By | Dr Marshall Goldsmith | #1 Leadership Thinker, Exec Coach, NYT Bestselling Author. Dartmouth Tuck Professor Mgmt Practice
Dorie Clark is an expert at helping people get their message across in a very crowded marketplace. A wonderful friend of mine, Dorie is a member of our 100 Coaches organization and a fantastic thinker.
The author of Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You, and Stand Out, and an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Dorie is a former presidential campaign spokeswoman, and a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes.
This week Dorie shares with us two suggestions for discovering our passion and how to turn that into a career. Below is an excerpt of our interview.
Marshall: Dorie, you are a member of our 100 Coaches organization, a fantastic thinker, and a world’s authority in helping people get their message across in a very crowded marketplace.
So, I’ve got a question. You’re great at helping people get their message across. What if they don’t know what their passion is? You’ve got to have a passion about something to get your message out, right?
Dorie: That’s right Marshall! That’s an important starting point. For folks who aren’t sure what their passion is, I have a couple of suggestions.
- My first suggestion came from a friend of mine, the author James Altucher, and I think it is a really interesting experiment. Try this. If you were in a bookstore and it was a requirement that you had to read all the books in a certain section of the store, which section would you pick? This is an interesting way of beginning to think about your passion. What section would it be? Health? Business? Science fiction? Your answer shows the direction where your passion lies.
- The second suggestion, which I write about in my book Reinventing You, can be very useful for people. It often feels intimidating to find the “one right thing”, and I think for some of us it may be the wrong starting point. We might want to start instead on ruling things out. I wrote about a woman named Elizabeth who came up with a list of 10 professions that she was very interested in. Then she set about to attempt to disprove her interest in all of these areas. She did informational interviews, read books, and subscribed to magazines about the topics. She looked for pieces of information that would help her say, “Well no, actually, venture capital or real estate is not for me.” She was very thorough and meticulous in this research, so that she was whittled down a broad field of interests to what was right for her. This can be a lot less intimidating than trying to pick the exact right thing out of the gate.
Marshall: I love that! Instead of just figuring out what we want to do, which is important, you also need to ask, “What is it I don’t want to do?” Thank you!