Note: I worked with my friends at Tequila Don Julio to write this post.
Do you have a real passion for something? Something you just HAVE to do, no matter what? Something that drives you every single day… and brings you that one feeling nothing else can?
If you do, count yourself among the lucky ones. Many guys go through life never having any real reason to get out of bed in the morning… Besides the need to collect a paycheck from some cube-bound job, so they can fund their daily fantasy sports habit.
Personally I have a passion for travel and experiencing things the average guy never gets to do. It’s what lead me here, behind my keyboard, to pound out stories for you guys to read. When I’m not chained here on a deadline, you bet your ass I’m off somewhere, working my way into some off-the-path locale, to try something new to expand my connection to this big blue planet of ours.
So when I heard about Don Julio founder, Don Julio Gonzalez, my initial reaction was, “Wait. There really is a Don Julio??” Because with so many Betty Crocker-ish characters invented to sell products, I figured he was just another figment of a marketing exec’s imagination.
When you watch that video, you find out Julio had a passion for tequila. (For making tequila… otherwise this would be a whole different story…) And he had the drive and courage to do something about it.
In the early 40’s, after years of experimenting with making mezcal wine in underground ovens, he knew he had to open his own distillery—but not having any money didn’t stop him. He talked one of the wealthiest men in his area into lending him to money. It was a good move. In a few years he would grow his fields to yield millions of blue agave plants.
And over the next several decades, Don Julio channeled his passion into discovering new ways to make his tequila taste better—like how planting his agave further apart leads to larger, sweeter plants. Which results in a smoother, more enjoyable tequila. (For those of you still in college, yes tequila is meant to be sipped or mixed, not downed shot after shot.)
I, for one, am always amazed and inspired by people who can turn their passion into not only a career, but into something big that impacts the rest of us. Long before this story came across my desk, I’ve been a fan of Don Julio tequila. You can ask anyone who has been to my place… Don Julio Blanco is my go-to for margaritas. And I make seriously good margaritas.
Hearing how Don Julio Gonzalez was able to turn his passion into a thriving, lasting business—and a legacy—got me thinking: how can I amp up my passion and leave a footprint after I’m gone. How about you? Ho have you turned your passion into something bigger than yourself?