By Robbie Vorhaus
Do what you love and the money will follow. That’s all I would think about as I opened the front door to my New York City, multi-million dollar, public relations and communications
company. Why? Because I was so miserable.
Every morning I walked in to my beautiful offices, with lots of people, working for clients with household names like Domino’s Pizza, Bertolli Olive Oil, Buick, Lipton Tea and Waterford Wedgewood, and I had this pit in my stomach. I was so grateful for the wonderful clients and the fantastic people I had the fortune to work with everyday, but the startling realization that I wasn’t doing what I loved became clearer and clearer everyday.
I felt lost. I had it all, truly. I had married, Candace, my best friend, 15 years before, although now, as I grew my business, our marriage had become strained. We had been told we couldn’t have children, and for years we tried, but we got lucky and after five years, we were blessed with two wonderful children, Connor and Molly, although in truth, the more successful I became, the less I saw them. We had a magnificent Park Avenue apartment with sweeping views, and our kids were in the best New York City schools, although I was drinking too much and my blood pressure was on the rise.
My epiphany came on a family Celebrity Cruise in March 2004 to celebrate my 50th birthday. What did I love, my family wanted to know? What is it that truly made my heart soar?
Well, I thought, I love working with my clients on a one-to-one basis, helping them tell their stories, protect their reputation and when they found themselves in a crisis situation, counsel and support their communications efforts. I loved writing, knowing I had several books and a movie in me. Most importantly I loved my family, my wife, Candace, and our two beautiful children. I loved our summer home in the beautiful village of Sag Harbor, New York, on the eastern end of Long Island in the fabled Hamptons. I loved my organic gardening, clamming, and just waking up in nature.
What else did I want? I wanted to help save the planet, or more specifically, knowing the planet would be okay, I wanted to serve those who were serving others. I wanted to really make a difference. I wanted to show compassion and creativity, not competition. I wanted to foster peace, contribute more than I received, and to be there not just for my family’s big events, but for all their events, each and every one
And this is what I did: I closed my business. I didn’t sell it, I closed it. We sold our apartment on Park Avenue, and with the proceeds paid off most of our debts, both business and personal. We moved our family to our little home in Sag Harbor and enrolled the children in the Sag Harbor public schools. And then I took a big breath.
We had a small savings, although not enough to retire.
I setup shop as a consultancy, started writing, tilled my garden (both metaphorically and literally), and began rebuilding my marriage and our family life.
Today, four years later, I am more successful and profitable than ever.
My marriage is back on track, and Candace and I are about to celebrate our 19th anniversary. Our 14-year-old son, Connor, enters High School this year, and when I came home tonight he gave me a big hug and said, “I love you, Dad.” Not bad for a teenager. My 11-year-old daughter, Molly, enters Middle School this year, and when my car came down the road she ran up to me and threw her arms around me. Also not bad for an almost teenage girl.
I am about finished with my action adventure screenplay; my two book projects are going great; I have several very well paying consulting engagements; and I’ve been asked to sit on advisory Boards of very successful and well known companies. Oh, yes, and my garden is doing great, too!
Do what you love, and the money will follow. Trust me, I know.
Many blessings and if you have a story you want to share, or just need a little push, send me an email at email@example.com.
If I could do it, so can you!