The Best Laid Plans – How Passion Can Fuel Success

It’s easier to work hard at something when there is an underlying purpose or passion behind the effort. Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it (“easier to work hard“) but that’s how it goes.

Well, nobody knows this better than Terry Fallis. Terry became a first time novelist this past year — and his book, The Best Laid Plans, has just been named one of five shortlisted contenders for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.

Wow! How’s that for playing it big on your first try!? This is a huge accomplishment for Terry. Not only is this his first novel — but he did it while working full time. By day, Terry is president at Thornley Fallis – a very busy and successful PR and communications company in Toronto and Ottawa.  By night, he’s doing hockey duty, family time and what not (husband, two kids, volunteer life, etc.).

How the heck did he have time to write a top-notch book worthy of such a high profile award?

Well, guess it was important enough because Terry made the time.

At his book launch he explained how he wrote The Best Laid Plans before and after ‘after hours’ . Huh?

Terry would wake up at the crack of dawn and get a few hours of writing in before work. Then at night, after work; after the hockey games; after the family stuff……Terry would settle into some writing time at 10/11pm…..I’m tired just thinking about it!

What drives someone to do that and to pull off such amazing work at that?

Passion. And a dream.

Terry said he always had a dream to write a book. And guess what?! He had no expectations about the outcome…he just simply wanted to write it. And he wrote and wrote…..from his heart and his passions. He drew the inspiration for the book plot and characters from his personal story and life experiences.  

A Few Lessons Here:

LESSON #1: Great things can happen when one comes from the place of heart and passion.

LESSON #2: Funny how one can “find” the time when they are clear and focused on a dream.

LESSON #3: It’s easier to work hard when you are doing something you love.

LESSON #4:  Your life outside of your work is just as important to provide that ‘mojo’ factor in your life (TGIM….is for work AND life).

LESSON #5: The joy of fulfilling a life-long dream is in itself a reward. But you never know what else may come of it (like a nomination to a prestigious award!!!!)

LESSON #6: You don’t necessarily have to quit your job to do something you’ve always wanted to do. When you are committed – you might just find a way. 

LESSON #7: Our life stories and personal experiences are often the best place to start for inspiration (and I’m not just talking about writing books!).

LESSON #8: I suspect there are more lessons here… am leaving this one open for comment….

By way of disclosure, I know Terry professionally and have read his fantastic book (I loved it!!!). I met Terry years ago when working at Hill and Knowlton and more recently have the pleasure of being in touch as I am blessed to be working with many of the great folks at Thornley Fallis in my current work-life.


And to everyone – here’s to living your dream and to a TGIM work-life (before, during and after ‘hours’:)


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3 Responses to “The Best Laid Plans – How Passion Can Fuel Success”

  1. Terry Fallis Says:

    Thanks Eileen. Very kind and thoughtful words, not to mention some good coaching tips!

  2. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work Says:

    Eileen thanks for the inspirational story and your excellent observations. Number three got me thinking. “It’s easier to work hard when you are doing something you love.” But when we are doing something we love it only looks like hard work to others. I’m betting that in the midst of writing Terry was happily driven.

  3. Eileen Chadnick Says:

    Well said! I agree….when you love your work it’s not ‘work’, right. Thanks for stopping by Tom!

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