When I opened my mailbox at the post office, I found a note and magazine article from Sandy Dempsey. She said she’d been going through a stack of magazines and, “When I came across this lovely interview with Bill Bryson I thought of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.”

The article made me smile, but I was genuinely pleased that Sandy had thought of me when she read it.

A few days earlier, I received an e-mail from Charles McCool, mastermind of McCool Travel, telling me that his family is planning a trip to Venice. Did I have any tips? Recommendations? Things not to miss?

Of course, I did, but it made me smile that he’d consulted me.

On Thursday evening, I had a surprise call from Vancouver resident Sally Laird. “Guess where I am,” she said. I thought a moment and guessed, “Las Vegas.”

“Yup,” she laughed, “at the Bellagio. Eating gelato.”

Sally is well aware of my fondness for both.

Then there was the inquiry from my sister Nancy wanting to know about Kiva and how to become a lender.

These sorts of things happen to me on a regular basis and I never get tired of people thinking of me when they encounter something they know I love.

My true loves are not a secret.

Anyone who spends time with me discovers my fondness for Bryson, Venice, the Bellagio, gelato, Kiva—and dozens of other things. I’ve probably posted links to articles on all those subjects on Facebook.

Anyone who visits my home can see that I live surrounded by images, books and other evidence of my true loves.

I’ve never seen the point of keeping passion to myself, although I was frequently advised to do so. “Oh, Barbara,” my mother would sigh,  “you wear your heart on your sleeve.”

She did not mean it as a compliment.

“In the moment of knowing  a love,” I once heard Ray Bradbury advise, “intensify it.” For me, sharing a passion is one way of adding intensity to it.

Passion is, after all, often contagious. Before I became friends with Georgia Makitalo, I knew nothing of the Romantic artists known as the Pre-Raphaelites. Before long, Georgia’s enthusiasm had me joining her on excursions to see their work in Toronto, Delaware and London.

I was only vaguely aware of architect Frank Lloyd Wright before my friend Jill McDermott began telling me of her passion for his work. We made a pilgrimage to his home in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

Eventually, she and I made a road trip which included explorations of his buildings in Oak Park, IL and Fallingwater, his masterpiece in Pennsylvania. When Jill moved near his home, Taliesin, in Spring Green, I attended her first outing as a tour guide there.

Having passionate friends has consistently enriched my life. And passion is an essential  ingredient if you want to create a business that is worthy of your time and energy.

Quite simply, building a business with passion as the cornerstone makes the process so much easier. It’s obvious that passion pulls you forward, keeps curiosity alive, connects you with kindred spirits.

It’s the X Factor that makes you magnetic.

Best of all, you get to wear your heart on your sleeve all the time.

So how do you display your passion? Feel free to leave a comment and share.



3 Responses to “Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve”

  1. tina

    Barbara, when I first met you all these years ago in London I immediately was attracted to your passion and joi de vivre… it’s contagious and so are you:) Happy New Year my dear. London misses you.

  2. Barbara Winter

    Thanks, Tina. I am coming back in April and looking forward to it. Would love to connect with you then. Happiest New Year to you!

  3. bernadette

    Well Barbara having had over a dozen businesses in the last 30 years or so, some from necessity and most because I thought they seemed like a good idea at the time or were something I wanted to explore, experiment with or liked the feel and sound of, I think I display my passion by turning on the tap and sharing my new found, ideas, delight, enthusiasm and creative outpourings to all and anyone who crosses my path or as my husband says…oh god she’s on one again.

    Truthfully, I just find the idea, the gap, the desire and map out a loose plan then go ahead and find a way to do it. What I will say as I get older now early 50’s I find myself looking for the common thread in all of the businesses I have had and there have been lots from restaurants to hair salons, and a diverse few in between. I now recognise that thread, the pattern, the thing that makes my stomach flip and that warm fuzzy anticipatory feeling that begins to seep through my body. With that knowledge, I am slightly less quick off the mark and more thoughtful about why I am about to do something. I have returned full circle to my first and longest held dream this year and am focusing most of my creativity energy on that….mind you there are a couple of little other ideas floating around just in case! Hope to see you April if not in Greece renovating that long held dream of The Old Kafenion! x

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