Just remember to sparkle; the glitter gets you everywhere! These are the words from my friend Bob Pranga, who was my very first coaching client over 20 years ago.
Bob hired me because he was feeling lost. He’d been struggling to make it as an actor while working three jobs as a waiter, tour guide, and department store clerk. Even with three jobs, he was $60,000 in debt.
We talked once a week for a year, focusing on his passions, his priorities, and the mark he hoped to make on the world. In our discussions, Bob kept coming back to one particular interest, and every time he talked about it, his eyes lit up.
While working for Macy’s, the famed department store in Manhattan, Bob had decorated their huge Christmas tree, which is a big attraction for the store. Many people complimented him, including the actress Mia Farrow.
Bob mentioned this several times during our first few discussions. Then one day, he added, “I love decorating for Christmas so much that I’ve even wondered if I could make a living at it.”
My Bigger Game alert immediately went off. “Why don’t you do that?” I asked. I explained to Bob that starting his own Christmas decorating business matched up well with his desire for the freedom to set his own hours and workload. “You love Christmas, and you love being independent; why not organize your life around those two loves?”
Within a year, Bob established a brand as Dr. Christmas, Tree Stylist to the Stars. He made it up!
He started speaking about it. Everywhere he went, it was the same thing… “Hello, I’m Dr. Christmas, and I decorate Christmas trees for Hollywood celebrities. I am the official tree stylist to the stars!”
Guess what? It worked! One thing led to another, and he soon found a great ally by attracting a good friend, Debi Staron, to help him. Their skillful decorating and engaging personalities have led to an elite clientele that includes Beyonce, John Legend, Christina Applegate and Mariah Carey.
His business has grown to include a TV special on The Learning Channel, a coffee-table book, a Hollywood prop rental house, and endless corporate clients including major hotels and film studios.
I don’t understand how he created all of this, and yet, at the same time I understand completely. Bob got clear with his passion, and he then started to speak it to the world, and he made it up from there.
The moral of this story? Anything is possible! I so believe we can create and design a fulfilling life from our unspoken passions.
Way back during my first coaching session with Bob neither of us envisioned his future success. But he dared to speak about his passion: Christmas. For some, it seemed ridiculous. And yet Bob didn’t let that stop him.
Like Bob, it’s time to realize your unspoken passions. It’s time to speak them. It doesn’t matter what they are. It’s doesn’t matter what others think. What matters is that it calls to you – and you alone. It could be gardening. It could be the plight of the homeless. It could be decorating. It could be the best new phone app available. It could be anything – just know that you must start speaking about it now.
Your life is all made up. And in the words of Dr. Christmas, “just remember to sparkle!”