One of my favorite things to do is to eat breakfast at the local diners. In my area there are several to pick from. I visit five on a regular basis. It really depends on my mood that morning and what I want to eat. One morning not to long ago I was having the best blueberry pancakes in this area; maybe the world, who’s to say? A longtime friend came in and noticed me and then joined me.
We started to talk about the work he was doing on his boat and all the money that he was putting into it. Now my friend is in his late 60s and is getting ready to retire. His boat is his livelihood and he has been making his living off it for over 30 years. This guy has forgotten more about seamanship than I would ever know in my life. The pride that he shows in what he does spills over when you see his boat.
You can tell that his chosen profession is a passion as well as a way of life. So, I asked him what he was planning to do. He told me that he would still be around the water working with his brother. I could tell by looking in his eyes that this transition into retirement was going to be very tough on him. I could tell that he was very nervous about where his life was heading. As I sat there listening, I really tried to come up with something profound to say. But honestly, if I’m to be honest, he was hitting close to home with me.
Like my friend, I’ve been around a long time in my chosen profession. Like my friend, I truly love what I do and take tremendous pride in watching my clients benefit from my help. For people like us, what we do is not a job, but a way of life. We start our day in the morning and finish when we finish. As you know, I don’t keep a clock in my office. If I leave at 10pm, I’m ok with that. In this life style, I feel very lucky. I know there are a lot of people in my business making much more than I do, but it has never mattered to me. A guy told me a long time ago “Jeff, find a profession that will excite you and it will never be a job. If it becomes a passion you won’t ever have to worry about the money because it will take care of itself.” I’ve tried to lead my professional life with his words in mind.