Finding and following your passion…

I’ve been blessed.  I have the perfect job for me.  The funny thing is, it happened by accident.  Well, maybe not an accident, but it was not a choice I made initially.  Let me explain.

My wife and I had just finished building a home and three months later, the President of the company I was working for came to me with an offer I couldn’t refuse.  He wouldn’t let me.  I had worked at the company for a year and turned around an underperforming division by changing pretty much everything.  I had changed the people, the processes, and most of the customers, by changing the basic business model.  We had accomplished our goal of getting to profitability and they really didn’t need me anymore.  My alternatives were to sell my house and move with another company, or try to establish myself in the consulting world.  I chose the latter based on several personal and business factors.

In my career I had worked for 4 companies in 20+ years.  But in those companies I had held over 10 different positions.  I loved the challenges of turning around businesses and I loved fresh challenges.  My practice now allows me to do just that.  We work with companies to solve sales performance issues and make the results sustainable.  As I said, I’ve been blessed.

I don’t remember who said it to me, but somewhere in my formative years I was told to follow my passion and the money would come.  I believe it.  I’ve shared that with my kids and with anyone else who would listen.  If you love what you are doing, even if you are not making millions of dollars, doesn’t it seem like the money is enough?  If you are truly passionate about what you do the enjoyment of what you are accomplishing is more valuable than monetary possessions.

When my son turned 22 he asked for my advice on a career path.  I told him to follow his passion.  His comment was that he liked the night life.  I thought my advice had blown up in my face.  Would my sage advice was turn my son into a professional drinker?  In a week he was working at a bar as a bouncer.  Within a year he had worked his way through all the levels of bouncers, and bar backs to a bartender and one of the managers of the bar.  He had a passion, he did great work, and the money came.  A few years later he met his girlfriend who has become his fiancé.  The bar life was not a great life for a relationship.  He always had a passion for a healthy life style.  His next step was to leave the bar for a sales and personal training role at the local gym.  Again, with his passion he built a great clientele base and that allowed him to live the life he wanted and make enough money to live well.

Are you happy in your current position?  Are you passionate about what you are doing?  If not, why are you doing it?  I had a sales person that I had inherited in one of my business roles.  He was really terrible at his job.  So bad that he could not even find his largest customer when we went to make a joint sales call.  When I was having a career discussion with him I asked him a question that you may want to answer yourself.

“If money was no issue, and you could do what you wanted, what would you do?”

His answer was “To work with children”.  Why would he not be doing that?

He ended up leaving the company and when I saw him a year later he thanked me for asking him the question.  He was working for a non-profit company, soliciting donations for a children’s food bank.  He was happy and he was making more money than he had been making as an underperforming sales person.

Two questions for you to ask yourself:

1. “If money was no issue, and I could do what I wanted, what would I do?”

2. “How can I make it happen?”

Take the fear out of the equation and have faith.  Life is too short to work at something you don’t enjoy or just working for the money.  Find your passion.

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