Lessons From a Peer

9 02 2008

In college I became good friends with a guy named Garett, he was the first peer I remember looking up to, and he taught me a lot about life.  Garett was the type of person that wherever he went people would flock around him because he was such a genuine person and he was full of passion.  Through my years of being friends with him, he has taught me two very important things. 

The first is that you can’t fake passion.  You can fake any number of other things, but you can always tell when someone is truly passionate because regardless of who they are, or what their personality normally is, they will begin to talk with their hands, and they will leap out of their seat with excitement when you hit a subject they are passionate about.  Passion is just as important, if not more important, than being smart or having good business sense.  People with passion get stuff done.  They are great motivators, others want to work with them, and because they believe and are emotionally invested in something they will work harder, learn from others, and will get right back up after being knocked down.   

Passion is key in any life venture. If I weren’t passionate about my love and my life with Mary, I might still be in college, because she kept me grounded and motivated me to do well in school.  If I weren’t passionate about business, personal finance, and helping people, you wouldn’t be reading this.  And if I weren’t passionate about my need and ability to be entrepreneurial and do something on my own, I wouldn’t be planning ahead to start a business with Mary.  

The second thing that Garett taught me is to keep a notebook beside your bed, which is actually why I’m writing this post at 6 am on a Saturday (I’m definitely not up because I was out all night).  I didn’t have a notebook by my bed, I had a computer, so why not?  Keeping a notebook by your bed is brilliant because I can’t tell you how many times I have had what I believe to be a brilliant idea in my dreams only to forget it within 5 seconds of waking up.  Having the notebook means you can write down your idea and go back to sleep without having to worry about forgetting it.  So far I have two failed ventures because of this, which is better than not having any at all! 

I have had an idea for a pet product for a few months now, and I have not acted on it, for various reasons, but, after seeing something that my sister-in-law made last night, it all clicked while I was half-way conscious this morning.  Now I know how to at least get a prototype for this product developed for very minimal cost, and I could even get it done today.  That is truly the reason why I am up, and if I didn’t have a computer by my bed I can promise you that I would have already forgotten it.