Jun 12 2012
The single most consistent lesson I’ve learned in life is that if you find passion, dig in with all your might. Be relentless, be ambitious, contribute more than what your job description defines, never accept what you know to be false, wake up early and go to sleep late – whatever it takes to keep it bolted to your foundation.
I’ve been fortunate to make a career out of applying my passion to those in need of my skills. My dad teaching me to hack an Apple IIe when I was six, coupled with music being equivalent in importance as air and water made the path clear. But as we learn daily, most people never get to take music beyond a hobby – at best it becomes a spectator sport if you chase it.
In 1994 I set out on a path that started in college radio, took me through three record labels, my own digital marketing agency, contributing to industry organizations, a decade of speaking engagements all over the country, and now to a company I’ve admired and followed since I was a young teen.
I’ve enjoyed almost every job I’ve had – all the way back to rocking the photo department at Sav-On in 1993. There’s only one job I had that was so far removed from my true self that I ran out the door screaming, cloud-of-dust style. Three days later I was employee number six (thirteenth ever) at a software startup in the basement of a downtown Seattle bookstore. I went from utter discontent to a feeling of zen in a weekend.
That was a long time ago, and it taught me a very valuable lesson – knowing what you don’t like is usually more important than having a rigid definition of what you’re after. We can’t all have careers that would impress our 14-year-old selves, but as long as wherever you find yourself is infused with passion, you’re doing it right.