April 2011

Shannon Wells

Better Business | by Neil Ducoff


Chasing Your Passion

While speaking at a trade show, I ran into a friend that I had not seen in quite some time. When I asked what she was up to, she told me that she was chasing her passion - she said she wanted to build something great.

During my flight home, I reflected on that conversation. My immediate recollections were the fire in her eyes, the determination in her words and the tone of her voice.

This very successful entrepreneur was on a mission, and nothing was going to stand in her way.

I feel something uplifting when listening to someone who is chasing the work for which he or she has a passion. Simply put, their excitement is infectious. It is as though they are going on the voyage of a lifetime to some extraordinary places. So much so, you feel that yearning to join them or just help them with your insights, contacts or encouragement. Yes, you may even feel a tinge of jealousy.

I am a true Aquarian. It is just my nature to be on a mission or quest to change lives and make the world a better place. If I am not carrying a flag that stands for something special, if I am not chasing and feeding those things I am passionate about, I feel stuck – as if I am allowing my full potential to slip away. When I am chasing my passions, I feel invigorated and strong. Good things begin to happen and opportunities come my way.

For most of my career, I have been engaged in work that feeds my passion. I love delving into the inner workings of business and leadership. I love to teach and speak about leadership, as well as what it takes to grow a company. I am still trying to decide if I like writing about business and leadership. I have authored two books; I write these Monday Morning Wake-Ups, and seem to find myself writing a good portion of the time. For me, my writing is a personal way to express myself. Okay, I confess, writing is part of my passion for understanding and teaching about business.

Are you truly chasing what you are passionate about? At this very moment, can you say that you are on your voyage of a lifetime to some extraordinary places? If you cannot say, "yes," what is standing in your way?

Before you begin to offer up that laundry list of excuses that have you shackled to your current reality, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and allow your thoughts to drift around in that special place where your passion lives and waits for you. It is great to dream, but it is a whole lot more fun chasing your dreams. The map may be unclear at first, but as long as you know and move toward the destination, you will discover the right path. Roadblocks and detours are part of the voyage, so be ready for them.

All I am suggesting is that you reconnect with your passion and get the fire back in your eyes and the bounce in your step. Excuses are nothing more than your own efforts to convince yourself that you are not ready or capable. If you listen to that stuff long enough, you will never take those first amazing steps towards what is waiting for you.

I am still chasing my passions. I have gained a lot of ground over the years, but there is still more that I need to achieve and do. Like my friend, I am much happier when I have the fire in my eyes, continuing my voyage to extraordinary places.

Neil Ducoff is the founder and CEO of Strategies, a business training and coaching salon specializing in the salon and spa industry. Ducoff is the author of Fast Forward, and his new book, No-Compromise Leadership, is available at www.amazon.com. For a signed copy, go to www.strategies.com You can email Neil at neil@strategies.com