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One last discussion on passion, and perhaps the most important post of all. I’m consolidating the basics from prior articles and synthesizing what they mean to me, what they mean about becoming that version of you acting like a magnet, drawing others into your sphere of influence. One of the easiest ways to elevate your passion lies in modeling the behavior of another passionate leader. You know this about me now…I’m a lurker. I love to sit in the shadows and watch the brilliance of others. Sometimes that brilliance rubs off onto me, and I become a better person.

Let me share with you two examples of passion who exemplify this oh so important barometer for success. One who no longer lives. Her life was punctuated with trials, but employing her faith in a glorious outcome,  she founded Home Interiors and Gifts. How? How did a quiet woman with no business experience transcend from office worker to company CEO? She first worked at a furniture store and observed that many women buying sofas and tables had no idea how to accessorize their purchases for maximum benefit. If it pleased her husband, if it pleased God, if she could bless other’s lives, she decided to forge forward with an idea to help others. In a day when most women worked at home, she introduced a multi-level marketing business that turned their lives around. These women had to learn how to groom themselves, how to present themselves, how to make a sales presentation, how to keep records. Their newly found confidence made her company wildly successful, but her influence didn’t stop there.

You never have a second chance to make a first impression.

Surviving two bouts of cancer, she proceeded to established the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center, where patients with no hope may experience life changing outcomes with drugs still bogged down in clinical trials. Can you imagine that? A woman with no medical background and no ties to grease the wheels of government bureaucracy pulled her own passion for life from the cells in her body and used the reservoir to extend the life of others. Mary Crowley, born in 1915 in Missouri, died in 1986. A life of passionate line drawing, deciding and doing great things. Now let me tell you about a second life, very different from Mary’s.

One of my friends (that I’ve never actually met) is another someone I admire from afar. Heather Thomson, President and Founder of Yummie Tummie and star of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York City, is one I chose as a mentoring friend. She reminds me to embrace my flaws as much as my features. Be authentic and real. So I go about my business. I keep my finger on the pulse of our lives. At the end of the day I look at where we are in meeting goals. If at the end of the day I find myself unable to love my place, I need to embrace the requisite changes to get me there.

Do you see where I’m headed here? I’m taking a page from her playbook and applying it to my own life. Her positivity, vision and energy are all qualities I embrace and choose to learn from her.

Heather writes, “It’s a proven fact. If you set little goals for every day, every week, every month, every six months, each time you achieve one of those goals it increases your happiness, confidence, and your will to keep reaching for epic moments and the little successes too.” It’s called reaching. We all know we learn from those who surround us, but my premise goes a step beyond. Choose who surrounds you, and let no distance, no hurdle, no ocean be a separating factor. We truly live in a digital age, so no excuses!

What do these two women, as different as night and day, living in different socioeconomic circumstances, one a submissive Christian and the other living in the camera’s spotlight have in common? Passion, of course. They both took a basic belief and built movements around that fundamental structure. They exemplified passion in action, and that’s the not-so-elusive quality you want to springboard your business from a job to a calling that will directly impact the lives of everyone around you.

So take a moment and list a couple people you choose to adopt as mentors. They may be earth shakers or lurkers who take their world by surprise. And yes, you may remain a lurker. You work for me because I see greatness within you, and I don’t want to throw out the baby with the wash water. I just want to see you dabbling with your own success. Distill from their examples one or two characteristics or phrases to put to work in your daily life. As you model their attitudes and passion, you may become the person another chooses for a mentor. See the way that works? I love it. A long, unending chain connects us, and we are but one part of that chain, reaching out our hands to others around us. Let passion grow.

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