The Passion Driving the Man
I started my first review and rating website—topseos.com—as a side gig while working at a non-profit. I didn’t expect it to turn into my business. I just wanted to see what other companies were doing, learn from them, and rate them—with no intention of making any money.
A year in, I received a message from a digital marketing agency out of Dallas asking if I’d accept $300 to put their banner on my website. I thought they were crazy! Remember, this was 2003, not 2020. But that’s when the lightbulb went on. Here was a pay-for-play monetization opportunity I hadn’t thought of. That’s how it all got started. It’s what being an entrepreneur is all about. It’s not about “having” that one, great idea. It’s about seizing every opportunity that comes your way to stay ahead of the pack. It’s what’s been driving me ever since.
Passion is the genesis of genius.
We live in an amazing world, but we’ve got lots of challenges. I believe that if I can give back, I should. But I also want to know that my money is making a difference. If you’d like to join me in donating to a worthy cause, I firmly believe these three organizations are making a real difference in the world.
Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.
United Nations International Children’s Fund UNICEF
Danny Kaye – Actor, singer, dancer, comedian, musician, and philanthropist.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
“We have not inherited this earth from our parents to do with it what we will. We have borrowed it from our children and we
must be careful to use it in their interests as well as our own.”
Youth Opportunity Center (YOC)
“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children,
the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”
Travel is—by far—the best education. I consider myself privileged to have lived in different countries while growing up. The people, ideologies, religions, cultures, and cuisines allowed me to make choices and select the values I want to live by based on seeing what works and what doesn’t.
I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I still have lots of questions. But traveling the world opens one’s mind, promotes understanding and tolerance, and energizes me to help those less privileged.
Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.
I met my wife at Purdue University. After dating for five years, we got married. Although we’re no longer together, my wife had a tremendous impact on my growth as a human being. She opened my mind to the opportunities behind the American Dream, and believed in me as I explored the unknown.
She supported me when I made mistakes or when things went wrong, and was instrumental in helping me live up to my core values during challenging times. But best of all, she gave me four beautiful children. They’re my life. Everything I do, I do for them.
You can’t fake passion.