I've been asking a lot of questions recently. What am I doing? What does the future hold? What is my business all about? What am I all about? What defines me? What's the significance of what I do?
Someone recently said to me, 'You live the dream. You get to do something you would do anyway and parlayed it into a career.' I somewhat jokingly said 'It's a dream that can sometimes be a nightmare.'
If just 'running' was all my career was about, it DEFINITELY would be a dream. During the actual 'running', my job is always a dream....even on the bad days. But, there's so much that goes into building, protecting, and evolving a brand/business beyond the beauty of logging some miles on a stellar afternoon in the park.
The reality is there are nightmares associated with what I do. I don't talk about them much. A few people hear about them and I am forever indebted to them. These nightmares have at times made me wonder if it's worth it. It's true....even 'Marathon Matt' has moments of fear, self-doubt, and anxiety.
But, I had the good fortune to meet 'The Juice Guy' today. I saw a random bright green sign for 'Juice Alley' as I was driving home and on a whim turned to follow the sign behind a seedy liqour store.
Behind the liquor store is this tiny little room that looks like an in-law unit. It's not a terribly attractive/inviting exterior and the front door sticks a bit. But, I get inside and everyone greeted me as if I was a member of their family. The owner and proprietor (AKA-'The Juice Guy') who's probably 20-something and looks exhausted staggers towards me.
He starts talking. His passion for what he does immediately strikes me. This kid is pouring his heart and soul into what he's doing. The Juice Guy treated me like a close friend immediately...and he didn't even know me.
I looked at the Juice Guy (Justin, btw) and I saw a younger version of myself. Justin exuded the unbridled passion that I had when I first started my business. He hasn't taken any licks yet and I hope he doesn't because he's a really solid guy....I mean 'Juice Guy'.
As I grudgingly left Juice Alley with '3' free bottles of juice (he insisted), I realized I do what I do for the same reason the Juice Guy launched Juice Alley....I f'ing love it. Not surprisingly, the juice I got from the Juice Guy is the best juice I have ever had in my life.
That's my true north. Thank you for reminding me of this Juice Guy. When all else fails and uncertainty is everywhere, follow what you love. The money may or may not follow, but it's the only path that makes any sense.