Tobe Brockner

Bring Your Passion With You

If you live in Boise and have been here for more than say, a year or two, then inevitably you know who “The Sign Flipper Guy” is. There’s this guy who is a sign flipper extraordinaire. 

You know what a sign flipper is, right? It’s a guy (or more rarely, a gal) who stands out in front of a local business and flips a sign that advertises said business. They usually do all kinds of flips and tricks with it, all in a bid to get passersby attention.

Anyway, in Boise there’s this one guy who is the best gotdamn sign flipper I’ve ever seen. He is the most energetic and enthusiastic sign flipper on the planet. The guy owns the sign flipper racket here in town. He is always moving from business to business. My hunch is that other business owners, seeing his sheer energy, vitality, and dare I say, passion for the job, move in to poach him away from his current gig.

This guy is a hired gun, a contract sign flipper who will pull no punches when advertising your business. No sun is too hot. No brutal winter day is too cold to dampen his spirits. He puts mailmen to shame…whether wind or rain or snow, homeboy is there flipping that sign.

Honestly, if you are a business owner looking to employ a sign flipper, why wouldn’t you want this guy? He’s legend.

A legend in sign flipping.

Let that sink in for a minute. It’s quite possibly the first time that phrase has ever been used in the English language. A legend in sign flipping.

This, during a time when small businesses are having extreme difficulty hiring people. No one wants to flip burgers or wash cars or lay concrete or any of the myriad of other job openings that abound right now, many of which are paying premiums ($14 an hour to start at McDonald’s anyone?)

People will say that those jobs are unfulfilling or not meaningful or that they have no passion for the work.

But let’s take sign flipper guy…do you really (no, I  mean seriously) think that he is passionate about flipping signs in broiling heat? That he finds the work fulfilling?

I am going to go out on a limb and say that he most likely doesn’t find it all that meaningful.

So why does he do it? Why not do something that he is more "passionate" about?

Well, maybe, just maybe, he brings his already ingrained passion to the job at hand?

And that my friends is a huge point. He doesn’t have to have a “meaningful” job to bring meaning to his job…know what I mean?

Passion, meaning, fulfillment…those aren’t found in things. They are found inside you. Viktor Frankl talks in depth about this in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. He survived a holocaust prison camp for God's sake. He wrote extensively about finding meaning in life even in the most dire of situations. It wasn't the situation that provided the meaning, it was his attitude about the situation that provided the meaning.

Just like my friend the sign flipper. He is one passionate son of a gun…but that passion would be applied to anything he chose to do. Whether flipping signs, flipping burgers, or flipping real estate. It’s just who he is.

Bring your passion with you wherever you go.

Tobe Brockner

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