5 Actionable Keys for Thriving in Your Passion

Build a Rewarding Career from Scratch or Transition into a Career You Love

4 min readOct 27, 2021

Today’s many successful giants in their fields once poured their souls into their passions to stand where they are now.

We only get one shot at living life. Why not make the most out of it? It’s not a matter of winning or losing but of trying and following your heart. Living a life doing work that you love is a reward in itself.

Image Credits: Andrea De Santis on Unsplash

I got my hands on a great speech delivered by Bill Gurley addressed towards MBA class at McCombs School at the University of Texas.

It’s the best advice on career development I have found so far. It’s equally applicable for anyone wanting to build a passionate career as a beginner or someone mid-way through a soul-sucking career that can no longer be tolerated.

In the speech, Bill Gurley shares stories of people that built their careers into success stories worth learning from. And he shares 5 key insights that he drew from his analysis of these rewarding career stories. Let’s discover:

1- Find your passion. Pick a profession in which you have a deep, personal interest.

This is something where others can do very little for you. As only you know what you want to do with your life.

If you don’t know it yet, don’t worry keep looking, continue to explore your interests with an open mind and heart. It took me several years and an academic degree to stumble upon my passion for writing.

As you discover your passion just remember, chasing something for the money won’t take you far with it. Sooner or later, it would leave you without fulfillment. Also, you can’t fake it by pursuing something for the people, parents, and society — I mean you can but it’s not something we are talking about here.

Go after something that is another name of the sparks in your soul. Do something that you love to practice, more than the wish for titles.

If you know it then you are already a step ahead of so many of us.

2- Hone your craft constantly.

Whatever you want to become, gather knowledge and understand everything about it. Research about it, learn any or every skill that you must.

Make this the base of your career, use it to network with industry folks. As you gain the knowledge you are more able to talk the language of the industry that attracts networking opportunities. Be knowledgeable. You don’t have to be extraordinary or a superhuman to be able to do what you want.

Be in places where your industry people hang out and interact with them by showing them how you benefitted from their work or ways you can be of value to them, a contributor.

Today, information is more accessible than ever before. It is free. You are just a few clicks away from researching any topic of interest at any time, leverage that.

3- Develop mentors in your field.

Try to connect with the pioneers in your field of interest.

Be inspired by their work and ask them questions, draw insights from their journeys, document what you read in their books, listen to their conversations, and share with them how it helped you.

Include them into your process, send them notes to be grateful for their guidance in your journey to accomplishment. Make them feel like a part of the process of your success journey. Get them to be interested in you by showing interest in them. Be genuine in your expression only then it would affect otherwise it’s already useless.

4- Embrace peers in your field.

Connect with your peers. Share things, ideas, opinions. Conversate with them, have discussions and learn from each other.

Celebrate their wins and help them in their lows. Share what worked for you so can ask for what worked for them. Don’t just take, give more.

Networking is the key to grabbing opportunities and realizing goals. Also, don’t limit your relationship with just your industry peers, peek into other areas and get in front of people’s eyes in other industries. You would be more innovative when you seek out an industry that’s not entirely different and the same as yours.

5- Always give the majority of the credit to the other people that helped you up along the way.

Show gratitude towards those who helped you and share your gifts with others as a way of being grateful.

Tell people how their work impacted your life, send your thanks and notes of appreciation, they deserve it, and do not let the success spin your head. Become a mentor yourself to keep the chain from breaking and continue to spread knowledge for those who seek it. Pay it back.

Summing it:

Following your career might be hard but it’s worth the effort. Here’s a summary of HOW in Bill Gurley’s words:

1- Pick a career about which you have an immense passion

2- Be obsessive about learning in your field

3- Develop mentors in your field

4- Embrace peer relationships in your field

5- Always be gracious and pay it forward

This is highly actionable advice on building a career from scratch or transitioning into a career that you feel passionate about. Something I am following myself to build me a dream job and work on my passion project for life. You can listen to the speech here.

“Do something you really like and hopefully it pays the rent. As far as I am concerned that is success.” Tom Petty