I Must Have Lost That Passion of Mine Between the Seats of the Couch

I recently wrote an article for the Detroit News and Free Press Working sections entitled “Turn your passion into employment. It was about uncovering what you loved to do and turning it into a life’s vocation. I didn’t realize at the time I wrote it how closely it hit home. While over the last year I had chosen to make some substantial changes in my career path, until I saw my words in print, I didn’t realize that in many ways I was talking about myself.

The wonderful thing about discovering what you’re passionate about is that you can jump in with both feet, become overcome with that passion, and all the while have little time to deal with the trivial things that used to make up your monotonous days.

As most of you know, last year after thirty years in the mortgage industry, I decided that I just didn’t want to do it anymore (I am still happy to help friends, relatives and the numerous past clients of mine who I came to love doing business with). I had headed up small companies and I led larger corporations. I tried out my entrepreneurial hat, and I was even elected by the governor to serve on Michigan’s inaugural Mortgage Industry Advisory Board.

And I got bored.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the mortgage industry; I just wasn’t passionate about it anymore. Too many changes and less for the good, than you as a consumer might suspect. We were all guilty. Lenders, Brokers, Wall Street, even the consumer played an integral part in its demise.

I was fifty three and working thirty years in an industry that no longer inspired me.

More than half of my working career was now over. While I give you that I made a good living which allowed me to sustain the quality of life that I wanted for my wife and girls (and I give you that is instrumental for me), I became selfishly unhappy.

Yea, I know “Happy wife, happy life”. But what if dad’s not happy? Are dads entitled to not be happy?

I loved everything about my life, except work. Why? Because it was work, a job I went to every day. I had gotten to the point where my career defined who I was.

I struggled with it and a tough couple of years ensued.

And then I realized, I didn’t have to be miserable. Being miserable was a choice I had made and I had what I had because, in truth, it’s what I wanted. And then, well, here’s a thought, I didn’t want it anymore.

However what was it that I wanted to do?

What was I passionate about? What did I possess the talent to do?

As a business coach I understand that there are two things you can’t coach. You can’t coach true passion (you are either passionate about something or you’re not) and you can’t coach a lack of talent (you can certainly coach up talent, you just can’t coach up a lack of talent for something).

I needed to uncover what it was that I was passionate about, because without being modest, I knew that I had the talent to do whatever I set my mind to do. What excited me? What couldn’t I wait to get involved in? What made me smile and feel fulfilled?

Whole Foods Markets were started by twenty-five year old college dropout John Mackey and twenty-one year old Rene Lawson Hardy, natural food connoisseurs who saved and borrowed money from family and friends to open their first store.

Apple computer was started by a “geek” in his garage, who prided himself on his electronic hacking ability. PCs Limited was the initial operations of Michael Dell run from his dorm room, until he decided to drop out of college to run his company full time.

In 1971, English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegel, and writer Gordon Bowker invested $1,350 of their own money to open a store initially known as called Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spice.

Talent agents once described Fred Astaire by saying “Can’t act, can’t sing, balding… Can dance a little” and Clark Gable with “What can you do with a guy with ears like that?”

So what was it for me?

If you have followed my blog from the beginning, you know where the title of the blog “Ramblings of the Bruce” came from. Well I decided, it was time for a new identity. I was going to take ownership of “The Bruce”.

Sure it was still going to be exciting in my new role as the Chief Marketing Officer at Main Street (the bank that bought my mortgage company), but I was going for branding. I wanted to accomplish something much bigger. I got hungry. I was going to fuel the fire brewing in my gut.

It was time that “The Bruce” was destined for greatness.

So who or what did I re-invent?

• I became a blogger and a Facebook philosopher who you found here (or maybe I found you).

• I became an author currently working on re-editing my first publication “It’s a Great Deal, All Three of Me Think So”.

• I became a contributing author to the Detroit News and Free Press.

• I perfected what I had learned coaching others and became a partner in Business Edge, an internationally recognized Executive Coaching Firm.

• I formed a partnership in a new and exciting entertainment firm entitled D’ City Sound.

• I got my mug in national publications.

You see my passion, aside from often talking too much, is helping others. I love to see people smiling and having a great time.

I love to help others see things that they might have never seen before.

I love the look in their eyes when they arrive at a solution or an answer and you can just see their whole lives unlocking behind their eyelids.

I love it when they smack their foreheads with the palm of their hands, as if to say “Was it really that obvious?”

For the first time in a long time I’m having the time of my life, and I am passionate about what I am doing.

Do you love what you do?

I mean are you really passionate about what it is that you do?

If you are and you do, it’s awesome, rewarding and fulfilling all at the same time. If you are not, take a step back and look at your business life. Look at it from the outside looking in and not how you have looked at it over the last ten or twenty years.

I say “Happy Dad, glad dad” too.

Or as George Burns once so eloquently said “I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate”.

Being passionate means not only discovering what you want to do more than anything, but resisting the urge to never attempt or quit because the challenge appears too great.


About Bruce Rosenblat

Bruce is currently president, partner, and a senior coach at globally renowned PAAR and Company, a High Impact Executive Coaching Firm located in Farmiington Hills, Michigan where he specializes in helping others attain unprecedented futures. After a 30 year run in the mortgage industry Bruce sold his company, North Star Home Lending, Michigan's largest independantly owned relationship based mortgage lender to Bingham Farms, Michigan based Main Street Bank where he also serves as EVP-CMO. Bruce was also an inugural appointee to Michigan's Mortgage Industry Advisory Board. He has a 30 year history of coaching and mentoring sales people to perform at an optimum level.

Posted on March 30, 2011, in For Love of Family, Random Thoughts, The Coaching Experience. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. A very thoughtful, insightful blog, Bruce. I love your courage and always find you inspiring. Keep on posting!


  2. Beautifully expressed, Bruce!

    Not sure that this post should be called “Ramblings”
    because time after time you go straight to the heart of the matter! You strike the tuning fork within many of us that vibrates in a positive, sympathetic resonance.

    Best wishes as you continue to “play your music!”


  3. I love this blog! I swear by the same philosophy. Life is much too short to *settle* doing something that has no meaning or impact on your life. I am still searching for my passion however by not working at a job that consumes me and my happiness, my mind is clear to reach higher limits and I know that I am much closer to my goal. Very inspirational. Thank you for sharing Bruce!

  4. Good article, Bruce. Yes, I guess I am still searching for my passion, 36 years after high school graduation. I’ve tried to find the enthusiasm in my work again (because if’s often not the job but the person doing it) and still do the things I love like writing, investing, etc. I’ll use your article for motivation. Thanks.

  5. I love this, maybe because I feel the same way. I have friends who have no passion for anything. How sad is that?

    I didn’t know you wrote a blog til Jackie posted this on Facebook. Will subscribe now and keep reading.

  6. Beverly Rosenthal

    Dear Bruce,

    We, who know you, could not be prouder of you for your insight, your abilities and your love of life. Did I mention your keen sense of humor and warmth as well?

    It is not every person who can make and formulate the decisions you have done and be successful at it, as well.

    You are an inspiration and I look forward to your “ramblings” and thank you for giving me, as well as others, the joy of living each day and appreciating what life has to offer.


    Bev Rosenthal

  7. Bruce Rosenblat

    Thanks to all of you for your wonderful words. I find my inspiration to write this blog from the kind things you say. They are really appreciated and most inspirational.

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