I reached a watershed moment in May 2010, when my desire to do work that mattered became greater than the fear of the unknown. The job and the house were no longer enough of an incentive to keep me from making a difference in the world. So I got rid of the vestiges of my old life and pulled out of Baltimore determined to change the world.

What I’ve learned in the years since is that when you decide to pursue your purpose and make a difference in the world, there are opportunity costs that come with just about anything worth becoming. And what separates the talkers from the pursuers is their willingness to pay those costs.

A few years ago I crossed an item off my bucket list when I had the opportunity to see B.B. King play live. And if you’ve ever heard B.B. sing, “Paying the Cost to Be the Boss,” you can sense, without knowing much of his story, that he’s paid some serious costs to be the boss. But at 88 years old he continues to tour and pay the costs.

This morning I woke up at 3:45 to get a few things done before I headed to the gym. On Monday I’ll get up at my normal time, 4:30, and schlep through six inches of snow (it’s mid March, Mother Nature!) for another workout. Why? Because pursuing my purpose requires me to be in the best physical shape possible, so I pay the cost to be the boss.

I believe there’s a direct correlation between the size of one’s vision and the amount of work and sacrifice that’s required to live it. But I also believe that with our unique gifts and the realization that we’re on this planet for a purpose, we have the capacity to meet any challenge and do work that matters.

So in the spirit of B.B. King, let me ask you this question:

Are you willing to pay the cost to be the boss?