The Passion Economy of Today

This has been one of my favorite topics to talk about recently. Not too long ago I read a book called "The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century" written by Adam Davidson, and I have to admit, I agree on many of the topics.

For those of you that know me personally, you've probably heard me mention the passion economy numerous times and are probably sick of it. For those of you who don't, you're in store for a treat of enlightenment as I take you on a journey of what I believe to be a simple generalization of the way people like to spend their money in 2022; "The Passion Economy of Today."

Adam Davidson does an excellent job of going over an in-depth detailed outline of his interpretation within his book. I will do my best to explain how I view the way people like to spend their money in 2022 within this article.

What is the Passion Economy?

In 2022 we have just gone through a lot: pandemic, economic craziness, housing booming and then interest rates rising, and so on, and so forth. People now have more reason than ever to spend their money wisely, and more importantly, on the things they want to spend it on!

In today's economy, generally speaking, we want to spend money on things that give us joy. We want to go out and see the world with all the exciting things it has to offer! Businesses can find it tough, especially nowadays, to compete in holding your attention against the vastness of the internet. As a business owner, I hear a lot of other colleagues complaining about how people just don't spend money like they used to! In the passion economy that we live in today, people are just simply more willing to spend money on experience and with organizations that do good.


Forget the robotic nature of the past few decades. Today we want lights, camera, action! Why would I go over to Subway to get a sub when I could experience a hand-crafted artisanal sandwich from the Mae's in Marshfield? After all, I guarantee I could take a photo of it and have people's mouth's watering on social media! Why would I go shovel my driveway in the dead of the winter when there are literally ice castles only an hour up north I should be seeing? Are you starting to get the idea?

We are willing to spend our money on a lot of things! The question is, what value does it add for me and my life? Of course, I'm not talking about basic necessities like a lawn mowers or water bottles, however, wouldn't it be cool if there was a place that let you test out the ride-on mowers before you bought them?? That would be much more interesting than reading google reviews!

We want to experience something cool, something unique, something that aligns with what we believe in.

Do Good for the World

We also love spending our hard-earned money with places or brands that have a track record of doing good for the planet. Clothing brands such as Patagonia and Tom's have dedicated a portion of their profits towards either the restoration of humanity or saving the planet. Taken from the Tom's website: For every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, a pair of new shoes is given to a child in need in partnership with humanitarian organizations.

Those of us who are passionate about the mission that these companies offer are more than willing to support them! It has become almost non-negotiable to have a do-good association attached to your brand. We know, as consumers, that our money is going farther than just a fleece jacket or a pair of espadrilles and we love it!

With all the destruction we've done to our planet, us consumers really have no choice but to support the brands and companies that make it a mission to do good. Especially if we’re passionate about the mission!

Adapt or Die

More businesses need to take on the "adapt or die" mentality. Whether you like it or not, the world is changing and if you sleep on it too long, you're going to be gone before you know it.

I went to a bar a few months ago in Ft. Lauderdale called "Glitch Bar Arcade" that was a prime example of what I've been talking about. It is a full-service bar that has a full-on arcade attached to it. You get carded at the door, once you're in all you have to do is buy a drink and you have full access to unlimited retro arcade games. If I lived close to the area, why would I ever go to a typical dive bar?

Don't be surprised if the bar next door closes down or sees an aging crowd. They weren't willing to adapt to what the passion economy craves.


Countless new start-ups that have been opening have been taking on the concept of the passion economy whether they know it or not. Businesses that have been around a while need to start understanding the concept or else be doomed to get beat out by the new innovative idea.

If you’re thinking about starting a business in the future, think about what people are passionate about and what experience you can offer outside of the traditional norms. Your community will be glad you did and you’ll likely see success in today’s “Passion Economy.”

Much love, Ian Drake. If you have thoughts on this topic, agree, or disagree, feel free to leave your comments below!

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