What Jimmy Fallon Has To Do With Your Career

Last week we talked about the difference between purpose-driven and passion-driven careers (relationships!). This week we'll look under the hoods of some well-known brands and see if we can tell which way they lean.

You know when a celebrity's face appears suddenly transformed and doctors go on TV and say things like, "I've never treated Benee Fellwegger, but in my expert opinion…" Well, here we go.



Kelly Rae Roberts

I imagine that Kelly Rae would be up to her elbows in paint even if no one ever saw her paintings. Her mini-bio reads: "When I finally put paint onto paper, my heart + life exploded with renewed passion + joy." Her work has inspired millions through the licensing of her products and I'm sure she feels a connection to the people who delight in her creations, but love of painting brought her to her work.


Jimmy Fallon

When it comes to comedy, Jimmy constantly looks like the happiest kid on the playground. He radiates love for what he does and who he works with. He's known for respecting relationships in the industry (can you even imagine him having bad blood with someone?), but it seems that his love for what he does, rather than a sense of purpose, is what has guided his career.


Elizabeth Gilbert

Liz is a tricky one. In recent years she's gotten recognition for her TED talk on creativity and touring with Oprah's Life You Want tour, which I read as bending towards purpose-driven. But Elizabeth Gibert the writer, the one who devoted herself to writing as a teenager and kept going after Eat, Pray, Love was one of the most celebrated books of a generation? This woman is passion-driven. In her own words, "In the end, I love this work. I have always loved this work."




Does the world's most famous street artist love art? Who knows. But I don't think he's sitting around luxuriating in time spent with his stencils and spray paint. This renegade is on a mission. He doesn't just want to make art, he wants his art to do something. His work is disruptive, unexpected, and the very medium and style of his work is a result of his intentions. He's not putting out coffee table books; he's co-opting private property to send his message.


Marie Forleo

Marie is obviously passionate about what she does, but when she talks about why she works it's clear that she's fueled by being part of other people's successes. There's also a significant "giving back" initiative within her business where a portion of profits are allocated to non-profits that improve people's lives through building schools, providing clean water, and offering small business loans to impoverished entrepreneurs throughout the world.



This online fashion label has purpose written all over it. Everlane is turning the fashion industry inside out. Inline with their core belief of radical transparency, Everlane publishes the true cost + markup of their products, as well as the factories where they are made. Their values have inspired a new business model within their industry. While their website is sprinked with the word "passion," it's clear that there's more than a romantic love of clothing going on here.


What can you learn from these examples?

Artists can be purpose-driven or passion-driven.

Passion-driven people can be quiet and reserved, and purpose-driven people can be boisterous and colorful.

There is no gender divide among passion/purpose.

Purpose-driven careers don't have to be charitable and can make mega bucks.

When it comes to passion vs. purpose, one is not better than the other. They are simply different ways of relating to work.

In the comments, give me one example of a brand you think of as passion-driven, and another you think of as purpose-driven.