Passion – How to fuel passion to do what matters

Shawn Davison – Passion – What drives it & how to fuel passion to do what matters.

So, passion;

I’m very passionate about what I do and I think one of the reasons why is, I think what motivates me in that respect is; really comes down to purpose and wanting to make a difference in this world.

I have a personal goal of making a positive impact on a hundred million people with my software and that’s no small goal. I’ve done pretty well so far, I think I’m estimating the numbers to about 14 million so far and growing. Yet, you know that hasn’t been easy.

So how do I keep motivated in that respect? Because I have gone through a lot of experiences and I think the motivation comes from, first of all it never comes from the money itself, money has always followed, it comes from that desire to make a difference, to do something significant or to, you grasping a vision or you want to be part of a vision that does something. 

I think in this industry, you know, what kept me from: first of all when I think about what I love about it is, I never really gotten bored with anything that I’ve done in my career because I always have the opportunity to change focus a bit and if I had to do the same thing over and over and over again for a long period of time, that would drive me nuts. So I think that’s one of the great things in being in technology and software is; it changes rapidly enough and there is lots of different things in an application that you can do. So it certainly helps in that respect but there have been times in my career that have gotten burned out and the reason for that has been either pushing too hard for too long such that you just get, physically exhausted, especially in the startup environment.

If you’re in startup got to work 80 hours a week plus in order to be competitive and make the goals you have to make.  I think in retrospect, I think there is period of times it make sense to push hard but I have also seen the price that comes from that. When people get burned out you lose them; they lose the passion, they got to do something different.

So the experience and the retrospect now is really about creating something that’s sustainable. In other words, keeping people engaged such that they enjoy what they’re doing, they are not going to that level that’s too much; so they don’t go over the line and get burned out and thus you get a lot more value because you get more time from them and they’re just generally happier. And I think another thing that goes along with that is really focusing on people’s strengths. I’m really hip on strength focus because people always do better or more productive and get more done if they can focus on what they’re really good at. And so, I spend a lot of time, I don’t know actually, I don’t know if I spend a lot of time, but I feel like I got some inner talents that allows me to understand what people are good at and actually be aware and censor to that.

So knowing Joe is not, he’s not going to be happy at doing this very long and figuring out: what can he do differently? How can he transition into this role that’s going to make him happier? Is going to make the project or the company better in the long run because he’s focusing on something he loves to do and then figure out who else can do that role, so that we get our goals overall, you know, and the people are happy in what they’re doing.

Marzena Kmiecik: Acknowledging people’s strengths…

Yes, yes because as soon as you get somebody in a place where they’re just, they’re miserable, productivity goes downhill ; it starts affect the morality of our project and you don’t get where u want to go. So I think that’s a big deal.