Do What You Love, and You’ll Become an Outstanding Performer — Just Ask Beatrix Potter

Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance. 

Over the weekend, I went to see Miss Potter, a movie about Beatrix Potter, a well known writer and illustrator of children’s books, probably best known for creating Peter Rabbit.  This is a nice movie – a great period piece that captures life in early 20th century London and rural England very well.  It is beautifully filmed.

However, there is one scene in the movie that really struck a chord with me, and makes a great point about becoming an outstanding performer.  By the time she had written and published several books, Beatrix Potter was a woman in her middle 30’s living at home with her parents.  She decided that she wanted to buy a farm in the Lake Country of England.  So she went to see some sort of financial advisor – a lawyer or accountant, it isn’t clear in the film – to see if she can afford to buy the farm with the money she has earned from her book sales.

The advisors inform her that she is very wealthy, and able to buy not only a farm, but an estate if that is her desire.  Miss Potter (played by Renee Zellweger) is shocked.  She didn’t realize that she had made as much money as she had.  She only wanted to share her drawings and stories with the world.

And that’s the common sense (and oft repeated) point for today.  Do what you love and the money will follow. 

In most cases, outstanding performers are outstanding performers because they love what they do.  I love to help other people learn and grow.  Derek Jeter loves to play baseball.  David Beckham loves to play football (or soccer, as we in the U.S. say).  The Three Tenors love to sing.  Itzhak Perlman loves to play the violin.  My wife Cathy loves to tutor second and third graders. 

If you want to become an outstanding performer, find something that you enjoy doing.  I studied Broadcast Journalism as an undergraduate student.  I thought I wanted to be a TV journalist.  But an internship with a TV station convinced me that I wouldn’t be happy in that industry.  I was lucky.  I became fascinated with adult education and learning when I was a VISTA Volunteer.  This led me to a rewarding career.

Finding what you love can be difficult.  But in the end it’s worth it.  Often, it seems as if the world boxes us into certain career choices.  However, I think it’s worth it to do what you can to get out of the box and see what happens.  Beatrix Potter did – and children the world over were enriched by her choice.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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  1. Need more articles similar to this. Kudos.

  2. Thank you. What did you like most about this article?

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