The visual voice message read “Larry, I think you will be the perfect fit for the Marketing Manager position here. Please give me a call so we can discuss the details.”

I was broke, behind on bills, and uncertain where my next check would come from. I got excited when I saw the voice script and called back the next day around lunch. Jeff, however, wasn’t available and the receptionist asked if I wanted to be forwarded to his voicemail. I said yes.

The next day my phone rang and the call was coming from Jeff’s office. Reason told me, “you have been unemployed 8 months, you really need to pick up this call.” But my heart was telling me, “you’ve sacrificed so much to get here, why give up now?” That sacrifice was time with my kids, relocating to a different city, and sabotaging a promising income.

I remember a comment I wrote on Mark Schaefer’s blog, telling the world how I had abandoned the corporate world to follow my own dreams. This was one of the comments that prompted Mark to reach out to me to get to know more about my story. Mark took a similar path. He was a corporate giant, bringing in billions in sales for his company. But one day he decided to take the plunge, and follow what he believed to be his calling.

I remember all the email discussions with Mark. About a week after confirming he wanted to feature me in his new book, is when I got the call for the marketing manager position. Money is a resource we all need, but I decided to stand on my principles because I knew it would eventually “pay” off.

I don’t have anything against the corporate world, but some of us have a calling on our lives we just can’t resist. I was even working with a good friend doing consulting for a high-profile music company (that micromanaged everything), but after a week or so I realized it just wasn’t for me.

Some of us just aren’t happy with the status quo. Some of us know we are meant to do greater things than what others prescribe to us. It’s nothing against big corps or the people that make them great. It has all to do with being true to oneself no matter how much pressure we are under.

So sorry Jeff, or anyone else who wants to put me in a box. I have a gift that the whole world needs to see. And I refuse to trade it for a check.

But whoa you ambitious entrepreneur, not so fast!

One thing I learned from Mark Schaefer’s book “Known” is:

“…many crash and burn when they run on passion without a plan.”

So don’t be like the boxer beating the air, or the runner that runs aimlessly. Set goals for yourself. Establish some principles. And when the going gets tough, you’ll have a solid foundation to stand on.

Doing what you know you have to do isn’t always easy, but I guarantee it will be w$rth it.