When I first met Jessica during my last trip to Silicon Valley, I could feel that this woman was onto something.
Welcoming us at the door of Airbnb, the leading worldwide accommodation company where she played a key role back then, Jessica Semaan’s radiant smile filled every corner of the room; Her attitude also reflected a person hiding thousands of energy particles awaiting eagerly to explode onto the universe.
Little did I know at the time, that Jessica was secretly cooking up an idea that was about to change the lives of thousands of people around the world.
We leave you with an interview about the start up she is leading today, beautifully named: the Passion Co.
Introduce us to the Passion Company in a few words?
The Passion Co. is an incubator that turns your passions and dreams into reality, using the power of support, accountability and purpose.
What is standing in the way of us all reaching our passion?
After teaching thousands of people from around the world, the number 1 thing that I learned that comes in the way has nothing to do with the classical excuses that are time, money etc.. It is not believing we are good enough. So we get scared we are going to fail. Which leads us to paralysis.
What is the very first step down the road to happiness?
I do not believe in happiness. I believe in living with meaning. The first step towards living a meaningful life, is getting to know who you are and accepting and loving that person. A lot of our misery comes from not understanding what we really want, not communicating it, and beating ourselves up when we make mistakes.
What if our passion turns out to be a non lucrative business?
Not every passion should be a business. Living a passionate life can look like pursuing passion on the side after work. And if you want your passion to be your work, you must also accept that you might fail. It is better to have failed doing something you love, then felt empty doing something you don’t care about.
What do you tell your workshop attendants about learning to say YES!
Many people are frustrated because they cannot find their passions. Often times, you stumble upon what you love. Passion is not going to come to you, you have to go and try new things, experiment, get out of your comfort zone and you might find it just there waiting for you.
Do you think Lebanon has any more, or less, obstacles stopping us all from reaching our passion?
I think living in Lebanon can be hard for someone who wants to live their passions because people can be negative and not support you. But that does not mean you cannot. I would say find your tribe. Hang out with people who believe in you and push you. Remember that by you pursuing your passions you are inspiring others to do the same.
How can the educational system play a role in helping students find their passion?
To be honest, I think our education system is designed to do the opposite to conform us and take away what makes us special. Education should allow you to spend at least one day a week being creative. Teach you skills that matter and are useful such as how to innovate, how to fail, how to work with other people.
Share with us one book name and one saying that has impacted your life.
A book that changed my life and think everyone should read: Man’s search for meaning by Viktor Frankl
As for the saying: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
Share with us One Passion Co. success story that convinced you that you’re on the right track!
Here is one the Lebanese would love:
Ziyad Hermez, Founder of Manousheh
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