I recently realized that I get paid quite a lot of money to workout, host a podcast, write this newsletter, try amazing products, work with tremendous people and brands and have a lot of quality time on my hands.
That’s why I don’t quit my "job", throw caution to wind and follow my "passion".
There is no perfect. Doing nothing more than continually following your passions is a cop out and can lead to a pretty unfulfilling existence.
So, how’d I arrive at this spot and how am I able to keep doing it?
By not quitting my job but rather doing my job better and better.
Now before you go saying I’m settling, I'm not happy, compromising, selling myself short, missing anything or will one day be on my deathbed feeling regretful, let me tell you that’s complete bullshit.
I have followed ALL of my passions. Still am.
In my twenties I produced movies; Two Ninas w/ the amazing Amanda Peet, Ron Livingston, Cara Buono won a bunch of festivals and you can find it on Amazon and Netflix now. Check it out! It holds up. Boricuas Bond w/Method Man, Tyson Beckford, Big Pun, Treach, Onyx and more. Not exactly a great film but we sold it to USA Films and I'm sure you can find it if you really look. I've never even watched it myself.
In my 30’s I went full on entrepreneur with my love of sports and being a new dad founding Team Baby Entertainment. Growing the company from selling hastily produced sports themed dvds out of the trunk of my car to a 10M+ valuation and deals w/NBA, MLB, NCAA working with celebs such as...being on Donnie Deutsch, NY Times and selling to Michael Eisner. We imploded a few years after as the dvd market went in the crapper and pediatricians started telling parents that putting your kid in front of the TV to watch Baby Einstein or our videos was not such a great idea after all.
In my early 40’s I opened ROW Studios to turn my love for fitness into a business. 5 years of sweat, lost friendships and money and I was out.
I made movies and realized I wasn’t really passionate about them at all. In fact, I rarely watch anything anymore.
I made hokey little sports videos, was on the road all the time at trade shows, markets, vendors, campuses and doing press and marketing constantly and completely missed the mark on the transition of hard goods (dvds) to apps/online/streaming.
When I opened the gym I was in the best shape of my life. Could never quite figure out the model, get aligned with my partners and manage the team properly. When I sold it, I was in the worst shape I’d been in in 10 years, physically and mentally.
I haven’t actually been very good at any of the things I was passionate about when it came to making them viable businesses. More importantly, I certainly wasn’t all that happy with all the added pressures and responsibilities I was taking on.
In between TBE and ROW I made a “wiser” career decision and joined INSGroup. I did my own personal SWOT analysis; considered my strengths, weaknesses, successes and failures, what i’d learned and what I still wanted to learn. The type of service I wanted to provide and value I felt I could bring. The types of clients I wanted to represent and the types that I felt would want someone with my experience, skill set, passion and commitment to insuring success in business and in life to represent them.
I factored in longevity, sustainability, quality of life, risk v reward, recurring revenue, the lifestyle I wanted to live, the lifestyle I wanted to be able to provide for my family and a few other criteria.
Literally everyone I knew was like “What? You’re gonna go sell insurance now? You were on the Big Idea last year? You were Michael Eisners Partner. You were producing films with Harvey Weinstein BEFORE he was a pariah”.
Yeah, but I wasn’t happy, wasn’t really making life changing money, didn’t have any consistency or discipline and came to the realization that no matter what your passion and interests are...work is very much still work. Nothing is glamorous.
What’s real is that:
Residual income is a great thing.
Being able to work with anyone I want is exciting.
Having something to offer that everyone has to have is a whole lot better than trying to sell something that nobody needs.
Building a book of business is better than owning a business and all the headaches that come along with it.
Doing good work for good people is satisfying.
Every industry, office, system, business and culture is fucked up to a certain degree. It’s just how you see it, respond and perform in it that matters.
Money buys freedom and discipline equals freedom. Have both.
If I told you you could make (insert your magic # here) working out and hosting a podcast would you take it?
Now what if I told you you had to work for 10+ years to build that book of business that throws off that kind of revenue in order to get it?
Would you still do it?
And that you’d have to put in 10, 20, sometimes 50 hours a week to maintain it and even grow it?
Would you do it then?
I know why you want to host the show, take the pictures, follow your passion, travel, exercise, be influential, etc....But pay attention to the “how” you’ll be able to do it part.
Now perhaps you’re a member of the lucky sperm club and blessed to be born into $. If that’s the case then you don’t need any of the advice I’m giving. But if you’re like most of us, you gotta figure it out.
Trying to turn my hobbies/passions into businesses is no longer my goal.
Making my business work for my passions has yielded far greater results.
Insuring the fitness company I love is more gratifying and more lucrative than starting one up.
The hospitality group, tortilla chip brand, men’s grooming product line...I can be a part of it all now. And that’s actually really impactful.
I get to go visit, be a part of their professional service team and then leave all the pressures of entrepreneurship and “owning” a business to their founder.
That’s why those guys get the big bucks.
And only after years of working their asses off to become an overnight success and to which no one ever really pays attention to and to which success and a payout is never guaranteed and failure is almost always the ending.
So through consistency, combining personal passion with professional expertise I’ve been able to build something of value.
Not without struggle, compromise, frustrations and the “grass is greener” feelings that creep back in frequently.
But I have no business overhead, no team to manage, no investors to report to.
I’ve been able to pick up some equity along the way, which is great as we’ve tripled in size since I joined and I’d never want to trade places with our ceo or top producers so I accept that they do the heavy lifting and I just do my job. That’s fair.
And as a result I’m a very well compensated guy who gets to be of service, do good work for great clients, host a podcast with amazing guests, workout a lot and spend time with his family.
Don't only follow your passion. Make it one part of your decision making process.
In Health -