Following Your Passion for Success

Do some people have all the luck, or do they really know how to get what they want from an early age? If America is truly the land of opportunity, then why can’t everybody land his or her dream job? Why do so many people often wind up working thankless, unrewarding, dead-end jobs?

Most well-established young men and women land their dream jobs because they focus their energy toward manifesting their job success at an early age. Over the past several weeks, I have been extremely fortunate to be able to study and be mentored by business and motivational expert, Michael E. Gerber. During our discussions, Michael has often reminded me that successful people tend to only focus on “one thing” and strive to become the best by utilizing their gifts and strengths, whereas most people often tend to spread themselves too thin by trying to dabble in too many things at one time without any real focus. Michael refers to this lesson as understanding “your primary aim”.

In his book, The E-Myth Revisited, Michael instructs his readers to ask themselves, “What is your primary aim? What do you value most? What kind of life do you want? What do you want your life to look like? Who do you wish to be? Once you answer these questions then make it happen! Begin living that life. Create your life intentionally!”

I have often believed that one’s ability to find a job that truly sparks and inspires one’s passion is the single greatest road to success. As I have spoken about in lectures and live appearances, there should be at least one of three reasons why you should consider pursuing an ideal job:

1. Quality of Life – Find a job that allows you to live in a location where you can thrive. Identify a job that lets you live the life you want surrounded by the people who support and admire you.

Recently I moved back to the Midwest from California because I always felt like I resonated better in that environment. I have been enjoying the calm here as well as the pace again and it feels like home.

2. Challenge – Pursue a job or career where the work will challenge you and help you grow from the experience. Therefore, you either want to choose a job that will serve as a stepping stone toward getting you even closer to your ultimate primary aim, or take one where there is a strong educational advantage that will allow you to continue to grow and experience your life’s passion.

If you have been following the previous articles here on my blog, then you already know that I left a 22-year career in the music industry to pursue my true passion. I have written my first book, Growing Success: A Young Adult’s Guide to Achieving Personal and Financial Success, which is designed to give young adults (ages 16 to 25) the needed educational concepts and tools to be successful in all areas of their lives.  I wrote this book because I wanted to help young adults in high schools and colleges understand how to cultivate solid financial habits as well as concrete personal goals and planning from a young age. Educating and helping others is a huge passion of mine, and I am now in better alignment with my primary aim.

3. Financial Reward – I intentionally listed this pursuit last. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for finding a career path that rewards you for all your hard work and efforts, but I just don’t believe that money should be the sole driving force for why you choose to pursue a job or career. Money should be viewed as opportunity, your financial means for continuing to pursue your passions. I honestly believe that if you follow your true passion, the money will definitely follow.

I was once told by my former boss, friend and business mentor, Vinnie Freda that the main reason why he offered me my very first job in the music industry two weeks after I graduated from Indiana University was because I never asked him “how much the job paid”. The only thing I cared about was that I wanted to work in the music industry and I would do whatever it took to get it. That motivation is what led me to a successful 22-year career with the world’s largest record company.

To quote the great Bob Dylan, “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.”

Don’t be like most people who spend their entire lives asking themselves, “What will I be when I grow up?”  Take control of your destiny now and start building that dream job and/or career today. In turn, you’ll also be growing your success.

You Don’t Have To Be a Superstar to Be Successful

In my opinion, I think too many people today are hung up on their definition for success, rather than simply feeling or accepting success on their own terms.

Think about it: the media is constantly bombarding us with stories of what they deem to be success: money, high-powered careers, cars, clothes. I think there is a big misconception between fame and success because I personally know a lot of people that are successful that are not famous, and I am sure we can all name a few famous people that are not successful.  So let me share an obvious revelation with all of you: you don’t need to hit home runs to be successful. Base hits are just as valuable for the win.

I recently had the pleasure of reading Mark Cuban’s book, How To Win At The Sport of Business and I was happy to see that I am not alone when it comes to practical definitions for success. According to Mark, “One’s efforts should really be measured by their ability to set goals and achieve results, not simply by the amount of hours one works in a single day.” I completely agree. Choosing to be a workaholic and, even worse, wasting precious time that you can never get back without even achieving results is ludicrous.

“People who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.” – Michael E. Gerber (author of The E-Myth Revisited)

Successful people like Mark Cuban and Michael Gerber may make success look easy, but I can assure you, both gentlemen are constantly reading and searching for new ways to expand their knowledge in order to do things better and “smoke” their competition in a way that properly utilizes their precious time.

In his book, Mark talks about how one goes about winning a segment of his or her business and finding one’s edge. He not only writes of where one’s edge comes from,  but the steps it takes to get there.

The important takeaways for me from Mark’s book are:

  • study your business
  • understand what it will take to differentiate yourself from your competition when dealing with clients
  • and, most importantly, your willingness to do what it takes to get results

To continue to replicate your success, you need to understand “why” you are succeeding in the first place and then continue to build on that success.

“If you aren’t happy with where you are, simplify your life and go out and try as many things as it takes to find what you may be destined to be.” – Mark Cuban

My personal philosophy for success is simple: “Do what you love every day of your life while surrounding yourself with positive people that love and support you.”

Successful people get to choose the life they want to live by surrounding themselves with positive people that love and support them, while at the same time getting up every morning to pursue a passion they love.

Hey, that sounds like a pretty cool definition to me.