I was chatting with a good friend over dinner about the influence that passion can have on how people approach different situation. During the conversation, I used of a good story that I thought would be worth a blog post. The story takes place in Rio de Janeiro and involves a tour guide named Pedro.
Last year, I traveled to Brazil to speak at a Cloud Computing conference in Sao Paulo. I was really exhausted during the days prior to the conference and I decided to spend a weekend in Rio de Janeiro to try to rest and unwind a little bit. The trip to Rio was particularly enticing because, in addition to its many touristic attractions, it just happen to be a city on which I didn’t know anybody which makes it a perfect spot for an adventure ;)
Decided to have a memorable weekend, I booked a hang gliding flight the minute I walked into the hotel. However, the weather that morning turned out to be really stormy and I had to move the hang gliding flight to the afternoon. With an entire morning at my disposal, I decided I wanted to visit some of Rio’s most famous attractions. The concierge at the hotel recommended that I use a tour guide so that I could get a more detailed explanation of the different places in the city: that’s how I met Pedro.
Since the very beginning Pedro was determined to make my Rio tour experience a memorable one. He displayed not only an encyclopedic knowledge of Brazilian history but a contagious passion about Rio that made him really popular within touristic venues of the city. Everywhere we go, people seem to know Pedro. He threw my tour guide away and decided to show me the “real Rio”, the places where the locals hang out ;)
After a few hours, the weather hadn’t gotten any better but Pedro insisted I should do the hang gliding flight because it was one of the best experiences in Rio. At the end, he joked, “tropical weather changes every minute”, right ;). Moved by his passion, I decided to go for it and, before I knew it, I was jumping off a cliff with an instructor in the middle of really dark clouds and a small thunder storm ;) I cant say that the flight was the best but definitely the most memorable one ;)
In the next few days, I found myself using Pedro’s services more and more often to go to different places in the city. His passion about Rio and willingness to go the extra mile to provide an excellent service make every trip a remarkable experience.
I’ve traveled to many countries since that trip to Rio and I have used many tour guides but I’ve never seen anybody that displayed such a passion for a particular city like I saw in Pedro. Since then, I like to use Pedro as a great example of how passion can make the difference between a good experience and a great one.
As a startup founder, always remember to communicate your passion for your products, employees, problem you are trying to solve, customers and some of the key elements of your company. Passion never goes unnoticed and most times is really contagious and can inspire people to do great things.