What connects Mother Teresa, Henry Ford, Billy Martin, Marie Curie and Confucius? Well, they are all famous for one. Another point of confluence would be their dedication and persistence towards something, be it baseball or philanthropy or philosophy. But, for us simpletons, passion-crazed romanticism is different from meaningful work, a meaningful work being the one satisfying our necessities. The glint of money lures our minds. And the brand frequently renders our heart vulner-able. In this deeply aggravating and baffling situation, it becomes difficult to decide which side to bat for. Robert Frost’s lines could be amended as:
Three roads diverged in the woods,
And sorry I could not travel all three.
Defining Brand Passion Money
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
-Jeff Bezos, Amazon
The power wielded by brands is increasing everyday. Brands are the key to protection and growth, a trusted source reminiscent of a bond shared through generations. People flock towards it because it’s prestigious to work for something which their community has been using for ages. The way your chest puffs when you name your 120 year old company is the biggest reward that one gets out of working in brands. Brands are the most sustainable and important asset for an organization having attained a special status.
Passion is said to be the secret ingredient of the magic brew for success. As Galileo Galilei, a fellow engineer, said passion is the genesis of the genius. A person is supposed to have passion to make his life work. Only when you are ardently bent towards doing your job can you come up with better ideas and not be drained by it. The taxonomy of passions is completely subjective, but the widely-accepted fact is that passion contributes to happiness by sometimes giving you a reason to be happy or even providing a temporary refuge from reality. However, that is not the only face to it. For some ‘follow your passion’ is just a fairy-tale advice. One has to work for financial needs first; to have the bare minimum to survive. In addition, long term passions often lead to overzealousness and subsequent frustration due to unfulfilled goals.
Money is a great motivator. Many would argue that money equals success or even happiness. For some, it is the most essential thing and they are extremely welcoming at the thought of slogging now to earn huge swathes of money and then retire to a comfortable life. In the words of Marx “it[Money] converts my wishes from something in the realm of imagination, translates them from their meditated, imagined or desired existence into their sensuous, actual existence – from imagination to life, from imagined being into real being. In effecting this mediation, [money] is the truly creative power.” Everyone acknowledges the power of money, however not everyone believes that money is the real driver for happiness. Money as evil has been projected as a scripture truth for a long time. The quest for money is looked upon as filling a cup with no bottom. Each new de-mand gives rise to another and then this cycle never ends resulting in disappointment, failures and dejection.
How Society Perceives These People?
People’s perception often affects how a person sees himself and his profession. The society has an almost delirious obsession with money. Everything else is secondary. At the end of the day, all it boils down to is whether one is earning more than A or B irrespective of which job profiles they have or what the needs of the job are. People pursuing their passion are deemed as fools unless they achieve success. Successful passion-pursuers are heralded as trailblazers. Now, the brand guys are somewhere in between. If their job gives them enough money, the society stands by them, their eyes glinting at the thought of them. But if your branded job doesn’t allow much to spare, you are in for frowns and grunts.
What Difficulties Do These People Face?
Life is not a bed of roses. And hence, everyone has to go through different phases of life to achieve success. If we talk about a person with passion, he could face nu-merous hurdles:
• Passion requires time. Tolerance is the utmost requirement. People will try to dissuade you from your passion. In a nutshell, Rome was not built in a day.
• Most passions don’t give you a fancy income at least for the beginning years. In addition, there could be limited job profiles corresponding to your passion.
• When you have taken your passion to a higher scale (for more profits), there are additional responsibilities involved. The stress and unavailability of finances could take the sheen off your passion.
Money could prove to be a huge hurdle for those pursuing their passion, but even for those with truckloads of money, life isn’t easy. For the well-to-do of the society:
• Money can’t buy time PERIOD
• There is nothing worse than doing something that you don’t love. Especially for your whole life!
• Your work gets drab, dull, boring and tiring every day. You fail to come up with better ideas and consequently lose interest in everything. Money could be a huge mo-tivator. But without any interest, even money misfires.
Brand is also not as invincible as it seems. Let’s see why brands fail:
• Promotions are slow (read nonexistent) for the ordinary worker. Brands are also finicky while recruiting. Hence, only a select few make it.
• Monotony sets in your work as there is no fresh work to do. You are just required to maintain the status quo set by your predecessor.
• The pay you get may also be less as compared to most money-oriented jobs, which further leads to dissatisfaction. However, your boss still wants you to do lots of work. More work for comparatively less pay leads to discontentment.
• Looking from a managerial prospective, your brand could lose relevance due to loss of focus, loss of creativity or even overconfidence.
Batch Of 2015
I would choose passion over brand and money when it comes to my dream job because it would satisfy me more than anything else. Talking about money, people say that money can buy you happiness in today’s world but the very fact that you are out buying happiness means you are not happy. And that is probably because you’ve been chasing money in the first place. Moving over to brand, running behind a brand is what is ruining our country. Our society places a person with an IIT-IIM background on a higher pedestal than a person running an NGO serving the needy. If Mark Zuckerberg could have joined a giant like Google and not followed his passion of making the world more connected, he wouldn’t have become a billionaire and Facebook wouldn’t even be existent. Hence, it is important to identify our goals and work towards achieving them with immense dedication, to make our own brand and not become a cog in the wheel. No amount of money or fame can overshadow the happiness and contentment I would get while working towards my goal.
Batch Of 2014
Passion breeds success in the long-term, while the absence of it pretty much ensures discontent. If one gets a combination of all these – passion, brand and money – there’s nothing like it but, more often than not, in the beginning, passion and practicality do not mix easily. In that case, it is much better to go with the more practical option while not completely letting go of the passion. It becomes important then that the job one is in allows sufficient time to pursue the said passion in the hours after work. I was lucky enough to find a good combination which brought me closer to my passion. A question often asked is about the importance of brand name while choosing a job. The brand name matters to the extent that it acts as a proof of your abilities, but even then if you can’t perform well in the real world, then all that amounts to naught. At this stage, coming straight out of college, what the job offers in terms of the learning curve is, probably, the most important bit.
The Entwinement Of Brand-Money-Passion
We have talked of money, passion and brand as three separate entities above. But they all are interconnected. One of the multiple pathways could be to keep doing the highly paid job, saving enough to have sufficient financial resources, making a business plan and then giving wings to your dreams. With just enough hard work, there are chances that one day your passion will become a brand. But financial resources are the utmost requirement. If one has money, one can just jump up to fol-lowing his passion and the rest follows as before. Once your small enterprise becomes a brand, money will surely follow. If you, however are working in a brand, you have an added advantage. You get access to the brand’s circles of influence. So, even before you have jumped up to your brand, you know the market and the market knows you. Money, passion and brand are parts of the ouroboros of life.
Passion might seem like the one thing to do to a lot of people. But it’s hard to find your calling. Then, the only right thing seems to be doing whatever you are doing and trying to find your interest in that. If you can’t cash in upon your passion, try to find a good job. A good job according to me, should have at least three characteris-tics:
• Pays enough to maintain a standard of living
• Should not be too stressful and shouldn’t bore or tire you
• Gives you some leisure time to follow your passion
Also, you will often find yourself at crossroads in whatever you are doing. Ethical dilemmas hang like the sword of Damocles over our head in any of the paths we may choose. In those moments of uncertainty, one needs to charter his own course taking everything in due consideration.
In the end, something Steve Jobs said: I am convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from non-successful ones is pure perseverance.