arnold -
i liked ur post, it made me think, and then read some of the other comments. i agree with what kidmercury said- what you’re passionate about, and where you spend your time and may be one in the same- it’d be hard to spend a lot of time on something you weren’t passionate about, and you are most likely good at something you’re passionate about. but it’s a good point that you gotta put the TIME and WORK in to anything to be successful.
Comment by Kerri Arista -
Pingback: [30-04-2012] Assorted Links « Hạ Trắng
Pingback: Mark Cuban net worth | Rich Villains
The best words I ever heard about these similar words passion, effort, and goals…”You only have one shot on this earth…so what are you waiting for, just get it done!”
Comment by B. Jackson (@bjackson215) -
I finally see the bigger picture and message you’re trying to get across Mark! If you put tons of effort to be the best banker in the world yet you still come out hating every minute of it, then go back to the drawing board. Reevaluate your DNA, find something new to put effort into and keep repeating until you find something to be PASSIONATE about. Passion is the byproduct. Mark’s intitial pursuits didn’t pan out so he tried something NEW: computers. Extremely valuable lesson for those of us who get stuck or trapped. Passions are discovered through trial and error. Just liking, loving or enjoying something isn’t worthy of the passion label.
Comment by Ryan Byrne -
I think what he’s trying to say is don’t follow your passion….only. Passion not as your ONLY accelerator of success and wealth. The ideal combo would be passion+effort+timing/market demand
Comment by Ryan Byrne -
Thank you for the advise…good….please visit http://touchscreenlaptop8.com
Comment by Egy Punya -
Dear Mr. Cuban and the people,
I notice many people agreeing with Mr. Cuban, even without questioning his argument or taking their own stand. It’s hard for me to blame them because I know that society has shaped them this way. Just because someone is a billionaire doesn’t mean they are an authority on how to do things, let alone on ”achievement”. I have enormous respect for Mr. Cuban, but I have to say, writing things like this can be calamitous to people.
I agree with you, 1000% about time. But about your views on ”passion” and ”effort”, you have to be more careful, Mr Cuban. I know there are many chances that you don’t read these comments but I prefer this style of commenting.
I will be the first to admit that I am not an expert on these concepts but I have adequate knowledge about this because I have experienced it and I have seen it in other people.
The fact is, yes- effort (or call it hard work) is very important but ”passion” must come first. You must first really love to do something, become passionate about it and then work hard at it. This is a sequence and passion of love is the first step. This, my friends is a recipe for success (whichever way you define it). This applies to all aspects of life- even romantic relationships.
What is even more disturbing is that Mr. Cuban was asked in an interview with ”Business Owner Magazine”- ”what advise would you give to small business owners”, His first answer, and I quote ”Love what you do”, he went on,…….. ”its really finding something that you really love to do”. and through the interview he stressed the importance of , ”knowing what you enjoy doing”- These are his own words. He never mentioned about anything like, effort or handwork, even though he knows that they are important, why?. The answer is lies in this old saying. ”First things first” He knows that loving something should come first, before you invest your effort in it. It’s only natural and it was natural for him too to say this in this interview. The first segment of that interview is here:
Mr Cuban is like someone who say that if you go into a romantic relationship with a woman/ man that you don’t rally love, you can work hard and find yourself loving this person and making a perfect match!! How crazy this would be. It never works
And by the way, I will assume that you meant ”physical effort. do you even realize that you need the ”mental” or psychological effort first (read, passion) to be able to apply the handwork?. Come on, dude.
People deserve the truth, more so if there are children who read these things. Such information can be dangerous to people have not developed good judgement- KIDS.
Wish you joy, love and happiness
Comment by Ndimuganda (@Iamamuganda) -
I agree partly. My conflict is the following: If someone becomes really good at something that they started doing because it was the “practical” thing do, years down the road they will be trapped and not be able to change course. Point – don’t become really good at something if you don’t really like it.
As the saying goes, “men live lives of quiet desperation.” Meaning, we spend most of our lives thinking of doing something else or being some place else. We should all aspire to not be one of them. Is that passion or effort? Which came first – the chicken or the egg?
Comment by Brian Strahle (@brianstrahle) -
I’m putting in the effort, Mr. Cuban, by posting this comment about our Kickstarter project: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2085665642/the-future-of-online-music-education-for-all?ref=live. Please help us out by reading our story, and if you believe in what we are doing, then pledge, and become a backer.
Comment by Holly Havelka -
I don’t why but it’s soooo funny seeing people who leave cheesy posts ‘Right On Mark, we are BROS now!!’, get thumbed down! LOLOL
p.s. this post was cool. I like how you always debunk the romantic ideas people have in their head about success.
Comment by Brian Gomez (@bjgomer13) -
Lovely eye-opening piece. I agree with you in every way.
Comment by ohjay0904 -
Thank you for the advise! I recently started a new job and your theory makes perfect sence to me! I love my new job and run my own business, but following your effort. I love the idea!!! It is something I can use at my full time job and my side venture!!! Thank you a bunch!!!!
Comment by flamelesslove -
Mark thanks for the advice. I had my 16 yr old read it this morning and at first he was afraid to but when he did he had this big smile on his face and said that it was about him. He is passionate about planes, trains and weather which he was bouncing around from one to another as to what he wanted to do for a job. Then this year for his youth group he took it on himself to design the logo for them to use and it was by that effort that he found that he loves doing graphic arts and the more he does the more he wants to get technical with it. He has mad a 3D countdown video and is constantly striving to learn and do more. One more thing when he saw that you wrote the blog he said “No wonder I love the Mavs!” Thanks for being an encouragement to my son.
Comment by Bonnie Sue Beardsley -
This is a simple post instructing you to rationally and objectively observe where your efforts are taking you. Nothing controversial.
Comment by Dan Callendar -
Mark you were great on Entourage, I must say. I wanted to tell you, I just signed my younger cousin up for a little sports contest called, The AfterschoolAwards. I urge other dads who love their kids, the game, & want them to be the best that they can be, to sign up. I sent in a few videos of him stealing home & striking this guy out. It was pretty cool. I’m hoping if he wins the scholarship he can use it towards his college education. Your son’s can too. God Bless
Comment by Adam Russell -
Mark i apologize for being off topic here but I am trying to reach you about our movement and a show pitch. I think your going to like it. Its totally original.
Here is the short version of what our reality show will be all about and Here is a link to the CBS coverage video of our worldwide movement (3 min segment featured on 6 oclock news) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FDh6zL7kRA&feature=g-upl&context=G21f5838AUAAAAAAAEAA
We are all about Random acts of recognition, celebrating whats going well in the world and encouraging people worldwide. The show would revolve around Team Good Signs adventures in spreading positivity. Optimism is in fashion and people are hungry for it. The reactions that we get are priceless and would make for reality TV Gold. One of the many concepts we have for a show is that we will contact a local organization and ask them to point out some people within that organization that are doing a good job and deserve some recognition. From the people that bring the coffee all the way up to the owners/directors etc. We will then show up to that place and surprise them with the Good Signs and celebrate their efforts with awards and gifts! The reactions will be amazingly entertaining and empowering. This would be in addition to our regular and very fun and entertaining street activities where we do the same thing with complete strangers at random.
People absolutely Love Good Signs!
Comment by Eric Dennis -
Pingback: Mark Cuban: My Kind of Owner « Trash-Talking NBA
You’d think someone like Mark Cuban who owns the Dallas Mavericks, would take some time and money to learn about SEO and content marketing. Your blog is a nasty mess; no optimization and no strategy or offer. It’s just a bunch of random posts with your take on how people should live their lives. Sure I agree that you should follow your effort and not your passion but how is this considered new information? Your a multi-millionaire, spend some money and learn Internet etiquette!
Comment by Marshall Adler -
Talk about effort? What about the effort of your part time employees. They make peanuts. They’re there because they want to be part of the Mavs organization. Some of them a long time, 7 yrs. Now all of a sudden you’ve decided you don’t want to spend the $100K to buy them championship rings because they’re not full time employees yet they were there working, doing what was asked of them. Some of them juggles several other jobs and school while working around the Mavs scehdule just to be part of the Mavs organization. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Mark over this issue. It’s ok and great to be able to spend the $100K on champagne after winning the title but then shun the little people that worked for nothing to help get you there. I’ve canceled my tickets for next year. Still a Mavs fan just not a Cuban fan.
Comment by Mike Matus (@AirForceVball) -
Good advice, Mr. Cuban. My company has started a website that offers 24/7 access to music instruction through streaming video lessons. It has definitely taken a lot of EFFORT to get to where we are today. When I became a public school teacher, passion was what landed me the job…but my effort was what kept me going, seeing the results day after day.
Comment by Holly Havelka -
Pingback: The Shirk Report – Volume 157
Pingback: Thursday Links
Pingback: Bret Contreras » 15 Random Thoughts
Great advise! Too many people think that by just showing up that they are special.Those who put in the extra efforts and extra work will reap their rewards.
Comment by James R. Clawson -
Pingback: Wealth Building Daily » Blog Archive » Common Piece Of Advice Which Ruins Your Chances For Success
Pingback: Mark Cuban: Follow Your Passion is The Worst Advice Ever | Entmoney
Pingback: CommDigest » Dont Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort
Pingback: CostofWork · 99 Problems but HR ain’t one
Pingback: Here's why you shouldn't follow your passion - Daily Motivation » Daily Motivation | Daily Motivation
Pingback: ...Daily Motivation » Daily Motivation | Daily Motivation
Pingback: What to Do After You Get Fired: 5 Steps to Open Another Door
Awesome !!! It makes a lot of sense to me …. Truely Motivating 🙂
Comment by Aman Sharma -
NIce topic Mark!
usual straight off the couch -un-business like mind arranges these things in following manner:
passion, purpose, market , market demand, money.
the correct way, which is hard for entrepreneurs wannabes to grasp is: Market, Market demand, purpose, passion, money.
market doesn’t care about your passions, no one cares but you. market cares about solutions to their problems. if you have the solution thats great for market – you will have money. leave passion for your hobby.
Comment by Eduardas Kubilinskas (@cr34t0r) -
For my money, passion and a positive attitude can lead to trouble. Simply put, there are too many messages of never give up – CRUST IT!. I say Bull S____!
Passion without purpose is like an empty bag. Purpose breeds effort, very hard work, and lots of long hours to the point where people think you’re obsessed. Passion, applied to purpose, while not forgetting a plan is being on the right track.
A few more “Ps” help; Patience, Perseverance, Persistence, and PITA (pain in the A$$)
Comment by Gary Ares (@aSmilingMind) -
Pingback: The Passion Or The Money? | pesatalk.com
Reblogged this on The Business Circus.
Comment by nameetpotnis -
Pingback: Visit Indonesia
Pingback: Follow Your Effort « thezikomoletter
Very true Mark and very well said. Who doesn’t have passion? If you don’t, you’re dead but turning that passion into a living breathing reality takes effort! I’m glad I found your blog off Twitter!
Comment by Laura Reeves (@ifiredmyboss604) -
What if your passion is for helping people, and you spend most of your time finding ways to help others. They say the more you help people, the better your life will be, and I went to a seminar many years ago that mentioned if you focus on how to help others, wealth will follow. If a person who was born to be of service to others, and to help whenever and wherever they can, shouldn’t they continue to find ways to help, especially if it became a business, because we all know now-a-days there is a business for everything. But the main reason isn’t necessarily for a profit, rather opportunity to make sure we leave a better world for our children. I believe your children and my children are close in ages, I’m on the other side of the fence than you, and I want to leave a better imprint on my children, but it seems that those that CAN help make a difference are only dabbling in the thought. What if yoiu could make a difference, AND profit from it (consider generating multi-millions) wouldn’t you put all of your time and effort into helping others, as well as ensuring a better future for tomorrow’s future leaders (our children)?
Comment by leslietennie -
Right on. I tried to follow my passion for a couple years but I realized I was putting in way too much time and clearly wasn’t making enough money. I ditched it and focused on another idea I had. Now I spend less time on it and I make more money.
Comment by hcglevelsinpregnancy -
You are my mentor Mark Cuban and I only have a few of these. Another one is Muhammad Ali and a past one is Aaron Russo RIP. I will tell you tomorrow why you are when I am refreshed.
Comment by whitewoody -
Pingback: Don’t follow your passion, follow your effort: a note from Mark Cuban | Fortessa Capital Partners
Pingback: Daddy Scratches | Mark Cuban is totally fucking wrong … unless he’s not, in which case: My bad.
Pingback: Marc Cuban Would Like To Cheerlead Your Effort, Not Your Passion « Movie City News
Nice content, I agree with you…
You can visit Review Opinion
Comment by Rafastore (@rafastore) -
Well, I am doing my best to follow my effort in building a business blog – Tumbleweed Marketing Analytics – that will tank in the top 50 business blogs list according to Strategist News. If you have any advice for me, I would very much appreciate it. But, regardless, a great post about passion and effort.
Comment by Tom Wolfer -
Dear Mr. Cuban
The persistent one is at it again. Let me say first that this was an excellent post by you. I had a great revelation after reading this post. I spent 20 hrs looking at stock charts and oning my skills. It does take time to see all the angles. Forget the poker eventhough I made a lot of money. There is way more money in swing trading specific stocks.
I prayed to the LORD and I quit my drinking last year and I am now ready to make an impact in this glorious world. I also prayed to the LORD and I will be working for my mentor soon. Just because I can’t dunk a basketball does not mean I can not be an A$$ET In your organization.
Remember this it is not what you can do for me it is what I can do for you. That is my goal and I will keep eating kraft dinner until I prove this to him.
Mark W Farwel
Comment by whitewoody -
Very well said. Straight to the point.
Comment by Shark Tank Zone (@SharkTankZone) -
Very nice information. I like it so much and i like your Blog photo’s tag ” If i can do it , you can do it ” 🙂
Comment by VíMål Pâtêl -
Your Redemption Friend,
Comment by whitewoody -
Dear Mr. Cuban
I got passion for stock trading. I just got back. Can you write in your next blog about why you stated it is better to have your money in cash then in the markets.
Comment by whitewoody -
wow that was a good post, got me thinking more about if I should really pursue my passions or what im good at :/
Comment by Jessica Hager -
without passion then there is no effort.
there is no gasoline to put into if you dont have car
Comment by i dont know (@SMAISKING) -
Pingback: Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. | dongtamle
I do agree with your statement “when you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it”. Btw great post 🙂
Comment by JOMtonton (@jomtontontv) -
As a certified career coach who routinely works with people who want to change careers but don’t yet know what their ideal job is, I have a slightly different perspective. To such people, I say “Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.”
Too often, people fall into their careers without much thought, and this leads many people to be unfulfilled. I can’t even begin to tell you how many executives I’ve worked with who have followed their efforts straight into high-paying ($100K+/year) jobs where they are miserable.
People need to be intentional in charting a course for their career that aligns with their motivated abilities, interests, values, and personality type — knowing up front there will likely be twists and turns in the road.
The path to success — and by success, I mean a job where you’re happy AND able to support yourself — is rarely straight. However, I think Alan Kay said it most eloquently, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” That makes sense, right?
I encourage people to begin with the end in mind! What kind of a career do you want to create? Come up with criteria for an ideal position that honors your core values, and then figure out what that’s going to take and START WORKING. An object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. It’s a simple principle of physics.
Yes, Mark, it will invariably take EFFORT (that’s where I’m in complete agreement with you). True clarity always comes from engagement — and sometimes that means making mistakes and learning from them — knowing what you want to avoid in the future.
I’d also tell people to remember that no man is an island. Success will also likely depend on teamwork — networking contacts, supportive friends, and maybe even the help of a professional career coach and resume writer.
Comment by Robyn Feldberg (@RobynFeldberg) -
Don’t follow your effort. Follow your heart. Find a purpose…. keeping looking till you find it and when you do, your heart will know it. Purpose inspires passion and passion inspires performance. Sure make the effort to develop competence too.
Comment by Vivek Khanna -
I love it but it was worth the effort.
Comment by Sportexts (@Sportexts) -
Mark, your big payday came from your passion around sports? Would Cameron have created Auido Net and would you have worked so hard to build this company if it were not about sports? The best advice is to find one’s interest and discover new passions, so the effort, research, and energy is put toward what one enjoys more than about the pursuit of cash. I wish I would have received that advice a long time ago.
Comment by Bobby Zuckman -
I think the point is that if you’re not willing to put effort behind something, your “passion” for it is of questionable value.
Comment by Phil Bowermaster -
Effort WITHOUT Passion is a waste of time. You need both. This advice is way too shallow.
Comment by Mike Krupit -
Mark’s book, How to Win At The Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It, is unbelievable and explains the secrets of success. Check it out.
Comment by Daniel Canfield -
Mark, I like that angle a lot. Also, it’s important to remember that effort takes no talent. But something you are passionate about often does.
Comment by Samson Adepoju (@TheOstrichRace) -
Both viewpoints are valid: follow your effort and follow your passion. The main article takes if from one end: if you put a lot of effort into something and become good at it, you enjoy it more and will likely develop some passion for that… Yes, I can see how that could happen as it appeals to our ego to be good at something and passion comes from there.
However, there is another way. Find something you are passionate about already, and put all your effort into that. Some triage has to be done here, and some gazing into the future (call it planning/projection if you want!). First, look at your passions in turn, and take them to their ultimate, best possible outcome, the rein that in to the most realistic, likely outcome. Triage by holding that against what you materialistically want from life. You should pick the one that has a “most likely” outcome that matches those aspirations, or the materialistic aspect will make you unhappy. You need both sides to balance to be happy.
Then, by all means, put your effort into that. As you are already passionate about it, you should find that easy and enjoyable, even if it is really, really hard work.
Word to the wise (and passionate): don’t forget the balance. Don’t forget to leave time for friends, family, other pass-times. At the beginning, it’s fine to focus so much on the work that other aspects pass you by a bit, but don’t fall in to the trap of work work work. You can’t expect the rest of your life to sit there waiting for you to return to it.
I firmly believe that you need a little give and take in ALL areas of life to find that balance that makes you happy overall.
Other warning: don’t put your effort into a passion that, it it turns into a business, you will fall out of love with… I have been training in aikido for 27 years now. If I were to try to turn that passion into a living, I would probably be quite poor(!) but would also see aikido as a business and, soon, no longer as a passion but an obligation. That would be tragic. But, a little lateral thinking can help: if I had managed to become wealthy enough, I can see myself setting up a martial arts centre, staffing it with some of the top people I have met and am fortunate to be able to call friends. Add some aerobics, yoga, pilates, spin classes, a weights & machines area, some fitness trainers and great marketing, and you have an operation that can bring standard people in and enough variety in the martial arts that the centre itself makes enough money that the aikido on its own is not the business. Then, you don’t have that love-killing focus. Bonus: martial arts teachers usually come with ready made classes and a lot of people clamouring for even more hours of training. A centre at reasonable rates also often attracts other arts – just make sure you screen for quality (both in terms of teaching and in terms of people). One bad egg can kill your brand.
Was just going to put 2 cents in – looks looks more like a quarter… 🙂
Comment by Geoff Saulnier -
Pingback: Non seguire la tua passione, ma il tuo impegno | Infinite Backlinks Blog
I have felt that passion or “loving” what you do is overrated for some time now. Sugar Ray Robinson was the greatest boxer in history, made a fortune from it, and hated every minute of it.
I think it depends on what you want out of your life. If you just want to be happy (whatever that means), then I would say have at it. Do what you enjoy, chase your dreams, and just be “happy” with whatever income you can make from it. Good luck with that by the way.
If making a lot of money is more important to you, which I don’t see as immoral at all, there are 2 routes. The first is to find something you’re really really good at (or become really good at something) and milk that for profit. This will be the bulk of the effort that Mark is writing about. Two important notes – (1) You need to be really really good. Just being as good as everyone else will not put you in a position to make lots of money. (2) you need to find or master this thing as young as possible. Nothing is worse than waking up at 40 years old, with a family and bills, and realizing you have no saleable skills, knowledge, or experience with which to make a comfortable living. (Millions of Americans make exactly this mistake by the way.)
The second route is the entrepreneurial route. To make it short, find opportunities and exploit them (oversimplifying a bit I know). This will require knowledge, hard work, research, persistence, and money. People who say you can start a business with little or no money are liars – usually trying to sell you something.
Unless you are already financially comfortable, avoid all forms of gambling at all costs. This includes poker, trading of any kind, and the lottery.
Set your financial goals based on the life you want to live. Example – Nice home, 2 cars, 2 nice vacations per year is achievable with mid to high six figures or a few million. Becoming a billionaire (like Mark) would be a nice icing on the cake, but it isn’t necessary to be financially comfortable.
And don’t forget – don’t ever forget, Money can’t buy happiness, but happiness can’t buy shit.
Comment by Jason Mosley -
Pingback: Link Drop for the last week : DesignNotes by Michael Surtees
Pingback: Challenge yourself – April Challenge is ON, Gallipolli Run | Round 1 Fitness
Can you all have a “fun” practice before you see the Rockets again?
Because I have a feeling that Odom having “fun” with the team—on and off the court—would unlock him for the Mavs.
Besides that recent Laker game, he was getting closer to delivering than most people realize—good positioning, just missing shots…
It may sound simplistic, but infuse a little happiness, joy and fun into Lamar Odom—and i think that shot will start falling
Comment by C.B.Wilfer (@cbwilfer) -
When you have a passion about your business that you created, the amount of hours you spend, you don’t notice because you love what you are doing. I tell people all the time, ” Owning you own business is like Christmas, every day is a surprise”. I learn something new everyday.
Comment by Herschel Everett -
Pingback: Questioning Your Skill Set, Business Plans, Entreprenaurship. Learning, and ME | Steve Weiss
I just read your post “Why entrepreneurs shouldn’t use a PR firm” last weekend and I was inspired to send out my own email to local media. I used the format you provided and sent one out to all of the local TV stations and newspapers on behalf of my company http://www.artconnect.ca
This proved to be an excellent plan! Today a rep from the leading morning TV talk show in my city (Edmonton) called me. They want to feature my company on their show on April 13th. This is HUGE exposure.
Thanks so much for the inspiration. Reading your post gave me the confidence to take publicity into my own hands.
Comment by shawnmackey11 -
Pingback: Link love (Powered by scallops and samosas) | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander
My first encounter with “follow your passion” was at an angel investment forum in California. Everyone introduced themselves by their name and passion. I found it rather embarassing. Was really tempted to say “My passion is sex. Lots and lots of sex would be really awesome!”
I think it may be a matter of how you interpret the word Passion. My Midwestern upbringing led me to associate the word Passion with family or ones deeply held beliefs.
It took me awhile to acclimate to the California definition, which I believe to be more along Mark’s definition of effort. As in: What sustains you? What becomes easier the more you do it? What recharges your batteries in the act of doing?
So, maybe a California Passion is kinda like a Texas Effort.
Comment by Warren Stringer -
Pingback: Mediocrity – Shaken, Not Stirred, With A Slice Of Lemon Peel
Love Cuban he is totally right here, everyone asks how to become successful looking for magic wand, just work hard and success will follow. http://PicksandParlays.com
Comment by Craig Trapp -
Excellent, concise and straight to the point essay. I feel this is dead on and are words to live by. Thanks for sharing.
Comment by Kevin Edmondson -
Pingback: Following Effort Of Passion To Business Success
Pingback: Quote Today | World of Canggih's
Pingback: Mark Cuban on Using Time Wisely | Brian Barela
Nice response MC. Will pass on to my friend.
Comment by Dad -
Pingback: Finding your passion – intense suggestion found in blog post comment « Geek And Dad's Blog
I am really surprised about the controversy this has garnered. I see Mark’s post as common sense. See what you like doing, the chances are you are already doing a lot of it. If you like coding you’re coding a lot of the time. If you like sports, then you are either playing or watching a lot of sports. Make that your focus, build a business/career around it. Chances are you will be able to devote the time required to it to make it successful. People vastly underestimate how hard it is to be successful
I see problems when someone sees something cool and believes that that is their passion without ever having done it. If they like it so much, why aren’t they already doing it?
Comment by Mike Martel -
I liked the ideas here so I showed this to a friend whose viewpoint I find to be wiser and less subject to tunnel vision than my own and her comments were:
“Out of touch with so many people IMHO. People who spend the majority of the time working hard at a job because it puts food on the table. All that hard work doesn’t make them love their job any more.
Not only that but I think lots of people Don’t Know what their many passions are or have not had the opportunity to follow them.
I could go on…”
Sounds like she thinks you’re an out-of-touch elitist white male without a clue what the majority of people’s lives are like. Be interesting for you to spend some time with other sectors of American society and see if your ideas seem good in those contexts. I look forward to a post about your experience if you do this.
From MC> Trust me, I try to always put my self back in that position. Where I was working jobs just to pay the bills, having to write checks to friends who wrote checks to my landlord or the electric company just to buy a day or two to get the money in my account.
Even when I was exhausted I would dream about the things I would love to do. I still have the lists I would make of dream jobs. I had no interest in technology back then. It wasnt what I was passionate about. But I happened to get a job doing it. And while I thought my passions were elsewhere, and a lot more exciting than selling computers, i found that the more I worked with computers, the better I got, the better I got, the more I liked them. This came after having jumped between jobs, getting fired and just trying to pay the bills. Not everyone falls into the right job and ends up really liking it. But everyone who is in a job that dont like dreams of what they would rather be doing and thinks that is their passion. Many of us not only dream, we dabble. But when those dabbles turn into effort, every waking and available moment type of effort, you will be amazed how good things can happen. The problem is that most people never get past messing around with things they like. they dont commit the effort
Comment by Dad -
Some great comments here. As a career development specialist and one who has worked with young people in and out of schools for 35+ years, I DO promote the notion that finding something you are passionate about is KEY to loving what you do. And I don’t think you disagree Mark. What I heard you saying is that if you work hard at something, you get good at it. if you get good at it, you likely develop a passion for it. So you ARE saying that one should do something you are passionate about right?
I don’t see you promoting doing something you’re good at but hating it, are you? I don’t think so. So it seems to me that we are advocating the same thing, but going about it differently. Stats in your country, and mine (Canada), show that over 50% of the working population HATE their jobs! I’m going to speculate that some of those people are actually really good at what they do and work hard doing it. But they have no passion for it. Are these the kinds of numbers we want to perpetuate?
When we work with young people and “encourage” them to pursue work based on labor market information and what they may be “cut out” to do based on some inaccurate computer career interest inventory, we are doing them a dis-service! Following one’s passion, even if one has many (and by the way, in my work with young people, I don’t see many of them having LOTS of passions…maybe one or two, if any), will enable one to work through obstacles, make sacrifices, do anything they need to do to make their passion a reality. As an NBA owner you see those types of people everyday don’t you??? I don’t think you become an NBA player without PASSION do you?
And by the way, some folks commented on the fact that they don’t really understand what “following your passion” actually means. To me, those people haven’t yet found theirs or they would know. And here’s a way to find out…this comes from relationship guru David Deida…Sit or lie in a room very quietly and think about what it is you want to do with your life. You can only get up for from where you are for 3 reasons…
1) bathroom breaks
3) You have thought of something so powerful that you CANNOT NOT do it! Many things will go through your mind during this time (which can take days by the way) but there will only be one or two that will NOT let you stay still any longer because you MUST start doing it!
Try it out!
And oh..by the way…about this passion thing…Steve Jobs agrees with me…smiling…check it out
Comment by Herky Cutler -
I read this blog because of a discussion that took place last night. This is an excellent topic. Passion is at the very core of my work and I believe it is the fire that fuels success. I agree that effort is essential and a love for pet rocks will probably not pay the bills. However, a passionate effort will always prevail. Passion multiples your effort. Every player in the NFL has given and does give an effort. It’s the players that love and have a passion for the game that go to the Hall of Frame.
The question then becomes, can you work hard, give an effort, and not be passionate about the work? Chicken before the egg.
Comment by Tyler Platt (@tylerplatt) -
I am pumped up Mark!
Comment by TIm Jordan -
Pingback: I Miss Those Drunk, Illiterate, Two-Fisted Writers | Baker Lawley
MARK, I Am FOLLOWING MY PASSION AND TRYING TO BUILD FROM THE GROUND UP AT AGE 28. MY WEBSITE IS http://www.designcolorpro.com. WILL YOU GIVE ME SOME FEEDBACK SOMETIME? I KNOW ITS NOT PERFECT AND I PLAN TO BUILD A BETTER SITE IN A YEAR OR SO WHEN I SAVE UP SOME CASH………..THANK YOU,
DAVID <<<<<<<<HUGE MAVS FAN!!!!!!!! MFFL
Comment by Design Color Pro (@DesignColorPro) -
Mark – Curious how you marry your opinion on this issue with Paul Graham’s take on “doing what you love” (here: http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html)
You and PG are both pretty damn smart and well-respected people/investors. I’m sure his take carries some weight with you (hence my interest in your thoughts).
Comment by Peter Simones (@PeterSimones) -
Wouldn’t you argue however, that you’d be best served by choosing in step #1, to work hard at something you’re passionate about?
Not to say that your passion begets success, but that you’d be better off working hard and putting forth an extraordinary effort into something you’re passionate about in the first place.
Comment by Jonathan Pelosi -
Have been perplexed by the success of Mark Cuban and yet the more I listen and read (and withhold judgement about the perception that he is an immature guy who berates refs), the more I appreciate the effort, hard work and dedication he puts into the pursuit of excellence. This blog is simple and profound, that is a nice gift to receive.
Comment by Gil Brady -
Mark – I blogged a follow up to your advice. “Follow your passion” is not “the worst advice”. I hope I explained so eloquently here: http://sportsmarketingprof.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/passion-guiding-career-decisions-or-the-result-of-career-decisions/
Comment by Sports Marketing Prof -
Mark, your are half right. Passion or engagement is usually a sign that you are tapping into a natural talent. Sustained effort can not be maintained unless you are using your natural top talents. To complete the picture: hard work + using your top natural talents = success. By the way, didn’t your first breakthrough with Internet radio evolve out of your passion to listen to away games from your college? On paper that would seem like a pipe dream – at that time.
Comment by mrexmiller (@mrexmiller) -
Pingback: Don’t Follow Your Passion | just claire
how you spend your day IS the best indicator of how your future will turn out. that’s good advice. but not everyone can change how they spend their day.
passions can come or go. true.
but stop making the argument so judgmental and simplified. how many US citizens are stuck in $8 an hour retail work that constantly beats you down and demands all your energy? you get stuck in debt, you have to learn how to fix your own stuff because you can’t afford a repair man much less replacement, and if you’re trying to support anyone besides yourself, you have no way to follow the passions you were indeed born with, and so they become vague memories. this is a pretty common story if you get out there.
and you mock them and tell it like it’s their decision. it’s easy to beat down the little guy and tell him to shut up than to look at it from a balanced perspective, eh Mark?
Comment by Jesse Gunn -
Pingback: Follow your effort (by Mark Cuban) | Dee's Cereal
Pingback: Passion: Guiding Career Decisions or the Result of Career Decisions? « Sports Marketing Prof
The more you do something the better you get, passion or no passion.
Comment by Ron P (@RonaldPayne) -
its a well thought out and well versed argument …almost like a trial lawyer..that makes you believe in what isnt actually completely true…its the eternal question of whether the chicken came first or the egg ..the “effort” that the blogger is talking about is directly proportional to the passion in the specific field..now mind you effort is of many kinds….it may be cent percent effort or a half hearted effort and every thing in between….bill gates was passionate about his field,his effort bore fruit …now each one of us know at least an alcoholic or smoker who made many efforts to leave his/her habit..but they were not passionate about their choice….and we all know were they are now..
Comment by Amartya Chakraborti -
In order for success to materialize, passion and effort need to work in tandem. Without either, real success isn’t possible. Effort is motivated by some level of passion in all circumstances. A person may not be passionate about their particular work and still exert great effort because they have some underlying passion motivating their action, for example, making money.
Comment by innovationneeded -
I don’t think this is an either/or scenario. The best path is to identify what you’re passionate about and then work really hard at it.
Like, for example, maybe you really love college basketball, so you found an internet radio company to listen to Indiana games in Dallas. Or you really love a local basketball team, so you use your proceeds from your internet radio company to buy them and work really hard to build them into a champion.
Comment by Stephen Myers -
“Follow your passion” advice should be replaced with “ok, if you hate working hard at normal shit like most successful people, find something you like and maybe you’ll work hard at it”
Comment by Douglas Jacob Puhl -
For someone who told me he didn’t want to invest in movies, you sure are investing in movies…
Comment by Barbara Assante -
Passion to me always felt like something one cares about to the exclusion of anything else and I’m not that single-minded. But Julia Cameron writes about the idea of passion meaning “will and commitment”. I’ve always liked that – some days my calendar and the ‘to do’ list don’t inspire much passion. I do, however, have the will and commitment to get done what needs to be done to accomplish the bigger picture(s) that I care about.
Comment by Gage Paine (@UTSA_VPSA) -
Pingback: Daily Bullets | Pistols Firing
I think you are smarter than Einstein!
Comment by Jamey Kramar -
Pingback: Bonne journée! « Pierre Potvin
Following a passion is not everybody’s cup of tea. So if one gets disheartened easily or measures oneself with the our colleague’s material success, this game is just not right. But, there is other category of people “passionate people” who don’t need borrowed yardsticks for themselves. For this second category, sticking to a wrong choice could turn out to be an emotional suicide.
You can choose to ignore the outside world but how, will you choose to ignore that little persistent voice in your head “May be I should have given it a try”. If you look around this world is a better world because of passionate people who chose to take a huge chance that could have ruined their lives. I came here from facebook, had Mark chosen to follow his efforts (studies), we wouldn’t be talking here. Some other examples are Bill gates and Steve jobs.
Fitting round pegs in square holes will either leave a gap of deform the union. A round peg will fit only in a round hole-that’s nature’s law. A rose is a rose is a rose- no matter how much effort it makes to become a lily it can’t and, in the process it can only forget that it was born a rose.
Comment by Ashima Cl Sharma -
Pingback: Richard St. John: Secrets of success in 8 words, 3 minutes | Find Your Passion, Inspiration and Motivation
I believe this is excellent advise and you made it a little clearer for me…..thank you.
Comment by Lo (@losheriow) -
Pingback: Dont Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort « nwuptick
“Follow Your Passion” is bad advice? I disagree. Sounds to me like the people who piss and moan about passion being bad are people who gave up following their dream, so they are justifying their choice to abandon their passion for the pursuit of money. Either that or they already have money and used passion to get it, but they don’t recognize it.
The truth of the matter is, you can have passion AND money, but you have to take a good look at Reality. What is the world willing to pay for? What are your talents and strengths? Can those strengths and talents be used to passionately pursue a goal that will result in financial freedom? If so, you’ve got it all.
People who argue against passion might say that the “Waste Management mogul” or the “Septic Tank Business Entrepreneurs” didn’t make their millions from passion (who would love filthy waste and garbage?) Rather, these “dirty job millionaires” took emotion completely out of the equation and used cold hard logic alone to create their empire.
I say “Bullshit!” EVERYONE who pursues and succeeds at a lofty goal, no matter how unglamorous or ugly STILL HAS PASSION toward it. They may not love the “garbage”… but they certainly get a great deal of satisfaction from knowing that they are helping others to clean up their lives. They get satisfaction from ridding the world of unsightly filth and leaving the Earth a cleaner and more organized place. They know deep down that what they are doing is noble and a great service to others, even if it smells bad. Maybe these entrepreneurs wouldn’t say those exact words, but they sure as hell feel that way, even on a subconscious level.
I think too often people have a very narrow view of “passion”. They think it means anything that provides instant gratification and trivial pleasure. They say “I’m passionate about watching TV” or “playing golf”, but I know I can’t make money with that… so therefore passion doesn’t work. Bullshit! First of all, try growing a bit and pursuing loftier things in life. Develop higher skills and interests. If your “passions” are mere distractions, then yeah… no shit, you can’t make a living from them! How about people who are passionate about Sales? Or owning Real Estate? Or Illustrating and Design? Or playing Music? Or building an organization? Or Inventing? Granted, perhaps not all those things will pay off for the person who is passionate about them…. however, there are HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of examples of people who ARE doing just fine pursuing those dreams – with passion.
Comment by Raymond Arotin (@raymondarotin) -
Good way of looking at it. But what happens to those people who’s friends and family give them false praises about a piece of shit idea or concept- clouds their vision?
Mark, you say it all the time on Shark Tank- people who get led into sinking their life savings into a crap idea, because of all the false praises they get throughout their years of effort. Making it their life (i.e-passion) makes them stick to that idea, leading them to a downward spiral.
Reason people become passionate about something is because they are good at it. Effort I believe just provides a void that is most times filled with ‘false praise’ or ‘false hope’.
You were in the Internet industry. I’m thinking you bought over the Mavs because of your passion for basketball. And now we have a NBA Championship ring. Yeah! Yeah!
And I think that is why people are driven by passion, because of badasses like you. Enough of the butt kissing. Sucks I didn’t run into you this SXSW. But if you missed that fat Chipmunk (throwing acorns) during the day and pretty good looking Indian kid by night from last SXSW, I’d love to come over for some coffee or AVION Tequila.
Comment by Nirav Chatterji (@nchatterji) -
The flip side to this coin is to put more effort into what you are passionate about. then it looks like:
1. Find what you truly enjoy doing.
2. Become the best you can possibly be at it to differentiate yourself from the competition.
3. When you really enjoy doing something it doesn’t seem like work, this is key.
4. When you do what you love and love what you do you will enjoy success!
Comment by Ryan (@Rldinvestments) -
Pingback: Don't Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort :: Christine Hueber Marketing
“Time is the most valuable asset you don’t own. You may or may not realize it yet, but how you use or don’t use your time is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you .” Such eloquence. You may or may not realize what a waste of time listening to me is, that means all of you with complete certainty, which is something that you do not have in the future, where the major events are entirely beyond your control. However, you certainly won’t be able to have the same levels of passionate enjoyment of anything 20 years from now , unless you are younger than college age, probably who this guy would like to be paid by since their parents are desperate to have them motivated about anything that requires effort, so you better get serious about passion sooner rather than later in this rapidly going to hell world.
Comment by John Gury -
love your post Mark, you just gave a free successful tip to some of the passionate people that are passionate in there work,but they are broke. so wtf they so passionate about.
Comment by Charlie Taing -
Don’t Follow Mark Cuban, Follow Your Passion
Sometimes Mark Cuban is right on the money and 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 seen offered by an influential business figure.
Contrary to his assertion, “follow your passion” is indisputably the best advice anyone can receive. I can only guess that what Mark was trying to drive at is that making a living from your passion isn’t too realistic in today’s world – a point well-taken. But that sad reality doesn’t make the advice to follow your passion any less right.
The fact is people work ten times harder, faster, better when doing what they’re passionate about. The key question is whether that love and drive can be turned into money, because without money we can’t survive.
For some, success through passion happens almost overnight; for most others, it takes years, even decades, before they either succeed or have to give up and join the regular workforce. Unfortunately too many people work to live instead of the other way around and that’s a real shame. Whoever is lucky enough to break out of that mold should absolutely do so and do it as early in life as possible.
The fundamental question for each dream-chaser to decide for themselves is for how long to chase a passion before it becomes too unrealistic to make a living from it.
Of course there’s no success without effort, so Mark’s point about working hard is a good one but that’s no revelation. Most of us learned that early on when, through overreliance on Cliffs Notes, we were handed that heart-stopping D-minus on the English Lit mid-term. We learned that day that there are no shortcuts.
Most egregious of all Mark’s points was in saying passion follows effort. His point of view is dangerously naive and just plain wrong. I have a feeling Mark Cuban’s own path proves that. I think it’s pretty obvious that he is immensely passionate about technology and he managed to turn that healthy obsession into billions. So why teach others to pursue any different a path than he himself followed? Just because something’s difficult doesn’t make it wrong.
The truth is, effort follows passion, not the other way around, and they’re really a package deal. Love something and the effort will cascade out of you uncontrollably. Thought-leaders like Mark Cuban should empower people to succeed by doing what they love, not encourage them to get a “real” job and hope one day passion sprouts up out of nowhere.
It shouldn’t be Mark’s job to point out to us the harsh realities of life; that’s for us to find out on our own during our rollercoaster journey. What we need to hear from successful people like him is that the seemingly impossible can be achieved and the best way to achieve big things is by doing what you love.
If we have to settle for less then so be it but not a moment before the dream is given its fair shot.
Comment by JON GLUCK (@ItsJonGluck) -
Great post Mark, if your passionate about something and don’t put the effort in then what is the use.
Comment by Melissa Garza -
interesting post and interesting timing, as well. once this went up, I came across this website promoting a similar message: http://calnewport.com/blog/about/
Comment by Cory Councilman (@ccouncilman) -
Comment by Regina Kariuki -
I say follow your purpose, and purpose is pretty much the same as effort, though in my view purpose is aligned with values whereas effort may or may not be aligned with values.
I do feel passion is important, but it is a small part of a greater whole. Passion alone may burn out or lead us ahead without consideration. Passion is an important indicator but alone it does not necessarily lead to success.
Thanks for the topic!
Comment by Chrysta Bairre (@livelovework) -
Your attack should be against the application of passion and hard work. People put effort and hard work into the things they love to do, they do not devote their time to the things they hate or even dislike.
The reason people fail when pursuing their passions/hard work is because they have not figured out the economic value of their efforts. Jim Collins said it best in his most recent book, “Great by Choice:” “Fire bullets, then cannonballs.” You have to test the economics of your passion/hard work through empirical evidence before you devote all of your time into an endeavor.
Comment by Roy M. Tubbs -
Good Advice PeacE! Bro.
Comment by Bill D. Lavoie -
Pingback: Preston J. Williams (prestonj.williams) | Pearltrees
So true Mark. I gave the same advice yesterday to a college student. I told him to just start doing and forget about figuring out what his passion is!
Comment by Cindy Ronzoni -
Pingback: The Mind of Jack Spirko » Mark Cuban Says “Don’t Follow Your Passion” – But Didn’t His Make Him a Billionaire
Pingback: What would you say ya do here? « The Spring of Sara
I normally agree with most things you have posted in the past but this one is a little iffy, sorry Mark. For one, a waitress can work a job for 10yrs and get good at it, but that doesn’t mean she’ll develop a passion for serving food just because of that.
The best advice I could give to anyone is to find a direction and stick with it. Keep moving forward. Find ways to motivate yourself to keep moving in a singular direction towards a singular goal. It’s ok to have several goals, long-term and short-term but try to stick with one at a time. Make sure the passion that drives you wasn’t concocted from magazine pictures or movies. It has to come from a real life experience.
The problem with most folks is they have too many passions and bounce from one thing to another. Many people spend too much time on the wrong things and never get anywhere in life.
I would say everyone needs to analyze real-life experiences that has made them happy, return to it, investigate it, feel it out…find ways to dedicate more time to those things that ultimately make you feel better. Ours days are all numbered, whether you’re a billionaire or a peasant. Every day I remind myself I could die tomorrow so I try to squeeze out as much joy out of today as I can while continually moving in one direction towards one goal, just in case today wasn’t my last 😉
Comment by Erich Cervantez (@erichcervantez) -
Love ya Mark but have to disagree partly. A persons ‘passion’ is generally what they are naturally good at. You can have higher success in that passion field than you would doing something else. Of course you still have to work, do things your uncomfortable with, struggle, fail and everything else either way. But we’ve seen passions lead many people to do incredible things (Donald Trumps passion for the details in his buildings, Steve Jobs passion about the look and design of his products, etc). You can be highly successful whether you pursue your passion or not, but with the passion you’ll be doing something you enjoy on a much deeper level imo.
Comment by Christian Fager -
Pingback: Monday links: setbacks as opportunities | Abnormal Returns
Here’s the problem with that advice Mark, most people do exactly that. They pick something (usually for the wrong reason) and work real hard at it (cause that’s what everyone has told us from birth, “work hard”) and then they get results and maybe even become good or great at it. Of course they “like it” more but don’t mistake that for passion, they are liking the wrong things…praise, more money, being comfortable. Then, they wake up one day and realize they don’t want to do this shit anymore and never really did (or more tragic they never realize that or do nothing about it). Ah, the American trap, I mean “American Dream”. What would you do for free? Pick that and put effort behind it and the money will follow.
Comment by Dave Arena -
I’m surprised at how a person of your caliber can be so simplistic (Not to be confused with pragmatic). Ivan Kroobetskiy, you’re dead on with your post, love it!
To me it demonstrates that LUCK is just as important as smarts and hard work.
P.S. please don’t come back with the cliche that “You make your own luck”, because that’s BS.
Comment by Baruch Pappo -
Mark…I am passionate about watching movies and playing video games. Maybe you can give some advice on how I can become successful in either one of these entertainment fields? Oh yea…I watch a lot of HDNet also… 🙂
Comment by Chauncey Adams -
“1. When you work hard at something you become good at it.”
Not true. Lots of people work hard at math or physics and they never become good at the subject. They simply do not have the capacity. Effort must be focused prudently on abilities that have potential for return. Like stocks. Being introspective enough to identify strengths is the single most important first step to becoming successful. Very few people know what they are actually good at.
“2. When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more.”
Also not true. In fact, in a lot of instances it is the opposite. Take gifted children in regular schools for example. Extremely intelligent children in a regular educational setting sometimes will get mediocre grades because they’re doing just enough work to not get noticed. They know the material, so not point in putting anymore effort into anything. Why bother? They good at learning, but they don’t care. Such cases are part of the reason why standardized testing became in vogue.
“3. When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it.”
The “good chance” is a nice cover, but this is also not true for reasons cited above.
“4. When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.”
This is the myth that hard work always pays off. It’s a great bumper sticker, but it’s not true. To be successful, a certain formula has to develop. Effort is part of it, but not all of it. Timing is important. So is the ability to recognize opportunities when they appear and a willingness to take chances. More likely than not, an individual will fail at least once or twice at something before reaping the fruits of their labor, so accepting failure and not being stopped by it also is essential.
Mr. Cuban, there is no simple math to becoming successful. Success is not one size fits all. And once someone, such as yourself has reached the pinnacle of their chosen field, it is very easy to look back and say “Hard work is what got me here.” Because that’s what you remember. The work. But what about the opportunities others afforded you? The chances you took? The failures that showed where not to tread? Those things are as important, if not more so, than your ardent effort.
Comment by doc4725 -
Reblogged this on edforce9.
Comment by Ivan Korobetskiy -
Pingback: Effort > Passion - DailyDT
Absolutely, people need to be true to themselves. They have to be brutally honest with themselves than being hypocritically polite ! Face the truth ! It’s hard to digest but eventually it helps !
Comment by pavankarwa -
Definitely. I am currently in the MBA program at Rutgers Business School, and I remember when Randall Pinkett came to speak at an entrepreneurship event. He said to make your career out of where your PASSION meets your SKILL. That has really stuck with me, and this post reaffirms it for me.
Comment by Hannah -
Passion creates effort for more competency. Yes we have ideas that go nowhere and we do “like” a lot of things, but I would not confuse these with passion. It’s like confusing lust for love.
Comment by Michael Podboreski -
I agree with some of what you said only because you are Mark Cuban and apparently you have a winning formula that has worked for you. If you were anyone else, I would say that passion produces effort and effort in turn produces results. Others here give passion about name by defining it as a “lack of will to work, ” argumentative,” or “flowerchild.” My take is that a person without passion for what he or she does will not put forth the effort it takes to see things through. He or she will not have the persistence to see the project through regardless of setbacks. So, Mr. Cuban, I salute your passion and effort because without either, my nephew would not be so happy about the Mavericks becoming NBA Champs. He is 23 years-old and has been following the team since he was 15 or 16.
Comment by Edwin Thomas -
Pingback: Marc Cuban: Dont follow your passion, follow your effort | The Alpha Syndicate
Simply said – WOW
Comment by Cheryl Rochefort Rios -
I’m a business and life coach and I think all of us sometimes interchange passion for dreams or objectives. Couldn’t agree more, It’s nice to be passionate about a subject, but it takes planning, focused effort, money and risk to get what you want.
Passion is a feeling; execution of a well defined plan is path to success and putting your passion to work.
Comment by Carmen J. Carrozza -
Your advice is why 67% of the workforce is disengaged(Gallup poll 2011). We will spend 85,000 hour at work in our life time. The current american model suggests that we go to school, get good grades, learn a skill, and get paid for that skill. This model is flawed, leaving people ineffective, frustrated and miserable. How many of your college buddies are doing what they learned in college? The your bullet points are flawed frontwards and backwards. You will be successful when you are mix passion, talent, skill, and self determination. The the more time you put into your skill is really the delineating line, most people don’t put in the 10,000 hours to be at the top of their field, the ones that put in their 10,000 hours inside of their passion, talent and self determination are the outliers. People like you! Tell me you are not passionate at b-ball…lol. lets see you go buy a hockey team and lets see how successful it is…lol
Comment by Dave Jones -
Why can’t you put effort in to something you are passionate about? Are you passionate about the Mavericks Mark?
Comment by Nuaym Lindsay -
Reblogged this on MJTVGirl's Constant Client Stream Guide.
Comment by mjcranmore -
Great post Mark. I really like how you explained this because I often think about what I’m passionate about and wonder why I do not just quit my job and go do that…. This helped explain how to choose where you might want to go with your career, etc.
Comment by Dan Richey -
Following your passion may not make us rich like you Mark, so if wealth is your yardstick, you are probably talking good sense. It takes all kinds and I will throw my two cents in about how passion is related to a good career here: http://academy.justjobs.com/know-yourself-follow-your-bliss/
Comment by ericshannon (@ericshannon) -
Cuban is right. I will say this. It’s not a either/or issue as much as it’s a both/and issue. We’ve gotta be passionate, but we’ve also gotta give strong and determined effort. Also, you don’t become a billionaire just being passionate. I see his passion on the sidelines when the Mavericks play ball. The part we don’t see is the effort that he puts in when he’s not on the sidelines.
Thanks Mr. Cuban
Comment by Pastor Franklin Maurice Henderson -
Reblogged this on peterslutsky and commented:
I love myself some Marc Cuban…
Comment by Peter Slutsky -
Reblogged this on Househunting with the Tim Guilliams Team.
Comment by Tim Guilliams -
Bring it on Mark! Look, I have the utmost respect for you and your accomplishments. I love watching you on Shark Tank and to be honest, I’m usually waiting for your response because I find myself in complete agreement. On this one, there are no nods. I will take you on…totally disagree.
It’s funny, my husband, who is also now my business partner came into my office to mention the irony between your post today and a little blurb that I did on the Anderson show (http://www.andersoncooper.com/2012/03/16/more-million-dollar-tips-from-aj-and-amber-schaub/). We’re both fans, but he knew your post would light my fire!
As a fellow entrepreneur, I know that I could not devote this much time, effort, and energy to something that did not evoke passion and fulfillment deep in my soul. I recently read a great article and total agree with the statement that “entrepreneurship is an irrational pursuit”. Seriously, who in their right mind is willing to make these kinds of sacrifices for something that is not guaranteed? The only way this becomes in any way justified is the human need to do something bigger than yourself. I personally believe that this is a required passion of pretty much any entrepreneur, or at least any successful entrepreneur.
I think I get your point, and where you are trying to go with this. It is not often that I completely disagree with you, but if I’ve learned anything from you, it’s never hold back!
Comment by Amber Schaub -
Pingback: http://blogmaverick.com/2012/03/18/dont-follow-your-passion-follow-your-effort/ | lookyloo diary
Pingback: 10 Monday AM Reads | The Big Picture
Thank you, you make a great point!
Comment by Wade Sarver -
Well said Mark – sharing this post with some young folks in a local MBA program – “how you use your time” – that’s a decision we all get to make every moment
Comment by Paul Helmick (@paulhelmick) -
Either work hard to succeed or work as little as possible and be content with whatever comes.
Comment by An anonymous bloke -
Reblogged this on Publisher's Office and commented:
Interesting thoughts on following your effort rather than you passion from Mark Cuban.
Comment by Jake Volcsko -
Comment by cmp101 -
It’s funny that you posted this just after I watched the TED talk by Larry Smith called “Why you will fail to have a great career.” Funny and insightful 14 minutes. You should check it out.
No one can argue that the amount of effort you put into something determines what you get out of it. But I think the problem is that most people don’t really know what they are passionate about in the first place. Most people aren’t that introspective.
And I’d argue that you have actually followed your passion from day one. You are passionate about the competition.
Comment by Jeremy Newhouse -
It’s funny that you posted this just after I watched the TED talk by Larry Smith called “Why
Comment by Jeremy Newhouse -
The only reason that there are so many people who agree with this advice is due to the fact that with this post, from a notable business man, they found out a way to scape from the hard work of trying to reach their dreams. Perhaps this advice works for Mark because he is so competitive that being the first in something is what counts to him. In other words, his dream is to be the first one. It doesn´t matter if he is working in a business and/or an activity that he dreamt about.
Comment by Fernando Lameirinhas (@flameirinhas) -
Love this post. I see so many people bounce around chasing their passions. Your advice going where you spend your time rings true. Basically you are saying reward success, go with what is already working for you. In this way, people won’t lose interest and move on to the next bright, shiny thing. Thanks!
Comment by Mike Martel -
Well good points certainly not as black and white as written. I like your contrarian approach to get attention to this topic but splitting hairs between passion and effort like chicken and egg is a bit simplistic-they go together. Nice point, well positioned, but not convinced. Although you own an NBA team and I don’t-yet
Comment by Platepus Global (@platepusss) -
I agree and I don’t. Absolutely, what you invest time in and what you sacrafice for will completely out duel passion alone. No question. BUT, your passion… or better yet… what you love, combined with what you invest your time in can give you an opportunity to be great. Thanks! http://www.allbasketballreview.com
Comment by Jeff House -
Pingback: Não siga a sua Paixão, siga o seu Esforço
Hmmmmm…If it’s truly your passion shouldn’t it = your effort?
Comment by cougarguards -
Pingback: Passion | Pearltrees
Brilliant. Couldn’t have said it better myself. In fact, I don’t know if anyone could have said it better. Love the line – “Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.”
Where you invest your time and your money is the best indication what you should build a business out of. I invest my time and money learning about marketing, advertising, sales, business development. Hundred of hours and thousands of dollars each and every year. Forget about ‘Passions’, ‘Strengths’, likes and dislikes.
The only way you’re going to become good at anything is to spend thousands of hours perfecting your craft. Getting coaching. Learning through trial and error. 10,000 hours in fact – see Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers for more on this.
I’m passionate about other things too. Watching the NBA, Formula one and Shark Tank. The only catch is not one is going to pay to watch or observe me doing these things. So you can’t make a business out of them.
Comment by Gabriel Bradly -
I’m in college. I have four majors in a variety of areas and I’m trying to figure out what I want to do once I graduate. I want to figure out where I’m going, but I never have an answer when people ask me what I’ll be doing after school. I spend a ridiculous amount of time reading and researching every day, and my internship this summer will be about research. Here’s to hoping that I can get a job doing that!
From mc> whats the rush ? Get any job that interests you and pays the bills. you will be getting paid to learn a business and to learn about yourself as well. That job and the next job and the next will pay you to learn far more about yourself than you will learn paying for more education. There will come a time when you will hopefully have it figured out, the day you graduate is not that time
Comment by Caroline L (@LaMarEstaba) -
Pingback: China Readings for March 19th | Sinocism
Bankers aren’t passionate people. They are very good at their job, but they probably hate their job.
So better advice: follow what makes you happy. In this case – money.
Comment by omgsorrythatsiteexists -
Makes too much sense….following our passion isn’t always the right course of action nor does it mean success, but if you believe in it and can support it then we have a higher chance at success, though not guaranteed.
Comment by Jay (@repout77) -
Last time I was at the grocery store you still couldn’t pay for your groceries with “passion” but they were happy to accept the money that I worked my ass off to get!
Comment by OnlineTodayWeb (@OnlineTodayWeb) -
I don’t know, Mark. I was passionate about righting a wrong in the world, which I happen to be able to profit from. If I wasn’t passionate about fixing the problem, then I wouldn’t be doing this. With that said, I agree, just because you’re passionate about something, doesn’t mean you don’t have to put massive amounts of effort into it. But, again, if you’re that passionate about it, you’ll put the effort into it.
Comment by Greg Berry (@gregmberry) -
A better, and truer, formulation than “follow your passion” would be “follow your destiny.” The Greeks had a notion of eudaimonia, which is the intrinsic satisfaction that comes from pursuing an activity that best expresses one’s basic nature. A modern version of this idea was developed by philosopher David L. Norton, who put it this way: “There is a distinctive course of life that is right for each individual, amid countless possibilities. This is the individual’s vocation, variously termed his or her ‘genius,’ ‘daimon,’ ‘Buddha nature,’ or ‘atman.’ It consists in innate potentialities that predispose persons to a particular direction in life. As distinguished from other possibilities, the actualization by an individual of his or her potentialities affords intrinsic rewards to that person—that is, the activity is personally fulfilling and satisfying. Self-knowledge, then, is knowledge of the activities, situations, and relationships that the individual experiences as intrinsically rewarding. Engaged at these, the individual invests the best of himself or herself and strives continuously to improve, while in the process contributing objective values to others.”
Comment by Sanford Gray Thatcher -
That advice flies directly in the face of one of the most well known poisons that can ruin a man’s life and have him wake up at the end of his road full of regrets Point by point. For example, golden handcuffs:
1. When you work hard at something you become good at it.
-> Only if you have a talent for it and even then, you may do it just to pay the rent even though you hate it.
2. When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more.
A soldier defends his/her country usually by having to kill other human beings. The vast majority of soldiers are good people that hate having to do that but are very good at it.
3. When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it
-> Again, paying the rent forces billions of us to become good at things we don’t like or even hate.
4. When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.
-> That’s what happened to you. For at least some of us, we got really good at things that were no longer valued as highly by the market place and got stuck with high expenses and increasingly dwindling revenues, including the brick wall income-stopper that was the recent global financial melt-down.
I normally agree with the vast majority of your posts but this isn’t one of them. The flip side for many entrepreneurs is that they make the other big mistake of trying to get rich and since they are not passionate about what they are creating, or at least the company they create, they don’t have the energy to sustain themselves through the many years of struggling financially. This blog post seems more controversial then salient.
Comment by Robert Oschler (@roschler) -
I think it is equally important to match your skills, talents, and goals to your chosen career path, and then work hard at it. If you are playing out of position it will be much harder to succeed.
For example, if you weigh 300 lbs, are 5’11”, and have short stubby fingers, then you probably won’t be a good wide receiver no matter how hard you work at it or want it. If your IQ is about average, then you probably won’t be a good nuclear physicist. If you aren’t physically attractive with a good vocabulary, then you probably ought not to choose a career as a TV News Anchor. If your goal is to be rich and famous then you probably ought to leave your current job as a UPS delivery man and try something more entrepreneurial.
Comment by dasdas (@dasdas71475697) -
I think Mark had great timing in when he sold his business, but I’m sure he worked hard to get into that position. There were plenty of other people who had the opportunity to do something similar, but he took the initiative and did it. I agree with him that hard work is what will distinguish a successful person from someone who comes up short. Most people just do not want to put in the blood, sweat, tears, but also the persistence, time, and sacrifice into become a leader in their field. Think about people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs who literally put every ounce of energy they had into their companies to become the best.
Comment by Kyle Kidd -
Best advice ever Mark.. It’s so easy to say follow your passion.. Sometimes what you are passionate about won’t make you in capital what you put your effort into. Being passionate about something doesn’t mean you will make money at it even with effort. Find something that will make money and put effort into it so that you have the money to do the things you are passionate about. Excellent advice Mark!
Comment by Butterscotch Dalle-Valle -
Good post Mark
Comment by Rentark (@Rentark) -
@Randal Parker Mba – I don’t see how you can say Mark made his money “easily” … I’ve read about Mark’s early days. As I see it, he worked his ass off. Just because he took predictable steps that led to consistent success (and then has been nice enough to share with others!) … that doesn’t mean it was easy.
Comment by Patrick Foley -
Hey Walt (disney) you are silly to think you can follow your passion and build an entertainment brand around a mouse…and forget about that passion of a theme park ha ha ha.. Steve (Jobs) I know you are passionate about technology but you and your friend Waz should give up on your passion. Hey Oprah, I understand you are passionate about helping people but come on a tv station, a tv show…I believe the greatest people in the world (Einstein, Gandi etc) have all followed there passions.
Comment by Jason Plouff -
There’s much truth to this Mark. I think society as a whole romanticizes passion too much. Often hard work and effort will achieve what natural talent and passion cannot.
Comment by Berry Schwartz -
you’re playing semantics…..or it’s a chicken/egg issue. very difficult to put sustained, quality effort into something if you’re not passionate about it.
Comment by kidmercury -
I can’t say I totally agree with this. I spent a significant amount of my adult life working hard and becoming proficient in things I hated doing because society said I needed to do these things to become successful. I was on a very secure road, but how happy was I? Eventually, I threw all that away to take some time to look at myself in the mirror. Now my quality of life has improved so drastically that even the people who questioned me let me know I made the right decision.
Find your own way because when you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.
1. Take an honest look at yourself and sift through the things you enjoy, or may enjoy, and narrow them down.
2. When you enjoy what you’re doing you’ll worker harder.
3. When you work hard at something you care about, you’ll get good at it.
4. When you’re good at something that encompasses your joy and effort, good things happen.
The idea that you’re suppose to know exactly what you’re going to do with your life at 18 years old is bullshit. There’s nothing wrong with bouncing around the things you love until you find one that becomes a viable career option for you.
Comment by Chip Creech (@CDCreech) -
I agree with what you are saying, but this is some of the worst advice I have ever seen you offer.
A gentleman once approached a famous entrepreneur (I forget who), and told him his plans to make a great enterprise. Said entrepreneur told him, essentially, “You are full of shit, that will never work.”
The gentlemen left the conversation with his tail between his legs.
The entrepreneur commented to a friend, “If I can take away his dream, then he doesn’t believe in it enough.”
We don’t need more dream stealers. We need people who can assist those who want to change the world.
One of the biggest obstacles that you face is that you made your money too easily, and at too young an age.
Not everyone has your opportunity, and for you to push back against those that want to achieve, but who don’t achieve that easily, is a disservice to humanity and to entrepreneurship.
Get off your high horse, and normalize your thinking. You will help more people that way!
Comment by Randall Parker Mba -
Mark I’m on board 100 percent with your teachings! I just purchased your book last night and signed up for your blog. I really appreciate the things you say and HOW you say it. I’m the type of guy who likes to hear it straight. ‘Get to the point’ is what I find myself thinking too often. I feel like your blog postings are exactly that. You can say something better, more powerful, and more meaningful in a short blog posting than others would take to do so in a 500 page novel. I appreciate your hard work and example and look forward to learning more of the Cuban ways.
Comment by Toby Parker -
I think passion and effort/hard work are not mutually exclusive to being successful, they are both important to being happy, successful and living a fulfilling life. One without the other will only get you so far and you will end up in mediocrity.
Follow your passion but not putting much effort into it is similar to someone with a great talent who never works towards developing it.
I’ve been in situations where I followed my effort and not passion, made a very good living but I wasn’t happy. I’ve been in situations where I did what I had passion for and made less money and I was happier.
Bottom line they are both important and to each his own. Do what’s good for you and will make you feel happy and accomplished!
Comment by Baruch Pappo -
Ummmmm… P.S. Peck Says this is imPECKable advice : )
Comment by hrhnap -
I love it – exactly why I started my blog!
Comment by hrhnap -
Really like this Marc. I think passion / efforts is sort of a yin / yang. If you’re passionate about your efforts then your efforts will generate success which will drive the passion you discuss. Great column.
Comment by Ken Montgomery -
Comment by HIP LIP -
That is exactly how i feel. Question: When you work very hard at something, and you strongly believe it will be successful, and all you need is for someone to give you a push, how do you get people to hear you without being obnoxious? i am not afraid of rejections but i don’t want to leave a bitter after taste in people’s mind. Did you get the email I sent you?
Comment by crjvice -
Mark Cuban for the win. You and the other sharks are an inspiration.
Comment by Puppy Love Dog Store (@PuppyLoveStore) -
“Following my passion” is often code for “I don’t like to work”.
This is a great post, and a refreshing voice instead of more ‘positive thinking’ nonsense.
Comment by Chris Zimmerman (@cpzimmerman) -
I don’t totally agree with you Mark. I think you need to be passionate about what you do if you want to be successful as an entrepreneur. Not everyone is able to be an entrepreneur. Their are always ups and downs and a lot of failures on the way. Without passion, it’s very hard to get through the downs or to pick yourself up after a failed venture. To say passion comes after success may be true, but you really do need that passion to reach success.
Comment by Richard Kligman -
Love this! I’m going to share it with my high school students.
Comment by colley916 (@colley916) -
Way to break it down. I always wondered exactly WTF people were talking about… passion? You mean working my ass off? Is that what you mean? Then yeah, I’m passionate. But mostly I’m just obsessed with DOING. Thanks for the article, I’m going to pass it along!
Comment by lindseyjonesmakeup -
Agreed! Thanks for the reflection!
Comment by Sherrina Peters (@sherrina73) -
Effort plus passion is a force of nature.
Comment by Trader Michigan (@TraderMichigan) -
Thanks a bunch!!!!
Comment by NaijaPundit (@NaijaPundit) -
Comments are closed.