10/01/2020

BY JEREMY FONTENEAUX | MANAGER

An African American male in a navy suit posing for a headshotKnowing your passion gives you a solid foundation to build upon. We do this through education in core interests and activities, dedicated practice, and continuous improvement. Passion is typically fueled in our youth through academics, music or sports.

Looking back at my youth, I was most passionate about the game of basketball. I come from a very tall family, so I naturally gravitated towards the sport. I loved everything about the game, practices, tournaments, and even long bus rides. I knew that my passion for the game would propel me to be a great team player both on and off the court.

I later realized that being passionate about something doesn’t guarantee an easy road to success. While passion fuels us to accomplish our goals, it doesn’t guarantee the journey will be easy. My biggest test came as a freshman in college when I completely blew out my knee. I wasn’t sure if I would ever play basketball again. Through this experience, I learned that passion may not excuse the adversity you face but it does help you to get through it.

My passion for basketball allowed me to endure countless hours of painful rehab and physical therapy to get back in the game. Being passionate involves a persistent and relentless pursuit of your goals. It takes grit and determination. It means not allowing a temporary challenge or setback deter you from your vision of success.

While passion fuels us to accomplish our goals, it doesn’t guarantee the journey will be easy.

From the Court to Consulting

When it was time to trade in my sneakers for dress shoes, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what I enjoyed outside of basketball. For most of my life, an orange ball directed my steps; now, I had to find a career that I could be passionate about. Reflection is key in finding your passion, but reflection alone is not enough. Reflection with action allows you to take the first steps in pursuing your passion.

I spent time thinking about all the things I enjoyed in life and what made me happy. It led me to think about all the time I enjoyed volunteering and giving back. It also led me to all the exciting things I was learning while taking business classes in college. My passion for service and business made consulting a natural choice, but my path to consulting was marked with adversity. It was extremely difficult landing a consulting job out of college. As an actionable step, I leveraged my finance degree and was able to land a job as a stockbroker, but ultimately knew that consulting was my end goal. With the end goal in mind, I studied for the GMAT and was later accepted to SMU’s MBA program. After graduating, I achieved my goal and started at Sendero, finding myself surrounded by other passionate people.

A basketball court

Consulting with Passion

Consulting with passion is instrumental in allowing clients to reach their full potential. Sendero differentiates itself from other firms by being passionate in everything we do, from the beginning of a project to the end. Consulting is a fast-paced and sometimes stressful career that requires strong leadership skills and creativity. It takes a unique person that’s not only good at recommending and implementing the right solution, but one who genuinely enjoys the process and finds personal satisfaction in seeing their clients succeed.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed with client requests and project challenges, but passion allows our consultants to be motivated in staying the course and navigating our clients to success. When a consultant is passionate about what they do they will be inspired to continuously learn and grow. The consulting industry is constantly evolving with new technologies and methodologies. Consultants must be passionate about learning and developing their skills in order to provide comprehensive solutions for their clients.

Consulting continues to be a genuine passion of mine. Here are some tips to help you discover yours.

Pause to Reflect – take time to think about the things you enjoy doing. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s the last thing you got excited talking about?
  • What are your hobbies or things you enjoy doing?
  • What are you spending your time, energy, and money on?

Take Action – passion can’t solely be a thought. Take action by finding ways to get plugged in to your passion.

  • Join a club or volunteer
  • Educate yourself by taking an introductory class or listening to a podcast
  • Serve as an apprentice or get a mentor

Enjoy the Pursuit – fall in love with the process of pursuing your passion

  • Don’t obsess over the end state; be obsessed with the process
  • Never stop learning
  • Be open to new ideas along the way

Prepare for the Storm – your passion isn’t immune to adversity

  • Be mentally and physically prepared to face the challenges that will undoubtedly come your way
  • Embrace the uncertainty and remember not everything is in your control
  • Revisit why you started

It’s your passion for what you do that will provide you with the commitment, energy, and motivation to create your vision of success. One of my favorite quotes comes from Deepak Chopra, “Always go with your passions. Never ask yourself if it’s realistic or not.” Stay the course and don’t let self-limiting beliefs deter you from pursing your passion.

It’s your passion for what you do that will provide you with the commitment, energy, and motivation to create your vision of success.

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