There seem to be millions of videos on TikTok, YouTube, and elsewhere encouraging people to follow their passions.

People giving this advice usually have good intentions. But is “follow your passion” always the best way to go?

No. In fact, it’s an overrated strategy.

Here are three reasons why following your passion doesn’t work for many people and what you can do instead to build a successful business.

1. Most people have more than one passion.

You probably have more than one interest. Many people can easily list at least five things they like doing. So, choosing just one very specific passion or topic can be limiting, and leave you feeling like you have no room or time to discover new ideas or interests.

2. Many people don’t naturally know what they are passionate about.

Most people aren’t sure how their interest(s) can be turned into a business or a career. This can make many people feel anxious. We usually need time, education, and sometimes money and other resources before we start to know our skills. In the meantime, you can start and grow a successful business, even if you’re still not sure what you’re passionate about.

3. Your passions will probably change over time.

Learning is a lifelong process. We’re constantly learning new information and discovering new ideas. We’re also constantly changing our minds about what we like and dislike. As a young entrepreneur, just because your interests change, doesn’t always mean that your customers will follow and change with you.

So, building an entire business on just one specific passion and nothing else can end up being a mistake for some young entrepreneurs.

“Follow your passion” is overrated advice. Try this instead.

Some business/career experts suggest we stop pressuring people, especially young people, to follow their passions. A better idea is to “follow your contribution,” which means looking for ways you can help people.

It makes sense since most customers buy services and products that help them in some way.

Also, knowing that you’re helping people while doing something that you like, and maybe even love, makes it easier for you to commit to running your business, even during rough times.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash