This is my 600th blog post for this blog, and I feel pretty good about that. Not many people actually reach 600 posts, based on statistics, so I'm in rare air. And yet, as I've reached this number, I find myself at an interesting mental crossroads.

First, let me give you the only statistic I can give you, which is the main topics I wrote about this past six months, since post #500 was in February. I'm only giving the categories that reached double digits:

Management/Leadership - 26 1/2

Motivation - 24 1/2

Diversity - 13

Healthcare - 10

You're probably asking how a category gets 1/2 a point. Twice in the month I felt a post fit two categories rather than one.

As I said, those are the only statistics I can give. Back in September I changed themes on this blog. The one thing I forgot to do was move my Google Analytics code to this theme. Thus, it hasn't been tracking any information since September 26th; what a shame. Actually, if I track the time before that, it seems that my healthcare articles have garnered the most attention, which makes sense with all this fighting over whether this country will have a healthcare plan for everyone or not. However, the article that got the most attention, way more than any other article, still concerns what's known as RAC Audits, which are audits the government is doing on hospitals trying to recoup money they believe they shouldn't have paid. I wrote it in March of 2008, yet it's still a big deal even now.

I've decided against looking back to see which posts are my favorite for the past month because I'd rather do something different here. I want to follow up on my last post where I asked if people have lost their passion. I think it's fitting since, in the last 100 posts, motivation has been the second highest topic that I've written on.

I think people would answer this one differently than I would, if only because I work for myself and most people work for someone else. That question is how do I find the passion in some of the work I do that will also generate a very nice income for myself? Notice I didn't say nice; I said very nice.

Like many people, the thing I have the opportunity to make most of my money at isn't my passion. Not really. As an independent consultant, one of the things that happens sometimes is I get a new gig and have to travel to some place for 3 to 6 months. Frankly, that's not necessarily cool. Sure, I've been to some neat places, and I had a great time when I worked in NYC for 3 months doing all sorts of things in the evening. But the part I hated was driving there on Sundays and then driving back home most of the time on Friday afternoons. That doesn't leave a lot of time at home, and, well, it's quite the haul. If it was something I did for a couple of weeks and then was home, fine, but the grind can get to you.

Flying doesn't change it either. I'd have to say that flying across the country for only the few weeks I did this work in Reno at the end of the year was grueling. Unfortunately, I have a "first class" sized body that can only afford to sit in coach. 🙂 Five hours at a time in a little seat, trying not to crowd out the person next to you, isn't comfortable at all.

Anyway, after writing yesterday's post, I started to think about this passion thing a bit more. What am I passionate about? I'd told my wife I wasn't passionate about anything right now, but that's not really true.

Defining passion isn't the same as defining what you love to do all the time. For instance, I love playing poker, and if I could afford it I'd be there every day. But I wouldn't say poker is my passion because I wouldn't want to live the life of a poker player. Except in extreme circumstances, I think if I were playing it all the time I could only tolerate it for a couple of hours at a time; that's not quite a passion. And I certainly don't think I could make significant money doing it.

Here's what I want, my passions, the things I really want to do, and something I want to strive to do in the next 100 posts, and get paid for.

First, I want to do more blogging and get paid for it. I've been doing writing for others a lot lately to make my living, and though it hasn't been bad, one of the problems I have with it is that it can be constraining. Blogging is much different; I can write pretty much what I want to on any topic, on any day, in my own style or whatever style I choose to, and move on to the next post. I actually write a blog for one other person; I was writing two but one guy canceled his contract after 3 months. That's something I want to do for more people; that or get paid advertising on this and my other blogs. That wouldn't depress me one bit.

Second, I want to do more charge master reviews. I actually love this work, looking at all the detail, the numbers, and making my corrections as needed. I love talking to the people at the hospital about the charge capture process as well, helping them understand it so they can make a lot of money. And it's a relatively quick process; if all factors fit well, it's about 3 weeks of work for pretty good money. I want to get at least one of those under my belt, if not a couple.

Third, I want to do more speaking engagements. I actually have one scheduled for February and another scheduled for April, but those are both local and I'm not getting paid for them. I want to get paid for speaking, and I want to travel. I need to get the word out better on that one; those of you who read this, help me spread the word!

And fourth, I want more reasons for having to leave the house. I really don't have many reasons for leaving the house. Lunch, maybe dessert, and that's it. There aren't networking events every week, and when one works for themselves out of their homes, there's not a lot of interaction with others. I need more of that, I believe, so I need to figure out how to get it.

I think that's enough; this post is turning into a tome. I'm in 600 posts now, and if things stay as they have been, come March or April I'll be giving an update as to how things went with the previous 100 posts or so. Stick around; hopefully, the best is yet to come.