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  1. Whitney,

    I want to send along a big thank you and a high five for all the writing you’re doing around here. I’ve missed your voice and thoughts via blogging, and it is so refreshing to see your perspective on business and life pop up in my newsfeed again.

    As for this post, it was an amazing reminder to have. I’m five years in to my journey of half entrepreneurialism / half student / corporate design career, and it’s so hard to see that all these hours are going to add up to something eventually. Sometimes I feel so lost in this all, and then other times I step back and see how far I’ve come in these years. I can only imagine where things will be when this time doubles.

    Looking forward for more of your thoughts and insights, as always 🙂

    Go you!

  2. This phenomenon always happens to me; “I wish I knew then, what I know now!” It’s a learning process with home runs and curve balls….but you have to be in the right park at the right time when everything finally clicks. 🙂

  3. Thank you, you said this much more elegantly and, I admit, nicely than I would have. I’m often a little bit perplexed and even a little disgruntled when I see so many coaches and consultants touting the “follow your passion” mantra. Not because one shouldn’t aspire to love what they do. But because it completely leaves out the blood, sweat and tears that are a big part of being an entrepreneur.

    What happened to rolling up our sleeves and actually doing the work? The research? Tackling the trial and error, seeing what works and what doesn’t?

    Arghhhhh! I don’t want to rant. Thus, I shall just bookmark this and share it the next time I consider going apoplectic re: passion!

  4. THIS!!
    I get this. So sincerely get this. I’m not sure I was prepared for the work, the struggle, the intensity and the joy I’d have to feel, put forth, understand and dig into when I quit my full-time gig to (follow my passion) be a full-time illustrator.

    I had a friend tell me she “finally was ready to do the work she knew it would take” to get her business in check and be successful. I sure hope I’m almost there. Thanks for the loving, honest letter.

    Keep living the dream and telling it like it is.

  5. Thanks Whitney for this great post – so. so true. The analogy of the calculus-loving first grader is superb. There are so many lessons along the way – and if you don’t learn them early enough…you are doomed to repeat them over and over – and fail ultimately.

    I switched my business model from a design/decorative painting model to more of a home staging business model after the 2007-8 recession. For me – it was a business necessity (to find a hungrier audience that needed me – home sellers, rather than the wealthier elite that wanted more custom finishes and interiors, which was on the wane). My best referring partners ( so I thought) would be realtors – who, although independent contractors, were scared many times to suggest to their clients that they needed improvements to their homes if they were to sell quickly. This would-be “perfect referral client” never turned out to be as wonderful as I had thought it would be. Sadly, realtors in my area didn’t look upon their businesses as entrepreneurally as I would have hoped. They were still following an older, more corporate structure of getting a home listed quickly no matter what – and then…keep reducing the price until it sold. If these realtors had introduced home staging as a first course of action – their listings would have sold quickly. But most did not recommend it right away and they either brought me in as a last resort – or not at all (and the home never sold) or it became a short sale or worse.

    I believe that if realtors were following a passion of theirs, they would really steer their clients in the best way possible. If I had opted to go into real estate, my first objective would be to get a property sold as quickly as possible – whatever it took. I just can’t understand the malaise that has overtaken the real estate industry (especially in my area of NY – Long Island). I go to see so many homes that are smelly, painted badly or loudly, cluttered, reconstructed badly, in need of many repairs etc – that I feel that the passion of the realtors who are representing these properties has been completely extinguished. I can only think it has been replaced with greed and expediency.

    It’s a shame – and they are not doing the right thing for their clients. If only there was a rating agency for realtors – things would change in a heartbeat!


    PS – love your blog

  6. I think the biggest thing people forget, including myself, is to put in the work and actually have action steps in place that are going to help you grow and build your muscles.

    Awesome post thank you for your honesty.

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