Build the Business of Your Dreams
By Andy Parkinson, on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
We had just finished putting on our full-body suits, our BCDs, weight belts and air tanks. The waves were about 4 feet tall as we waddled out with what felt like a ton of gear on our backs. Given our experience, 4 feet is high but we noticed the waves are coming in groups of 5, then there is a lull. We had timed our entry just right and thought we were safe.
As we get to about thigh deep, all of the sudden the waves started getting bigger and coming at us non-stop. With the weight of our gear and the pounding of the waves, the effort to keep moving out beyond the break-point became exhausting. As soon as we would come up for air, another wave would hit us, which gave us little time to catch our breath. At one point, someone in the group started panicking and froze. I saw her going under water. Immediately, I swim over, grab her inflation hose and air shoots into her BCD. She is now safely floating on her back just beyond the break point, but suffering from shock and exhaustion. I grab the back of her tank and begin the dead mans tow further out to sea, safe from the surf.
This was my first beach dive. I was getting PADI certified for open water diving. My instructor was named Justin. Justin loves diving. He’s is an amazing instructor and it was obvious to me that his passion for diving consumed every fiber of his being. I knew what to do at that instant because he taught it to me in a way that made me excited to learn about it. I’m a terrible student, but I respected his passion for what he does and it got me through my first trial as a diver my first time out without much thought.
Justin had a thing for a friend that took the class with me so I got to know him a bit more than the others in the group. Among other things, I learned that drives a beat up old truck, lives in a so-so part of town and has to work as a waiter during the night just to pay his bills. At one point he admitted he was barely getting by and doesn’t dive nearly as much as he would like to due to expense. He told me teaching more would allow him to dive more often, but it didn’t pay well enough to cover the bills.
In career theory passionate people are generally fall into a category known as specialists. Specialists want to do nothing more than what they specialize in. Great artists don’t become great artists by getting bored and becoming gardeners, they keep building on their greatness. Generally these passionate people are stuck behind a desk doing something they’re not so passionate about. Sometimes that gives them the funds they need to do what they love whenever they like, but more often they’ll earn barely enough to finance their passion.
It has always bothered me that good, passionate people are so deserving of a comfortable life, yet many are barely getting by. I know talented musicians, artists, wood workers and teachers who all fit into this category. It doesn’t seem right to work so hard to obtain a respectable skill in one area of life only to struggle to find the means to spend time doing that skill.
When Jonathan Fields offered me an advance copy of his new book, Career Renegade: How to make a Living Doing What you Love, I jumped at the chance to receive it. I had learned about Jonathan’s blog a few months ago and became a fan of his writing, and attitude towards life, almost instantly.
Career Renegade starts off by telling us about Jonathan’s history. He is an ex-attorney who worked himself sick — literally. After putting in 72 hours straight to close a large deal for one of his clients, he collapsed and had to be taken to the emergency room for abdominal surgery due to stress caused by his work schedule. This was a wake-up call for him and put him on a new path to find his passions, work with people who shared them and help others whenever possible. This book is a guide for how others can find the same path.
What I like about Career Renegade is that it is far more practical than other career books I’ve read. It doesn’t preach that you should simply find your passion and do it until others around you notice it and reward you for it. It doesn’t say you should live as a pauper because your passion is what really will make you happy. He recognizes that you have to feed your family and deserve to live well doing what you love.
Career Renegade: How to make a Living Doing What you Love is an easy read from beginning to end. Jonathan’s writing is both practical and inspirational. I particularly like the use of case studies to illustrate points keeps the content fresh and easily digestible. Often chapters will end with a practical call to action or exercises designed to get you going. It also offers a plethora of resources throughout the book, which are extremely relevant, cost-effective and stand to save hours of research.
Career Renegade: How to make a Living Doing What you Love offers the inspiration and information you need to embark on your own renegade path. I highly recommend Career Renegade: How to make a Living Doing What you Love to those or you who are searching for, and often deserving, greater meaning and reward from the work you do.
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