It’s 11:37 pm on a Monday night in late March here in 36 degree Painesville, Ohio. Today is day 2 of a life-changing decision that I’ve made. What decision is that you may ask? Well for the past 8 months, I’ve held the cheaply purchased title of ‘real estate agent.’ When I say cheap, I don’t mean cheap like a used car salesman. I mean cheap in that the title does not necessarily convey competence or prestige. If you’re the CEO, CFO, or controller of a company, there’s a good chance, you know what you’re doing and it’s taken you a lot of hard work to get there. ‘Real estate agent’ just doesn’t reverberate ‘that guy/girl made it’ in my mind, nor do I expect to in yours. If you can manage to attain a driver’s license, there’s a pretty good chance you can be a real estate agent too. Succeeding as a real estate agent, however, is a whole other conversation entirely. But that’s besides the point.

Over these past 8 months, I’ve pondered the word success quite a bit. I’ve contemplated what would that word mean to me if I had to look it up in a copy of Webster’s? Well, that I’ve realized is for me to define, not for someone else. But it IS something that we NEED to define if we are going to find it. I’ve come to discover this past 8 months that success HAS to have concrete and definitive qualities in order to even begin to realize it. Without definite goals, striving for success is like aiming a bow and arrow with a blindfold.

Ever since I was old enough to understand that money makes the world go round, I’ve known that real estate agents can do quite well financially. They enjoy the numerous benefits of entrepreneurship; the freedom; the money; the respect and privileges of being your own boss. That is what drew me in. The entrepreneurial opportunity. With a low barrier to entry and terrific financial upside, how was it not the perfect business opportunity? The answer is simple, it wasn’t. Not for any fault of the industry, but I was doomed to failure from the beginning. The seeds of my destruction were planted in me since birth. I unfortunately, just didn’t know it until now.

5 months ago, my mother, the owner of an advertising agency asked for my assistance on a new project. She needed to build a WordPress website for a client. I was happy to help in any way I could. Then another project came across her desk, and then another. Before I knew it, 5 months went by and I’ve had a major hand in building over $50,000 in websites. I’d work til’ 2 AM any number of nights. Just like I am tonight. I would work, without complaint or reservation. I’d work and it didn’t even feel like work. It just felt like something I needed to get done and I’d do it without minding in the least. Hours would go by without me getting out of my seat. I’d get sucked in, entranced almost. Then one night it hit me, what the f*** are you doing Edward?? You’re supposed to be a real estate agent and here you are building websites. Why was it that I would procrastinate from doing real estate work by doing web development work? All this time, I was searching for what I was meant to do in life and it finally hit me like a 404 error! It was time to tap the brakes and evaluate my plan.

Simply do what you love. It’s that simple. If you follow your passion, you won’t work a day in your life. -Sue Marous (aka Mom)

If I had to name one lesson that my mother has told me all my life, it’s to follow your passion. I’d always thought following your passion and finding success seldom intersect. But like they say, follow your passion and the money will come. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m indefinitely ceasing my real estate business and pursuing the only work that doesn’t feel like work. Helping businesses’ find success in their digital marketing. Until next time,

-The Pacific Thinker