Travis Pastrana was well known as an X Games champion and a hero to many. Recently, however, he made a move to NASCAR. The company was ecstatic, as they wanted to attract a younger fan base--the next generation--and they thought fans would follow Pastrana. To their surprise, though, the fans didn’t come.
Pastrana was surprised too. After communicating with his fans, he determined that many of them thought he’d sold out--that he’d gone to NASCAR for the money. He quickly let them know that it wasn’t about the money; for him, it was about the challenge. He wanted to learn new skills and broaden his involvement in sports. Once he sincerely communicated that, his fans reengaged.
The lesson? For businesses, profit is important. But for the people who work in those businesses and the people who buy from them, profit isn’t enough. Passion should come before profit; it is possible only if you have the right purpose and are driven by your passion. To do less is seen as inauthentic. Don’t fake it until you make it. Make it by getting excited about doing the things you value. That’s what creates value for others, too.