Five years in the making, Boulder-based author Theresa Szczurek’s new book has no shortage of local names people will recognize — all brought together under the common theme of passion.
“Pursuit of Passionate Purpose: Success Strategies for a Rewarding Personal and Business Life” features the story of the author’s own successful entrepreneurial career, as well as anecdotes from people all over the country describing how they found a way to pursue their own “passionate purpose.”
People like Dave Hofmockel. After many years in electronics design work at the University of Colorado at Boulder, as a private consultant and, most recently, at Niwot’s Helix Technologies, Hofmockel now owns Healix Massage and Bodywork Therapy. He’s traded in working with wires to working with muscles as a massage therapist.
“I’ve had (the name) for probably 10 years as a trade name, before I had ever heard of Helix Technologies,” said Hofmockel, chuckling at the irony.
He said he’s always been interested in the health-care field, and he trademarked “Healix” as a combination of health and electronics.
It first became apparent to Hofmockel that his life might be taking a turn in the mid-1980s, when he was hit hard by an illness.
While surgery corrected the problem in the short term, his illness never really went away, and by the mid-1990s, he was getting regular massage treatments as part of his therapy. He later became more aware of the “connection” the therapy represented.
“I kind of saw my job was coming to a close, my technical job, and I kind of thought, ‘OK, it may be time for a change,’” he said.
That was about three years ago. Then, in November 2002, Hofmockel attended one of Szczurek’s “Pursuit of Passionate Purpose” workshops, which inspired him to think even harder about his future.
His passion revealed itself even more when he and his wife attended a workshop on Swedish massage at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy. “I started getting more excited about massage as a potential career path,” he said.
Then fate stepped in: His job at Helix ended. Soon after that, he received an invitation to a “career night” at the massage school.
“At that career night, I got completely sold on the idea,” Hofmockel said. “Two weeks later, I was enrolled at the school.”
Szczurek talked to dozens of people like Hofmockel for her new book. And there was plenty to draw on from her and her husband’s experience starting — and later selling — Radish Communications Systems, a company that went from “zero to $40 million in six years.”
“There’s a pent-up demand,” Szczurek said of her rationale for writing the book. “More and more people are not realizing their full potential.”
Szczurek cited a recent survey by the Society of Human Resource Management that found that more than 75 percent of employees surveyed are looking for new jobs.
She said that of the people she researched for the book, one recurring theme was that when people followed their heart, not their wallet, finding their particular passionate purpose became easier.
“When you look back on your life from your deathbed, do you want to know that you pursued your dreams or that you had another $1,000 in the bank?” she said.
For people like Hofmockel, that’s a decision they made in time to do something about it.
“At this point, I’m fully devoted to the massage thing,” he said. “I’m still trying to make it work as a full-time gig. The main thing is to stay on my own as my own business.”
Other locals with whom Szczurek spoke for her book include Don Vanlandingham, retired chairman and CEO of Ball Aerospace; Mark Walker, vice president of sales for Conduant Corp.; and Josie Heath, president of The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County.
Tony Kindelspire can be reached at 303-684-5291, or by e-mail at
What: Theresa Szczurek will promote and sign her new book, “Pursuit of Passionate Purpose: Success Strategies for a Rewarding Personal and Business Life.”
When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8
Where: Boulder Bookstore
Author says passion makes business work