Damon Cortesi's blog

Musings of an entrepreneur.

I Think I Found My Passion

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Life. It’s an interesting journey. And as my friend @JoeCascio mentioned today, ”life is what happens while you’re making plans.” I’ve rarely been one to make plans. I prefer to live in the moment and enjoy life as it happens. Yes, I do make some plans but I try to remain open and accepting of the curve balls we receive on a daily basis.

I feel the best we can do is enjoy life and react to the different hands we get dealt. My father instilled this belief in me and I’ve talked about his approach to attitude before. I really cannot thank my father enough for embedding within me the right attitude necessary to tackle life.

I also believe that passion is essential to a happy life. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, then what does it matter and why do you care? Ever since high school, I’ve pledged to myself that I will always strive to work on what I’m passionate about.

Most recently, that passion is startups. That passion is the process of creation. That passion is the process of investigation and research and finding the best tool for the job. That passion is addressing a new challenge as often as I can. That passion is the simple reason that we, as humans, strive to live every single day.

In the past three years, startups have lit that passion inside me. I worked as a security consultant for ten years. I worked for other people and I was more than happy to do so. But at some point, I realized I couldn’t be happy if I wasn’t chasing the ten different dreams that were boiling to the front of my brain. I couldn’t be happy simply working my a$$ off for somebody’s else’s dream. I wanted to work that hard for myself and try to build something.

I’ve often wondered why I decided to strike out on my own. And I think the reason is that I strive to create. I strive to be unique. I strive to change the world, even if it’s a tiny little sliver. And I ultimately felt that I couldn’t do that if I were working for somebody else. I felt that I could only change the world if I could make the decision for myself what I was working on on any given day.

And can I chase that continuously? Certainly not. Part of being successful requires the ability to focus. Maybe someday…someday I’ll be able to work on each of my 10 different ideas every day of the week. But if I ever want to get to that point, I need to focus now. I need to build a business now that is so successful that I can chase every whim of passion I want to later in my life.

And I’m lucky that I can chase one specific passion right now and be supremely happy with that. Because I found that in startups, there is excitement. There’s excitement, and daily challenge, and potential reward, and certainly potential failure. But I get to make the decision of what I chase. And if that changes, or needs to change, I alone can make that decision.

It’s been a long road reaching this point. I’ve talked to a lot of people. I’ve failed a lot of people, primarily because I’m so distracted. But I needed to find my path to this point. And I truly apologize to those of you I may have … indicated interest to and never followed through. But the challenge is that I want to change so much, but there’s so little time and so few perfect storms to make that change happen. And I think I’ve finally found the perfect storm to really kick some ass in this life.

I could be wrong. But it sure as hell is going to be a good ride.