Camille, thank you for your comment to my “Family Influence” post. You touch on something that has always been important to me, and I tried to include that message in the book: being a businessman is no different from any other worthy calling. To do anything right we need to have passion. A good teacher has passion. A good cleric has passion. A good entrepreneur has passion. That passion provides us with the deepest energy to persist, overcome, create, touch. And to be able to channel our passion properly we need to have a level of self-awareness, which in my case was aided by my practice of meditation. You are a dance teacher and a journalist. I have seen some of your work. It comes from a deep place within you, and that is what makes it powerful and, very importantly, enables you to reach people.
Last night I had my first Letters to a Young Entrepreneur book discussion! Several topics became the focus of the conversation. This is an intimate group of friends that have been meeting for years to discuss books, and last night’s choice was Letters. One of the participants, prompted by the “Introduction” section in my book, questioned the role of family influence in shaping entrepreneurs. For me, my father’s explicit attitude that difficulties were always viewed as challenges became a key to my approach to the vicissitudes of growing a business. One of the other participants, a very successful advertising entrepreneur, had a similar experience. Throughout her business career she remembered her father’s words: “while others stand and watch, you act.” The bumps on the road, far from causing her to slow down or even desisting, became the opportunities to do better and to get ahead. In my book I have many examples of how this attitude was important for me. In fact I consider seeing the glass half full to be a hallmark of the entrepreneur. I welcome hearing of your own experiences in this regard.
In Letters to a Young Entrepreneur, I share some of the highlights of my entrepreneurial journey. On this website, I continue to offer reflections on my leadership experiences, and very much welcome your comments, critique and suggestions. Most importantly, I invite you to share your own experiences and insights, as well.
My hope is that through this dialogue we will all benefit from our common entrepreneurial adventure, and perhaps provide some new approaches to the challenges we all face as we embody our dreams.