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Following your passion – Mike Rowe-style

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While surfing the net to find interesting videos, I came across an interview of Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs” that he did with Behind The Brand. While the interview is about 42 minutes long, I pulled out a few nuggets that Mike said that make a lot of sense.

Don’t follow your passion, but bring it with you.”

It’s what they say on the Dirty Jobs show about the people that they filmed. Mike would find people, a lot of them very successful, multi-millionaire entrepreneurs, who may not have woken up wanting to be a plumber, or a ditch digger, or a pipe fitter, but, “they got to the point of their life where they had to make money. They looked around at where everyone else was going, and they just went the other way… First, they identified the opportunity, then they got good at it, and then they figured out how to love it.”

I can identify with that sentiment. Growing up, I always felt that I needed to work for someone else, a company who would provide me with a stable income, good health benefits, and growth opportunities. I never understood why my father, who had those things, would want to be an entrepreneur, to be his own boss. Even though he worked for Xerox and Hewlett Packard as an engineer, he wanted to invent something that he could market that would allow him to be the owner of his own business. This was back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, when computer technology as we know it today was just beginning to spread to homes and small businesses. My dad’s idea was to come up with software that could be used to translate text from one language to another. Sadly, he never lived long enough to realize his dream, because he most certainly would have been successful given the proper resources, but I learned later on in life why he had those desires to work for himself.

I look at my earlier foray into being a novelist, and now as a voice over talent, as having a bit of that entrepeneurial spirit. To see what talents I have, and to take what passion I can muster to be successful in that endeavor. And, as long as that passion stays alive in me, I will find a way to nurture it.

So, I encourage you to find something that may be different, or difficult, or challenging, and to bring your passion to bear so that you, too, can find enjoyment in the journey! Good luck…

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