Sometimes I question if I chose the right major. “Will I be happy in PR?” I ask myself. “Will I be successful? Am I capable of representing clients and completing the required PR tasks?” One glance at a public relations success story or a new social media trend is all it takes to remind me how much passion I have for the PR industry, and all my earlier doubts are washed away. It is this heartfelt passion that builds my confidence and allows me to know that I will be a successful PR practitioner.
Above everything else, passion is what life is all about.
It’s amazing to me that I can read one tweet on Twitter, click on the article the tweet links to, click on multiple links within the article, click on more links within the second article, and so on and so forth, and a few hours later, I realize I learned all these amazing things by starting at one individual tweet. It’s a little scary because of how much time I can spend using social media, but at the same time it’s amazing to have the knowledge of anything I could ever want to know at the tips of my fingers.
I’m not the only one passionate about the industry of which I’m a part. I recently talked to two Vermont entrepreneurs who have the same feelings as I do about the importance of passion. To go a step further than me, passion is the heart and soul of these businesses. The discussions I had with Laurie Bolotin –my mom–, owner of Morning Star Perennials and Nursery in Rockingham, Vermont, and Lisa Hagerty –not my mom–, owner of Well Heeled in Stowe, Vermont illustrated to me just how important it is to be passionate about what you do.
At Morning Star, Laurie has a deep passion for the organic and sustainable principles of her business. It’s not just about making a profit; it’s about doing what she loves and taking care of the plants and the environment. “We are plant lovers, just like you. We are gardeners, just like you,” Laurie illuminates. “Our hard work is the heart of our business. We care that our plants are healthy and that the plant we sell someone goes into the right conditions when it’s planted. We’re not just trying to sell the plants. We’re friendly, we’re informative, and we’re educators.”
Lisa has two important passions for her business; the first is the building her boutique resides in. Long ago, Lisa fell in love with a Stowe farmhouse, and she later felt the inclination to purchase the property and open a boutique. The second passion is for shopping. In our conversation, Lisa shared that she isn’t a retailer. Rather, she’s a woman who loves fashion and she wanted to bring this personal passion to Stowe. “I had lived in Boston and New York most of my life and I felt a little shopping starved here. I was inspired to start this store as being the perfect thing to do with the mountain right here. People are shocked when they walk through the door and find this sophisticated collection in Vermont.” Lisa remarks that “It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle.”
Both Laurie and Lisa agree that the best thing about their businesses is the people they meet. “I can’t tell you the friends I made in here that changed my life,” shares Lisa. In terms of the customer base at Morning Star Perennials and Nursery, Laurie explains that she feels like “we have the most wonderful customers in the world. Friendships have been formed because of this business.”
After having incredible conversations with these passion-filled women, I knew that my decision to pursue a future in public relations was the right choice for me. I’m inspired by social media. I love talking to people. I find joy in representing brands and companies that exist for the greater good and live by the triple-bottom-line of People, Planet, and Profit. I am motivated to bring a brand publicity not by paying for an advertising spot or purchasing keywords, but instead by targeting the right influencers and garnering organic publicity without handing money to marketers.
I wrote full feature articles about the passion at Morning Star Perennials and Nursery and the unique shopping experience at Well Heeled for my journalism class blog, Hidden Treasures of Vermont.