Do You Do What You Love?

For centuries people have been arguing both sides of this question.  Social Media has hundreds of pictures that I have even shared or posted with the most popular quotes. The following quote is my personal favorite:

Steve Jobs 2

Everyone has a passion for something. Neither Angelo nor I had aspirations as children or teenagers of becoming painters. I wanted to be the general manager of a grand hotel in some exotic location somewhere in this great, big world. Angelo was sure he would be out on top of the world as an astronaut.

But for whatever circumstance brought us to this career, we truly are passionate and love what we do.  Things have been far from easy – some of the risks have been too great – and I will admit there are days that I really do not like my job.  Seriously, who loves working long, hot summer days in the sun on ladders? Not being able to wash the paint out your hair, going from one job to another, digging the caulk and putty out of my finger nails at night? It wasn’t just the physical demands. After all the labor was complete, the focus would switch to fiscal responsibilities: paying  vendors, collecting money, placing orders, letters of credit, insurance, payroll, taxes, attorneys, profits margins, COGs, G&A expenses, credit management, contracts – the list is endless.  Consider we spent most of our days away from home and our kids, having only a few hours in the evening to wind down and touch base with our family. We all have tasks in our job that we don’t enjoy, but the main role in everyone’s job should be to embrace your talents and passions that touch on the things you love.

I loathe making collection calls, but I love when my bills are paid and there are a few extra dollars left. Angelo hates ordering paint but is full of pride when we walk a finishing project and see all that paint on the wall.

Balancing what you love to do, with making a living is probably the most difficult challenge with which we all struggle.  You’ll have to closely look at your priorities; you’ll need to define success differently (our generation defined success with the size of our paychecks).  So many people I know are left always chasing that check, working long hours, doing things all day that they hate doing, hating their boss and co-workers – to me all of that translates to difficult evenings at home, issues with relationships with wife and kids, increased stress and ultimately health issues.  You’ll need to ask yourself some tough questions. Does it really matter if drive a BMW or Hyundai?  Does it really matter if you have a mansion or a townhouse? Do you really need all the latest expensive gadgets?  What is your definition of love, fulfillment and satisfaction?  How is it that I have painters that work with us that are so proud of what they do?  Because they love it.

I believe in the endless possibilities we can create for ourselves; I believe in making tough choices or take risks to reach our goals.  I believe in my ability to deal with the uncertainty and hurdles that I will encounter.  I believe in dreaming, working hard, learning daily.

I believe in the American Dream where by definition “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement”.  We are proof!