My Entrepreneur Path and My Son

Father and son

I've chronicled some of my struggles with the entrepreneur path before, but this post is about the often forgotten beauty of it.

My son is the benefactor here. He was born in the midst of my runnings in the corporate world. He was 4 1/2 when I left. He probably doesn't remember much about the type of man I was in those years of tossing and turning. His reference point of me is during the entrepreneur years. He may have gotten some insight into what running a business looks like. But the following is what I pray he caught:

  • The applause and opinion of others is really not important.
  • Perseverance is essential to living.
  • Love matters more than anything else. Anything else.
  • Hope springs from going through tough times.
  • My time and touch do matter.

I can't be certain (at least not now) if he has embraced the above list. But it's what I've modeled over the last 6 years-on purpose and by accident. And as I will certainly face times ahead where I will wonder if this path I've chosen is worth it, I will know he is.

Intimidation or Inspiration

What intimidates you?

What inspires you?

The answer to those two questions will lead to a breakthrough.  If a breakthrough is what you want.  Some do hide in order to not deal with the pain and struggle associated.

The first step in dealing with intimidation is to face it or whom.  Think of it as you closing a chapter for good.  You can be certain that intimidation is a block and will always be a block.  Forget the fear because fear is a false evidence appearing real.  It is a trick to keep you right where you're at.

The first step in dealing with inspiration is finding it or whom and then never letting go.

 

More Shedding of My Corporate Skin

Sshedding Skin

As I make my way through my 30 Day Breakthrough Plan, I thought I would embrace some more transparency.  Here are some things you might not know about me:

 

  1. I have been a musician for over 30 years
  2. I have had Type I diabetes for over 20 years
  3. I once stated that working for a bank was the ultimate sell-out
  4. I have been married for 20 years
  5. Miles Davis's music was a constant source of finding my muse when writing my first book
  6. I would do what I do for free
  7. I underestimated the impact of my dad's passing-the good and the bad

 

Real Collaboration

I had a chance to take a sneak peek at a documentary on Nile Rodgers a few weeks back. It was nicely done, even though it was in Japanese. It really didn't phase me because much of the dialog was from Nile. The short can be viewed here.

It might seem an obvious that collaboration and music go together.  And as someone who is a musician, I would agree that often the two go hand-in-hand.  But what about the rest of the spheres of life and work?  Not so much.  There was one scene where I found myself thinking"that's it."  Nile was working with a group around the production of a Broadway musical he created called Double Time.  If you check-out the clip you'll know what I'm referring to.  But I was struck by the group's dynamics.  There were a few musicians, a vocal ensemble, directors/producers, and Nile.  Each of these folks were doing there work individually and collectively.  One thing was clear, they were moving toward the goal of a great performance.  And isn't great performance what we want?

Have you found some form of collaboration that leads you to a great performance?

In your career experience you may not have found it.  And many never do.  Part of the problem arises in organizational health and our own misplaced priorities.  We don't fully understand how collaboration works and how to get the most from it.  Ironically, you might be involved in it and not even recognize it.  You have to look for it.  You have to want it.  The tragedy is found in those who just do it and don't think anymore about it.  Routine, habit, monotony are keywords here.

Your career should be about more than salary, benefits and MBOs.

I really believe our best and greatest work comes when we collaborate.  It's a key way to leave your fingerprint on this motion picture called "life."  But as with all brilliant things, there are the enemies and the threats.  Let's review a few:

Money and the Desire to Get More-this one is manifested when our endeavors are rooted in making money first.  The emphasis is on the word first.  Making money is not a bad thing, unless it is at the top of the list.  Greed.

Self-Centered Leaders-these folks have no interest in anyone or any endeavor other than themselves.  These types of leaders may mask it, smooth it or even lie about.  Their mission is to be King or Queen-first and last.

Our Fear-We all bear some responsibility for the collapse of collaboration.  We fear so much and find ourselves unwilling to be vulnerable.  I don't need to tell you what a killer fear is.  Collaboration is sabotaged when we are insecure and doubt our place at the table.

I have felt most alive when I've been involved in the art and science of real collaboration.