About the Australian Business Credit blog series
I often describe myself as the ‘youngest old man’ of the finance industry, and after spending a majority of my professional life building successful businesses from the ground up, it seems fitting to share my experience and expertise in order to help others. Between being at Aussie Home Loans for a decade and my endeavours here at the Australian Business Credit, my experience has been a melting pot of challenges, successes and personal growth. I believe the skills and experience I’ve gained throughout my professional journey can be translated to any industry, so I’ve put together this blog series to divulge key successful business elements and frame my experience in a way that allows others to garner useful advice to aid them in their business journey and hit their goals – including wins, losses, strategies and everything in between.Surinder Agnihotri – Founder and General Manager Sales and Distribution
The importance of passion in business success
It’s no secret that passion is one of the most important ingredients for success. But why? Being passionate about something provides you with a different lens on something, which allows you to identify areas to pursue strongly to succeed and set clearer goals. If you’re passionate about something, it leads you to avoid blockers to getting things done (like procrastination) because you genuinely enjoy what you’re doing. It’s also a natural catalyst to motivate the people around you to help achieve your goals, as passion will be obvious to everyone around you. In a nutshell, injecting your passion in business will help you contemplate opportunities others can’t see, have a stronger end goal, get more done and motivate the people around you to get them on board.
How to explore what you’re passionate about
There’s a few different steps you can take to find out what ignites you. Ultimately, I learnt my passion by thinking I knew it, then realising I didn’t. When I was younger, I thought my passion was money. But chasing that, getting it, then losing everything brought me back down to earth and made me realise that I wasn’t passionate about money at all. I just wanted to be happy.
- The first step is going back to basics. Think about what you enjoy, what things you couldn’t go without, what you look forward to and what you’re naturally good at. I’m naturally good at building and developing things, which brings a sense of accomplishment that goes hand in hand with my passion for finding happiness.
- Be honest about what you really want in life. Ask yourself: If I could do or be anything, what would it be? It’s easy to restrict yourself based on negative thoughts, but really think about what you’d love to do or be without considering the journey – successful people find a way to bridge the gap.
- What’s something you can’t keep quiet about? If something fills you with excitement, it will make it so much easier to incorporate into your daily life if you find a way to mix it with business.
- What’s something you love to learn about or teach others about? If you’re consistently seeking to better your knowledge on something or project it onto others, this could be a perfect pillar for your true passion. Oprah talks about this as an important way to find your passion.
- What makes you truly happy? It sounds simple, but one of the common mistakes people make is letting materiality cloud their judgement. Passion isn’t about a thing, it’s about a way of being. Things like helping others, providing genuine solutions, and enlightening others are much more tangible and valuable, and lend themselves to pursuing a whole new process.
Realise what’s important and watch your passion grow
Figuring out what’s important to you goes hand in hand with passion, putting you in the box seat for success. When asked by a total stranger what my life goal was, my answer was to be happy. That wouldn’t have been my answer 15 years ago. For me, as my focus shifted, I began viewing the world differently because I viewed myself differently. That switch from money to happiness was the lightbulb moment that made all the difference – Richard Branson talks about that moment in a way that encourages you to understand what got you to that point to start with.
Allow your focus to shift throughout your life
It’s normal for the things you value to change over time. If you’re focusing on the right things, you’ll naturally become passionate without realising. When I stopped putting the wrong things into focus, all of a sudden what I was passionate about came slowly into its place and I could see why money shouldn’t have been my focus.
Look outside – the world is a lot more important than one person
Having goals that are tangible, not material, will help your passion come to the surface. It will also help you take the focus off yourself and consider the world around you. Personally, when I lost everything, I started realising what made me truly happy. I started reflecting on what I was good at and what fulfilled me. I also realised that if my family is happy, that’s going to go a long way in making me happy, making my passion come to life. Looks like there’s another vote for ‘happy wife, happy life’.
Consider aspects of your personal life that support your future vision
Taking personal life elements into account is important in business. Things like the way you interact with others and your personal interests help create an environment that will let your passion shine long term. In my case, having kids helped greatly, as it allowed me to put things into perspective, and further solidify what was important to me and what I was passionate about. The effect that making people happy and focusing on my family had on me was crucial in discovering what I should actually be focusing on, and everything started falling into place around that.
I don’t even realise I’m passionate anymore because it’s just what I do. People would say I don’t appear to work, but when you’re doing something you’re passionate about you’re not really working – you’re just moving forward. At the end of the day, if you do the right thing passionately, you’ll make money as a byproduct of it.
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