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If you’d told me in 2007 that my art would both inspire people and be a big boost to  my business, I would have thought you were smoking crack!  “Art? Me? Puh-lese. I ain’t no artist, and who needs or has time for art when you’re on the corporate /  entrepreneur tracks?”

My art was a talent that came out of nowhere in 2008 as I began to nurture PebbleStorm  and my own Unique Genius.  No one’s as surprised as I am about this.  (You can see a decent collection here: “Art of PebbleStorm  CEOFlow / Fall 09“.)

It still doesn’t feel comfortable for me to say I’m an artist, even though I am…only  because I never – as long as I can remember – thought of myself as one. Engineer,  business  person, entrepreneur, athlete…sure.

But “artist”?  Yep, though I’m still getting used to the idea.

So now I wonder whenever I meet people…

What talents are in you waiting to come out that would inspire yourself and others?  What stories do you tell yourself about what you can or can’t do that aren’t true?

I also wonder what other talents will come out of me in the future that I don’t even know about yet.

I guarantee this – if you let yourself dream BIG – your ideal work, your dream business – it would involve you playing with and sharing a lot more of yourself and your talents that you do today (both known or yet-undiscovered superpowers).


Mash Your Passions

Bringing those talents into your work is essential to find the money, enjoyment and meaning you crave. You will love your work more and it will make you more unique and interesting to customers.

So what passions or talents or interests do you have that you think wouldn’t be relevant to business?

Here’s a simple example: my great friend Yanitz Rubin had forgotten about his passion for entertainment and comedy until PebbleStorm. Now he’s creating an event called “Improv for Entrepreneurs” to help people unlock their creativity and ideas. His goal isn’t to design a billion-dollar business from day 1 – his goals are to create a FUN way (for him and others) to attract the perfect audience for his coaching and other businesses.  Yanitz will ultimately make tons of money at this while having tons of fun!  I’d be jealous, but I will get to go to his events 🙂

Try playing with ideas on mashing them up with your work – either your current work or a new business idea that lets you play with and envision work however you want.  This is a first step towards the freedom you want.

Listen To Yourself

What activities does your subconscious keeps bugging you to pursue that you don’t have time for or that you think aren’t for you?

(Shhh – don’t tell anyone and I promise nothing, but I’ve taken a few singing lessons recently. It’s an idea that has bugged me for months, even though I’ve NEVER thought I could sing.  I still can’t, but I’m not afraid to try it.  I even have some ideas on how to bring this into PebbleStorm that don’t include Karaoke.)

You can have fun with work, and part of that includes mixing your passions into it in ways that make it more fun for you and more interesting and fun for customers!

I hope this note gave you some food for thought. Even if you shift just one degree in course, you’ll end up in a better place in the future.

Aaron Ross

Related blog posts:

The Sun Sketch and Unique Genius:
“What is your Unique Genius?”

The Treasure Map Sketch inspired its own event:
“Reinventing work with a PebbleStorm Treasure Map Hike”

Mashing your passions:
“Mash your passions!  How could you combine yoga and poetry and…?”

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People have a variety of things they love – and my belief is that there are plenty of ways to combine those passions into life and business in order to have the best of all worlds.  You don’t have to keep them separate, and in fact, your business can become more powerful when you integrate ALL of your meaningful passions into a whole that’s greater than the parts.

“I can’t make money from poetry”

I met an engaging yoga teacher tonight who’s opening a new yoga studio. She ‘admitted’ at some point, after much discussion, that she also loved poetry…’but I could never make money at it.’ I can see why someone might consider that not relevant to a business discussion, but with PebbleStorm, all your passions are relevant. How can you create a business, or worklife, that incorporates the best of all your worlds? Even with poetry.

What would Yoga + Poetry look like?

  • A yoga studio with the poetry (in huge type) in frames along the walls, either in the studio itself or just in the entrance. The poetry could be there to simply enhance the studio experience, or the pictures or posters could be for sale as well.
  • A set of cards at the exit, each with a poem, so that people can take one for some inspiration-to-go on their way out.
  • Produce some own yoga clothes, T-shirts, or accessories (see with the poetry on it, to sell for fun at the yoga studio or online.
  • For your own enjoyment, print a set of poetry books ondemand (see to keep at the studio, either to sell or to give to special clients.
  • What are some other ideas to combine yoga and poetry? Leave a suggestion in the comments!

Yoga + Poetry + ___?

You can then begin to mash other passions into the mix. Perhaps other passions include travel, video, software, nutrition, jewelry-making, design, helping people…how else can you keep mashing your passions up into more interesting, enjoyable ways to have the best of all worlds in your work?

My own passion mashup: PebbleStorm

PebbleStorm’s the result of me continuing to mash up all my passions: writing, bringing people together, sales, coaching businesses, creating tools, travel to interesting places, learning, sharing, organizational design, creating businesses, challenging people’s assumptions about work…and on and on. And I’ll continue to bring new passions into it as I become aware of them.