Why people fail to follow their passion

AK was feeling frustrated and fed up at her work and would return home like a person drained out of all energy. She was hired for doing high end research work in her company. However, she had to work like an office assistant to collate and maintain databases and prepare some summary document as shared by the boss.

Her boss would not share the passwords of the main research database stating it was highly confidential. 

AK tried to highlight this to her boss that she was hired to do high end research and help in product development. The boss however rebuffed saying “you still need to learn the ropes” without telling much what ropes meant. She was already well trained and had worked on several research projects in the previous work assignments.

AK was in a dilemma whether to quit her job. She had nurtured the desire to follow her true passion of starting a fashion boutique than to continue with research work in this company or any other company. 

One of AKs friend suggested speaking to a career or life coach. However AK was not convinced of taking any coaching help. After much prodding and encouragement from the friend, AK got the reference of a fairly known local coach from her trusted friend.

AK signed up for coaching and began the journey to discover why she was hesitant to take a plunge to leave and follow her passion of starting her fashion boutique.

During the course of her first 2 coaching conversations, AK opened up with her coach and shared the following 7 key reasons why she was hesitant to follow her passion.

7 Key Reasons for not following Passion

1. Huge Debts. AK shared that she always wanted  to enjoy all the luxuries of life. She had even gone for costly foreign tours in last couple of years.She had always maintained a high standard of living for last 10 years right after passing out from one of the top ten engineering institutes.

To show off and maintain a high standard of living, she had taken close to a crore worth of home and personal loans. AK had taken huge debts almost 55% of her existing income. AK was scared that she would not be able to maintain the same standards of living if she decided to quit her corporate job to follow her true passion.

2. Social Pressure. She was feeling shy on what people will say if she left her high paying and fancy titled job and started her fashion boutique. She had also taken memberships in high-end clubs and felt she would become the talk of her ladies group which she belonged to.

3. Fear of Failure. AK felt what if her business failed to take off then it would be an embarrassment for her so she was hesitant to start . She anyways overcame this fear during her coaching conversations where she was guided to design and implement a pilot plan.

4. Lack of Relevant Experience or Business plan. AK knew that she had a passionate desire to design and start her fashion boutique.She realized that she needed to do more design of ladies and kids dresses and display her fashion work either in her society or during certain fairs where she could put up her stall.

She  did not know how to create a business or self-employment plan. She was trained in research but not in business. She knew based on her readings and common sense on the basics of running a business but not the nuts and bolts of creating and executing a business plan. She was later guided during her conversations with a business coach who later supported her with both designing and implementing the pilot business plan.

5. Comfort of stable salary/income. AK had earlier spoken to several business persons and entrepreneurs in her known circle. They had told her that initially there could be unpredictable sales cycle and she won’t be assured of specific revenue and income. This had scared her a lot and therefore she was delaying to take the plunge of following her passion. She wanted steady income to maintain her standard of living and to ensure payment of her loan EMIs.

6. Lack of family support. AK came from a typical middle-class family. Her parents had advised her to always stay in a stable job. They had worked as laboratory technicians in the hospitals in the outskirts of the city. Here relatives stayed far off in North India. AK was the only daughter of her parents as her brother had an untimely death in an accident. They had no regular income or any other support so she did not want to start off her business independently as there was no other family support.

7. Hesitation to seek help from coach . AK had shown hesitation to take help from coach as she found it difficult to know who were authentic as many fake certified coaches or coaches with little relevant experience were there in the market. It was later on the insistence of her friend and his reference that she decided to take help from a career and business coach separately to get clarity on following her passion and to build a pilot business plan.

So we all may have met people in similar situation like AK either in our workplaces or in our family and friend circles. By the way, AK is a real person but for reasons of confidentiality the name is addressed here as AK.

What could be the other reasons why people in similar situation like AK fail to follow their passion? Do you have any advise or suggestions for people like AK?

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