I am "that guy" that operates best with many proverbial balls in the air - none of which may be dropped and all of which are made of glass. I am high-octane. Full of energy. I enjoy juggling work, personal, community, spiritual and philanthropic commitments. I am always on the go and never miss a beat. I am driven. Focused on people and results. Passionate. And absolutely cannot stand when someone tells me something is unachievable. I don't fit the mold, I break it. I make things happen. I am passionate about making a difference. About giving back. About helping others. About using my talents and skills to better my community and our world. To positively influence others. I thrive on the happiness of others and love when I bring a smile to the face of a stranger. I am passionate about the personal and professional development of those that I have the opportunity to manage. I feed off of the positive energy of others. I am a connector, a mixer - I value relationships.
I put my heart into relationships and people. And I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I enjoy being the proverbial "worker bee" when others are clamoring to lead meaningless initiatives. I avoid negative energy and the individuals that propagate negative thoughts and ideas. I challenge the way that "things have always been done" and strive for something better - something not mediocre. I am a tiger. A magician. And I will never settle. Ever.
I regularly have the opportunity to speak to groups on various subjects including leadership, personal branding, life balance and one of my favorite subjects, pursuing a passion in life. Inevitably, after my presentation, I have a handful of individuals stop by to tell me that "...they have always thought about doing "xyz" but never taken the steps to do it. Never found the time. Never did the homework to figure it out. Never leveraged their network to just do it. Never took a risk."
While growing up living at home, and through high school and college, everything seemed possible. There was little to worry about - minimal personal responsibility. But as we get older, life seems to take on added complexity and it forces us out of our "creative" zone and into a "routine" zone. The days become shorter and the hours seem to fly by. There are many priorities and most take precedence over our personal desires, interests or hobbies. We forsake creative talents because of a lack of perceived time and resources. Whether you recognize it or not, we are all born with personal talents and gifts. Some are small, some are large; some are obvious while others are more subtle. All are significant. Many are ignored or go unused.
I wrote my first song when I was 32 years old - way "over the hill" by some music industry standards. AND, I will never forget the impact of that first song. It is called "Shadow of the Blade." I wrote the lyrics and melody and went into a small studio in Atlanta to have a drum and guitar part added. When I played it for my dad - who served in Vietnam - he broke down in tears. Emotional impact...from something I wrote. I was shocked - and interested, excited.
I parlayed that first song into my first Country music album. Many people laughed at my endeavor and could not believe that I was singing country music and thinking about releasing an album! But that's exactly what I did. I used my first music album to raise money for a children's charity (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta). Two years later, I decided to write my first leadership book (Make It Happen!) centered on the concept of personal branding and this year, I will release my second album (Let Go and Let God). This album will be a crossover Country - Contemporary Christian project that will also generate funds for charity.
Those that laughed at my ideas are the same people that failed to pursue their own personal passions or failed to follow-up on a dream. What's holding you back? What steps can you take to make time for that one passion, that one hobby or that one interest? You don't want to look back on your life and say, "if only... " Go ahead, follow a dream. You never know where it might lead. You never know what might just happen in life if you are willing to be open to the possibilities. Either way, enjoy the ride.
The bottom line: Pursue your life passions so you do not have regrets for lost opportunities. Or miss out on "joy" in life!!