Passion, Money, and Ben & Jerry’s

by Rich DeMatteo on April 28, 2010 · 47 comments

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Phone calls with my boomer bud, Steve Levy, are becoming quite frequent.  When we spoke again yesterday, I walked away with some profound boomer advice, and a new take on my own career destination.  He let me in on a question that he asks folks who might need help  figuring out what they should be doing in their life/careers.  The question is, “If money wasn’t a factor, what is the one thing you would be happy doing for the rest of your life?”

When first hearing the question, most people might respond back and say, “I love computer programming”, or “I just love inside sales”, or “social media is my passion”.  Is that really the burning love in their life?  You’ll find that most people are just simply answering the question wrong.

When Steve asked me the question, my first response was “Hockey and weight lifting”.  Not only have I played and coached hockey, but I’m an NHL addict.  I first thought about how coaching wouldn’t be realistic for me, and Steve and I began looking for careers on and discussed other options in the hockey industry.  We then looked up body building supplement companies in the Philadelphia area that would support my love for that industry as well.  In just a 10 minute brainstorm session on the phone, we were able to identify more options in those industries than I thought might even exist.

When thinking about your passion, don’t just target your skill set or the job title you seek, but pay attention to what gives you pure enjoyment in your life.  If you love the industry, already have profound knowledge about the workings of the industry, and could see yourself never wanting to leave a profession in that industry, then it’s worth at least looking into.

  • Maybe you really love music.  Check out places like VH1.
  • Maybe you really enjoy ice cream.  Why not check out Haagen Daz or Ben & Jerry’s?
  • You were your college’s best frisbee player.  Find out who is the leading frisbee manufacturer and work your way in.

I’ve talked about how passion is a buzz word that’s tossed around often, but I still am a huge advocate of it.  It’s not absolutely necessary for it to be present in our careers for us to be completely happy, but having in our professional lives can’t hurt.

Answer Steve’s question:  If money wasn’t an issue, what job would you do for the rest of your life?

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