Roland Hopkins, NYREJ
Confucius said, “If you are fortunate enough to make your living doing what you are passionate about, you will never work a day in your life.” Or something like that. Well, we all got the point he was making, and how many of us are fortunate enough to reach that goal? One out of 10? I don’t think so. Maybe closer to one out of 100?
My first passion was baseball. I played second base and was lead-off hitter for a championship town team, and won a reversible jacket that I still have and can occasionally wear because it is still just like new. I batted .250 and realized only too soon that I had no future with the Red Sox or Yankees. So a few years later, attending college, I worked part time at a radio station spinning records. What could be more fun than that? I even went on after college to do that full-time for a living and decided that my real passion then was to be a sportscaster. I finally got my chance to announce a league softball game, but never got any further in that industry. Several years later I got a chance to write a weekly sports column in a small newspaper, and finally realized what Confucius was talking about. The newspaper owner offered to pay me, but I refused. I was doing something that I was passionate about and couldn’t wait for the next week to arrive. I could have written that kind of weekly article for the rest of my life, but oops! The newspaper folded. End of my passionate job.
So that’s the reason that most of the profiles we print in the journal end up with the final question, “If you weren’t successfully doing the job you have now, and could make a good living doing whatever you choose, what would it be? I decided to check our files of old profiles and was quite interested in the answers. The majority who were very very wealthy said that if they could have chosen, they would not have been any where nearly as wealthy. One shopping center developer would have been a fisherman. A hotel owner, who confessed to hating his business, would have been a been a Rockstar and still had a three man group that entertained when invited. A short guy who was a leading appraiser would have been a race track jockey and still owned a few cheap race horses. At the end of one interview I remember questioning the successful real estate owner to why he had left out a five year span, and he answered that he had been a stand-in for a leading Hollywood movie actor. A president of a Boston bank was a Bruin’s fan and attended all home games and was the guy who turned on the light behind the goalie’s cage when a goal was scored. He and I did the math and agreed if that had been his life’s job, he would have eaten one meal a day.
So what is your real passion job? Drop me a note. I’ll keep your name a secret, or not. Your call. I do know a bunch of guys who last week wanted to be Tom Brady, and this week have changed their minds.
Roland Hopkins is founder of the NYREJ, Norwell, Mass.