14461768-passion-fruit-on-the-vineHello World, Welcome to Passion Fruit!  You are probably wondering what on earth this blog is going to be about.  I can assure you, I won’t spend priceless time writing about egg-shaped tropical fruits.  Passion Fruit is the best way I can describe myself – I’m extremely passionate about life and I pour that passion into pretty much everything I do.  Most people would call that fruit and I have on many occasions (because I’m wired differently) been called a freak.  So, rather than call this blog Passion Freak, I would like to think of myself and my new blog as something you would want to grab off that vine and consume.  Something deep down kept telling me to name this blog Passion Fruit (thanks mom)….and so it was born.

Now, about me…I started out pretty normal, just like every other kid.  I loved to read and oh how I loved to write at a very young age.  I thought for sure I would grow up  to write children’s books or become a school teacher.  Having three brothers, I found myself always out in the yard playing baseball, basketball and kickball with them and the other neighborhood boys.  Needless to say, I was pretty good at just about any sport by the time it ended up counting.  In 7th grade I caught volleyball fever and while I wasn’t the best at it when I first started, I worked many a night under the dust to dawn light in my backyard practicing and perfecting to the best of my ability, the skills that would land me a scholarship playing the sport in college.  My parents scratched and saved to send me to summer volleyball camps where I could get individual attention and practice even more to get better.  Their hard work and mine paid off!  I went on to play four years of collegiate volleyball with my supportive parents (Joe & Dru) in the stands.   When it came time to graduate and end my volleyball career, I was ready to move on to the next chapter of my life.  I think my parents had the toughest time with it…afterall, they spent the last 4 years rooting me on and being my biggest fans.  I majored in Elementary Education, so that part of my early dreams was coming true.  But…yes there is always a but…I graduated in December.  Do you know how hard it is to find a teaching  job in December?  VERY hard, and I was unsuccessful in doing so.  Luckily, I worked for a local grocery chain since a few months prior to my 16th birthday and all through college.  There was an opportunity in their corporate office to become a buyer.  I interviewed and landed the job!  Man was that a great job, and a few months down the road it grew into a category manager position.  Here I was, 21 years old with the world by the tail, for a 21-year-old.  It was at that time that I began to read self-help, and motivational type books.  Why?  I had always loved learning, been a positive person, and needed that in my life.  Look at it like a fountain and you can drink as much as you can depending on how thirsty you are.  I can’t begin to tell you how much those books helped me during that time.  I was young, inexperienced and working in an industry with older, wiser people in a position normally held by those same individuals and mostly of the male gender.      I ended up staying 17 years in the grocery industry…remember, I started a month before my 16th birthday. I tell you this story only to lay the foundation of how dedication and hard work – PASSION – started at a very young age for me.  Even if I would have become a basket weaver, and I know that is a major exaggeration, I would have been the best.   Anyway, fast forwarding to 2010.  I’ve spent the last 10 years in the radio industry.  You are probably thinking that’s kind of crazy.   I left grocery, where I was responsible for the managing, marketing and procurement of about $88M at retail to start a department that created and executed co-marketing programs with the big grocery chains around the St. Louis area.  The programs were all underwritten by manufacturers…Radio was simply the tactic.  In this blog, I won’t bore you with all that has taken place in those 10 years  and the years since as there will be plenty of time for those stories in future readings.  What I can tell you is the same principles I made part of my daily routine back then are still present and accounted for today.  You see, I never stopped reading those books.  I continued to read and my appetite for learning grew even more.  I moved from motivational books to business books, consuming at least one book every month or two.  I can’t tell you how that discipline to read has catapulted my career path and lead me to where I am today, working my passion.  I hope to be able to share with you some of the most important things I have learned, am still learning, with the most important part being – “It’s NEVER too late to make a change.  Whether it is a habit, a career path, a relationship, or even a mindset.  I am constantly bobbing, weaving, and making slight corrections to my daily path on the fly.  It takes hard work and dedication, but you CAN do it if you make the commitment to live your passion.


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