Why “Follow Your Passion” is Flawed Advice – and What to Do Instead

Written by Corbett Barr

Last month we asked you “what is the most tired or cliched advice online?

One phrase came up over and over again: “follow your passion.”

People are tired of hearing “follow your passion.” You’ve heard it. You know you should to do what you love.

The real question is: now what? How can you follow your passion AND earn a living? How can you know if your “passion” is worth following? How can you know if it will make a good business or career idea?

What if you want to don’t want to risk ruining your passion by turning it into a business in the first place?

The “follow your passion” model is more complicated than it first appears.

Introducing The “Convergence” Model

Chris Guillebeau from the Art of Nonconformity presents a much better model for turning a passion into a business in his new $100 Startup book.

He calls his model “convergence,” and this is how he describes it:

The easiest way to understand convergence is: the overlapping space between what you care about and what other people are willing to spend money on. Not everything that you are passionate about or skilled in is interesting to the rest of the world—and not everything is marketable.

I can be very passionate about eating pizza, but no one is going to pay me to do it. Likewise, any particular person won’t be able to provide a solution to every problem or be interesting to everyone. But in the overlap between the two circles, where passion or skill meets usefulness, a microbusiness built on freedom and value can thrive.

To understand how this works, I invited Chris to talk about his “convergence” principle and more in this special video session:

(click here if you don’t see the video above)

In this special Think Traffic video, you’ll also learn:

Chris has had to follow his own advice as he built the very successful Unconventional Guides business over the past few years.

As Chris mentions in the video, he was a passionate video game player, but nobody came along and offered to pay him to play Halo all day 🙂 Instead, he’s smartly developed products around other passions like Travel Hacking and Empire Building.

What to Do Next

Did you watch the video? If not, it’s only 17 minutes long, and this is one of the best interviews I’ve ever seen with Chris (and I’m not just saying that because I’m involved).

After you watch the video, tell me in the comments below what you learned from the video, and if you agree with Chris’s convergence model (or what you’d change about it).

And if you’d like to learn more about Chris Guillebeau’s formula for building a successful microbusiness, check out his new book The $100 Startup, which is getting RAVE reviews on Amazon.


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