I never know where my next blog inspiration will come from, but knowing I would be spending a couple days this week in the U.S. Virgin Islands I knew I would be in a good place to receive it. But the inspiration I received this week didn’t come from the turquoise waters, or the white sand beaches, but rather a conversation I had with one of my fellow attendees. There were five of us on this particular trip, a vendor sponsored one, where work was second to play. (Ya, I know, the rough life of The Pond Guy.) Googling up on the other invited guests, I was curious to see one listed as a professional race car driver, not the normal company you would expect on a trip like this. With a link to a YouTube clip showing a sensational crash that included launching his vehicle over a 20’ high guard rail fence, only to walk away unscathed, I knew this was one cat I was looking forward to chatting with.
I had a stereotype in mind when I met this fellow. I figured he grew up in a garage, and on a track, starting with Go Karts, and working his way up through the circuit, a life dedicated to racing, and speed. I was right too, as he explained he always loved cars, and driving fast, and he had the accompanying accidents, and tickets to show for it! But I was wrong as well, as he didn’t grow up in a garage, or come from racing family, but rather took an elongated, and pedestrian, approach before arriving at his said profession, surprisingly only in the last few years in his late 30s. Whatever interest in his story I had before significantly intensified in learning this. How does one exactly go from being a real estate developer to a sponsored, professional, race car driver traveling from race to race across the U.S.?! The interesting part of his story, for this blog anyway, was not how he ended up in his profession later in life, but rather how he answered my follow-up question about how successful he was at it. I asked him how he could compete against drivers who have been racing their whole lives. He said the advantage he has over many drivers, who have been racing their whole lives, is “his passion for the sport.” Unlike him, who’s been racing for three years, many of the guys who have been doing it for 30 years just don’t have the same level of passion that he does. It’s his passion that allows him to make up for his lack of experience, and compete, and ultimately beat, guys who have been at the game much longer than he. Way cool I thought, way cool.
The question for you in your career is; how passionate are you today? Do you have the same level of passion as you did when you were a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, high school kid pushing the mower around the neighborhood thrilled with the $100 bucks you racked in with your own sweat equity that day?!
Or has ten, twenty, or thirty years of being in the Green Industry sapped some of your passion for this game? If it has, it’s ok. After all, the world is full of people operating at something less than their optimal state, day-in, and day-out. But the world also has aspiring race car drivers and down-sized corporate execs that live life with an underlining passion just waiting for you to take the pedal off the gas.
Coasting through life is not an option for business owners, unless they don’t want to be business owners much longer. Continuously finding, or re-finding, your passion in what you do is the best elixir for a passionless career. So here’s to you keeping the pedal to the metal, flipping over the inevitable walls along the way, and walking away unscathed, and full of life because of it!
Here’s a link to my new friends infamous leap: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9cuY8IRuww