They say a boat is a hole in the water you pour money into. But of course there's a reason people pour money into their boats, and it's the same reason people put their discretionary money and time into anything: for the love of it.
This hit home for me recently when my good friend Mike Stone, the President of Schick Technologies, took me out on his 54-footer (that's me and Shelli Duncan enjoying the voyage). His boat is named INDY, which stands for “I'm Not Dead Yet,” and let me tell you, I've never seen a man more alive and in his element than Mike captaining his vessel.
The preparation before we set sail, the timing and precision of what needs to be done out on the water, the meticulous clean-up afterwards – it all seems like a lot of work to me, but to watch Mike sail his boat with smooth, practiced skill was to watch a man in love with what he was doing. I've seen the passion he brings to his work at Schick, so I suppose it should have been no surprise to see that he brings that same passion to his work out on the water.
But that's the secret, isn't it? When you are truly passionate about something, it doesn't feel like work. Which is why I talk so often about the importance of loving what you do, and finding that inspiration that keeps you engaged. It's the difference between the draining feeling of being consumed by a job and the energizing feeling of taking charge of a career. It's the difference between being adrift at sea and using your expertise to put wind in your sails and feel the bliss of freedom on the waves.