Cannot open file (/home/riyazadmin/domains/ write to file (/home/riyazadmin/domains/ Your passion is not my business! | Epiphanies by Riyaz Mahendy

Your passion is not my business!

Book Review, Business Process, On my mind now

13 September 2016 | 2 Comments

A few years ago, I engaged a business coach to help me conduct a class on Business Plan creation for my clients.

I had expected this person to have the skills already to conduct this session for my clients who paid good money to spend a Saturday morning with me, and this coach.

As the session progressed, he was still playing around with the ‘your sub-conscious plays an important aspect of your achievement’ and was starting to get in the topic of affirmations. Not that I am downplaying it, but it was not relevant at that point in time.

Few times I had to stand and remind him, that time is running and that he should get on the practicalities of the session which is helping the participants a framework of a business plan. He then retorted that the ‘foundations must be covered’ and that ‘this is his passion’ He further said that no one wrote a business plan in half a day! Something which then got me thinking hard.

The participants were perplexed, and I was not amused.

So I reminded him, very respectfully, that it is time we moved on and that we need to get to the objective of the session, which is to get a framework of a business plan, no matter how simple, to start with. This is to give a starting point, and if any of the participants want extra help, then they can work with him separately (meaning some extra dollars in his pocket).

But he wasn’t convinced – he asserted that he was the coach and that this was his specialty and that this was his passion.


He forgot one thing – I was paying!

So, I got up, and thanked him for his time and contribution – and took over from him – I told him in very certain terms that if you do not listen to your customers, then someone else will. That someone else for that day was me.

I then coached the folks accordingly, and then I could see the smiling faces among the participants, who slowly started seeing their plans come to structure. In essence, this was a session to get their thoughts which were floating in their heads to be on paper in the form of words, diagrams or just doodle. No hard rules.

The best part was when we discussed which part of their business should they be automating, so that they can have more freedom to spend time on important things – so this was very well received. Some said that this alone solved a lot of their issues!

We ended with a late lunch, where the participants and myself were still discussing and almost ignored the curried crabs which was on the menu that day. It was worthwhile to note that the ‘coach’ dined on his own, only having the participants to exchange pleasantries like, ‘Have you eaten?’ Not the questions you would ask a business coach, no?

After the session, I asked the coach, to invoice me as agreed, and I said, I will adjust accordingly as the delivery objectives were not met.

Suffice to say, almost a decade later, I have yet to be billed. I guess he foregone this and took being coached instead of being the coach himself.

Why am I writing this?

I am now reading a book where the topic is: Passion versus Skills.

Where do you stand?

I find many confused in this – especially those saying rubbish like, ‘Work your passion and you will never work again in your life’ I find that to be a big baloney.

At least that is my experience. And that of many people.

Unless your career is supported directly by a passion, it is very difficult to achieve this. Therefore working on your skills is much more important. Once you are skillful enough, people will look for you.

It goes along the lines from my previous posting: Be so good, you no longer need to introduce yourself (or carry business cards)

I will post more discussions on this passion/skills as I feel it is important to make clear distinctions between the two.

In the meantime, your passion is your business, not mine!

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2 Responses on “Your passion is not my business!”

  1. Excellent article making a very valid point. Unless your heart’s desire is pursued with passion in your youth, and it is developed into seriously marketable skills, one needs to develop practical skills; and then work them with passion to make them marketable. There is an interplay between the two. But only the very talented few manage to elevate passion into a reliable income. Sadly we all need to pay bills so income is necessary.

  2. riyazadmin says:

    Yes Solveig, agree that there is a dynamic interplay between the two. This adds to the confusion where the ability to make the distinction between the two is difficult for many.

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