The Power of Passion to Explode Your Career, Business, and Life

by Marcus Sheridan

It’s 5am in the morning and today is my last day in Las Vegas. I’ve been here for the last few days to speak at the Email Marketing Summit put on by MarketingSherpa and I’ve finally taken the time this morning to breathe and reflect. So for today’s post, I really want to talk about a subject today that seems to be changing my life faster than anything else I do– PASSION.

Even when we wrestle with our kids, we should do it with passion. :-)

As many of you know, I’ve been significantly blessed recently in my career. Every time I turn around, there seems to be another business opportunity, another speaking event, another kind email.

I don’t say this to brag, so please don’t take it as such, as I’m really just speaking as an observer with these thoughts.

But as I now travel the world and do what I love, I keep hearing the same phrases again and again and again.

  • “Marcus, I love your passion!!”
  • “Marcus, where do you get that energy?!”

Passion will NEVER be Overrated

There are folks out there that will tell you “passion” is overrated. I call total bull on that. In fact, I think it’s grossly underrated.

The world in which we live has never needed passionate people like it does today. The gloom and doom and blasé attitudes we see in so many faces and places (and web for that matter) aren’t typically of tremendous benefit and uplift.

This is exactly why so many folks out there are just looking for someone with a twinkle in their eye. They want to talk to someone with energy. They want to be touched in a positive way.

We all feel this way. All of us.

  • When I write a blog post, I want it to scream passion.
  • When I speak to a group, I want my actions to bleed passion.
  • When I play with my kids, I want them to feel my passion.

Now granted, there are times when I fall short. We all do. But make no mistake– I want to be known as a person of passion. People remember that. They want to know what makes you “tick.” They want to know why the bounce in your step and the feel of your words are so very unique.

Yesterday morning I spoke to 700 people about marketing. An hour later, I gave an online seminar to a few hundred people for Social Media Examiner’sSmall Business Summit.” And what was the overriding theme of those that listened to my message? Here is a snippet: (Again, I’m not showing this to brag, but I want you to see the words people are using.)

Energy. Enthusiasm. Passion.

They kept showing up again and again and again.

As I mentioned already, we all want to be touched, moved, and inspired by others.

And it’s this quality that makes a business great, allows someone to advance so far in their field, or better yet– leads to a more fulfilling home life.

Find just about any successful person, and almost 99% of the time you’ll see that he or she has built that success on passion.

Our Challenge

So that’s our challenge. May we be a people of passion. May we walk, talk, and act with a zeal that touches the lives of others.

Sure, some days are tougher than others. Yes, sometimes we don’t want to smile.

But if greatness and success is the goal, the qualities of energy and enthusiasm must be engrained into our being.

To close this little post, Chris Brogan and I recently talk about business, life, and passion. If you have a few minutes, I think you’ll enjoy our chat.

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Your turn:

What’s your take on this topic of passion? Is it underrated or overrated? And do you want to be known as a person of passion? Jump in folks, I’d love to hear your take.

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Jk Allen February 10, 2012 at 10:29 am

Congrats on another well deserved speaking engagement. You’re really living exactly what you personally told me you would be living 16 months go. That’s is awesome! To see you doing exactly what you set out to be doing is inspirational.

People ask me all the time how I make time for all that I have going on in my life–and my answer always comes back to a flowing stream of passion that just drives me. With it, I need less sleep. With it, I don’t feel conquered by small failures. I feel self-inspired to win.

We expect nothing but great from and for you. Thank you.

PS- enjoyed the video with Brogan. Watched during my workout the other morning.

Oh, and to answer your questions. Passion is only overrated to those that don’t have any.



Rebecca Livermore February 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Jk, just want to say that I love what you wrote about passion being overrated only to those who don’t have any. So true!



Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I’m glad you mention our conversation those many months ago JK. At some point, I’d like to write a long, long post….or maybe book….on this journey, and the feelings I had sense the beginning that this was going to be something very special in my life and was going to change it very, very much.

Promptings and intuition are such a powerful thing if we’ll just listen.

Thanks my man. Really appreciate you and your words.



Arjun Rai March 9, 2012 at 5:17 am

I must say your family is really sweet. :-)


Marcus Sheridan March 9, 2012 at 10:16 am

Thanks Arjun, I think so too. ;-)


Adarsh Thampy February 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

Marcus, you are right about passion.

You know something, this is exactly the reason I frequent your blog.

It’s absolutely wonderful to be part of a community, where the community leader is incredibly passionate about it.

When people do it for money or for trying to sell something to us, it clearly shows and we dont really want to belong to that community anymore.

Another marketer I have tremendous respect for in this matter is Pat Flynn.


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:29 pm

That’s very, very kind of you to say Adarsh. I do want people to feel that my feelings toward those in this community are absolutely genuine.

And yes, that Pat Flynn is one heck of an AMAZING guy.

Thanks so much,



Mark February 10, 2012 at 10:42 am

Passion is infectious. People feed off of it. People wish they had it. People need it.

Passion motivates, stimulates, inspires, encourages, arouses, stirs up, provokes and makes the world go round!’

The greatest leaders, champions, professionals, business owners, moms, dads, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandpas & grandmas in the world are those who have the most passion.

Nuff said : )


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Nuff said is right my friend…and boy did you say it well. :)

Thanks for all you do brother!



Diana February 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

…(checking watch) and to think that one week ago exactly I was talking to you about this exact subject! As I expressed to you during that conversation, I see that you bring a certain – I don’t know – Zen, maybe? into what you do because you believe so firmly in it. It makes what you’re saying very contagious. I know that I approached my work this week (saddling in quotes to upgrade my site, writing my ebook) with renewed fervor. I’m happy the week went well for you, that you have found the root of your success – your passion – and that you are living the moment to its fullest. Not to get all spiritual, but it’s my belief that it’s our purpose in life is to create to the very, very best of our abilities. It’s what validates our humanity and gives meaning to every single thing we do.

The ideas we shared in our last conversation also ignited my latest blog post, about artistry. I’m happy we’re friends.


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm

You can get spiritual whenever you’d like Diana. :)

Yes. We are here to create. And we’re here to maximize this ability to create…a little more and more, each and every day.

I, too, and glad to say I have a friend like you across the pond Diana. :)



Joe D. February 10, 2012 at 10:50 am

Great post, Marcus. I do think the concept of “passion” is overused, in the context of getting paid for your passion. And as someone who sells for a living, I still think that too many bloggers wrap what they call their passions with a sales pitch at the end. Maybe that’s something I need to come to terms with.

As far as being a passionate person, however, you are spot on. There are so many people that just go through the motions in life ‘cause they think they are just stuck in the 9-5 and forever paying the bills. Even if that’s true (and I have felt that way), there’s still much more to life than that. It’s necessary to break out of that rut, and still show some passion for your relationships, especially wife and kids.

I’ve seen it first hand in my own life, and with others as well. Even putting in a tiny bit of enthusiasm starts to change things, gets that ball rolling. Just keep doing it, find something to have passion about, and continue the momentum. Oh, and by the way, the enthusiasm in your writing always gives me a little pick me up, so what your doing def works. So brag away, big cat!


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Joe D., how are you my friend? :) Yes, ‘finding your passion’ is incredibly overused. I wrote a post about that once. Instead of looking for our passion, we need to passionately go out and do something. And then, magically, the “passion” appears.

You are a good dude Joe, and I appreciate your thoughts and support bud.



barbara February 10, 2012 at 11:13 am

Love this post Marcus for exactly the reason I love you… you are the real deal. I can spot a phony a mile away and I loved you from the start because you could not be anything other than the genuine man you are.

I believe our attitude is completely in our control no matter our circumstances. It is so easy to be negative and whiny, but it takes energy and passion to be positive and encouraging. I call negative people psychic vampires… they try to suck the life out of you. Life is hard enough, who needs to be around that?

We need more Marcus Sheridan’s in this world. Thank you for all you do!


Diana February 10, 2012 at 11:19 am

what barbara said.


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:19 pm

“Psychic Vampires” Wow. What a perfect way to put that Barbara!(I’m going to borrow that one!)

You’re words are so incredibly kind. I just can’t thank you enough. :)



barbara February 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm

That cracked me up Diana! Marcus you are welcome to use that term anytime you’d like. This is a post I wrote a while back about psychic vampires…
We’ve all experienced them.


Ryan Hanley February 10, 2012 at 11:50 am


I’m going to stroke your ego a little more Bro…

A testament to your passion… To the emotion you evoke from your readers, listeners, clients, and I’m sure friends and family is the QUALITY of the comments you receive on this blog with every post…

I’ve made friends out of the Comments Section. Does that happen on other Blogs? I don’t know if it does… Not many anyway.

People take time out of their day to write entire blog posts in the comments and then discuss entire new chains of comments and thoughts start of your blog.

That’s Passion bleeding through the computer screen to touch the emotional core of the people who taste your material.

I’m obviously a fan. But more than that I’m happy to be part of your community and relationship that we have and for the relationships that all the people reading your blog have. You inspire…

That is Leadership Quality often imitated but very hard to find in it’s Raw form.

Thank you for all you do.

Ryan H.


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Dang bro. That was a pretty cool stroke. I don’t even know what to say other than thank you and I only hope you’ll continue to feel this way my man.

You’re going to do great things Ryan.



Lee Schwartz February 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Passion is not to be dismissed, Marcus. You said it correctly. I attended your talk at the Social Media Examiner’s Online Summit (which was awesome), and I propose that they let you speak first EVERY DAY. You set the bar, my friend, for which others must compete for our attention.

In a community where we juggle our day to day business and try to focus for a few hours, several times a week, FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH, on these presentations, a speaker’s passion is essential. Without it, we would have all been snoozing on our keyboards at yet another PowerPoint presentation.

And just because Ryan mentioned it above, I’m going to friend him because of your comments. How’s THAT for passion??


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Love it Lee! This made me smile, and I’m sure it made Ryan smile too :)

And regarding your kind words about the SME summit, I think what most folks don’t know is I have more fun possibly yapping about this than they do listening. How can we not get excited about ways to truly impact our business in a way that can combat this economy and bring financial peace to our lives??

You rock Lee, thank you!



Matt Heinricy February 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I agree that passion is underrated for sure. What is not over-rated is fake or phony passion. I think that others genuinely can sense and observe if we are lacking integrity in our “passion” and enthusiasm. So for those who are authentically passionate about what they do (whether they are quiet and shy {like @thesaleslion ;-) } or if they are highly energetic personality types) it will show through and people will be drawn to it and inspired by it.

Thanks for sharing your passion with other Marcus!



Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Absolutely Matt, I agree 100%. “Passion” doesn’t necessarily mean we’re doing jumping jacks when we speak about the stuff we love. In many ways, the inner emotion is what people sense the strongest.

But thanks so much for stopping by Matt and I hope I’ll see you again.




Rebecca Livermore February 10, 2012 at 11:19 pm

You painted quite the word picture for me there, Marcus, with the jumping jacks comment (yes, there is a vivid picture now going through my head ;)).

But seriously, I think we do all express our passion in different ways, but regardless of how it’s manifested, it’s obvious, and people are drawn to it, when it’s real.


Michael Schechter February 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I don’t know man… passion is damn important and makes a massive difference, but it’s not enough on its own. Your passion is clearly tied to a skill that you can share. For others, its just energy (hell I’m guilty of that myself sometimes). It’s in aligning your passion and your skills in a way that becomes infectious that people end up getting themselves to the place you find yourself. I think people react to you this way because you’re actually telling them something with passion rather than just being passionate. Because in most cases its the later and people just call that being loud.

Energy is all well and good, but it’s useless unless tied to something tactical.


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I do see what you’re saying Michael, I do. The two need to be tied together. But the comments, tweets, etc— they always seem to include those adjectives, and so for me it’s interesting to see the lasting effect this type of behavior has on others, especially in a learning environment.

Really appreciate you stopping by my friend,



Carmen Sognonvi February 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Hey Marcus, congrats on the success of your Email Marketing and Small Business Summit gigs! From the videos you’ve posted of your speaking engagements, I’m not at all surprised that you blew them away.

You’re right that passion is critical.

And to flip that around a little bit, I think it’s just as critical to recognize when your passion is fading, and to step aside to make room for others who are more passionate than you.

(“You” in a general sense, not you in particular, Marcus.)

I found myself in that position a few years ago and had to make some difficult decisions.

I spent nearly 10 years speaking and blogging about race and diversity.

I was passionate about the subject, and that passion was what fueled my ability to churn out tons of blog posts, podcasts, speaking engagements, media interviews, teleseminars, all while holding down a full-time job (and while opening up a karate school with my husband).

But a few years ago it started feeling different. It took me longer and longer to write blog posts, and doing so felt like a chore.

It took me a long time to admit it to myself, but my passion for the subject just wasn’t what it used to be. And I didn’t really feel like I had anything new to say.

It was hard to admit because so much of my identity was tied up in my work. Just as you were “the pool guy,” Marcus, I was “the race woman.” If I didn’t do this work, then who was I?

Plus over the years I had developed a significant platform and reputation in this space. It seemed like a waste to just throw it all away.

Finally, after a lot of contemplation, I realized that if I continued to hang on and keep phoning it in, I was doing the world a disservice.

I wasn’t serving my audience because they weren’t getting 100% of me.

And I wasn’t allowing other voices – those up-and-coming younger folks who WERE still extremely passionate – to take center stage. Why should I stop them from advancing in their careers – just to bolster my own ego?

We’re conditioned to think of quitting as failure, as giving in. But sometimes quitting is the best thing you can do to be true to yourself and to others.


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Carmen, wow, this was really one of the more thoughtful comments I’ve read here in a long time. Your story is a powerful one, and the fact that you were able to step away and recognize where you were says a lot about who you are. Really, I’m just so impressed with what you’ve added to this conversation here. TY Carmen!! :)




Carmen Sognonvi February 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Thanks Marcus. The point I’m trying to make in a roundabout way is that I’m excited to see how passionate you are. And I hope that if there are folks in the online marketing space who are where I was a couple years back (burned out, tired, running out of things to say) they’ll recognize that you have so much value to bring, and that they create the space for you to be heard, instead of hogging the spotlight for themselves. :)


Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm

And you could not have expressed the point any better Carmen. You’re one heck of a lady…thank you!



Krista Kotrla February 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Love, love, love this post, Marcus! YES, you have awesome-sauce levels of passion and enthusiasm and energy… but the REAL reason all that stuff is so INSPIRING and INFECTIOUS is because your mission is about something bigger than yourself.

You care about others and that matters a LOT.

You don’t talk AT people. You speak TO them. And you are so inspiring because because you believe in the people you speak to. You believe in their ability to accomplish great things, teach others, set new standards in their industry and create new opportunities for their companies and their friends and their families.

You passionately care about helping others succeed and that my friend is the real “secret sauce” that makes you “awesome sauce”. :-)


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm

“Secret Sauce?” Did someone say “Secret Sauce?” ;-)

You’re simply one of the best people I’ve met these last 30 months being in this business Krista. I mean that. And just as you enjoy watching me do my thing, it’s a pleasure to watch you uncover your talents as well.

Next to that wonderful fam of yours, I do believe I might be your biggest fan. :-)



Jens P. Berget February 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm

What I especially love about passion, is that you can’t fake it.

I’m so glad to hear that you’re having an awesome time.


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Thank you Jens. You’re right. This stuff ain’t “faked”. Can’t work like that, especially over the long haul.

Your support is truly appreciated my man.



Kevin Fawley February 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Hey Bro,

First off, congrats on everything you’ve had going on / have coming up in 2012. Nobody deserves it more than you.

Your passion is infectious. This should be a mandatory read for everyone in the social media / content marketing community. There are tons of great online marketing blogs but only a handful resonate with their readers the way you do.

I love what JK said at the end of his comment: “Passion is only overrated to those that don’t have any.”

Some people just don’t get it. They mistake this overwhelming enthusiasm for life as some BS selling tactic. They’ll never get it.

There are so many blog posts about USP’s and finding something different to set you apart. No question your’s is your passion. It’s the reason that in just about 2 years this blog has exploded, and you’ve flown to the top of our industry.

Your success is innate. Its your intuition. Its reading peoples emotions. Its writing from your heart. Its the uncontrollable desire to help and inspire others. Its writing from experience. Its never being satisfied with what is. Its seeing the best in people. Its recognizing value where most can’t. Its knowing a post is going to kill after writing the first sentence. Its not getting caught-up in the day-to-day bullshit. Its thinking big picture. Its trusting your gut. Its going for it. Not for money. Not for fame. But because you have no other choice.

Take notes people. This is what success looks like.

Keep killin it, Marcus.



Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Kevin.Dude. What’s a guy supposed to say to such a compliment man? Seriously, I could print this out, hang it on my wall, and when people ask me why I roll the way I roll, I’d refer them to this comment.

You know, the day you and I sat down and chatted, we likely could have talked about this business of social media for a solid 10 hours without taking a breath. Now that’s awesome! :)

Thanks so much for this buddy.



John Verba February 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I love this post. And I scanned the responses quickly…then went back and scanned them slowly. lol. I guess I feel like adding something to the conversation requires knowing what’s already been said. ; )

I noticed one reference to passion that’s not the kind you mean. That would be the kind that parents and teachers refer to when they’re advising a young adult to “find their passion.” To be honest, at least in the burbs, that can sound like they’re saying: Find the thing you’re least troubled to have to do for a living. ; )

Perhaps that’s where we get the idea that the word has been overused and devalued.

Real passion, to me, SHOWS. The passionate are active. As soon as you said “passion,” I thought of a word that a reviewer/buyer of an Ali Brown package used to describe the fundamental difference in what she teaches versus what he learned in college.

She teaches, he said, to EXECUTE.

Passion strikes me like Micky Rooney, as a teen in an old movie, exclaiming, “Let’s put on a show!” Passion is, “Let’s get started!” Passion is, “Let’s move.”

And, in comparison, the type of person whom Michael Schechter is asking about is passionate about talking about how passionate he/she is. That’s like the old lady in a small town who “always wanted to live in Paris.” Well…Paris isn’t that far away, and you had a whole life, so you must be the old lady who wanted to BE KNOWN AS the old lady who wanted to live in Paris. : ) So…a passionate dreamer. Which is kind of like a passionate procrastinator. ; )

So…I think when people comment on how “passionate” you are, they’re getting enthused by your insistent assertions that: You can DO this!

All the passion they’re feeling is packed into that one tiny, two-letter word…DO.

“You can pull up the anchor. You can sail your ship out of the harbor. You can brave and overcome whatever’s out there. And you can arrive at your destination.”

That’s passion. ; )


Marcus Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm

John, well dang, you seem to be in my head on this one bud, because you really could not have explained my words any better, clearer, and directly.

Oh, and this is why you’d be one heck of a blogger as well man. ;-)

Have a great weekend and thanks for putting all my thoughts on paper here. ;)



Stuart February 11, 2012 at 4:11 am

Hi Marcus,

Wow, that talk with Chris was something else! Wouldn’t have imagined beforehand that Chris would be asking you ‘how do you do it?’ I guess passion and energy are infectious to the point where other people want to know where we get it from.

I’ve recently discovered another part of myself this week, a part which I knew was there but I wasn’t ‘fully’ aware of it. You see, I love helping people – I already knew that. But what I didn’t know was WHY I loved helping people. Was it the gratification on their faces? The thought of going out of my way to help someone?

Turns out it was because I love to solve problems.

I love figuring things out, I love getting my head down and working on something until a solution presents itself. And I love doing it for other people just as much as I love doing it for myself.

So now that I’ve learned this, I’ve decided to tweak Unlock The Door’s angle to incorporate this into my goal. I want to help others by helping to solve their problems. Brilliant!

You are still the man Marcus, keep being the man :-)


Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm

What you’ve said here Stu is one of the great benefits of blogging and writing–self-discovery. Because you’ve “actually been doing something”, you’ve learned something about yourself that otherwise likely would not have known.

Personally, I’ve seen this again and again over the last couple of years, and I know the process is still in its infancy.

Continued growth my friend, really excited for you.



Stuart February 11, 2012 at 4:12 am

And then my Gravatar didn’t show up! Completely forgot I’ve changed e-mail addresses ;-)


Mark Evans February 11, 2012 at 8:12 am

You’re bang on: Having passion is the key to having the energy, enthusiasm and desire to embrace everything you’re doing. Passion makes me jump out of bed in the morning – be it to play hockey, make breakfast, write a blog post, or read the newspaper. It’s a great big world to be discovered, and passion is the fuel to make it happen.

Great post!



Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I hear your Canadian passion all the way down here in Virginia Mark. ;-)

Thanks for all you do brother,



Leon Noone February 11, 2012 at 11:47 am

G’Day Marcus,
I can’t say that I’ve ever entirely “bought in” to this passion thing. To an outsider, it seems a bit like the obsession with leadership qualities that seems to be far more important in your country than in mine.

I get the Harvard Business Review daily article summary. Last week it included an article called “Don’t Confuse Passion with Competence.” That rings a bell. As a child, youth and young adult I was always passionate about sport. But no matter how hard I tried I simply wasn’t much good at it.

John Wooden said that he preferred a lot of talent with little experience to lots of experience and little talent. And I’m certain that those people who were involved in the early Republican Primaries were very passionate. Made little difference to the chances of most of them.

Don’t get me wrong Marcus. I believe that passion is important. But success, however you define it, requires something more. Perhaps, as you suggest, 99% of successful people are passionate about what they do. But it’s also likely that lots of unsuccessful people are also passionate about what they do.

About 30-40 years ago, certain gurus put about the idea that people had to ‘get on well’ together in order to work well together. I challenged this notion in a book I wrote in 1984.
It didn’t make sense to me then and it still doesn’t.

I suspect that what happens is that researchers examine successful sports teams and workgroups and find that they seem to have strong interpersonal ties. They then presume that those relationships are necessary for success.I believe that successful teams will find ways to “relate well interpersonally.” I’m suggesting that strong interpersonal relationships are a consequence of success, not a prerequisite for it.

Could “passion” be the same?

Many years ago, I had a very long consulting association with one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs and businessmen. His passion was palpable and infectious. He was almost a national hero.

Regrettably , due to a couple of serious marketing errors and changes to general business conditions , his business failed and he had to sell it. To use his words; “I zigged when I should have zagged.”

Well mate:we were going to disagree about something eventually. But it’s still fun.

Best Wishes


Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Leon, my wise Aussie mate, I don’t think we disagree so much. All the passion in the world won’t trump dumb business decisions. Trust me, been there, done that.

This article was more about how we sometimes forget how important that quality is though if we’re trying to touch and influence others. If we want to be memorable, if we want to make “connections” then I think passion is often times the lacking ingredient.

After all, who doesn’t need a little more infectious energy?? ;)



Tom Treanor February 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Hey Marcus. This is a great point and I think passion comes naturally for some people and for some topics. I think it’s there under the surface for many of us, but it’s not always easy to tap into and express in our actions.

I know I’m just finding ways to tap my own passion. For example, yesterday after I spoke with a client, I was so frustrated by the discussion that I wrote up a blog post about it so I could explain this frustration (and my view of the solution) to the world! That was definitely a post spawned by and written with passion.

Thanks for covering topics most others aren’t!


Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Tom, many can I relate to what you’re saying here. For 30 months, this blog has been, essentially, my options on the world. Some elation, some sadness, but always said with passion in my voice.

In this age of social media and sound internet marketing, it makes you pull your hair out when you see a client with so much potential yet they don’t “get it”.

Keep pushin my friend. Keep expressing it too. :)



Don Stanley February 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this Marcus! When I talk with folks, my students or do workshops I get the old “yeah, yeah” passion thing too often. People don’t realize how incredibly important it is to search for what they love, what they care about and then use that as rocket fuel to power what they do (and in term make a positive difference). Man, if only they would take the time to discover that.

I love what you said too in your interview with Mitch Joel about how marketing is such a noble profession because you can help people have bigger impacts, have more balanced lives, and be an active, present parent for their kiddos. That was awesome and I couldn’t agree more.

Dude, you nailed it. I love this post so much I’m printing it out and hanging it on my wall. Thanks so much for sharing your passion and your thoughts on this. Can’t wait to meet you at Social Slam in April.


Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

You’re going to be at Social Slam Don? Sweet!!! It seems like everyday someone knew tells me they’re going to be there and I end up getting more and more excited…errr passionate…about the event! :)

Love the way you think Don, and thanks so much for leaving your thoughts here!



Don Staney February 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

Darn tootin’ I’ll be there. Mark Schaefer guest lectured in the SM class I teach at UW-Madison and got me fired up to make the drive down. Once I found out you and Mitch Joel were going to be there (along with Mark), I figured the 12 hour ride will be more than worth it! Can’t wait to meet you IRL. And thanks for keeping me wired up and fired up ;-)


Marcus Sheridan February 14, 2012 at 11:34 am

12 hours Don! Dang bud, that’s so awesome! :) Can’t wait!


Joshua Cary February 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Hey Marcus,

Long time reader, first time commenter. I too agree with your thoughts on passion.

Here’s my question to you:

Do you believe passion can be taught?

I teach pet sitters how to run successful pet sitting businesses, and always wonder how many of these needed skills can be ‘taught’ and how many can not.

For example, if someone is, let’s say, not so passionate about their work, can they learn how to turn it on, OR might that say something about the specific day-to-day life they’ve created for themselves?


Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Joshua, dang brother. This was cool. Really cool. First let me say thanks for the long time support. I can’t thank you enough for that.

Second, regarding “passion being taught”, I would answer the question with a “yes” and “no”.

Tough to say though. I think people can be passionate about helping others. Or passionate about kindness. Or passionate about growth. All these things are needed to run a successful business, and so sometimes a paradigm shift is necessary.

I was never really “passionate” about being a pool guy. But I was passionate about growth, truth, people, teaching, etc. Sometimes, I think, it’s really a matter of focus.

Then again, if someone doesn’t “want” to live a life of passion, we’re all in trouble then.

Not a great answer Joshua, but I hope this helps a little.

Thanks again for all your support,



Joshua Cary February 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm


Actually, it’s a great answer.

What you are saying is that passion in and of itself is something we as humans are instinctively programmed with. It’s the business owners job, then, to discover and tap into what part of their day they are passionate about and run with that.

That makes complete sense.


Harriet February 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Hi Marcus,

Firstly can I just say how cute your children are! Secondly, let me say again, everyone loves your passion! Blogs that don’t have passion are boring and they lose readers because they’re boring!

Keep it up won’t you, all your readers enjoy reading what you have to say :)


Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Awww, thanks Harriet, yeah, I think my kids are kinda cute too! :-)

Always grateful for your support and kind words,



Matthew Stock February 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Prior to coming across The Sales Lion, I saw the blogosphere as a marketing wasteland. Your passion for blogging is what inspired me to sign up with Hubspot. And passion I now realize is what makes a good blog great.

We are actually bringing Marcus out to our Chicago offices to put his passion on display. Looking forward to him bringin’ down the house. Dang-our sales people won’t know what hit ‘em.


Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Matt my man, you make me smile bud. I’ve never really written about the importance of passion within one’s blog content, but you know, that’s a huge deal that can’t be overlooked.

And I’m completely fired up to see you soon my man. It’s going to be great. Really great.



Jason Fonceca February 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I love hearing about your success and your passion, and I completely agree.

Passion has never been unappreciated by the world, especially if it’s the pre-dominant attitude. (It’s a little harder to catch if it’s rare, sparse, or hit-and-miss).

My favourite is the #sarcasm tweet :) Keep rockin’ Marcus, you inspire us all!


Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Jason, what’s up brother? Yeah, the sarcasm tweets are always my fav. People have called me some pretty funny things before–nuts, crazy, bonkers, wild man…It goes on and on. :)

But hey, at least people don’t forget it. :)

Good seeing you my man,



Andrea Hypno February 12, 2012 at 3:55 am

Well, if you don’t put passion in what you do, then, why do it? Doing things without passion or living without it is like walking in Zombieland. I could talk per hours about books, Self Improvement, Hypnosis and a bunch of other things. Clearly not everything we do or must do can be done with passion, unless someone is a kind of Zen Master, but without passion we simply don’t live. That’s why if possible we should all and always aim to follow our passions and make a living out of them. That’s the only way to stop working forever since if you like what you do then it’s not a job anymore.

Actually I also think that the reason why the world is going to pieces is that a lot of people especially those in the buttons room seldomly do things for passion, they do it for money, they do it for power, they do it for greed but they don’t do it for passion. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a politician or a top businessman who does his or her job out of passion and to provide a service to others? Here in Italy I guess it happened the last time some 40 or 50 years ago.

Following your heart or/and your soul is the only way to be happy and if you can earn a living from it then you are the happiest man or woman in the world.

I could have made zillions of euros creating an ebook and a course on this but I’m so kind-hearted that I’m telling you the secret of happiness for free. :D

Happiness = Follow your Passion

For me the real reward of my job is not really the money, is when someone tells me :”Thanks Andrea, you’ve helped me a lot.” That’s the money I want and need. Having people telling me that I helped them to change their life for the better.

That’s my passion. :)


Marcus Sheridan February 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Speaking of passion Andrea, dang, this was some solid stuff and yes, I’m glad you didn’t turn it into an eBook instead. ;-)

Love the way you think and the way you roll Andrea. I really do.

Your support rocks,



Denise Blatnik February 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Passion is everything when it comes to motivating others, especially for things like volunteering. I am a service unit manager for Girl Scouts and I always try to show my passion for the organization when I am recruiting for new leaders or conducting a monthly meeting for my current leaders. People feed off of it and it sets off their own passion a lot of the time. If I’m excited, my leaders usually get excited too. And that, of course, feeds my passion even more. I work harder for them and they work harder for me. Win win!


Tom Ewer February 13, 2012 at 8:22 am

Hey Marcus,

This is real simple for me – with passion, we can do more. I don’t think anyone can say that they achieve more without passion. Passion is what drives us to go the extra mile. It’s what gets us up at the crack of dawn, and has us working into the wee hours.

You can want to succeed, but without passion, you will never put your heart and soul into your business.

Congrats on the Chris Brogan interview by the way – I’m looking forward to the time when people want to interview me ;)




Marcus Sheridan February 14, 2012 at 11:37 am

Thanks so much for writing this Tom, you’re spot-on my man.

Regarding interviews, if you’ll just keep pushing thought and action, all that stuff will come.

I didn’t see really anything for a year. And it wasn’t till the last 4 or 5 months that things really got going.

Patience, persistence, and excellence my man.



Marie Wiese February 15, 2012 at 7:41 am

I heard you speak last week at the Summit and you left before I could personally thank you. I loved your presentation and your passion. For me it was liberating because you confirmed what I suspected fours years ago about the value of content marketing when I took the Landing Page course from Dr. McGlaughlin. It works! I also appreciated your comments about being transparent with your pricing. We put a program live 18 months ago for a client and they obsessed about whether we should put pricing on the home page. The client was brave and did it and we now have one of the most successful commercial office cleaning websites in Canada because of it. Thank you for your passion – you are awesome.


Marcus Sheridan February 15, 2012 at 7:43 am

Hi Marie!! It thrills me to hear you say this….thank you!

And I love the example too–an office cleaning company in Canada rocks it because they’re will to give people the info they’re looking for– now ain’t that cool! :-)

Continued success and passion Marie!



Al Smith February 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Wow. How did I miss this one. Couldn’t agree more with this, Marcus. You know how I believe in passion and energy as well. When you combine the two, you can not fail. I read Jk’s comment and will be looking back soon on my goals and dreams. Hope to be where you are. Soon. Congratulations and thanks again for another awesome post.



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