Throughout this recent development, I've been thinking, "how does everything I learned about passion actually fit into the decision to go try starting this company?" It's very obvious to me (and the people I tell) that I'm passionate about the move and the idea, but that's not exactly alligned with the conventional "follow your passion" model. I'll explain.
You see, the traditional "follow your passion" model is phrased in a way that I always understood to mean that early in life we form interests/habits which will ultimately be the things we should do as a living. That way, you'll never hate your work. And I agree with that, to the extent that you want to be a happy employee. And there's nothing wrong with that.
However, my entrepreneur-minded friends and I share some traits that whether for the best or the worst prevent us from wanting a job; we're just not wired that way. We're driven by the same "attractor" that drives people who wants stable work, but our reward centers are not even tickled in a cubicle. To us, a day spent working on someone else's materials is a day wasted not working on our own materials. So what is the passion that drives entrepreneurs if not a hobby/interest?
I think it's a passion for building things. If you've ever looked at your boardgame collection and chosen the 1,000 piece puzzle over the 100 piece puzzle, you know the feeling. It's a sense of wanting to undertake a project you know will be highly challenging and might not even work- but you're going to be on your toes the whole time and if/when you do finish it, it will all have been worth it.
The creative spirit is one and the same in artists, designers, entrepreneurs, architects, etc. We all want to build something we're proud of. And if other people like it too, that's quite a bonus.