We all desire to be successful, famous, and–let’s be real–have lots of money.
But what is the true source of that desire?
I want to be someone my 4-year-old daughter can look up to, have the ability to give her a great childhood, and when she grows up, the resources to help her have a better life than me.
Last week, I talked about redefining success and what it truly means to you. The goal of this one is to spark thought in how being a parent can be the foundation of achieving your own personal definition of what success means.
Children Inspire Entrepreneurship
My last company was started literally 3 weeks after finding out I was having a child. From that moment on, my goal has been to build a company, make enough money to have time, and ultimately have a fantastic team handling day to day operations.
Whether that means hundreds of thousands, millions, or billions, is not the point. It’s having enough money and resources to create a powerful bond with my daughter, see all those “firsts”, have freedom of time, and be a powerful father figure to her in any way that I can.
Long nights, hard days, incredible amounts of stress, lack of sleep. These are all prices to be paid to accomplish these goals. 19 months ago my price went even higher, after nearly dying from a massive brain hemorrhage.
As most of what I had worked for collapsed around me, before even getting full clearance from the doctors, my mind was in 6th gear on how to get back on track, get back out there and do it again. Not because of ego, but taking care of my child, making sure there was enough money to give her a good education, and in the long run, be around to see all those “firsts.”
Could I give up on being an entrepreneur? Yes. I have a standing 6 figure job offer from an old client of mine. But in the end, nothing is being built to achieve the goal of time, and I would always be tied to the “job.”
I joke about nearly working myself to death, which in my case is actual reality, but when your sense of immortality is ripped away, you have 2 choices. Be afraid to take risk, or become inspired to push harder than ever.
I choose the latter. Everyday when I wake up, the entrepreneurial fire burns within my soul to go out and make a difference. For her.
Children Inspire Leadership
Leadership requires accepting there are those who follow and trust you to make good decisions. Then making every effort to make those decisions not just for yourself, but for the good of those who follow you.
As a father, I have no greater follower than my daughter. Obviously that will fade when she becomes an adult, but between now and then, when she looks at me and asks questions, eyes full of wonder and trust, the desire to be someone she can rely on both now, and when she is grown inspires me to be great.
That same attitude is something I apply to business. Not that those who follow me can’t think for themselves, but they have placed trust in my ability to lead. They are taking a risk to join forces, to leverage their talents and futures on accomplishing the vision, and ultimately choosing me over someone else.
My daughter didn’t choose me, but in business, you always have a choice. Customer, employee, partners, investors. Who you are and what you set out to do is what inspires others follow.
Inspire Children To Make A Difference
The title of this article was about becoming “great,” but what is greatness? To me, making a difference in the lives of those around you, whether it be one person or millions, is the true essence of greatness.
As parents, we have all the inspiration needed to become great. Through hard work, innovation and entrepreneurship we have the opportunity to achieve it.
I see success in business as a powerful way to inspire my daughter to become great. If in the most important development years of her life she sees a man willing fight through hard times, be a leader, try to make a difference in the lives of those around him, then she has someone worth following.
If at the end of my life the only person I truly made a difference for is my daughter, then that’s OK with me. That is my definition of greatness. What is yours?