“Shouldn’t I wait and find a job that I am really passionate about? Isn’t that what Find Your Extraordinary is all about? Creating a life I love based on my passion, and not compromising on that?” the graduate asked. Jessica Herrin, someone who has had two jobs since she was 15 and has paid a lot of dues, had fun answering this one. Founding the world’s leading wedding site at the age of 24, now known as TheKnot.com, and going on to build Stella & Dot out of her living room only to become known as a 500 Fastest-Growing Company; you could say Jessica knows a thing or two about passion.
Don’t for a minute confuse passion with fantasy. Even in your dream job, at your dream company, doing something where the mission matters, you will do things you’d rather not. Not once, not twice, but all the time. Show up ready to work and ready to learn. Be open to the possibility that this role will be a career-defining experience and ask yourself what you can do to make it so.
Living your passion will include doing things you detest doing. Things you are not good at. Things that scare you. Things that bore you. Things that are extremely challenging. The presence of these things do not mean you should look elsewhere. Those that look for easy will never find extraordinary. Those above doing grunt work to pay their dues will never deserve a promotion. That is because you live in the real world, not on a unicorn farm. Think of it this way- what if you created a life so extraordinary that someone decided to make a movie out of it? Guess what would make that movie interesting? The struggle. Without it, there is no triumph. Whatever that challenge is, the sooner you accept it and stop grousing about it, the better off you will be. So go ahead and embrace the fact that extraordinary will always involve intense struggle… and washing windows.
Never shrink away from the challenging things that your passion requires. Otherwise, you’ll be robbing yourself of glory.