I am a firm believer that passion should be the driving force behind our actions. Passion should be what leads our lives in the direction that we want to go. Not money, not fame, but doing something that fills our soul.
It is really easy to say “find your passion and follow it” but to be honest it isn’t really that easy to do.
With the internet filling our head with all of these “easy steps to get where you want to go” each step by step guide fails to mention one simple but very big piece of the puzzle. It is a lot of hard work. And not just like, Oh I sit in an office and work a lot. I mean nose to the grind stone for hours, days and some times weeks on end with no solid promise of success. Weeks, months and years of just figuring it out as you go. As an entrepreneur who is building a career out of a passion your job title will change not just daily but hourly. You will wear the many hats of a business owner, CEO and CFO. You will troubleshoot, google your ass off and just figure it out.
Most people have these grand ideas of what it is like to follow your dream for a living. Envisioning that it is all fun and games. That it’s all good times while you navigate the world doing what you love. Not to burst your perfect bubble but nothing is perfect… and it’s better that way.
I wouldn’t give up the life that I have created for the world. Every late night, Every frustrating coding error, change of travel plans, agreement and document draft, financial discussion, legal research and all of the many other things that I’ve had to do that make up what I’ve built are things that I am proud of.
Every time I get an email from someone who says they want what I have, they want advice to live their dreams, they want to know my secrete I tell them… 11 years… 11 years of hard work. 11 years of blood sweat and tears, but 11 of the most amazing, challenging, fun and life changing years. That is what it takes.
So yes, passion is simply not enough. In order to build the life that you want you need so much more than just passion. You need drive, dedication, patience, a think skin, compassion (for others and yourself). You need to be open. Open to other ideas, opinions, changes and failures. But if you can embrace all of the different aspects of following your dreams. If you are ok with the blissful picture perfect times but also the dirty, grimy, scrape your way through it times then and only then are you ready to pursue your passions and build them into a life long career.
My life is not all glitz and glam, or adventure and exploration. Those things just scratch the surface of what I do. But everything I do that is not just the tip of the iceburg is done to allow me the life that I so desperately desired for so many years.
There is nothing more empowering than seeing your hard work and dedication pay off. The feeling looking back and being able to say wow… look at how many times I failed but I got back up. Look at what I have built. It is those times, those feelings that make everything I do so worth it.
I encourage everyone to follow their dreams and turn their passions into their careers, but I don’t want to portray this unauthentic and unrealistic figure that preaches how easy it is to have/do what you want. But I will tell you that it is worth it! So buck up, figure out what you want. Pursue it relentlessly and don’t be afraid to get dirty!