Following Your Bliss May Be Your Worst Nightmare

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We can't tell you over the years how many books, speakers and motivational types have screamed that we should all be following our passion.

"Follow your passion and you will be happy."

Personally, I almost felt like trying to follow my passion was making me miserable.

I couldn't figure out what my passion was.

Seriously, for years I did countless goal setting activities that involved writing out lists of what I was passionate about.

And because I could never really figure out what my passion was I would get frustrated.

I hated my job and then I hated that I couldn't find my passion.

Not a fun spot.

This week I found out that a long time friend just walked away from his business - he was 100% passionate about it too.  Ecstatic about the industry he was in.

Like jump-up-and-down-for-long-periods-of-time ecstatic.

We have other friends who are making a fortune in a business they hate.  Seriously, they hate it but are making buckets of cash.  We think it may rain money on them inside their offices even.

So what are we to make of all this stuff?

To follow your passion or to not follow your passion ... that is the question.

Who's right?


We have no freaking idea.

But looking back on the last several years we do have some observations that we can share.

Some people look at us and think we are just in love with real estate because we own a brokerage that helps investors.

And they'd be wrong.

Over the holiday's both of us were dealing with several property issues - it's not fun.

You never jump up and down in excitement when pipes are frozen, windows are broken or vacancies pop up.

You don't get passionate about that stuff ... actually, you get mildly angry.

And we're very positive that this is normal.

Think about it.

Sometimes we wonder, does Richard Branson get all passionate about the airline industry when he's dealing with crappy problems?  Doubt it.

Quick Aside:  We have an opportunity to go to Branson's Necker Island this year but because of scheduling we're not doing it - it would have be fun though.  

Does Tim Cook of Apple get all smiley when the Chinese manufacturers knock off the iPhone?

Does Jeff Bezos of Amazon sing songs while negotiating with book publishers?

How about Donald Trump?  We're not even sure he smiles at all.

The most progress we've made in anything, whether it's investing in real estate, starting a business, marketing a business, building a website has been by doing this...

Shutting up and getting started.

Rock Star Real Estate was born from a place of frustration that went something like this...

"We know we should buy more property ... we know we should start our own business ... just for the tax rates alone!!! ... ah, why can't we figure out how to do it right now ... what's wrong with us, ah!!!!!!!!!!"


And then one day we literally had this exact thought,

"Well, ok, if we're deciding that real estate is going to be part of our lives for a long time anyway why don't we get our real estate license and build a business focused on it."


That was it.

Didn't come from a place of passion really.

I mean we liked real estate, we know the value of holding property and we LOVE helping people but the actual business decision didn't come from a place of a passion.

And then we just began.

We started putting what we knew to work.

We both started running some ads, building some websites, setting up some classes and we kept going and going and going.

We started with zero clients, zero revenue and zero everything.

It wasn't really all that fun.  There were fun moments but overall it was hard work, really hard.

And then it happened.

We found that our new business had some amazing parts to it and we became PASSIONATE about them.

The look on someone's face when they found their first tenant.

The happiness you get when an investor creates some new cash flow and gains some new confidence after they buy a property.

That stuff is priceless to us.

And it wants us to work harder, offer more, do more.

We started teaching classes about marketing and economics and things got downright exciting.

We found we're 100% super passionate about those things.

Somehow, some way, by just getting started we became passionate about what we were doing.

It's been amazing.

We found our little niche that we could get excited about.

But if we hadn't just started we would have never found it.

That's lesson number one.

Lesson number two, our second big observation, is this.

A lot of people go into businesses where the numbers work against them.

For example, if you open a bakery in the fanciest part of town you're going to have to sell a lot of cupcakes to make rent.

It's not impossible, there are successful bakeries all over the place.  But there are also a lot that fail.

And part of the reason they fail is just that the economics of the business aren't set up to their advantage.

We meet a lot of people who want to start in business but when you look at what they're selling it's obvious that they're going to have to sell a lot of it to make any money.

Somehow we stumbled into a business where the commissions are large enough to support our efforts.

When choosing what you're going to focus on our advice would be to pick something that has a large enough sale in it that will make your efforts worthwhile.

We recall when we wanted to live on a beach selling eBooks online for $9.99 all day.  Do you know how many eBooks we would have to sell to support our families like that?

A crap load.

And we'd have to do it every single day.

So if you're one of the lucky ones who knows what your passion is and you're following it our hats are off to you.

But if you're still searching our advice would be to put a stake in the ground somewhere, anywhere, and get started.

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."
- Walt Disney

Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!

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0 comments on “Following Your Bliss May Be Your Worst Nightmare”

  1. The title of this article suits me to the tee! I've been living that nightmare for about 20 years now. I know that I am my worst enemy and my enemy is FEAR!
    FEAR of failing, FEAR of the unknowns, And FEAR of not providing financially to my family.
    I've been working as a licensed electrician for over 20 years now and make okay money. Don't get me wrong it is a great license to have under my belt and it has done me well, but I am definitely not passionate about it.
    I have a couple of business ideas that I could start up, but it's that damned FEAR that always pops into my head!
    Anyways, not expecting anyone to fix it for me, just wanted to let you guys know that I love your articles and this one especially fit me perfectly.
    Until next time...... hopefully it will be my life on my terms!

  2. Hey Marco,

    Appreciate the comment and we can relate to the feelings. If you're ever in our neck of the woods (Oakville, Ontario) feel free to drop by the office to say Hello or enjoy an espresso on us! And if you want a good laugh and a lot of instructive stories at the same time pick up Rickard Branson's book: Losing My Virginity (not his newer books, they're not nearly as good...make sure it's that one!). It's his life story and really teaches us all a lot about how he does what he does.

    - Tom.

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