We branding folk talk a lot about passion and purpose.

In fact they’re two key elements you must figure out if you want to make sure your business has a fighting chance for success.

Why? Because Passion is what gets your motor running. It sparks and fuels your take off when you’re in launch mode. And if it’s a deep lifelong passion, it will keep you interested long after the initial high-energy euphoria transitions to a slow simmer.

Purpose, on the other hand, is the other side of the coin. It’s your solid ground. It’s what makes you tick, deep down inside and gets you out of bed in the morning (especially on those mornings when you’d rather stay safe under the covers). It’s your foundation and must align with what you consider your life’s mission (if you’ve figured that out yet).

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Passion in my PB&J newsletter. Here’s a sample:

Things can get Rough

I know. I’ve been there. Being a solopreneur is one of the best decisions I ever made. But sometimes I feel a little isolated, working away in my home office. You too? And then — Sweet Baby Lettuce! — let’s say that client you were counting on to pay that invoice takes off for the weekend without getting you your cash. Yep. Things aren’t always milk and honey for us little entrepreneurs.

That’s why we gotta be in touch with our WHY

When I’m helping my students figure out their branding, we often start with their passions. I don’t think it’s the only thing that will get you where you want to go. (Um. Hard work, anyone?) BUT, staying in touch with, and nurturing your passion is the best way to help you make it over the rough and rocky spots that we all find on the road to success. And things will get rocky. That’s just life on Planet Earth, yo.

So my question to you this week is: Is your business born from your passion? And, what made you decide to follow this path, anyway?

Okay, that’s two questions. But seriously. I want to know. When we share our passions (our WHYs) with each other — when we say them out loud and often — we keep those passions alive and kicking. And when you share yours with a witness — a friend, colleague or partner — that helps you clarify your WHY even more.

So, then I asked my readers to send me their WHYs so I could share them with you. Here are just a few that illustrate the wide range of small biz passions and how they feed livelihoods that matter (look for more soon via our Facebook page):

From Charlene (aka Fae Nathara), Shaman & Pathfinder

Nathara, the Fae

Nathara, the Fae

I have two passions vying for my attention right now: shamanism and photography. Let’s go backwards!  I don’t know where it came from, but I’ve always been an artist. I used to draw, paint, and write like mad. Due to an RSI in my hand, I can only hold a pencil or brush for a very short period of time. When I finally got a camera, it all came together. I could do art again and share the simple beauty I see in the world with amyone willing to look. And I’ve learned a lot about perception, story-telling, and personal truths along the way. Shamanism isn’t something I do so much as who I am. I filled the role of shaman in my tribe before I knew what it meant. Instead of learning to turn this superpower on, I’ve had to learn to turn it off. But turning it off is over, now, and I’ve avcepted myself and I gleefully look forward to sharing my gifts and knowledge with other people.

From Christi Jarland, the Non-Guru Mentor

Christi Jarland

Christi Jarland

I was constricted, unaware, disconnected; steeped in self doubt and apathy that sometimes swung to angst and frustration. Very young I had covered up my magic, put blinders on to the magic of life. I became aware, excited, passionate, content. Healed. I realized that the intuitive, empathic thing I do I had always done, accidentally. I realized I wanted to do it on purpose. I realized my heart hurts when I see people stuck in states similar to my previous experience. I realized that I have a deep passion to share experience, serve and support people ready to move out of that place.

From Elizabeth, of WAVES for Weight Loss

I’ve lost over 108 lbs. No, that is not a typo. I had a lot of struggles along the way and I learned a lot, too. That is why I am passionate about helping others reach their goals and be successful. That is why I started WAVES for Weight Loss and offered my services for free to those wanting to be healthier, happier and have more energy. It’s great to be able to enjoy life! What’s your WHY? What is the passion behind your purpose? Share it with the rest of us in a comment below. Oh, and my WHY? It’s probably best explained over on my new book’s website here.