Why Does Being Thankful Matter for Young Entrepreneurs?
These days the persona of successful entrepreneurs is that of a hard driving, rock star like, independent genius. The bright lights of fawning attention and the “cool kids” factor can be blinding. Being advised to constantly call attention to themselves and develop a “personal brand”, compounds the “it’s all about me” environment in which many entrepreneurs find themselves. Well, Thanksgiving is in a few days and here are the things that really matter.
We are born with gifts, people cross our paths, and opportunities present themselves that we did not create. Let the season of Thanksgiving prompt you to pause, reflect and be thankful for our many blessings.
Joshua, our young entrepreneurial son, starting discovering his gifts around age 12 when his curiosity led him to learning how to code, produce video, edit audio, and develop printed circuit boards. I’ll never forget a conversation in which he was telling me about something he had done with a printed circuit board. He said, “Dad, I don’t know how I know how to do this, but I do. I just know it. It’s weird”. Equally impressive to me was his self-awareness. He knew that his knowledge about electronics was a gift, and he was amazed by it and thankful for it. I hope he never loses that sense of wonder.
So many people have had a positive impact on me. Most you’ve never heard of. Hopefully, some of them will read this post. These folks quietly go about your daily lives thinking nothing of the good they do. All my life, I have been surrounded by role models. While I may never be able to pay many of them back for what they’ve given me, I only hope that I can pay forward to others the many blessings I’ve received.
As I’ve gotten to the stage where I have more of life behind me than ahead of me, I’ve spent more time looking back and analyzing my path. The seemingly serendipitous series of events that worked out in my favor are almost too numerous to count. Life has gone pretty well despite my attempts to intervene. I’m blessed with a wife of 33 years whom I’ve described many times as a beautiful woman and poor judge of character. That one certainly worked out in my favor. Our kids and grandkids are doing well and handling the daily challenges of life. I have relatives on both sides that love me despite knowing me pretty well. I don’t have many close friends, but the ones I have will do almost anything for me, and I for them. People are put in our paths for a reason. It’s up to us to engage them and understand why they are there. In my experience, this realization may only come later on, and sometimes we never know why. That’s where faith comes in. Do the things you know will put you on the right path for the right reason, embrace the journey and take it as it comes. We are never alone on the path and, somehow, seem to have what we need, when we need it, to get where we are going.
I suspect the young entrepreneurs who may have started reading this post, realized there was little about day-to-day entrepreneurship here and dropped off in the second paragraph. For those who stayed till the end, here’s . . .
The Takeaway: During this busy week, I hope you can find some time to be thankful for the people in your life, your many blessings and the bonds that tie us one to another. When we look back on our lives, it will be our relationships and the positive impact we’ve had on others, not material things, acclaim or business success, that sustain us and give us hope and peace.
Know that many times during the year, but especially the week of Thanksgiving, I will think of many of you and be thankful for our friendship and the positive impact you all have on me and my family. I consider these friendships, and the bonds that anchor them, great blessings in my life. As my friend Max has said many times, “God has blessed me in a mighty way”.