Beyond “Love It or Lose”

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Feb 11, 2024
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Manufacturing outburst in combination with automation makes us think sometimes that economy is changed too fast and we left behind. The recent COVID-19 pandemic crisis can be perceived as creative destruction emerged new models that can work. Cases of thriving during the time of chaos, where familiar ways of working stopped working, indicated that many regular people can thrive when a sense of purpose combined with financial perspective are present. Looking back into the experiences from lockdowns existential questions were risen and depicted through more quality measures than quantitative ones.

Passion economy is a new aspect of economy that is based on the attempt of individuals to monetarize their passions and unique talents in a way that can direct reach a niche customer segment and provide substantial value. Focusing on your strength and defining what should be your contribution is one of the main concept of Peter Drucker in managing oneself. The passion economy is using this concept and introduces a different paradigm of expression of those strengths beyond the typical corporate or entrepreneurial expressions by focusing on individuals’ business acts without intermediates. The core idea is remaining the same in a different context.

However, passion economy is not for everyone. There are specific individual’s characteristics and self- processes that can contribute in thriving in a passion economy.

Beyond “Love It or Lose”

Find what you love

Self-knowledge as a fundamental issue for man was expressed by the ancient Greek philosophers with the saying "Know thyself". Aristotle argues that self-knowledge is the beginning of every wisdom.

Times of crisis are generally times that help us look how the things are working for us and find out what our strengths and weaknesses are and how we can exploit them. During crises the challenge of status quo is more naturally emerged. However, many can go through life never reflecting on their values, desires, and viewpoints. They never critically look at their strengths or weaknesses. So this doesn’t necessarily come naturallyْ sometimes an external event or person should trigger this process.

Since at least 1959, when in Landmarks of Tomorrow he first described the rise of “knowledge worker” Peter Drucker indicated the need of knowing what our strengths are. A passion is not by default a strength but can be exploited and progressive turn into strength.

Identifying areas of strength and development, plays an important role in a self- reflection process. But beyond assessing your strengths and skills you need to find what you care about and what makes your heart beat faster. This is not always part of a rational process. You need to leave all the senses open and try to interpret emotions under different circumstances in order to figure out your passion.

Self-reflection is an active dynamic process. It is an art form. It is not a simple checklist that you can mark off after reading a set of books so you can label yourself as self-aware. There certainly are some milestones you can use to measure your progress, but rest assured you will never hit a point where you have reached the peak of self-awareness and can then coast. This is a life-long journey for those that want to honestly pursue it. And this life-long journey will affect you.

Do we have all of them a passion that can be monetized?

The answer is most probably no and it is totally fine not to have a passion. You are not obligated to have one and you do not need to pressure yourself in order to find one. It is usual in circumstances that deviate from normal at the time they first appear, like the COVID-19 pandemic crises to change the way you think and do things and consequently existing hidden passions to be emerged. However, the key here is the natural immersion and not the pretentious emersion.

Lead your love

Self-leadership requires first and foremost to lead your thinking patterns. Requires to use the most helpful lenses to interpret the external environment. The way you treat your assumed constraints around can be catalytic for overcoming obstacles and keeping the momentum high.

Having a raison d être is the fuel that will give you the power to change the thinking patterns and the mental constraints. Knowing what you love and how you can contribute will trigger you to change your thoughts in order to achieve your self-purpose. It is the strong sense of self-purpose that dictate you to self – lead your-self in order to achieve what gives meaning to your life.

Peter Drucker stated that the fundamental basis of effective leadership is defining and creating a sense of purpose. A significant parameter of that idea is not only the identification but also the creation. We may have a general sense of mission or purpose but this sense and understanding must be properly processed to take a form capable of motivating ourselves and persuading us to do the extra mile. It is not enough just to identify. We need progressively and intentionally build and develop our sense of purpose after identifying in abstract terms what makes our heart beat faster.

Self-leadership is an umbrella term for many skills of an individual that are supposed to substitute the absence of an external leader. In order to thrive in a passion economy you need to be your own leader. First of all you need to be able to self-manage yourself by organizing and controlling your day to day activities. You need to carefully set and monitor your goals.

How other perceive your passion?

In a passion economy what you offer is most often not in large scale. You reach a specific niche market. That means you have to understand deeply your customers. Those who thrive in a passion economy have developed the ability to build genuine human relationship and understand that what they offer is Human to human (h2h) and not business to consumer (b2c).

A basic condition for building good relationships with others for mutual benefit, in the sense to achive satisfaction of their own and our own needs, is mutual understanding. Understanding the others motives, knowing the basic elements of their character, their needs, aspirations, feelings, way of thinking, their strengths and weaknesses is necessery if you want to define an upgraded value proposition in your niche market. Just as we analyze the above for ourselves, we must also analyze them for the people to whom we want to offer our service.

This allows us to first explain and predict the attitudes, behaviors and results of the actions of the people who make up our target market. Secondly, it allows us to positively influence our relationships with people who are interested in what we offer. Since, often the services provided in a passion economy are personalized we need to listen effectively to each other and to respect and understand diversity. If we really care about understanding our target market we must look at things not only from our own point of view but also from the other.

Contrary to mass production the nature of passion economy requires understanding the customer in a deeper level. Drill down to more fundamental aspects of personality, needs and motivations.

Freedom to express your kind of love

As Erich Fromm indicates in his book “Escape from Freedom”, true, positive freedom, consists in spontaneous activity. We can rephrase this to a spontaneous passion. A passion that may not be restricted by the intensity of economic, social, political and religious totalitarianism.

Many people are terrified by the freedom. They want to live and act in prescribed formulas and certain manners. Managing freedom mean you have the courage to form our paths and territories when existing ones, socially acceptable exist. Not just to choose a table from the existing one to sit but to create your own table. The freedom to create your own career path. The freedom to determine in your own terms the progress and the steps you have to follow in your professional life. The abolition of external domination in the thinking patterns and in the alternatives you may follow.

Ηowever the freedom most of the time is accompanied with greater responsibility, need for self – control and internal focus of control meaning you cannot blame your boss or your organizational environment. You have to take responsibility for what you create. For the actions you take to provide improved value to your target market. There are no intermediates. You are the one responsible to use your skills in combination with the right technology

Drucker urged executives to push decision-making and accountability all the way down through the organization as early as 1955, when he introduced the concept of Management by Objectives. This is connected with the passion economy accountability and autonomy of individuals. Freedom is connected with accountability and responsibility to yourself and to others.

Beyond Love it or Lose

Passion economy is not for all. Every corporate role is not for all. Enterpeunship is not for all. Medicine is not for all... and so on.

The far most important thing that the concept of passion economy can teach us all is not “Love it or Lose” but “Manage your love or Lose”. It’s dangerous not to do what you love. But it’s also dangerous not to align and express your love in a way that will be useful and benefit other people and yourself. Although the environment may be supporting you, if you really do not care about something you will not be able to see and exploit the support. And via versa if you do something that the environment does not care about and there are not people that find value, then your passion is not sustainable in a passion economy.

It’s acceptable not to know what you love and do something that you are not sure if you love. You can be lucky enough to have a passion but it’s ok just to love what you do. What is not acceptable is giving up the continus trial to find what you love. Building a life of fun and personal expression is an ongoing journey that every human deserves to ride. For every person who is half- hearted about their work or relationships, there is someone else who loves what they’re half- hearted about. This person will work harder and longer.

This journey is not for those that have a deeply ingrained need to be validated by lots of people. You will spend as much of your journey devoid of validation from others. As Peter Drucker suggest in his piece “Managing oneself”, we will have to place ourselves where we can make the greatest contribution. This is the concept we have to follow either if we work in a traditional corporate work or solo in a passion economy.


 Author: George Sioutzos, Business Analyst, Business Author

George Sioutzos is working in the business consulting industry as a business analyst. He has experience in projects from different sectors. He holds a BSc in Management Science and Technology from Athens University of Economics and Business and Msc in International Business & Management. Numerous articles about business and technology issues have been published in most reputable Greek and foreign media.

Posted in: Soft Skills
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