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When you truly love your work, the proof is in the passion

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A favorite quote comes from American musician Marc Anthony: “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

There are many variations on this quote, originating with ancient philosopher Confucius, right up to modern day author Harvey McKay, but Anthony’s version is very direct.

When people adopt and live by this mindset, the love of one’s work transforms into a determined and deliberate passion that exudes from every fiber of their being.

The actual “work” becomes a steady flow of energy, ideas, innovation, excitement and compassion for the human spirit. And that passion spills over into every aspect of their lives.

Look around. It’s pretty easy to spot the people who love the work they do.

They’re everywhere, in every business, in every industry and in every community.

They’re the ones who wear their passion on their sleeves – a passion you can clearly see in their attitude, how they express themselves, the words they use, the quality of work they perform, their perspectives on life and their desire to bring out the best in others through the work they do.

LASTING RELATIONSHIPS

From a housekeeper at a world-class hotel in Dubai who brings a smile to his guests’ faces by having spotless rooms and creating sculptures with toweling, to a call center service technician who stays on the line with her customers throughout an entire experience, never placing them on hold – people with passion for their work do exist.

Not only do people who love the work they do exist, they also are more likely to create lasting relationships with the people with whom they work.

They become the benefactors of sharing experiences beyond a transaction.

TAKE ON YOUR FEAR

The love for one’s work, this passion, doesn’t just happen. It’s usually inspired by a parent, teacher or mentor, a vision, an action or an experience.

According to world-renowned and well-respected photographer Jock McDonald, his initial inspiration came at 23 when his mother, artist Veronica McDonald, asked her son to write down two things he wanted to accomplish in his life.

He responded with the options of becoming a photographer for National Geographic or owing a photography studio.

McDonald’s mother asked which of the two options scared him the most. After apprenticing for a leading photographer in the San Francisco area for six years, McDonald quickly responded with “owning my own studio.”

MOTHER’S GUIDANCE

Launching and sustaining a credible photography business would be daunting, and McDonald’s fears came from having a front row seat in his mentor’s business.

With a mother’s wisdom, the elder McDonald suggested her son move forward with the photography studio and offered her support. Within a few years, the studio and the Jock McDonald brand became a huge international success.

As McDonald says, “My mother put the wind underneath the idea.”

As the idea became reality, McDonald began attracting a wide variety of clients, including Robin Williams, Rosa Parks and Evander Holyfield and companies such as the Gap and Perricone MD.

HEART AND LENS

McDonald’s view of the world, and how united we are by who we are, led him to create “One World Portrait,” a technique in motion photography that exhibited in Havana, Cuba, during that city’s biennial art celebration and at Lehigh University Art Galleries in Bethlehem.

As McDonald lives the mindset of doing the work he loves, people who view his photography can see and feel how he captures his subjects through heart and lens.

The passion is evidenced in McDonald’s uplifting and engaging results, regardless of whether he is hanging out of a helicopter on an aerial shoot or photographing people and products in a pop-up studio.

LEADERS WHO INSPIRE

What about you? Do you love the work you do? Do you feel passionate about it?

Do your results and achievements prove your passion? Is your enthusiasm a light to inspire others to find work in which they can feel impassioned?

I draw inspiration from many people, including Jock McDonald, family members, friends, clients, colleagues and leaders such as Chris Pruitt, president and CEO of East Penn Manufacturing in Lyon Station, and Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart.

These people demonstrate their passion for the work they do. Each in his or her own way inspires others to become the best version of themselves through mentoring co-workers, visiting with customers, keeping open lines of communication with vendor partners and supporting their communities.

LIGHT THE WAY

What about you? Is your passion for the work you do attracting others who feel the same way?

Look around. People who love the work they do are out there. Light the way so they can find you.

It’s a little like noticing red cars. You never notice them until you start driving one.

Wyomissing-based Bonnie Sussman-Versace is a business leader, entrepreneur, mentor and author dedicated to improving the quality of life in the workplace by developing leadership, enhancing cultures and improving individual, team and enterprise-wide performance. She can be reached at bversace@focusedllc.net or 610-301-2194.

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