The Power of Passion and Belief

Designer Sandra Boynton said in a recent interview on CBS Sunday Morning ( that she never doubted her funny, cartoon animals would make bestselling greeting cards. One of those lucky souls with a happy childhood who drew a lifetime of strength and self-belief from it, she not only started making a living right out of college with her artistic talent at drawing dancing hippos and other funny animals, but she has expanded the original greeting cards into a multimillion dollar empire that includes children’s books and recordings.

Sandra also revealed that she has pursued her artistic passion without an agent, business manager or even an assistant while happily married to a college sweetheart and now raising four children on a Connecticut farm.  As she explained, she just never doubted from the beginning that her cards would sell.

While Boynton has always been successful, Shay Kelley had to lose her marketing job and then her home before she discovered the level of belief that has led to a unique quest she has dubbed Project 50/50. ( As Kelley told CNN, she went off into the woods and started yelling at God for leaving her in despair. “I was like, just tell me what my purpose is, tell me why I’m here and if you’ll just tell me, I’ll work harder than for anything I have ever worked for anything else in my entire life.”

According to CNN,  Kelley had her answer within weeks: Travel to all 50 states in 50 weeks. Collect canned goods for charities along the way and take a ton of pictures, ie Project 50/50.

She waited tables and lived with friends to collect the money for an old Ford pickup truck and hit the road with a camera and her dog ZuZu.  She started a facebook page to chronicle her travels and her discovery that the homeless she’s met along the way are often astoundingly generous. As she puts it, through her photos, she captures people down on their luck, but not ready to give up. She says it has made her own uncertain future easier to deal with.

Both stories are vastly different profiles of women passionately pursuing a dream with total belief in the certainty of the outcome.  In terms of business, many young graduates in particular forget about the relationship between belief and success.  Passion makes your work stand out and get noticed and belief gets you through the hard times.  For anyone struggling in this bumpy economy, it is an important link to remember!

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