Today we’re sharing insight from guest blogger T.J. Kanczuzewski, President at Inovateus Solar, LLC. We hope you enjoy T.J.'s wisdom and perspective.
In 2007 I made a career move from General Growth Property in Chicago to a startup business my father was pioneering called Inovateus Development. I didn’t make the decision for a better salary (it wasn’t), benefits, working with family, or better career opportunities.
I had moved to Chicago in 1999 to go to college and stayed afterwards to start my professional career, which I originally thought would be in the music industry. I really enjoyed Chicago and did not make the move to relocate back to the South Bend area where I had grown up. I had even started dating my wife Julia in Chicago right around this time (we now have a beautiful family with two kids).
The reason I made the move is because I was very passionate about solar energy and Inovateus Development gave me the opportunity to pursue my desire to help make the world a better place. When I made this decision, it was the first time I really listened to myself and did something that truly matched who I was.
Close to nine years later, I remain certain my decision was the best professional choice I could have made. I was able to help build a new venture which spun out of Inovateus Development called Inovateus Solar, a company that has been able to make a huge impact in the renewable energy sector.
We describe our company purpose as “Building a Brilliant Tomorrow” - a calling I could not be more thrilled to pursue every single day. We’ve experienced many challenges in the business, yet our desire to do what we do propels us into the future.
Unfortunately, I am consistently saddened through my observations of others who are not as excited as I am to perform their jobs. I previously thought I was simply more of an optimistic, positive, and happy person in general, than those friends and family members who complained about their jobs, co-workers, bosses, etc. After a few years of research, deep thinking, and reading a great book that I highly recommend by Simon Sinek called, Start With Why, I finally figured it out.
So many of those people I’d observed chose professions that do not match who they truly are. The difficulty we often run into within our society is that we can have a really hard time differentiating between what we think society wants us to do and what we truly want to do. Allowing ourselves to listen to that calling, we hear and feel deep down inside.
As a boss, a co-worker, a friend, and a family member, I’ve found a couple simple ways to discover where exactly people’s passions truly exist. The good news is I’ve found that most people already work for companies with the capabilities to really match who people truly are and to utilize their greatest skills - or “Freak Factor” as written about by author Dave Rendall.
One of the easiest ways to learn what people are truly passionate about is to ask the question, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” I’ve found that so many people think they are driven by money, so asking a question that implies the person would not have to worry about money typically gets right into that passion zone. It’s also rare someone says they would prefer to live on a tropical island and do nothing.
We all enjoy and strive to do something- it’s simple human nature. In the work environment, allowing a person to compile their own tasks or giving them the freedom to determine their priorities usually results in seeing what the individual really enjoys doing, which is where their freak factor typically exists. Given the choice, we are all often drawn to doing what we really like to do first. When you sit down at Thanksgiving dinner, don’t you start with the food that you are most excited about first?
What’s The Risk?
We are apt to hear the same complaints about jobs, bosses, and co-workers if people aren’t tapping into their passions and desires in the workplace. They will most likely be unhappy and it will present itself in a number of ways.
I urge everyone to understand what he or she is truly passionate about and to also be observant about what those around us are passionate about. We can all help each other work in professions that match who we are or have the ability to truly tap into our freak factors in our current roles.
If you are working a job or are in a role that doesn’t fit you, you are doing a disservice to yourself and those around you. It’s up to you to take responsibility for doing what you are passionate about. It’s also a negative energy sucker to be the one listening to a person who is constantly complaining about an undesired profession.
I challenge you to spend time thinking about what you’re truly passionate about and if you’re utilizing your freak factor skills. Share those passions and skills with those around you. If you are currently in a role and are dying to share your passion with others, take your manager out to lunch and lay your thoughts and ideas out on the table. If you are a manager that knows one of your direct reports has a certain knack or skill they are not be able to implement - put them on the right seat on the bus!
No matter what you decide to do in life, be you. The one thing each of us has the ability to be the absolute best at in the world, is being us.
Back in 2007, I made the decision to be me and tap into my passion and desire. My only hope is that you take this information and do something good with it. You can start with making sure that you match your profession with YOU!
This content was written and shared by guest blogger T.J. Kanczuzewski.
Mr. Kanczuzewski is a founding member and President of Inovateus Solar LLC and has been with the company since 2007. Driven by the company’s purpose to “build a brilliant tomorrow”, T.J. has been instrumental in growing a world-class team that has successfully deployed solar energy projects and products internationally. Mr. Kanczuzewski was honored as a 2013 “Forty under 40” recipient for northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. T.J. is very honored that Inovateus was recognized as a “Best Places to Work in Indiana” in 2014 and 2016 by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Most recently in February of 2016, Mr. Kanczuzewski was invited to The White House to participate in a briefing on clean energy and also received the 2016 “Outstanding Young Business Leader” award by the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce. T.J. is also a board member at Fernwood Botanical Garden. Prior to his career at Inovateus Solar, Mr. Kanczuzewski worked for General Growth Properties in Chicago, IL. He graduated from Columbia College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management.