Twelve years ago today, I hung out my shingle as a Passion Catalyst. Since then my career has focused on helping people answer these three questions: 1) What lights me up, 2) What difference do I feel called to make, and 3) How do I weave those into a career and a life that lets me thrive?
It started, as all good stories do, with me in a career free-fall with no hope on the horizon. I had been a professional malcontent for many years. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I was on the wrong path. I felt disillusioned, frustrated, and stuck.
Then, in early 2001, I took a vacation from my work as a marketing consultant for technology companies and traveled for a few weeks. When I came back, the dot com implosion was in full swing, and I discovered that I was self-unemployed. Worse yet, I was broke (I had been accustomed to being able to snap my fingers and have new business fall into my lap, and that was my plan on my return). I had no idea how I was going to keep a roof over my head – I was falling with no safety net.
In the course of trying to drum up new marketing business, I had a lot of conversations over coffee with people. One of those conversations turned from talk about the business the guy worked for to a business he and a partner wanted to start around something they were passionate about.
By the end of the conversation, he was vibrating with excitement, filled with new ideas and new ways of seeing things. I had a contact high because he was so on fire. Later in the day I thought, “What is that, because it happens all the time!” People frequently came away from conversations with me lit up with new perspectives and possibilities.
I talked about it with many people over the next couple months. One time, trying to describe the effect I seemed to have on people, I said, “It’s like I’m a passion catalyst or something.” I stopped and my eyes got big. “What a great name!” And so the idea started to take shape.
After a couple months of talking about it, I finally realized that I can talk a good idea to death, so I needed to either shut up or do something with it.
Enter the guinea pig. One of the people I had talked to while trying to drum up business was in transition, trying to figure out what to do next in his career. He agreed to be my guinea pig. We would do a short series of sessions (I believe it was five) and he would pay a nominal fee (which was primarily my nod toward needing to convince myself that I could get paid for this thing I had always done naturally, for free).
Twelve years ago today we had our first session. I remember sitting there at the table of the Zeitgeist coffee shop afterwards and thinking, “I don’t need a guinea pig! This is who I am!” For the first time in my life, I experienced what it was like to be doing something that is hand-in-glove aligned with who I am. For the first time in my life I was doing work that not only flowed naturally, it also energized me. There was no turning back.
Since then, my approach has become more refined. I have developed frameworks to help clients find clarity in quest to energize their careers and their lives. I have written an e-book taking the reader through the process I use to help my clients find passion in their careers. And now I am building on all of that with The Ripple Revolution. But under it all lies the foundation of who I am, and what energizes and inspires me.
I have had my share of ups and downs over the last dozen years, but on the whole, it’s a pretty amazing place to be.
Thanks for being part of my journey!
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Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM
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