Reiterating the dictionary’s definition of a word fails to capture the many different nuances of meaning. You can repeat verbatim what is written without really understanding. Like passion, a simple word but a beautiful one, that can encompass everything from the gusto with which a gourmand partakes of a favorite meal to the fervor of a devout pastor’s Sunday morning homily.

For me, passion is the driving force that, while not guaranteeing success, is still a necessary ingredient for obtaining that success.

Too many people spend their working lives at jobs rather than careers, thus gauging success as earning sufficient money to pay their bills. They don’t want to step out of their comfort zone and try something that they love because “it’s not practical.” I admit that my educational background and sharp business sense have contributed to the expansion of Ella’s Vacation Rentals, but I never would have succeeded had I not loved traveling and the hospitality industry. That is true passion.

Yes, there were obstacles in my way. Yes, there were competitors and naysayers who did not want me to succeed, even those who attempted to sabotage my entrepreneurial efforts. Yes, there were times when I almost succumbed to failure. But because I was passionate about Ella’s Vacation Rentals, I rode that passion like a cresting wave, one that was headed straight for Fort Myers Beach! And I didn’t wipe out.

I actively engage my passion on a daily basis, by posting colorful, quirky and exotic photographs on numerous social media platforms, and by providing sound, practical information for fellow travelers. In this manner I am able to share my passion with my guests, as well as thousands of people around the world. Some of them may become customers. Or they may not. But I am demonstrating and perpetuating my lifelong dream.

Success has not come easy. I have worked and continue to work long days and even occasional nights. But the rewards have been well worth the efforts. For me, life is a journey. And I will never stop. What is your passion?

Picture was taken: Malibu, California