That famous line was asked in the 1999 production of “Office Space.” The idea behind the question is to determine what you would do if money was no object. That is perhaps the easiest way to determine where your true passion lies. Now please don’t follow Peter’s style in the movie, that will get you nowhere. The concept of being promoted because you got lazy and slacked off doesn’t happen in the real world. The only thing that you do need to pay attention to is the fact that Peter didn’t care what anyone thought. He just did him and that was it. Also, don’t go ripping off a bank by dropping fractions of a penny into an account. I guarantee you will get caught and will go to prison.
In all seriousness, please take a moment and answer the question, “What would you do if you had a million dollars?” More than ninety percent of all respondents would follow their passion or do something they love. Now that you have that answer, lets twist the question slightly, “What would you do to get a million dollars?” Wining the lottery, robbing a bank, borrowing the money, and other seemingly simple ways to obtain the money are not acceptable answers. While it may get you the money and in some cases a roommate in a 8 x 9 cell, it’s really not the best way to obtain that million. How much more satisfying and how much more are you going to appreciate that million if you worked hard for it? Not only will it be satisfying, you aren’t likely to spend it as quickly let alone just give up at a million.
Now, I can understand what you are thinking. First I am telling you to follow your passion and then I’m telling you to work hard to earn a million dollars. Guess what? The two go hand in hand. You will never earn a million dollars working for someone else. They will earn a million and you will help them earn that million, nut you will not earn a million. Instead, if you chase your passion, that thing you love to do more than anything, the money will follow. Chase the money and you will never see a million dollars. In fact, if you chase money, you will likely spend more money than what you earn.
There could be a million different answers to define what your passion is. First things first, get a piece of paper and write your passion down at the top. Below that, draw a line down the middle of the paper. On the left side, write down the things you need, supplies, resources, etc. that will make you successful in pursuing your passion. Right now, don’t think about money, just think about what it would take to follow through with your passion. On the right side, write down things that would limit, hinder, or prevent you from pursuing your dream. This should only take about five to ten minutes, don’t spend an exorbitant amount of time on this.
Finished? Great! Take a look at your paper. The items you listed on the left side are goals; the steps you need to take and the things you need to acquire to be successful. For some, this may be a very simple list, for others, it could be a much longer list. Regardless, this is your list of goals. Now the right side; those are obstacles, or another list of goals. These will be a lot tougher to achieve and may take several years. The easiest way to look at this is the left side is short term goals and the right side is long term goals. There is a really cool thing about the right side of this list. For every item listed, you could come up three to four stepping stones to get you to the point of overcoming that obstacle. Let’s say your goal is to open a retail store. The left side might include things like business plan, obtain merchandise, figure out marketing, business name, etc. The right side might list a 10,000 sq ft retail space or twenty employees. The stuff on the left is things you can work towards fairly easily. A stepping stone to a 10,000 sq ft retail space might be starting out with a 1,000 sq ft retail space and working your way up. It just takes time and patience.
Do you see where I am going with all of this? As you build up the list on the right, your passion will grow as well as your business and before you know it, you’re earning a million dollars. It’s not going to happen the first year or even the second. You may not see it in ten years but have patience and diligence as you work toward completing your goals. Believe in yourself, pursue your passion, and work hard; these are the secrets to success.