I spend much of my time doling out practical marketing and PR advice based on the harsh realities of today's new economy. People ask me constantly for ways they can market themselves affordably and more reliably, so I try to make sure most of my tips are grounded and instantly useful.

But there is one particular element I discuss quite a bit in my book, Celebritize Yourself - I also refer to it so often when speaking to clients and potential clients that I sometimes feel I run the risk of it losing its meaning. The element I talk about copiously is following your passion, and because I hate the thought of sounding like a broken record, it's refreshing when something happens that re-emphasizes the meaning of my words.

One of my clients, who has turned into a dear friend, recently came full circle on a dream of hers, and it was a dream driven by her passion. At critical times in her journey she had turned to me, unsure of whether she should bother pursuing certain projects, because she was torn between the harsh realities of the day and the vision that was burning in her mind and her heart.

Aurea McGarry began her relationship with us as a client promoting her book Live Your Legacy, where she advises readers on how to follow their passions to success. After a successful campaign, she asked for my thoughts about starting her own TV interview and documentary show, titled from her book, in which she would feature people who were doing good works through not-for-profit organizations.

If you knew Aurea and her story of all that she overcame - things like her father being brutally murdered, spousal abuse, losing her mother to cancer and being diagnosed with cancer herself - you would know that there isn't a mountain this woman couldn't climb.

But beyond that, Aurea had a burning passion to spread her message of not just surviving, but thriving and helping other people overcome obstacles in their life.

Given her amazing story and her very strong passion, my advice to Aurea was to go for it. With her own conviction in place and the wonderful support she had from family and friends, Aurea moved forward with her plans to have her own television show. She called it Living Your Legacy and in the summer of 2008, the first episode appeared on her local Atlanta PBS station. It has been on the air ever since, but that's not why I'm talking about Aurea's journey today.

In a grand gesture of life imitating art, Living Your Legacy was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Interview/Discussion category in the Southeast Region. Her homegrown show was competing for the honor against programs from Fox, CBS, NBC and Turner Broadcasting. Over the past weekend, the awards ceremony was held in Atlanta, and her little engine beat the competition and took home the Emmy!

"I already felt like a winner, because this show - which was nothing more than a dream of mine a couple of years ago - has achieved recognition in the same breath as programs produced, financed and broadcast by the large networks," McGarry said. "We've already made our point: You don't have to be seen on network television to inspire people, to tell great stories and to produce a television show that has the power to change lives. But now that we've won the Emmy, it helps to validate that point."

And it also serves to validate mine. There is no price tag you can place on passion, and its power can overcome any practical concerns, any business realities and any self-doubt you may have over the course you've chosen. Passion is the ball game. Always has been, and as Aurea has proven resoundingly, it always will be at the center of your success.

Author's Bio: 

For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI. Go to www.emsincorporated.com to signup to receive her free weekly PR Tips today! More resources for authors can also be found at www.publicitythatworks.com. Or call at 727-443-7115 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              727-443-7115      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, ext. 202, or email at mfriedman@emsincorporated.com.