When I was young, I wanted nothing more than to be a horse trainer. I lived and breathed everything horses. It wasn't just a passing young girl phase either.
I was raised by a single mother until I was 11 years old. My mother was in college while we were in school and there were times that we barely made it through the month with food, clothing, and shelter. Having my own horse was a dream that I knew would most likely never happen.
When I got into 8th grade, my grandmother learned of a 4-H program where I could learn to ride competitively and literally ride horses every day.
For two years, I worked hard to pay the fees, the vet bills, a portion of the food and care bills, plus riding lessons, and entry fees in order to ride a beautiful Mare named Sassy. Because of my obsession and dedication, I won Reserve Grand Champion in Showmanship at my first State Fair!
I then received the chance to own my own horse, The Colorado Horse Rescue, along with the 4-H community connected me to a horse that was literally going to be put down unless someone took him. I talked at length with my Mom and Grandma about what that would mean to me to have my own horse.
I listened to everything they were saying. That I would have to find a way to work (at age 14) to earn the money to pay for all the horse’s needs. I would have to make sure to make the horse my priority, I would have to give up things most kids my age did, hanging out, movies, activities etc. I listened, and I decided that everything they were saying was worth doing or giving up in order to have my own horse.
I became the proud owner of a foal named "Al". He was a medical wreck, but through God's divine grace, I found a vet willing to allow me to work part of the vet fee off and make payments on the other part. I learned a lot with Al, and in the end, Al and I won Grand Champion Colt at my Second State Fair.
Sassy, Al, and about 6 other horses that I rode for other people during that phase of my life were my everything! I endured a lot of teasing, eye rolls, and even bullying for being a "city girl playing with horses” So why did I do that? I did it because it was my passion. I loved horses, and I would do the hard work, in order to make my own dreams come true. I endured what I had to in order to have my passion become my reality. I thrived in the ability to spend time with something that truly brought me joy and happiness.
And now, 30+ years later, I have returned to owning passion. Many people ask me why I would give up a secure government job with a retirement and major benefits, in order to start my own business and struggle through trying to make it a success. My simple answer to them is always this: "I do what I do because it is my passion to live a life that I love. A life that allows me to do what I need to do and the things I want to do. And I want others to be able to do that as well."
So, why do YOU do what YOU do? Does it start with a passion? Or does it just help you exist? Do you LOVE what you do? Or do you feel trapped? Do you wake each morning excited for what you do? Or do you dread it?
What if you COULD do what you absolutely LOVE? What would you do? What is your passion?