True Stories

When you begin to actively follow your passion, it could be an isolating experience. Often your family and friends won’t be able to come with you on this journey. But there are a lot of other people out in the world who have taken that plunge and done so successfully. Here are three real people who took their passion and ran with it.

Angela Halsted: Passion is puzzling

Angela Halsted is a mother of who lives in Arlington, VA with her husband and two children. While she lives a happy life as a soccer mom and wife, she had an interest in puzzles-crossword puzzles to be more exact. One day she decided that she wanted to look into her interest to see what was out there. She would fill out crossword puzzles on her own and an internet search lead her to the world of crossword tournaments. She was hesitant but curious enough to check it out.

She went and was pleasantly surprised at the number of people there. She struck up a conversation with some people and ended up talking about all of the random and obscure facts that everyone knew about. She was hooked. Since then she has become an active participant in the puzzling community event doing some guest puzzle submissions for publications like The New York Times. She also attends puzzle conventions and competitions and writes for different crossword blogs. While she didn’t quit her day job or completely change her lifestyle, she found a way to successfully pursue her passion.

Kevin West: Passion is jamming

Kevin West is an editor of W magazine who fell into his passion almost by happenstance. Although he grew up eating strawberry jam and pickled beets canned by his grandmother in his hometown in Eastern Tennessee, he didn’t grow up with a passion for doing it himself.

It wasn’t until he bought an entire flat of strawberries that he found his passion for making jam. After buying the flat, he realized that he would not be able to eat them all before they go bad. Not wanting to waste a good crop of strawberries, he took some of them and made preserves, failing miserably. It was that failure that spurred him to push forward. He knew that preserves should taste a certain way and became determined to replicate the recipe of his grandmother.

It took him some time, but he was victorious and created a tasty jar of preserves. Along the way he found his passion in creating jam and preserves. He hasn’t quit his day job but canning is a passion that he pursues on a full time basis. He shares his passion through his blog and truly lives the canning life. He regularly eats food that he’s canned and even encourages novices to take up canning. He is fully immersed in the canning lifestyle.

Jenny Blake: Passion is writing

Jenny was one of the lucky ones. She found a great job that she loved. She made great money working for Google. While she loved her job, something was missing.

She had an entrepreneurial spirit and always wanted to strike out on her own but the fear and uncertainty that comes with it kept her from making the leap. Plus her job was great, so she worked to be satisfied with it. She was living the corporate dream with a growing 401k, yearly bonuses and a nice salary. She loved her position and the work that she did at Google but in the mean time she continued to pursue her passion for writing by starting a blog which lead to her writing a book.

After much thought, she took a three month leave of absence and self- funded her own book tour. After those three months, she realized that not only could she be an entrepreneur, she could excel at it. She left her job, which was not a popular decision, and is now blogging full time, coaching, speaking and promoting her book project. While she loved her job and all of the comforts it brought, she loves running her own business even more. It wasn’t an easy decision to walk away from her comfortable life to pursue her passion as a career but she did it and is glad she did.