I clearly remember the day about 20 years ago when I was visiting a Real Estate office in Marina Del Rey, looking for business. I was 1 year into being a mortgage broker, and had just landed a job with Jon Douglas Financial – the Marina office was one of my “accounts”. The manager of the office called me in to his office. He had heard that I used to play music, and that I still played in a band, now and then. He told me, in no uncertain terms, that I had better NEVER mention music in his office – I was there to do loans, and he did not want to hear anything except that I would be available to his Realtors, 24/7, to help them get their clients financing.
This was just one of many times in my business life where I ran into “my way or the highway”-type managers. These leaders programmed me to believe that if people knew I did anything else besides loans, they would not work with me and somehow they would think less of me.
But over the years something amazing happened. I realized that people are MORE interested in me when I shared who I really am. Authenticity is attractive. Countless people in California can do a home loan. Not everyone can do a home loan and play a burning solo on Miles Davis’ “All Blues”.
There has been much written about the work-life balance today: how to balance the demands of a workplace that has fewer people doing twice the work, while still having a family life, a creative life, and a spiritual life. Now I know, there are a handful of people that say, “I love my job! My job is my life!” More power to them, but really, I don’t know anyone that, on their deathbed, said “I regret that I did not spend more time at the office.”
So, how do you integrate your passion with your business? Well, the question behind the question is: What are you passionate about?
I am lucky. My parent’s blessed me with a creative streak a mile wide. I love to play and compose music. I love photography. I love to write, to journal, to blog. I love to paint. I let me passion for jazz constantly spill over into my daily business. I share my performances with people at netowrking meetings. When I start a new loan, my clients get a gift of a “new Age” CD that I produced, to help them stay calm. Then, at the end of the transaction, I usually send people a gift basket with one of my jazz CDs and a couple of bottles of nice wine. And of course I invite all my clients to the jazz gigs and events that I play at. In sharing my love of jazz I have done loans for owners of music studios, many people in the entertainment business, as well as lawyers and CPAs that work with entertainment clients.
Once you have found it, how do your share your Passion with your friends and business associates? It’s easy – just open your mouth, and say it. Your passion is contagious and attractive.