How to Turn Your Passion into Business: A Personal Story

2012-04-17 05:32

Jennifer Cheung is young and versatile. She grew up in Hong Kong and as a young girl she liked desserts which her family baked during Sunday meals:  cakes, biscuits, gelatin dessert, pastries, ice cream, pies, pudding, and candies. Sunday meals were the greatest and sweetest time, and passion of her life growing up. Jennifer simply loved desserts and considered them to be almost the epitome of life - her life at least because “dessert doesn't satisfy hunger or nutritional needs; it is food purely for pleasure and licking sweet and good”.

“Back when every girl was playing with dolls and what not, all I ever wanted to play with was a cookery set. I still remember the very first dessert I ever made. It was a recipe for a banana milkshake. It was simple but I loved every second of it - from the mashing of bananas and folding the ice cream”. She said in an interview with LifestyleAsia.com.

After high school Jennifer studied economics at university level graduating in 2003. She then worked in the banking industry. But the career in banking bored her to death and she finally took a tough decision and resigned. But it quickly dawned on her that she really can not be excited about anything life other than baking desserts and enjoying eating them.

Jennifer went to the United States and studied at the New York City's Institute of Culinary Education.  The institute offers highly regarded 8 to 13 month career training programs in culinary arts, pastry & baking, culinary management and hospitality management with an in-depth global curriculum. After graduation Jennifer came back to Hong Kong and established Sift Desserts. It was hard work but that hard work was fun and ecstasy, it was not an ordeal or painful. Pursuing this through dedication and hard work was sweet passion and exhilarating pleasure. Sift Desserts soon became hugely popular and continued to expand in Hong Kong, and now sells almost 1,500 cupcakes a day.

Having gone through this path of success to finally come to the other side where she can live and enjoy her life to the fullest as she indulges her passion and making money from it, what is Jennifer’s advice to people who want to turn their passion and personal interests into lucrative fun filled successful profitable business like her. I was captivated by her response to that question on the glamour website SassyHongKong.com. Her response is measured, sophisticated, honest, open, engaging, truthful and wise:

“Any entrepreneur will tell you, starting and running a business is not easy, especially one in Food & Beverage. You run into problems and challenges that no textbook, classroom and any previous experience can either really prepare you for or teach you what to do. But at the end of the day, when you’re crazy about what you do, it’s just not that much hard work. So while it might still be manically stressful at times, the passion you have for the content inspires you to move forward.”

“Failure is a part of the process. It’s how you learn, grow and evolve, so never be afraid to fail. When you discover an opportunity and something you love doing, take that leap of faith and everything else will fall into step. You always regret more what you don’t do rather than things that you do. Set goals for yourself and work relentlessly towards those goals. Success in anything requires hard work and there are no shortcuts in life. Finding what you love doing in life is like falling in love. Stay true to what you believe in and you can make it happen.”

Jennifer is truly doing what she is passionate about, and because she loves what she is doing she is putting every ounce of effort into making it successful. Her work is no longer work but true satisfied living.

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