Setting People on Fire (Not Literally)

How to Set People on FireDo you get excited when you talk about what you do? Do you feel yourself slip into a frenzy of over-exaggerated enthusiasm when you describe your line of work? Do you seek out opportunities to communicate your vision to the people around you? Are you going to explode if you can’t get every single person you meet to see that vision with you?

If the answer to any of those questions is no, then you have some serious re-evaluation to do.

Why’s that? Because the world you used to live in, the one where “just getting by” was ok, is gone and it isn’t coming back.

There was a time when we could get by with living quiet, mediocre lives inside of our safe little mass produced bubbles. Well, the days of our fathers are over and done with. The days of being content with working 9-5 in a factory job cranking out widgets have passed us by. I’m sorry, but they aren’t coming back.

We Millenials, as they call us, are the most cause-oriented and mission-minded generation this world has ever seen. We want our time here on earth to count for something bigger than ourselves. We want to be every bit of who God created us to be. Our generation will not settle for leading lives of quiet desperation. We crave authenticity, purpose, and passion in our own lives. We expect the same from you.

From a consumer’s point of view, if you lack these 3 things, I will not buy from you. No matter what you’re selling, I will not buy it from you. If you’re dishonest or engaged in some other deceitful pursuit, you lack authenticity and I don’t want to do business with you. If you’re not focused on improving the lives of people, whether in your community or the world in general, then you don’t really have a purpose (in my mind) for being in business.

Leader types, if you can’t get me to buy from you, then good luck getting me to follow you.

Most importantly, when you lack passion for what you’re doing, there is no way on Earth that you can expect me to connect with your story. Passion is the fire that burns deep within and you are the vessel; created to carry it out before the world. When you are truly passionate about what you’re doing, that fire cannot be contained. It wells up to the surface. It shoots out of your eyes and mouth as you loudly proclaim to everyone you meet:

This is who I am and this is what I was created for!

The flames of your passion need to burn so wildly that you can’t help but catch me on fire in the process.

That’s how your going to sell me on your mission.
That’s how you’re going to get me to believe your cause.
That’s how you’re going to get me to follow you.

The best part; the part where you really win, is when I run out and catch all of my friends and their friends on fire for you.

There is no substitute for authentic and purposeful passion. You can’t manufacture it and you can’t fake it because you will be found out. Quickly. Our generation will not tolerate dishonesty any longer. We will not tolerate mediocrity. We need passion.

If you’re going to succeed in business and life, you need to get passionate and you need to do it quickly. You won’t like the alternative.

So, can you get passionate enough about your business to set me on fire?

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10 Responses to Setting People on Fire (Not Literally)

  1. Basher October 28, 2010 at 9:52 am # that is what I needed to hear this morning. I loved the sentence, "Our generation will not settle for leading lives of quiet desperation."

    • Kenny Silva October 28, 2010 at 9:55 am #

      I'm glad you got something good from it, man. I'll see you tonight!

  2. @EmoryColvin October 28, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    This post resonated with me and definitely fired up my passion for my calling! Now more than ever, I sense God raising up a generation that will change the world with their passion–they will use their gifts, their talents, their skills, and their compassion for people to make a difference. My prayer is simply that I never grow weary pursing the calling He has for me, may the passion continue to grow and become contagious! Thanks for a great post Kenny!

    • Kenny Silva October 28, 2010 at 9:57 am #

      My prayer for you is that you will stay diligent in that pursuit. From just talking to you for a few minutes, I could see the passion and the fire welling up in you. Bring just a fraction of what I've seen in you to others and you'll truly make an amazing impact for those people and for God. Thanks for reading.

  3. bam07g October 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    One of the things I LOVE about the recession is that it has forced people out of their mediocrity and into pursuing their true passion. AWESOME post! I totally desire this for my own life: It wells up to the surface. It shoots out of your eyes and mouth as you loudly proclaim to everyone you meet: This is who I am and this is what I was created for!" =)

  4. rentmychurch October 28, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Thank you it was much needed.

    • Kenny Silva October 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

      Thank you for reading. I'm glad you got something from this.

  5. @kpnashville October 29, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Thanks for the encouragement to be confident about getting to do what we love Kenny. If we have to deal with the leaner times, isn’t this (being able to legitimately protect people in a tougher climate) the fun of being in business right now?

  6. Kenny Silva October 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Absolutely. I can tell you're passionate about serving your clients well and protecting their interests, Kevin. That's the most important thing to me as well. As long as we continue to focus on helping people succeed, we will never truly fail.

  7. dscullytx December 31, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    OK, I get it, you’re right. Just what I needed. BUT…..what if I am one of those who admit that I just can't get the fire started these days. What if I am one of those who, sadly, honestly, feels like God has me down in the valley, off the passion path and using this time to maybe shape me and prepare me? Man, if I only knew what the future holds, wait, according to you, I am the future and it will take leaders to rise above and help pull others up from the valleys and help ignite their flames back. I am a leader, but have yet seem to be able to lead myself lately. So, thanks to you, I will keep this fire thing on the horizon and see if your fire spreads. I am rubbing my two sticks together like you have never seen, stand back, I think I see smoke! Happy New Year Kenny from my family to yours.

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