Jeff Shuford’s Perspective: Follow Your Passion & Find Your Purpose

Everyone gets “burned out” working jobs that are repetitive and tedious. Most professionals are working for management that appears not to care about the businesses they manage. Employees become “burned out” constantly by being overlooked for promotions and positive recognition. How many times have you or someone you know been dissatisfied with management due to a feeling of being unappreciated? Have you ever started a business or worked for a business that you were truly not passionate about? How long did it take before you realized that you lacked the passion and purpose to successfully operate or work for the business?

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” Bob Dylan

I find that my purpose is embedded in the passion I have for helping people. My business (Tech From Vets) focuses on helping business owners enhance their digital presence through technology.I donate my time and money to veterans’ organizations (Florida Fallen Heroes) and I support veteran business owners in my community through mentorship and education. I sincerely believe my business is not in the marketplace to generate revenue, we are in the marketplace to help people succeed. I understand the value of money and I can’t grow my business without it. However, money is not my sole purpose or passion for running my business.

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” Ella Fitzgerald

In life, we should always be searching for the passion and purpose that drives us to be better professionals. Some people find purpose in their children, a new house or a new car. What happens when the children move out, the house needs a new roof or the car has maintenance issues? Our purpose will not drive us very far; we must find the passion in our purpose to truly be successful.

“You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.” Sabrina Bryan

My first wife would probably tell you that our marriage lacked passion. The purpose of marrying her was to make our bond concrete and to show her that I was serious about our relationship. I was away from home serving in the military, the distance contributed to the loss of a passionate connection with her. Frequent field exercises (mini deployments) and a year-long tour in Iraq, caused our relationship to suffer greatly. While I was deployed to Iraq, she stepped out on me, she simply lost her passion for our relationship. The purpose of her telling me she stepped out was not only to clear her conscience, but to validate the reason she felt the need to cheat on me. Although I was angry and hurt, I could not deny the fact that I was not able to love her as passionately as she needed. Our relationship never gained the passion we once shared before my deployment overseas, needless to say, we were headed down the path of divorce. This same example can be applied to running or working for a business. I challenge you to find your purpose and your passion, you don’t want to lose your business or be separated from the business you work for due to the infamous “burn out” and lack of commitment and purpose.

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Jeff Shuford is a nationally syndicated columnist, award-winning technology expert, and a decorated Iraq War Veteran. Shuford became one of the youngest nationally syndicated writers in America at age 30 and contributes articles that reach 1.4 million newspaper subscribers in 44 regions weekly. A regular contributor to Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The Huffington Post, Shuford's passion for producing captivating content extends far past his columns in prestigious publications. Shuford's Forbes article titled “Nine Unique Ways To Brand Yourself As A Thought Leader,” was named by LinkedIn Business as one of the Top 10 Most Popular Articles Among Recruiters in 2017. In addition to Shuford's LinkedIn Business honor, his piece was also named as an Editors Pick and the most viewed and shared article from the Forbes Coaches Council of 2017. Bestowed the Community of Heroes Award by the DAV, Shuford's innovative leadership and passion for helping veterans led his company also to be named the Best Veteran Tech Startup of 2016 by The Huffington Post. In addition to that honor, the Huffington Post later named Shuford number one on the list of the Top 5 Emerging Veteran Tech Founders of 2017. Shuford's dedication to STEM is evident in his technological achievements. Shuford also recently led his technology company to win a 2017 BizTech Award presented by The Jacksonville Business Journal for their work developing, deploying, and successfully marketing the self-funded Vets 22 app. Considered an expert thought leader and influencer in public relations Shuford has also positioned his brands to be featured in publications such as Sports Illustrated, Forbes Sports Money, NFL Network, The Jacksonville Business Journal, The Huffington Post, ForbesCouncils, WJCT, WJXT, and Entrepreneur Magazine among others. Shuford served with the U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-07 and earned a Combat Action Badge for his heroic efforts at age 19.