3 Tips for Building a Career You Love From Bruce Van Horn

Passion isn’t a great compass. Follow your enthusiasm. 

Bruce Van Horn has a wild story, but after letting both passion and enthusiasm lead the way through different seasons, he believes our stories have the potential to take us to unknown places if we let them.

This week, Grant sat down with Bruce Van Horn to talk about the power of stories, the impact a mindset can make on your trajectory, and how to grow a business doing what you love. Here are the top 3 takeaways from their conversation:

Don’t follow the money.

Bruce spent years following the money and chasing the American Dream. After graduating with an English degree, he went to work selling software for a tech company. At this time, he progressed down this road to become really great at the “thing.” Unfortunately for Bruce, the thing he became great at wasn’t something that he was excited about getting out of bed for every week. 

Spending years in a career that wasn’t fulfilling left Bruce angry, stressed, and miserable in his daily life. After spending years focused on “the money,” he had a hard time thinking about what else could possibly be out there for him. His hope is that we approach life with a more open, optimistic mindset so we can enjoy the journey we go on.

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Take responsibility for what you control.

While training for his first marathon, Bruce had an “a-ha” moment at the halfway mark on a long run. As he took in the beauty of the world around him while reflecting on the success he was seeing in his training, he realized he felt so out of touch in his life because outside of his marathon training, he was filled with “stinking thinking.”

After auditing the hopes and dreams he had yet to achieve, he believed everyone else was at fault for the life he had built. Nowhere in his story had he taken responsibility for the choices he made and the life he was living.

Above all, Bruce decided he was going to bring the power of positivity beyond his marathon training. He was going to incorporate this into his life as a whole. After this decision, it didn’t take long for the people around him to notice that he was standing taller, filled with hope, and bringing more joy to the people he interacted with.

How to tell your story.

It doesn’t matter if you are the owner of a cool story or not. When you get on stage, you’re not trying to pump yourself up. The goal is to share a message that resonates with the audience.

Finally, when it comes to using stories to connect with the audience, the stories you tell have to support the message or have a takeaway that is related to the message for the audience to connect with them.

Remember: Your story isn’t the message. A story is a tool to help your message stick with the audience. 

Ready to hear more? Check out Episode 458 of The Speaker Lab podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.

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