Why Passion Breeds Success

If you’re looking to succeed, you’ve got to be passionate. You’ve got to be driven and you’ve got to care. You know what makes that a whole lot easier? Surrounding yourself with people who think the same way. In my experience, some of New Zealand’s most talented and driven individuals can be found in small and medium-sized businesses around the country.

“Seek out people who fuel your passion. Find others who care about what you care about and are also driven by the things that get you out of bed in the morning.”

At this stage in my career, as Head of Marketing for an awesome Kiwi company, I’m able to hire people with the attitude and skills to help make my visions a reality. Getting to this point has meant playing a game of job hopscotch, ensuring I’ve always been surrounded by passionate people that could help and challenge me. Two years ago, I made the jump from a big corporate to a smaller, but very ambitious, organisation.

The move showed me that you can’t teach passion. You can’t teach people to care. As a boss or entrepreneur, it’s easy to jump out of bed every morning excited to do great work – because you believe in what you’re doing and want your business to be the best. But, when you’re building your career, surrounding yourself with others who share that level of conviction is the challenge. Finding colleagues who are fanatical about what they do, just like you, can be the springboard that fast-forwards your own success.

In a big company, it can be easy for less-driven individuals to keep ticking over in their jobs, without ever really being held accountable. In a smaller organisation, everyone is in the spotlight. Every member of the team is required to pull their weight and take responsibility and live the passion for the job because it’s passion that drives success in business. You can have the best product or service in the market, but without passionate individuals at every level, things are likely to flop.

In my experience, as an employee in a medium-sized business, you’re surrounded by a strong team who will bend over backwards to do the right thing for the company. That means business leaders are required to be open and honest with staff. It means inviting both suggestions and constructive criticism in a respectful environment. It means having a ‘best idea wins’ policy – which requires you to throw the hierarchy out the window.

Once the big decisions have been made and the strategy has been planned out, staff are left to ‘get on with it’. Employees are empowered to do their job and do it well. The expectations are high and the challenges are plentiful. If you’re coming from a big corporate environment, the switch can be daunting at first.

Making the jump from big corporate to small business might seem like a scary change. However, there’s no faster way to get from where you are to where you want to be, than by surrounding yourself with passionate people who refuse to see you fail. That’s the kind of supportive team environment I found when I made the switch from big business.

So, if you’re considering a career jump, taking the leap to a small or medium-sized business could be just the leg-up you’re looking for.

Vanessa Taylor
Head of Marketing