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It was 5am on Friday in July of 2011. I had just stayed up all night writing pitch emails to every major booking agent in the U.S. about why they should represent my hip-hop artist. I had only slept a total of eight hours that week, but I didn’t feel tired. I felt alive. I was fixated and deeply consumed by my desire to make him successful.
When you have an overwhelming passion and belief behind what you’re doing, it gives you strength, power, and abilities that you didn’t know were possible. I grew up as a competitive athlete, but this was the first time that I had ever pushed my mind and body so far that I barely slept for an entire week in pursuit of a goal. And in the ~115 hours I worked that week, I was able to land my artist a 15 city tour with BarstoolSports, representation from one of the largest booking agencies in the world, and a featured post on the most popular college music blog in the U.S.
While this business ultimately crashed and burned six months later, it showed me how enthralling it is to be deeply passionate about something. And ever since that first experience seven years ago, I’ve continuously hunted for other opportunities that would provide this same all-encompassing feeling.
After my music days, it took me three years of extensive searching to feel that same force again: when I started working for DoorDash in 2015. While there, I unconditionally believed that we were on an unstoppable path to success, and I did everything in my power to push the limits of our company’s potential. While this passion also eventually burned out, both of these experiences taught me a few important things: passion is incredible, and to sustain it I need control, profound meaning behind my work, and a more moderate pace (aka fewer all-nighters).
Shifting to today, after a long and crazy post-DoorDash hunt, I’ve re-ignited my passion. But this time I’m confident that the feeling is likely indefinite. I satisfy my need for control because I run businesses without any external stakeholders, and I have purpose because I’m focused on creating meaningful change in the world.
I firmly believe that you must take what society calls “risks” to live a fulfilling life. If you don’t feel an unstoppable drive to win at whatever you’re doing, keep searching. Deep passion is the greatest feeling in the world. And once you experience it, you’ll be hooked forever.
In the words of Steve Jobs: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
If you’re actively searching, here’s my favorite resource on finding passion and your life purpose.
For more inspiration watch this short Steve Jobs video, or read my favorite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
As always, feel free to reach out if you want to chat about passion or anything else.
Photo by Denny Luan