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The Hedgehog, Part 3: Discovering Your Deep Passion

by lyn christian on October 26, 2009

Deep PassionKnowing what you can be that is “world best” is important.  However, you may not always want to do what you can do well.  A person who is deeply caring and compassionate may not want to work as an emergency room Head nurse.  Maybe this person wants to run a pre-school.

This is part three of a five part series on the entrepreneur’s hedgehog.  For an initial understanding of the Hedgehog concept, we wholeheartedly recommend that you read Chapter Five of Good to Great, by Jim Collins.  For audio learners, Jim Collins provides several videos and audios on his website.  While we rely on Jim Collins for the initial idea, we have extended his concept to small business owners over a number of years. 

Building on this five-part series, let’s tackle the portion of the hedgehog concept known as “What You are Deeply Passionate About?”

When I’m taking clients through this exercise, this is the point where they create a “passion” list.

You want them to compile the longest and most honest list. The secret to success here is to be sure you write down things you love to do and that you do not down-shift to recording things that you like to do.

Here are a few distinctions which will help you better understand the type of things to add to your list:

  • When you are doing these things, time flies because you are fully engaged;
  • You might be worn down or tired from your efforts, yet you’d get up and do it again tomorrow if given that chance;
  • You are on fire;
  • Your life seems enriched by it;
  • You feed a hunger that afterwards is deeply satisfied;
  • You include things as personal, like watching a sunset; and
  • You are as professional as outlining the instructional design for a lesson plan.

Feel free to fill part of your list with examples from any special occasions.  They will encourage you to revisit this list and may also help you to envision your passions.

See if you can grow your list to 50 entries, or if you are an achiever by nature, try for 100 entries on your list.

When the list is finished, ask a handful of your friends to tell you what they think you are most passionate about. Add their ideas to yours. Store the list somewhere safe. Get ready for the next step.

Previous Parts:  The Entrepreneur’s Hedgehog

                                 The Hedgehog, Part 2:  Best in the World

Up next:  Part 4: Your Economic Engine.


 About the Author:  Lyn Christian is the founder of SoulSalt Inc., a coaching and coach training company.  She is passionate about the “free-agent” worker who wants to earn their living and live their lives by doing what inspires them.  Get more information by visiting

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