Imagine you've agreed to give advice to a group of business students but you can't think of a theme. Here's a guaranteed winner: Go with "Follow your passions... and do what you love!"
That's advice everyone loves to hear. You'll kill.
You'll also be wrong.
"Telling someone to follow their passion--from an entrepreneur's point of view--is disastrous," says Cal Newport, Georgetown University professor and author of So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Search For Work You Love. "That advice has probably resulted in more failed businesses than all the recessions combined... because that's not how the vast majority of people end up owning successful businesses.
"Passion is not something you follow," he adds. "Passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world."