The road to personal freedom is not a simple one. As on any road through life, there are often obstacles and diversions that have to be confronted. The road is often not straight, but may have curves that have to be adjusted to. Many factors determine the destiny of an entrepreneur on his or her path to success. Education is always a good start, but in the end, it takes something special that sets you apart from the others. It takes dedication, persistence and, above all, a passion that is the driving force in your life. Walt Goodridge realized this from an early age. He developed his passion into a helping force for others and this would lead him to achieving his own personal freedom.
Walt was born in Jamaica, West Indies, and remained there for the early years of his childhood. Then, his family moved to New York where he graduated high school there and then went on to graduate from Columbia University with a B.S. in civil engineering
Although he had moved to the United States at an early age, he never forgot his influences back in Jamaica. His grandfather and grandmother both played important role models in his young life. They grew fruit trees and raised animals on their property, and he was privileged to watch how they dealt with their customers each and every day. The key to his grandparents’ success was that they always gave the customer a little more than what they purchased. This impressed and pleased the customers who would always bring business back to them. It was a practice he never forgot–he calls it “sweetening the pot”– and would utilize it years later in his own business practices.
As a young adult about to enter the corporate world, he realized almost immediately that most people lived out their lives accepting the fact that all there was to life was working a job and receiving a paycheck. This saddened him. He knew there had to be more to life than that. He believed that life was wasted unless it was utilized serving the inner passion that every human being has in his or her heart–a passion for what they are called to do, and love to do most. A passion for what makes them the happiest in life. However, he noticed, most people seemed to accept their unhappy lives without taking any decisive action to change it. He began to research ways he could change that way of thinking and offer anyone who wanted it the opportunity to pursue their own individual passion. First, however, he had to do it for himself.
For several years, even while employed as a civil engineer, he tried various other ventures in an attempt to find his own niche in life. He worked as a radio disc jockey, artist manager, and even had his own record company for a while. The most important thing he obtained from all of these was the experience he would later use to guide others in their own hopes for a better life. He then started sharing his experience in the form of books he would write about his various pursuits.
Through these books, as well as coaching and workshops, he gained the title of the ‘Passion Prophet’ and helped him express his own personal mission statement: “I share what I know so that others may grow!
In 1997, he got his first taste of the Internet and he knew it was the place to be. He realized he could reach more people in more places with the Internet than with any other approach. He wanted to share his beliefs with others in order to help them grow. He put together some websites that became very successful and went on to write even more books (20 at the time of this writing).
Walt continues to share his wisdom with others to change their lives. In the process, this “passionpreneur” (passion entrepreneur) has created the personal freedom he always dreamed of!