An Overlooked Key to Success

There are six key attitudes to success in any area of life, especially business. The key attitudes are hard work, discipline, diligence, applying best practices, striving for excellence and faith. The seventh key is having a passion for what you do.

May 31, 2007

Doug Dwyer
Contributing Editor

More than two years ago I wrote about what I have determined are the six key attitudes to success in any area of life, especially business. The key attitudes are hard work, discipline, diligence, applying best practices, striving for excellence and faith. These are all still valid, critical and essential to being successful.

Since writing about the key attitudes, I discovered one key attitude I took for granted, which is a missing piece for many people. The seventh key attitude to success is having a passion for what you do and accomplishing it passionately! This doesn't mean you have to go around hyped up all the time; rather, you should maintain a certain intensity, drive and urgency about your day's activities.

How do you know you have passion? It is recognized and, typically, others will notice this attitude in you. They will say things like, "Boy you really like what you do," "You sure are committed," "You get a lot done in a day," or "I appreciate your positive attitude and willingness to go the extra mile."

While at Christmas dinner in 2005, I spoke with my brother-in-law about a new technology business he started for ranchers with game management programs. He was passionate about the new endeavor, which was a natural fit for him because he loves the outdoors and hunting. This was the first time I had seen him so excited about a business venture. My sister (his wife), who is chairwoman and CEO of a large national conglomerate of companies, reinforced my observation.

While talking with my brother-in-law recently, I observed he still has the passion for his new business. Not only is his business growing, but he is enjoying the process. So, is his entrepreneurial undertaking without all the ups and downs of growing a new business? No, it is not, but it's better because it matches one of his passions in life.

For me, my passion in business is helping to touch, change and transform other people's lives for the better by providing an opportunity to achieve stronger profit margins and a better quality of life.

It's a lot of work. It takes discipline to do everything; diligence not to give up; seeking and applying best business practices; striving to do everything with excellence; and having faith it can be done. But without a passion and a purpose behind that passion, it would be just a job.

This not only applies to us as business owners but to our staff as well. If you have employees who aren't passionate in their current position, then help them see how they could be or help them find a different position where they can be passionate in your company or elsewhere, if needed. In the end, you and your employee will both be happier and you will have the right people on your bus in the right seat.

Like my brother-in-law, I believe we are all uniquely gifted to work in a specific field or job type, or with a purpose that can apply to many different types of businesses.

If we can find and accept our area of giftedness (without worrying about comparing ourselves to others) and if we can be secure in where we are, then we will find freedom, energy and excitement to consistently do our jobs well. However, the opposite is true as well. I once, early in my career, sold floor cleaning equipment and had no passion for this. It was drudgery. I hated it and could barely get myself out of bed to go to work. I needed to make a change and eventually did.

Don't settle. Choose to live passionately and encourage those around you to do the same.

Author Information
Doug Dwyer is president and chief stewarding officer of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen by Worldwide, one of the nation's largest remodeling franchises. He can be reached at

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