I am always curious about what inspires entrepreneurs outside the workplace. Their desire to succeed is not so they can work more–it’s in pursuit of a passion or a lifestyle that their work supports.

When you can take your passions and integrate them into your work, you will find you are happier and more fulfilled with your overall accomplishments.


My passion? I work to travel and love when my work includes travel. I have an insatiable desire to see as many places as I can and am happiest when I have a big trip planned. In fact, it’s a big trip looming on my calendar that sees me through the crunch periods in my business, and I gravitate towards project work that includes some consistent level of travel.

The added bonus about travel is that the experiences I have on the road prepare me for the work that I do on a daily basis. I always know my destination, but the route is often filled with unexpected twists and turns along the way.

Keeping your eye on the destination while managing the roadblocks is what growing a successful company is all about.

The Ultimate Work-Life Balance

I hate a long commute and love modern architecture, so when I heard about Rich Yessian’s new home in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, I couldn’t wait to see it.

If you visit historic King Street, you will notice the modern structure that is being erected just above the Apple Store. When purchasing the second floor of this historic 19th century building for his agency, Blue Ion, Yessian obtained the air rights allowing him to combine his passion for work-life balance and beautiful spaces.

Known as The Sky Residence, the build of this addition has been eight years in the making. The project is being brought to life by Charleston-based Kevan Hoertdoefer Architects and developer Renew Urban.

The condo boasts a green roof, hot tub, solar panels, a structural fiberglass exterior louver system, and a window and door wall system from locally fabricated steel. The best feature? Rich’s work is just a flight of stairs down.

Rich has learned both patience and perseverance working with multiple groups to bring his vision to life. Navigating the politics it takes to bring such a project to one of the country’s oldest cities has taught him many lessons he can apply to his company in the years to come.

Working Out

I always feel better when I start my day swimming laps or sweating over an elliptical at the gym, but if I’m honest, I rarely make it to the gym as often as I should or would like. That’s why I got a lot of motivation from talking with Elisette Carlson recently.

Elisette runs Smack! Media, a marketing and public relations firm that focuses primarily on innovative and authentic brands in sports, health, and fitness.

Elisette said, “My model is pretty unique in that I hire athletes–one Olympian, two Olympic hopefuls, one elite runner–and although we spend a lot of time in front of our computers, we also try to do a lot more ‘active’ working with clients and amongst each other.”

For example, instead of meeting a prospect for coffee, she will suggest a hike or even a conversational run. The amount of time you get to spend with a customer, fellow employee, or prospect in this type of activity allows you to connect on a much stronger level.

Being an entrepreneur is about making your own rules and building the life you want to lead. Determining how to integrate your passions into your profession is a step towards that success.