Mike Ionita Highlights the Role Passion Plays in Running a Successful Business
Previous generations were boldly instructed to ‘follow their passions’. But is passion a pre-cursor and determinant for success? Founder and Creative Director of Crux Video Game Design, Mike Ionita, says yes. Mike Ionita has loved animation for as long as he can remember. Growing up playing Street Fighter II and watching Tom & Jerry, he never imagined that one day he would be running his own video game design studio. Mike credits his success to his passion for the craft and believes that it can help you succeed in anything you do. Mike Ionita is here to outline the benefits of passion in running a successful business.
What is passion?
Passion can be defined as a strong, and barely controllable, emotion. For Mike Ionita, it is an emotion to be acted upon. Have you ever started working on a project and hours have gone by without you even noticing? If you have, it is a sure-fire way to figure out where your passion lies. This state is called ‘flow’, and is a mental state where someone is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of an activity. Whether it is project management, writing, accounting, or painting, this type of passion will help you push through obstacles when they inevitably arise.
Mike Ionita explains that passion often equals perseverance. When he first founded Crux Video Game Design, it was not an overnight success. The long hours, constant challenges, and lack of financial investment were only bearable because of his love for animation. Passion doesn’t meet failure or challenge and give up, it perseveres and responds with resilience. Mike Ionita explains that passion is all about growth and overcoming challenge. The ‘what’ of passion is less important than the process itself. Improving, learning, and adapting is an intoxicating feeling, and is what fuels most successful business leaders.
Have you ever read an article whose topic didn’t interest you? It can be unbelievably difficult to stay focused and commitment to something that doesn’t interest you. Mike Ionita explains that he never focused so intently on something until he discovered his passion for animation. Even aspects of animation, like researching, concept development, and story boarding, that were previously uninteresting, became all-consuming. When you are able to focus intently on what you are doing, you are also more likely to be thorough, dedicated, and avoid making simple mistakes.
In addition to perseverance, passion also breeds excitement. As a leader, it is crucial for you to enjoy what you do if you want to spark that same excitement in your workforce. Mike Ionita explains that excitement is contagious. Excitement, according to Mike, allows him and his team to stay open-minded, allowing them to focus on opportunities rather than problems. In an industry evolving as quickly as his, Mike Ionita explains that innovation is vital, and that passion has allowed his entire team to stay curious.
Of course, Mike Ionita explains that passion can be a double-edged sword. If you have too many passions, it will be hard to focus in on one thing long enough for it to be successful. Warren Buffet has come up with a tool to help you narrow your focus. Write down 25 things you’re passionate about and put them in order of importance. Circle the top 5 and focus solely on those. The other 20? Put them on an ‘avoid at all costs’ list.