Formula For Finding Purpose, Passion, Prosperity

Planning a 2017 event? Let a QBQ! speaker help!

training, personal growth, new year, new you, job, career, purpose

Your future lies ahead!

Are you in a “New Year, New Me” mode? If so, it’s always good to think about where I’ve come from, where I am, and where I want to go. In other words, reflect on my purpose, passions, and how these combined lead to prosperity. 

But let me begin our first 2017 QBQ! QuickNote by describing a nightmare I had the other night …

In this awful dream, I held a job.

For most people, losing their job would be a nightmare. For me, self-employed since Bobby Ewing came back from the dead, dreaming of working an 8-5 job shook me to my core.

We’ve all heard some variation of this philosophy:

Find something you love to do and you’ll never work another day in your life.

The Back Story

Unbeknownst to me, when I joined ginormous Cargill in July 1980 as a “grain merchant” fresh out of Cornell with my 19-year-old wife by my side in Mankato, Minnesota, I was about to really not like the next 5 1/2 years.

To be fair to my employer …

My unhappiness had nothing to do with Cargill.

It had everything to do with me.

In our attic, Karen has a journal where she penned this in the Fall of 1980:

“Johnny is bored with his job.”


I was not designed to sit at a desk 8-5 while being told by a supervisor when to go to lunch, when to phone my customers, and when I could use the company car to visit my southern Minnesota grain elevator clients.

In fact, looking back, the only time I came alive was when I drove to glamorous Minnesota villages such as Pipestone, Slayton, Blue Earth, and Le Sueur, home of The Jolly Green Giant. There I would pump customers’ hands, see their facilities, meet their staff, treat them to lunch, and “jaw” with them.

I was a natural born salesperson—but nobody knew it.

Not even me.

Back at my Mankato desk the next day—no longer feeling “alive”—I would be eaten alive by sadness.

The Fork in the Road

Three transfers and 5+ years later, I had reached the proverbial fork in the road and was ready to take it. 🙂

With Karen’s unwavering support, I resigned from Cargill to take a sales position! And, like any 27-year-old son, I phoned my dad.

Reaching coach/pastor Jimmy in Ithaca, NY, I informed him I was leaving The Big Company to sell management and sales training for an unknown organizational development firm with less than 10 employees.

Dad asked the obvious question: “What will you be doing?”

“As I understand it, I’ll be calling on people all day long who don’t want to talk to me.”

After a pause, he brightly offered, “Well, son, I think you’ll be very good at that!”

So, armed with the training and will to call executives from 6am to 6pm (remember the fella who didn’t like working 8-5?), a brown 1984 VW Rabbit to get me to sales calls, a powerful desire to “win,” complete faith in my new coach (who lived 1,000 miles away), lots and lots of energy, and an off-the-chart sales aptitude, my Fridays became my Mondays and my Mondays became my Fridays!

The Formula for Finding Purpose

Want this, too? Here’s the formula:

Inborn traits and God-given gifts in sync with one’s chosen profession combined with great training and leadership results in passion, purpose, and prosperity.

Not to mention months, years, and decades that fly by. 

So, is this you? If not, what changes do you need to make? Comments welcome!

Planning a 2017 event? Let a QBQ! speaker help!


5 Responses

  1. Johnny, I didn’t know your Dad said the cold calling would be something that you would be good at, but looking back at it, it doesn’t surprise me. I remember when I wasn’t 1000 miles away, sitting with and listening to you make a call. I remember you saying to the prospect this is John Miller, I call on you 2 weeks ago, and I believed I failed you so I wanted to see you again. In my 47 years in this industry, I’ve never heard anyone do that. I also remember he gave you the appointment, and I believe you were able to help him.

    You are the most driven person I have ever known, Not only did you have confidence in me, I had enormious confidence in you. I knew if anyone could succeed at what we did it was you! I was sad when you left our organization, however, very proud of what you have accomplished and really proud to represent QBQ! You are like a son to me and always will be. Thanks for all the great memories!

  2. I agree that inborn traits and God-given gifts in sync with one’s chosen profession, combined with great training and leadership leads to passion and purpose. However, it does not always lead to prosperity if one’s chosen profession is Nursing.

    Nurses, even those with a college degree and advanced degrees, do not earn the money that corporate executives do. Male RNs earn more than females with the same credentials.

    Most nurses choose this profession because they care for and about the health, safety, and well-being of others. They feel responsible.

    Appropriate Leadership may be lacking, as when staffing is reduced due to budget constraints, or less trained people are substituted for nurses, to save money. Studies have shown that when RNs give bedside care, the mortality rates in hospitals goes down.

    You talk of accountability, those who make these decisions (government employees and insurance companies) should be held accountable for excess, avoidable deaths. Better pay for nurses will attract even better people to Nursing as a career because they can support families on the higher pay.

    1. Kathy, thanks for sharing. “Prosperity” is not only about money. We can prosper in many ways. My wife was an RN for many years and she prospered by serving. She loved taking care of people!

      But it does sound as you’re frustrated with the world of healthcare … appreciate you stopping by!

  3. I have been working in the same library for almost 37 years. Most of the time I enjoy it, but retirement is just over the horizon, and I am finding it a bit harder to want to go to work each day when I am at home. When I get to work and get back into the routine, it isn’t as bad as I think it is at home, because we get to meet a lot of interesting people.

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