Doubts and regrets lurk inside all of us. Live long enough, and you will have a past to contend with.

We have all turned left at some point when we knew deep down to turn right. And that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day. Today is a new day! Fearlessly face the future you actually want to see yourself in. Follow your passion.

I’m writing this post for all you shoulda, coulda, wouldas out there. You over there who shoulda gone to college when your uncle offered to pay half the tuition. And you who coulda been a session guitarist if you hadn’t been preoccupied with your social life in high school. And hey to you thousands reading this who swear you’d be rich, or famous, or happy, or married, or not married, or skinny or, or, or if you woulda listened to your gut and acted on intuition, even if it was the harder decision at the time.

Your future starts now. And grabbing what’s yours is going to be hard work. You’ve got to love that grind. But the real truth? You can really only love the grind if you love what you do.

You can really only love the grind if you love what you do

What’s your passion? What would you do for free, because you just have to do it? Go, figure that out. Dig deep. And don’t listen to those who tell you your idea is impossible or unrealistic. Even people you love and trust will try to talk you out of your lofty dreams, because they don’t want to see you get hurt. They are coming from a place of love, but love is not what you need right now.

You need courage, grit and passion.

When Chris Kneeland my business partner, Rob Howard one of our most senior strategists, and I started The Gathering six years ago, everyone, from our employees, to our sponsors, and even to our award nominees, were skeptical. Ask me how many times I heard people tell me to my face, or worse, whisper behind my back, that we were too amateur to put on a conference of such caliber in North America? But we did it anyway, because we knew we had to follow through on our idea. And now, five years later, The Gathering is considered one of North America’s top marketing conferences – according to Forbes and many other international publications. It still feels unreal to write that last point down, but it is real. Through hard work and passion, we made it real.

Sometimes those crazy ideas that you don’t believe you have any business doing turn into something massive years later. The punchline?

Act on your big vision
Don’t be an idea guy (or girl!)
Even if you start and fail, at least you started—start again—start differently—improve and refine always
Ideas are better done than perfect. Avoid the ShouldaCouldaWoulda the next time it shows up to derail your dreams.

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