The Entrepreneur’s Team of Superheroes

Who is on your team? I don’t mean your work team . . . who is always in your corner and supporting you every step of the way? Smart entrepreneurs understand how important it is to assemble such a team. It can be very lonely at times in our line of work. It seems as though we always have to be “on” and acting as a role model. We must stay calm and never show that we might be worried about something (making payroll, lawsuits, competition – you name it). The stress that we can experience will manifest in negative ways if we don’t manage it successfully.

Many years ago, I found that creating Powerful Personal Partnerships can become the team we need to help us lead balanced and productive lives. If we give short shrift to any of these partnerships that balance can be interrupted to our peril. The Powerful Personal Partnerships to which I refer are composed of Superheroes that are vitally important to my success and my sanity.

Here’s how I got started with this idea. First, I identified seven central elements of my life. They included Family, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Physical, Financial and Business. My theory was that if I could maintain a healthy balance in all seven of these areas, my life would flourish and be complete. And that is exactly what has happened over many years. But the balancing act has not happened without many other people who have been there to support me. I realized early on that neglecting one or more of these elements could result in hiccups in my life – some minor and others of much more consequence. Maintaining the balance was the obvious antidote for eliminating as many of the speed bumps as possible.

To maintain the balance, we must ultimately focus equally on these areas. This doesn’t mean that we must spend the same amount of time in all areas at once. However, when we spend more time in business for example, at some point we need to amp up our focus on the other areas or we do end up neglecting them. To accomplish this, I created partnerships with people who I could always count on. Starting with Family, I began seeing my wife and daughters as partners. This resulted in more moments of sharing of information and gratitude. I wrote love letters to each one of them and worked harder to build more meaningful relationships.

Intellectual stimulation is necessary for me to feel fulfilled. I became involved in a number of philanthropic endeavors including serving on boards and as a mentor to other entrepreneurs through a formalized mentoring program. This has enabled me to cast a wide net across a vast array of subject matter than energizes me including aviation, politics, education and science.

On the Emotional front, I found that the relationships I built and maintained for philanthropic purposes were helpful in maintaining balance. Likewise, my circle of friends was instrumental in this regard as well.

Spiritually, I connected regularly with my minister as well as other select members of my church. Organized religion is in a transformational state at the present time. Finding a spiritual balance doesn’t require participating in a church though it can be helpful. But we do need to identify others on the spiritual journey with whom we can ponder our essence.

On the Physical plane, I partner with my doctor, a blood chemistry specialist and an orthopedic expert – and I ask them all to compare notes to make certain they are in agreement on my wellness and how to treat health issues that arise. I also have worked for years with a personal trainer to improve my fitness.

A big part of our lives is the Financial aspect. I have partnered with wealth advisors, tax professionals and bankers to ensure that we are financially secure now and in the future.

And finally, I have a number of partners in my Business life including individuals who run the various business units, partners in ownership as well as investors and lenders.

Over the years I’ve assembled a team of Superheroes that support me. But here’s the thing. It’s a two-way street. I’ve found that it’s not just about them supporting me – I also will do whatever I can to support them. After all, that’s what partnering is all about. It’s a symbiotic relationship. I think the most profound aspect of the concept of Powerful Personal Partnerships is the intentionality of it. I am actively working every day to make sure I’m focusing on each of the seven elements and not neglecting any of them.

Each of us needs our own team of Superheroes who are invested in our success just as we are invested in theirs. Creating Powerful Personal Partnerships can help us find and maintain a healthy balance in our lives that will ultimately propel us to success.

You can also listen to a weekly audio podcast of my blog. What you hear will be different than what you read in this blog. Subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also click on this link – Click here to listen to Audio Episode 135 – Driven or Driving?

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

Lovin’ It – Part 1

Question: You’ve written before about passion. How do I find my passion?

Answer: I’ve said previously that most people go through life and work at a job. Fewer of us pursue a career. And even fewer yet actually live a passion. To be truly successful entrepreneurs living a passion is requisite. But there are plenty of very rich entrepreneurs who are miserable, so what gives? I’m defining success to be much more than just money. A truly successful entrepreneur has success in relationships, in health, in philanthropy, in hobbies, in intellect, in spirituality and in emotion.

Passion is multi-dimensional. I submit that living a passion is more than just our chosen profession. It’s about reaching the conclusion that life is all about more . . . not less. And it’s not just more of one thing but more of many. A fundamental question to be asked is, “What are we excluding from our lives?” Kindling and sustaining passion is difficult if we’re one-dimensional and our lives are out of balance. We may experience bursts of energy and creativity, and we may have moments of euphoria when we achieve that upon which we focused. But then what happens? More often than not we crash and burn. Then we may yo-yo back and forth between the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

Here’s my story. Early in my adult life I was pursuing a career. I move out of the “working a job” phase pretty quickly. Our business was growing and I threw myself into building it. There were plenty of 18-hour days plus weekends and holidays. In fact, I actually took pride in working 100-hour weeks. I read nothing but business books and thought about little else than what was happening in my company. I was the poster boy for being one-dimensional. No, I wasn’t unhappy but there was always a gnawing feeling that something was missing.

Living my passion did not come through an epiphany but was gradual over time. I loved what I did professionally but realized that burnout was unavoidable if I didn’t change my ways. Over the years my life became more balanced, and that in turn stoked the passion. What I’ve learned is that passion is much more than just loving my profession. The balance of physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and relationships in addition to our profession has a multiplier effect. I love being creative in my businesses. I love the philanthropic endeavors that my wife and I pursue. I love mentoring and coaching others – the list of the things I love to do goes on and on. And the cumulative effect of all of these “loves” is what becomes passion for me.

Make sure to read my next installment in which I’ll add the other ingredient necessary to discover our passion.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

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