Can I Bring A Can Of Formula On The Plane Job Versus Work

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Job Versus Work

I believe that too many people go through life looking for a job. A job is something that just pays the bills. There is a myth that needs to be broken. Go to school, get a degree or a skill, and get a job. I have heard several acronyms for JOB. Just Over Broke. Jump out of bed. What is the difference between JOB and JOB? Work is something you do that is rewarding. Something you really enjoy and look forward to achieving. Your passion! Work will leave you with a higher sense of accomplishment and achievement. It brings a smile to the face and warms the heart. It’s satisfaction. The challenge is to monetize your passion and avoid jobs.

Flying the F-15 was a job, not a job. It wasn’t about paying the bills. My college degree didn’t teach me how to be a pilot. Becoming more prominent as a fighter pilot meant optimizing each ability. Zig Ziglar said: Success is making the most of your abilities. I found success using the F-15. Notice I didn’t say flying the F-15. Sure, there was a stick and a rudder, but the real satisfaction was through the mission. Maybe that’s why a little voice inside me told me to stay away from a commercial airline career. In my opinion, I would have taken a step back when I quit and started working.

Another chapter in my life took me to the corporate world. As you might imagine, flying the F-15 is a very high level of aviation. However, there was a void operating in an environment that was not fiscally responsible. I remember flying lessons “just to use them”. I remember spending money just to spend it thanks to the flawed “use it or lose it” budgeting concept prevalent in government agencies.

I wanted to try Zig’s philosophy of success in an environment where profit was king. I learned everything I could to quickly master a new industry I entered with virtually no experience. I was on a journey of learning that richly rewarded those who overcame. The new mantra was to increase top-line sales while minimizing costs. I was able to take an underperforming group and develop a winning team that was recognized as the best in the company. I watched people gain confidence and perform at a level most thought was unattainable. It was a joyous job. Not work.

About seven years after that journey, I had an insatiable desire to return to the cockpit. I decided to buy an amphibious plane so I could enjoy flying from our main residence in Virginia to our lake house in North Carolina. This was my first exposure to the wonderful world of general aviation. The “bug busters” I once detested on a low military route with an F-15 at 480 knots had now become part of my new passion.

The next chapter of my life began when I decided to plan my escape from corporate America. How do you make money in general aviation? I looked at FBOs, flight schools, charters, aircraft sales, and anything else imaginable. The challenge was monetizing my passion – flying; however, no job is created. What I discovered was that I liked to fly on my own terms and not out of necessity. I was both owner and customer at the same time. This created an interesting business model. Take the money out of the left pocket and put it in the right pocket. There was no top-line sales growth and costs were high. Then my wife stumbled upon a part-time home business that was a cash cow. It was like minting money and expanding rapidly. No matter how hard we tried to keep the business local, it went viral and spread across the country. Suddenly, my business model now had great cash and travel options.

It was the missing piece of my puzzle. It funded my passion while creating a business need. Our nutrition drink distributor has allowed me to retire 15 years earlier than I thought possible. In 2009, it was featured in Inc 500 magazine as the number one company in the food and beverage category; #18 overall among over 27 million private businesses.

My last trip to support our business was in Vandalia, OH. I get to fly my plane and hang out with great people who see through arguably one of the toughest economies any of us have ever experienced. The flight to Vandalia was exceptional with no westerly headwinds and a big tailwind coming home. What’s remarkable about the Ohio trip is that I get to see the mountain scenery above the Blue Ridge Parkway, the valleys, the majestic Ohio River, and the farmlands all in one short flight. Even more gratifying is that there is no direct commercial flight option and the trip would be a struggle with connections and costs. I am my own boss and I get very good compensation.

I challenge you to pursue your passions and immerse yourself in them jobs rather a work. The answers are not always obvious. I can assure you that a nutritional drink was not on my radar 2 years ago. Life is more about the journey than the destination. Remember what Zig Ziglar said, success is making the most of your abilities. For all engineers and analysis types, my formula is:

S = P * E. (Success = Passion x Excellence)

German proverb “You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails”

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