Passion vs. Opportunity

Sign Up For Weekly Tips! Get Trevor’s Weekly Tips Straight To Your Inbox!

I play electric guitar in my church, and the last time I played, a guy greeted me after the service and said, “It’s great to see old guys up there playing!”  Which I can only assume he meant as a compliment.

However, I’ve had a passion for guitar from the time I was 15. I remember riding my bike to pick up a crappy guitar I bought from a newspaper ad before I could drive a car.

I’m forever noodling on one, so much so that before getting married to my very organized wife-to-be, I cut a deal that stipulated that I could always have a guitar sitting on our couch in the living room, ready to be played.  And I’m looking at my classic Martin OM 21 Special sitting opposite me on a chair as I write this!

But if I followed the dim-witted advice of well-meaning people everywhere to ‘just follow your passion and never give up,’ I would be living alone in a van down by the river playing old Johnny Cash 8-tracks (ask your parents) dreaming of what might be.  I could never make a living playing guitar.  I’m ok at it, but I’m not great, just passionate.

So let your passion be your passion, not your living.  Instead, I suggest you look for opportunity.  You’ll find opportunity at the intersection of the answers to these two questions:

  1. Which jobs does no one else want?
  2. Which of those could you learn to be good at?

Once you commit yourself to something and decide that you’re going to master it, you’ll find that your passion for that thing grows. I meet passionate people in regular jobs all the time.

But, do you think anybody starts out as a kid with a dream of one day being an electrician, or working retail, or being a manufacturer’s rep, or driving a truck, or being in marketing?   No!  They wanted to be in the NHL, or be a movie star.  And yet they’re very passionate about what they do.

Life Secret:  Passion grows when you get good at doing something that you have talent for.

It’s very likely that your passion is lying right under your nose at the company you’re currently working for.

So forget your passion and pursue your opportunities to find success.

“Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.  Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it opportunity.”

-Bill Gates

Untitled 1









Recommended Resources:

Uncover your strengths and weaknesses with our complimentary assessment. Boost your effectiveness at work and with your team.

Free Resource Library: Access our extensive collection of valuable resources for instant support in your personal and professional growth.

Explore Our Course Library:

Enhance your leadership skills with our diverse selection of courses. Take your abilities to the next level and become a more effective leader and team player.
Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


Our Clients Love the Professional Leadership Institute

Your team will, too! Check out some reviews from our students.
The PLI program was invaluable to our network.
The range of topics delivered, the open dialogue, experience, and examples that PLI brought to each session were outstanding and provided a path for our Franchisees and Managers to look at leadership, coaching, and connecting with their teams in a new light. Many have implemented these strategies in their bakeries and have seen immediate results.
Michelle C.
COBS Bread
Highly recommend to help your team move forward
We have locations around BC and Alberta, so getting people on the same page can be very difficult... Until now. Our entire management team and location managers take the same great courses and then meet monthly online with our coach to apply it to our situation. People are engaged, the courses are excellent, we love our coach, and we are all learning together!
Jason Fawcett
President, Kelson Group
The result has been a transformation of our culture. 
We decided to implement PLI's strategies across the country in over 150 locations and over 3500 employees.  The result has been a transformation of our culture.  People's lives have been positively impacted - professionally and personally.  Morale is high and sales and profits are up as a result.
Daryl Verbeek
Daryl Verbeek
We’ve learned how to fix ongoing personnel issues once and for all
The roadmap laid out set our business up to quintuple in sales.  We've learned how to fix ongoing personnel issues once and for all, attract top talent, and spend our time focused on results, not internal staffing problems.  I highly recommend PLI to you - it's worked for us!
John DeJong
Satisfied Client
I had no idea that running a business could be this fun!
In less than 18 months of working with Trevor, he has transformed my business from being average to exceptional, where mediocrity is not acceptable, where being great is standard.  Working with PLI has allowed me to realize my dream of not simply owning a job, but owning a business.
Justin Bontkes
Principal, Caliber Projects
Our culture has taken major steps forward this year
Our culture has taken major steps forward this year with Trevor’s help.  He is funny, relatable, and his tools are very very practical and have helped us focus and upgrade our teams throughout our retail network. Trevor recently spoke to an employee group, and one person remarked, “I could listen to Trevor all day.”   We would highly recommend Trevor.
Stan Pridham
Founder, KMS Tools
The results have been remarkable
At first, we resisted, “This just won’t work with a law firm.” But we persisted and the results have been remarkable: our client base and profits have steadily improved, and staff engagement and morale is the healthiest its ever been.
Doug Lester
Partner, RDM Lawyers
Helped our fast-growing business become what it is today
I've experienced PLI's approach first hand and it's been crucial to sustaining our growth.  I can't imagine a business that wouldn't benefit greatly from his help.
Brian Antenbring
Founder, TEEMA
Provided practical ways to make positive changes
Trevor was incredibly well-received by the entire organization. He was able to articulate people issues that many of our franchisees were experiencing and provided them with practical ways to make positive changes. We have implemented the Star Chart tool across the organization and see it as vital to building happy, effective teams.
Aaron Gillespie
President, COBS Bread
Scroll to Top

Start Learning Today

For Individuals

Unlock your potential and accelerate your career with sought-after management and leadership skills.


Transform Your Organization

For Teams

Book a consultation to discuss your challenges and discover how we can help you build a winning team.


Sign Up For Weekly Tips!

Get Weekly Coaching Tips Straight To Your Inbox Every Monday.