Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Do what you love, love what you do


“I hate school.”

How many parents have heard that from their children?

Adding insult to injury is when you hear this youthful maxim from the mouths of kids who go to private schools. The draft through that gaping hole in your pocket can be a little discomforting.

To help temper this adolescent angst I’ve often told my kids throughout the years that education is important because it gives you options. And then I tack on these words of wisdom…

“But when you finish school pursue something you love so much that you’d do it for free.”

In other words, before you go and buy a new car, take on a mortgage and tackle a mountain of debt that requires a big paycheck, follow a livelihood that captures your heart. Then, you might feel like you never work a day in your life.

Do what you love, love what you do.

Of course my kids can be somewhat creative with this encouragement. My son once said a mattress store would work for him – he can just kick back all day and sample the product.

My daughter showcasing her willingness to commit to a concept decided to give up jumping off buildings one year for Lent.

The point here is to encourage them or anyone finishing school to do something they love. It paves the way to a happier life. Of course if happiness requires “things” which demands increased earnings, then the education provides that option.

I think my kids get it. Time will tell.

But one day I started to regret that no one during my impressionable years shared that wisdom with me.

Was it too late? Would I become a slave to my indebtedness?

Back in 2002, I was fed up with the way The Sun was covering the Ravens. While spending some time in Ocean City that summer, I picked up a copy of The Sun when the Ravens were in Training Camp. Not a word about the Ravens. Instead they featured details of the White Marlin Open which had already taken place.

Why can’t someone cover the Ravens throughout the year?

I want to read about the Ravens 24x7.

I decided it wasn’t too late to practice what I’d been preaching to the kids and did the Brian Billick Shuffle, aka the Leap of Faith.

I took that leap.

By the following summer, Ravens24x7.com was launched.

Some thought I was stupid. Some thought I was courageous. Some think the jury is still out.

Two years later, I let go of my commercial finance career to try and build something that other Ravens fans like me could enjoy and eventually attract the sponsorship needed to sustain a livelihood. So far, so good.

On Thursday, May 20 we will launch an all-new Ravens24x7.com, our fourth rendition. Through new technologies and the expertise of our web developer D3Corp, we have created a site for Ravens fans that is truly a one stop shop.

Not only do we have our own original content and a message board that has an outstanding collection of personalities, insightful opinions and colorful debates, but we will also pool all Ravens content from other local sources as well as national coverage through syndicated feeds from NFL.com, ESPN, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sportsline, USA Today, Sporting News and more.

We will continue to augment our new Ravens24x7.com with improved portable options, cutting edge social media content and connectivity, user driven content, worthwhile chat room sessions and rewards programs for visitor loyalty.

This is our 8th season and it feels like the first.

Maybe I can thank my kids for that – for inspiring me to take my own advice.

AND we can thank you! Your support and challenges perpetually inspire us to improve.

Keep challenging us and we’ll keep reaching.

I hope you enjoy the new Ravens24x7.com.

It still is and always will be, “For Those Who Bleed Purple.”

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