Passion is BACK in Fashion

15 07 2010

Google the word passion, and what you’ll find is a lot of adult sites, dating sites, links to “The Passion of the Christ” and not much else. The word passion, and the concept itself are vastly underrated, and relegated to romance novels. To me, it is much more than that.

Passion is what gets me out of bed in the morning. It’s what motivates me, inspires me, pushes me to do more in my day, in my life, in my relationships, and in my world. If I am not passionate about something I will rarely waste my time. When I am passionate about something, there is no denying it. Everyone who meets me can feel that passion, That exuberance. It is not merely one of my qualities… it is the main quality that defines me.

Look at these blogs I’ve been writing, and it will come across. Whether it’s a blog about technology, surfing, or life lessons, my passion is obvious and inspiring.

What are you passionate about? What do you care about? What would you fight for?

Passion is a rare quality, and is often hard to find or describe. When you are passionate about something, it can change you, but usually that change is subtle, internal, and only noticed by those in your closest circle of friends. I propose that it shouldn’t be that way. I suggest you broadcast your passion, scream it from the rooftops, write it in blogs, tell your friends and family. When you meet someone who shares and shows their passion it is intoxicating, inspirational, and above all totally contagious.

When you come out of a movie theatre with someone who was charged up and fueled by what they just saw, and they share it openly with you, don’t you feel their excitement? Doesn’t it catalyze and change something within you? How many times has one person’s experience or point of view created a spontaneous debate or discussion that results in the two of you actively stating your beliefs, your opinions, your perspectives… even if they are diametrically opposed…. That’s the power of passion.

When I get up in the morning, and get my day started, if I don’t connect with some part of my passion I am dead in the water. Until I connect with something that I really care about, and feel in my bones my day doesn’t start. Yes, I may have breakfast, and go to work, and have phone calls and conversations, and get things done, but I’m just going through the motions… faking it… on autopilot. Be honest, how often has that happened to you? How frequently do you look at the clock and realize it quarter to one and wonder where your day went? Were you present for the first half of the day, or just in a fog, in a rut, in your head?

Passion is capable of bringing us 100% into the present, and keeping us there. Your heart rate increases, your pulse quickens, you are aware of everything on a completely different level.

I have a man in my life who taught me the intense value of focusing on our breath. It’s not merely meditation, although it is a form of that. It’s a way to be present, focused and awake. This man has found his passion. He teaches everyone around him how to connect to that quiet place inside your head, where the sound and feeling of the universe “breathing” you is present. Where you are present. When he talks about the power of focusing on your breath, you know how much he cares about it and it changes you. Suddenly you care about it too, and we are all bettered because of this man sharing himself, his knowledge and his passion.

I had to defend writing this blog to a friend of mine this past week. He is an awesome man, and I greatly value his perspective, but in this case he was just flat out wrong. He is so focused on his business, that in this case he missed the point. He is passionate about helping people, and helping them get their businesses on another level, and I can feel it… but I don’t always agree with it, and that’s OK, but I acknowledge his passion and am grateful for it.

He suggested that rather than waste my time writing this blog, I should focus on my technology blog that is part of my MacWhisperer brand… He told me I was diluting my value, and that my time was better spent furthering that brand, and making money from it. I should be doing more podcasts, video reviews of technology, training videos on how to use your iphone, ipod, ipad, and Mac products. He’s not wrong. I should be doing all of that and a lot more than I currently do, and there are only a limited amount of hours in the day, but he was just missing the bigger point of this blog.

You see, this blog is something I am truly passionate about. It charges me up to write it. To be creative. To share my thoughts and perspectives, and to acknowledge the path I am on in this life. For me, business is only one part of the multi-faceted life I am building here. This blog connects me to my higher purpose, gets me in touch with a power greater than myself, and motivates me to do more with my day every day. I could write a thousand technology blogs (and I am passionate about technology as well), but they would lack power, purpose, focus and vision without taking the few minutes to work on this blog first. Writing lifts me up, and then everything I do from that point on is better, stronger, and more full of LIFE and ENERGY.

And if my passion here can inspire someone else’s passion out there, all the better. We are, after all, all in this world to create a better experience and existence for ourselves and those around us.

So get PASSIONATE!!! Find out what you really CARE about, and let the world know, in any and every way you can. And I will keep on writing….






A Leap of Faith: Part IV – The Career

31 03 2010

There is a common misconception I would like to debunk right off the top. It is the assumption that a career and a job are the same thing… that they are synonyms. I propose that they are very different things, and that confusing them is not only a huge mistake, but that it can often have disastrous repercussions.

A job is temporary. A job is fleeting. You are not in control of it, it is in control of you. Most jobs do not require specific skills, or if they do, often you can learn what you need to know on the job. You show up for a job everyday, but the job goes on without you if you leave. For the most part, you do not control the direction your job takes, the choices you make my subtly affect the way the job goes, but you are not steering the boat. With a job you are usually working for someone else. Being paid by someone else. Dependent upon someone else.

A career is 1000% different. A career is permanent (or at least semi-permanent). A career is long-term. If you have a career, you are in charge. Your every decision and choice affects the course of your career. Generally speaking, in a career your working for a bigger purpose, or towards a bigger goal. A career takes a certain skill set. You can learn many new skills on the job in a career, but the career will falter early if you do not have certain skills.

Once I walked out of that office on the corner of Beverly Dr., and Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills everything changed. I had walked into that office fresh off my realizations in Costa Rica, and the seed money to start my career. I had walked into that office a man with a job… I walked out with a career.

The first week of my new career was a whirlwind. I partnered up with a close friend of mine who was very skilled on the PC. I knew my company would need both Mac and PC technicians, and it seemed to make sense to start with someone I knew. He had strong business skills, and helped me get the bureaucratic blah-blah in line. We needed a name first, then a DBA and a bank account, then a Federal Tax ID#, then we needed a business phone line, and advertising, and a website, and a million other things… but first came the name.

We struggled with the name. I was the creative person, so it fell onto me to throw out idea after idea after idea, only to have each and every one unceremoniously shot down. How about this? Or that? Or this one? Or we could call it… and on and on and on… finally I turned to him, frustrated, “What the hell do you want to call it? 2 Smart Techies?” He laughed immediately, and smiled… and just like that 2 Smart Techies was born.

We quickly got the DBA, and purchased our domain, and designed our logo (again with lots of help from me as the creative guy), and put out some ads… and then we waited. We weren’t sure how long it was going to take. A day, a week, a month, or even longer… but it didn’t take long at all. We soon got a call from a major television production company in Hollywood. They had a dozen and a half PCs, and a huge virus infestation. I will always remember that moment as my Ghostbusters moment. You know the scene… the ghostbusters have put it all on the line getting their headquarters set up. They have their ads running, and most of New York thinks they’re a complete joke, but then someone calls and hires them to catch the slimy green ghost, and Annie Potts, the mousey secretary throws down her hand on a big red button, and screams “WE GOT ONE!!!!!” and alarms and sirens go off all over the Ghostbusters headquarters and they all slide down the pole in their full costumes for the first time…. It was just like that…. Only much much more mundane.

We got on site, and sure enough it was a complete disaster. Some new PC virus had been released and had just wreaked havoc on this office. I saw things that day that I had never imagined as even remote possibilities outside of the Sci-Fi Fantasy films I had grown up on. I was at a distinct disadvantage coming from the Mac side of things… I had only heard of viruses as concepts. I’d never really seen them in the wild, nor did I know what they could do or how to fix them. It was like nothing I had ever seen or experienced before. There were viruses that could shut off your computer, or wipe all the data off your machine, or redirect your browser to unauthorized pages… it was crazy. I let my PC partner guide me, and together we worked our asses off for over 16 hours straight… and then, all of a sudden, we were done. We invoiced the company, and collected a check for over $4000. My partner and I split it down the center, and just like that we were a legitimate company.

I was warned by friends of mine and other technicians, that this business was a sink or swim business. Some weeks you would eat filet mignon, and some days you would be lucky to have enough money and work to buy dog food… but it was never like that for me. It was always filet mignon. On job led to another. One client referred me to another one. Before I knew it, I had more work than I could handle, and more money than I had ever expected to earn.

That’s not to say it was easy sailing from this point on, not by a long shot, but we were over the first hurdle. The second hurdle that would really define me as a leader, and define my business as a whole, came a couple of months down the line. You see, I was already 30 at this point, and had had enough job experiences to know that I never again wanted to work for someone else. This gave me an intense work ethic. This was not just my day job. This was a company that i would build out and cultivate into a career. Something that would feed me and my family not just for the here and now, but well into my future. My partner on the other hand was in his 20’s, still finishing his school career, had no kids, and almost no overhead. Originally we had assumed that we would split all costs up front, and all checks we received, but that soon proved to be a bad plan. I worked every day. I had clients lined up and waiting for my services, and my partner just sat around waiting for someone to call him. I was being proactive, while he was just being reactive. As a result I provided 90% of the clients, and 90% of the income, and yet also carried the full load of the overhead, and paid half of my earnings over. This clearly wasn’t going to work.

My first remedy for this situation was to put my partner on a guaranteed hourly amount. I would pay him a flat rate every week, and keep the rest of what I was making. This didn’t work either because then he did less and less since he wasn’t being paid based on how much he did, just a flat rate. He was clearly in a job mind-set, while I was quickly learning what it meant to be in a career mind-set. I decided I had only one choice, so I bought him fully out of the company, and became a sole proprietor, a business owner, a full-time computer consultant, and most of all the proud new owner of an actual career. Go figure.

Down the line, I would branch out, find a new top-notch PC technician, build my brand and my clientele, and 7 years later I would still be here, fixing people’s Macs and helping them get their PCs working, writing tech blogs and recording a podcast, and thanking my lucky stars everyday that I get to be in charge. I get to be the boss. I make the decisions and choices and I steer my future, for better or worse. I have no one to answer to, and I make my own schedule, and money has never been the same issue it was back in those early days. Now it’s on to bigger and better things, and finding ways to continue to market my Business, and build my roster, and add new technicians, etc… Every day is a new adventure, and every day I learn something new that helps me lift this company a notch higher and a notch higher still. With a job, who cares…. With a career, I better care, because no one else will care for me.