"Follow your passion."

This is the advice that most parents, teachers, and mentors probably gave you to help figure out the great question of what to do with your life. There is just one problem; it isn't always practical to follow your passion, especially right out of the gates, or maybe even ever.  

Building a business through passion has its limitations. You might have no clue what you're truly passionate about and become paralyzed with inaction, or perhaps your passions change as often as the seasons. It is also possible that your passion is something that will be very difficult to make you money right away.

So what do you use instead? My early days of entrepreneurship were fueled not by passion, but by purpose.  

Purpose is what pushes you, what motivates you and ultimately is who you are. Use your purpose to drive your business and your life forward, you will create far more success if you do.

Through my journey in entrepreneurship, I found three benefits that come from using purpose, instead of passion, to build a business. 

1. Purpose opens doors to new opportunities.

Use your business to build the means to create more. I have used the success of my e-commerce business to build resources that have given me space to not only explore other avenues but also take larger risks.  

I was able to use the growth and revenue from my business to invest in new ventures, and invest deeper into myself. When you have finances readily available to invest in other opportunities the sky is the limit to find new outlets to explore. 

Not only that but, the process of building a business teaches invaluable lessons that can translate into any avenue of life and provides a platform for trial and error. Be practical in the beginning so that you can explore later.

2. Purpose allows you to create something bigger.

I started my business, JavaPresse, not because I was passionate about coffee, but as a means to create something more. Don't get me wrong, I do love coffee, but it isn't my life's one and only passion.

Instead, I was able to use the resources built from the company and take greater risks, and for me, that meant making a meaningful difference in the world that was far more impact-focused than selling consumer goods.

Use your business, your brand, and your products to create something larger.  This wouldn't have been possible for me if I had jumped straight into pursuing a passion, the purpose is what led me here.  

3. Purpose motivates you to reach for more. 

When you work from a place of purpose your motivation will be through the roof.  

Knowing that I was creating a business that would give me freedom in life to live how, when and where I wanted gave me energy that I had never experienced. This purpose pushed me to work harder than I had before, and knowing what lay on the other side was a motivator to take bigger chances because the stakes of failure were too high.

When you focus on your why, you will figure out what pushes you to do the hard work needed to be excited to experience success. Get very clear on what purpose will make you jump out of bed in the morning and then attack it.  

Purpose is the fuel that gives meaning to life, and it is the key to unlock the motivation to act.  Without purpose, there's no reason to do the hard stuff and no incentive to step out of your comfort zone.

Find your purpose and the passion will follow.

Published on: Oct 10, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.