Posts tagged Career
Lost and Found: Starting On The Path of Recognizing Passions

We've all been there. Stuck on a project, job, or even a career that just does't seem to fit. We might be capable, and even excelling at our work, but that doesn't mean we like it.

The feeling goes deeper than 'not liking it' though. It doesn't fulfill us. Most days are spent looking forward to when we walk out the door to the office and get on with the rest of the evening when we get to do what we want. Most weeks are spent looking forward to the weekend for the same reason. And most months just seem to go by in a blur, waiting for the next holiday, vacation, or anything that keeps us away and busy with life.

When you think about it...that's a terrible way to live life. We spend so much time working, it's a complete waste to do that while being miserable. But what's the alternative? Living a life of leisure, and most likely poverty? Wasting the work that we have put into building our education, the sacrifices that others have made for us, and the potential good we can do in the world?


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The Number One Killer of Dreams

We all start out with dreams. Big ones and small ones. Maybe you wanted to become an astronaut. Maybe you wanted to cure cancer. Maybe you just wanted to make a nice dinner.

Those were my dreams, and growing up, if you asked me what I wanted to be I would rattle off the names of all of the professions: scientist, chemist, astronaut, dirt bike racer, chef, and a computer programmer (in that order).

And if you had met me early on in college, I would have told you that my goal was to cure cancer.

We all start out with dreams. But then they start to fade. Reality sets in, and the truth comes out that our dreams are just that: dreams.

But do you know what the biggest killer of dreams is?

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Follow Through and Realize Success

This post is the last in a three-part series about achieving success in professional careers. While incorporating your passions into your career is a great way to build fulfillment, this series is applicable to anyone looking to succeed. The first post focused on defining goals, read that one here. The second was dedicated to the importance of learning from others, so check that one out here. This post dives into the most important part of creating a successful career.

Regardless of how you define success, we all want some form of success for ourselves. Whether it’s building a successful company, starting a loving family, or helping as many people as possible, we want to accomplish goals. There are numerous books, seminars, videos, and other materials about achieving success in life, many of which are great resources.

However, what I think is the most important element is simply this:

Do what you say you’re going to do.

It’s such a simple concept, but it’s so uncommon that people celebrate when we actually do it.

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Learn From Others

This post is the second in a three-part series about achieving success in professional careers. While incorporating your passions into your career is a great way to build fulfillment, this series is applicable to anyone looking to succeed. The first post focused on defining goals, read that one here. This post will focus on connecting with people who will help you to reach those goals.

Do you spend time learning about your passion from others? I’ve mentioned before how important this is, but I realized that even for myself I wasn’t doing this nearly as much as I should have. This became clear to me when I took a look at how many people I had contacted directly about starting businesses. Given that this is what I plan to do for the better part of my life, this should be a high-priority task. And yet the list was pitifully small compared to where I thought I should be. It was also a sign that I hadn’t progressed in building my passions as much as I planned.

Learning from others is a great way to learn more about your passions. The simplest method is to read books and articles from experienced people in your field, but there’s so much more you can do than just read. Books are one-way avenues, and don’t give you the opportunity to pose questions, discuss specific situations, or even just see the way a writer’s eyes light up when they speak. So let’s look at three easy ways to make more connections, build meaningful relationships with others in your field, and learn a ton along the way.

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Defining Your Goal: The "What" and The "Why"

Over the next three weeks, I’ll be discussing some of the best practices for achieving success in your professional careers. While I don’t think that incorporating your passions into your career is necessary, I know that a lot of us (myself included) do want to do just that. So to that end, I’m going to share some of the key elements to make that happen, preparing you to reach your goals, whatever they may be.

Success. It's what we’re all supposed to strive for, and yet there are countless definitions of what that means. It could be related to financial, status, impact, happiness, or any number of other goals. Even if you ask two people what financial success looks like, one might say a million dollars in the bank and another might say a billion. There’s no one definition and there shouldn’t be.

Regardless of what you consider being successful means, the truth is we all want to reach it. We all want our lives to have meant something and to have moved at least some version of our dreams outside of our heads and into the real world. But if we want to do that, to bring our dreams to fruition, to build our careers to new heights, it’s incredibly important to ask yourself this question: “What does success mean to me?”

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Ryan BonaparteSuccess, Career, Goals
Pay Attention To Your Signs! (Or else...)

Last weekend I drove to New York to visit some friends and family, as I often do for a nice break. What started out as a potentially fun-filled weekend ended with some not so fun elements, including tons of traffic, a fist fight, coping with Daylight Saving Time, and more. The biggest hurdle of all, though, involved my car.

After leaving a club at 4AM, I offered to drop some friends off to save them the trouble of getting a cab. The problem began when I returned to the awesome parking spot I found down the block and my car was nowhere to be found.

Yep, my car had been towed.

After a quick chat with some people on the street, I called a number they gave me and five minutes later found out where my car was, and how much it was going to cost to get it back.

Needless to say, I wasn't a happy camper, but what could I do? The parking signs were there, however cryptic they might have been, and I didn't read them carefully. There was a lesson to be learned through all of this, though.

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Conversations on Passion: Julia Winston of BRAVE Communication LLC

Conversations on Passion is an interview series with those who have found and are living their passion in some form. If you'd like to be profiled, send me a note at

For this part of the interview series, I've had the pleasure of connecting with Julia Winston of BRAVE Communication LLC. She has been teaching and coaching leaders at non-profits, corporations, and other businesses to improve their communication skills and get their ideas across more effectively. She also writes about communication and its impact on our relationships at her blog, The Living BRAVE Blog. Keep reading below to find out how she defines passion, why she does what she does, and some great tips on finding your own passions.

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New Free eBook: Don't Quit Your Day Job...Yet, A Guide To Turning A Passion Into A Business

I have some news that I'm really excited to share with everyone. I've just released my latest eBook, Don't Quit Your Day Job...Yet!

Sign up for the Crazy Enough To Try newsletter to get your free copy.

Inspired by my most popular post, in this book I've put together a guide for those of you who are interested in starting a business based on your passions, but are unsure about what it will take to make it a reality.

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Are you letting your debt stop you?

I'm often thinking of new ideas/inventions to work on, new businesses to start or advise, and countless other "new things" to do. This habit of mine is one my favorites and I'm convinced it's a big part of what I'm passionate about.

It's a great activity, but the other half of my passion lies with actually bringing these ideas from thoughts into action. Thoughts are great, but action is better.

In an ideal world, I would be working with people to create awesome stuff all the time.

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Thinking of quitting your job? Don't.

At least not yet.

Often times we come up with reasons why need to leave our jobs. It could be that we hate our boss, or the work is incredibly boring, or the office politics are getting to us, or something else. These can be valid concerns and despite trying hard to be passionate about your work, may be  issues that just can't be resolved without leaving.

But before you quit your job, either to find work elsewhere or to start your own business, I would suggest a slightly different approach.

Set a date six months from today. On that day, you will be giving your two weeks notice.

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You Don't Need A Degree To Be Something

The other day, I was thinking about how I defined myself and how much my education influenced that. I am an engineer because I went to school to learn how to be an engineer, graduated with an engineering degree, and I currently work as an engineer.

And then I thought, that although I was an engineer by education, I was also an author. That came not from education, but from action.

From there I began to think of numerous other professions that don't require more than a bit of learning and the will to break into them.

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