" BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, FALL IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS AND FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS, NOT ONLY YOUR DREAMS".- BRITTANY WHITMORE, CEO, EXVERA COMMUNICATIONS INC.
Brittany is a public relations professional who calls herself a “Professional Noisemaker.” She is the founder of Exvera Communications Inc., specializing in PR for emerging industries and disruptive innovation. She also advises startups and regularly does public speaking. Brittany was named as one of BC Business Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 and as one of Langara College’s Outstanding Alumni in 2017.
If anyone would have told me growing up that I would end up working in advanced science and technology, I don’t think I would have believed them. Not that I didn’t find it interesting (because I always have!), but I couldn’t see the bigger picture about how my unique passions and skills could be applied. I had always been the creative type, loved the performing arts, and was fascinated with big ideas and and stories about people, so I expected to find myself on a film set, backstage in a musical, or in a recording studio. But much to my own surprise (and delight) I now feel that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, despite it looking much different than I ever imagined it would.
What was your dream as a child? We’re constantly told that the route to our happiness is to follow our dreams. But looking back on my own journey, I would say that this advice is flawed, and that we ought to be more concerned with our passions than our dreams – and no, they are not the same.
What’s the difference, you ask? Dreams are shaped by external factors; for example, so many dream of being rich, famous, climbing Everest or making a medical discovery. But these are ends, they are not the means, and for your life to be a journey that you can truly love, you must focus on the means – and this is where your passions come in. You must love the process, not the result.
For me, it was actually giving up the very dreams I once believed would shape my future, that helped me to discover what my passions had been all along. Like many young girls, I dreamt of being an actress and a singer, and while I surely do have talent in these areas, I should have recognized some inconsistency when I also wanted to be a judge (actually – I wanted to be Judge Judy, specifically). So, this tells me that my vision for my future wasn’t shaped as much by passion, and more by what I saw around me that appeared to be success and became my dream.
As it turns out, one’s underlying passions are much more flexible than you might initially think. And it took abandoning the superficial version of my dream to discover what mine truly are.
What I am truly passionate about is storytelling, connecting with, learning about and moving people, constantly learning, and making an impact.
And these passions apply brilliantly to what I do today in public relations, and interestingly – to everything I have ever loved to do, including music and the performing arts.
Success has followed naturally on this path, and I believe that it is because it is a path that is truly in tune with my passions – and not some externally motivated dream. I get to constantly learn about new technology and fascinating entrepreneurs, and tell those stories to the world, getting people excited about what the future could look like. What a great honour it is to spend my days on the forefront of innovation, with those visionary people who are solving problems and building a better future for all of us.
I leave you with this: follow your instinct, if something feels wrong – don’t do it. Work hard and be open to opportunity. Believe that you can do anything (because you can), but most importantly, fall in love with the process and follow your passions, not only your dreams.