So, what lights your fire? Think about it for a minute. Outside of current events, religion, politics, and such - what turns your crank? What gets your wheels rolling? What lights that fire in the belly? Folks have various interests that they get all lit up about, in a good way that is. For some, it's cars, for others it's motorcycles. There’s also firearms, professional sports (IF you still watch them), auto racing, bicycles, golf, travel to exotic destinations (or just travel in general), pets, or your children. I’m talking about certain topics that give you that “fire in the belly” grade of passion that can get you talking about the subject or subjects until the first morning light and then some!
What turns your crank? What gets your wheels rolling?
Knives. Just the mere mention of this word sets my brain rolling. I think of not only the myriad of designs by top rated production manufacturers and custom knifemakers whose works I am drawn to, but also the people connected with the knife industry. A lot of folks have said “come for the knives and stay for the people”. It’s true. VERY true in fact. If you’ve been in this hobby for any length of time I am sure that you have experienced this feeling. There’s certain things that keep drawing you in, like a moth to the porch light. There’s something about getting together with like-minded people who share the same passion. You’ll notice that each individual’s passion for the hobby/industry (depends on how you view it) collectively - together as a group - builds an incredible vibe at knife shows such as the BLADE Show or any other large knife show around the USA and around the world. It’s our passion that draws us to shows, to mingle with people and to see all the cool knives. It’s why we work hard to make money and to save money so we can spend our hard-earned money on knives that we are irresistibly drawn to.
Think of it this way as well. We are adults. We have jobs that we work to support ourselves and our families. Monday through Friday (or whatever your work week consists of), we mechanically do the same things. Get up early in the morning, go to work for 8+ hours. Come home from work, help the kids with homework, help the spouse with cooking supper or cleaning the residence, put the kids to bed, then after that you might feel like putting yourself to bed. Then get up the next day to repeat this cycle. Regardless whether or not we enjoy our day jobs, or home lives, it’s our hobbies and interests that spark this certain brand of passion in us that jobs, children, and families cannot fulfill. Trues, these three are fulfilling and rewarding but there’s still that thing or those things that we are lacking that sort of completes us as individuals, ya know? Being involved in knives, both as an enthusiast and someone who works in this industry part time - I’ve definitely been blessed through the years with tons of work related to knives but also richly blessed by the caliber of individuals whom I’ve met as a part of this industry who now, I am honored to call friends of mine. These good people help stoke the fire in the belly passion I have for knives in general and keep that fire burning bright. The internet as well helps keep our passion alive (and bank accounts nearly empty) since we can get all sorts of news related to knives instantly, and maybe purchase our next knife while lying in bed. Being able to browse knife content on the Internet even if our intent is not to purchase, is also a great thing. I mean...I just enjoy looking, and I am sure that you do too.
Spartan Blades Machai
Sometimes our passion for this knife industry leads us onto bigger and better things. Like the desire to be a custom knifemaker. Or maybe to start selling knives. In my case - writing about knives and sharpening knives. These opportunities allow us to build upon what is already there - our passion. Again, we may have full time jobs in unrelated fields to knives but here we are...we find ways to use our passion to further ourselves financially and educationally as well. Go up to any custom knifemaker at any show and engage him or her in conversation. You will easily see their passion for man’s oldest tool is burning very brightly. It’s why they put in early mornings in the shop. Why they put in late nights in their shop. It’s why they risk serious personal injury working with dangerous equipment. It’s why they toil amidst the summer heat or the freezing cold in winter, if their shop isn’t climate controlled. It might be the reason why they make the HUGE leap of faith and transition into a full time knifemaker. Passion.
Craftsman manipulating Titanium with a flame
And you know what? If you like knives but feel they do not excite you that much...that’s OK. Find something else that lights that fire in the belly, and go with that. NEVER ignore your passion, whatever it is for. Always work in that direction because your excitement and enthusiasm whatever the topic is - will be evident to those around you. You’ll light up like a Christmas tree when talking about what interests you. You will come to life in a different way. Having passion is providing escape from the real world and its trials, tribulations, ups and downs. Who knows? You might discover your next career path as a result of this passion. They sky's the limit here. You have to be willing to take risks but still, have confidence in yourself if you have that passion. When knives excite us at this level, we want to immerse ourselves into this world and learn all about the topic as we can. The more we learn the more we stoke the fires of our passion. Good things will happen. Trust me on this!