Special Dread

There’s a special kind of dread you feel when you fire up the laptop first thing in the morning—and see you made a stupid little mistake the day before, resulting in a customer being incorrectly charged almost 40 times (overnight), to the tune of almost $3,000.

“You see this watch? You see this watch?”
“Yeah.”
“That watch cost more than your car.” —Blake

My daily driver cost $2,500.

But you know what’s nice?

Somewhere along the way, someone told me:

“Call your customer before your customer has to call you.”

I had the problem solved, the charges reversed, and full documentation to the customer within 30 minutes. His response, “Shit happens.”

I hope he gets to keep the points.

Is there anything more important than follow-through?

“Is this the ‘no follow-through’ speech again, Dad?”
“Yes.”
“Okay.”
“You know what your problem is, son?”
“No follow-through?”
“No follow-through!”

I have no idea why that scene from a corny movie (If Looks Could Kill, 1991) stands out in my mind all these years later, but it does. (If you’re into corny, mistaken identity, spy comedies from the 90s, you might enjoy it. There’s a Lotus Esprit, Nissan 300ZX, and Saab 900 in it!)

In any case, follow-through has been on my mind lately. I’ll be the first to admit, I tend to run with exciting new ideas—no matter the cost to following-through on previous ones already in progress.

Should I really be rebooting GBXM—or doubling my efforts here?

Should I be thinking about sailboats—or investing in my Montero?

See what I mean?

It’s not necessarily that simple, but it’s on my mind lately.

Passion is fuel. But only when it’s REAL passion.

Some people will tell you passion has nothing to do with success. They’ll say things like “passion can’t beat persistence.” And you know what? They’re right.

You know why they’re right? Because we’ve let passion become a marketing buzzword.

Find you passion.
Follow your passion.
Leverage your passion.
Passion, passion, passion!

Most of the people talking about passion these days—at least, in a business, startup, entrepreneurial sense—are talking about something so watered down from reality, it’s no wonder they dismiss it.

Passion isn’t a passing interest. It isn’t saying, “I like marketing,” or “I’m a car guy.” Passion—real passion—is as close to lust as you can get without being creepy.

If you aren’t thinking about the accuracy, cleanliness, and efficacy of your database, if you aren’t obsessing over ideal customer profiles and all the opportunities for one-on-one, personal connections with people whose lives you know your product will make an immediate and unmistakable difference, if you aren’t constantly trying to figure out the best way to reach people with your promise of meaningful success—if you aren’t thinking about it all the time—you aren’t passionate about marketing.

If you aren’t consumed with desire to disassemble every nut, bolt, and screw on your vehicle, so you can clean, replace, or upgrade it, if you aren’t dreaming about the places you’ll go and the things you’ll do with your machine, if you can’t see the shining gem beneath the faded, road weary sheetmetal and plastic—if you don’t love your vehicle—you ain’t a gearhead.

That’s passion. That’s real passion. It’s consuming. And it’s rocket fuel on a fire.

Once you’re parallel, that fuel supply is infinite and can take you anywhere.

So don’t discount passion. Passion is fuel. But only when it’s real passion.