The last 3 years have been filled with major growth and reflection for me. At the end of 2011, I felt completely out of whack. I was succeeding professionally by many measures, but I felt like a fraud and like I simply wasn’t being authentic and true to myself.
At the end of 2011, I wrote these goals down:
1. Be authentic
2. No more bullshit
3. Focus on family
4. Take the time to create lasting moments for your kids
5. Travel more, work less
6. Be present
7. Don’t take life for granted
8. Show gratitude
9. Lead by example
10. Stop chasing money
By mid 2012, my wife and I decided that life was too short to not “go for it” and to be trapped by the dogma of what others believed we should or should not be doing with our lives. We decided that instead of “chasing money and possessions” we were going to go after an exceptional quality of live and just see what happens.
We packed up our house of 10 years in Delray Beach, Florida, put it in storage and moved with our daughter to La Jolla, CA in a matter of weeks. We felt a little lost and out of control, but we also felt a sense of excitement and drive that was critical for us at that time. We bonded and became much closer over the entire experience. Our marriage and our friendship became exponentially stronger.
By mid 2013, we had completely settled into our new community and opened a small satellite office of our business right around the corner from our house – less than 500 yards away (a beautiful walk right along the ocean). We sold our possessions back in Florida and “officially” moved to California.
We were also blessed with a brand new addition to our family – our baby girl. Our life was beginning to take the shape of exactly what we had always dreamed of.
We had made decisions that were risky, complicated, and challenging. We had decided to clearly lay out what we wanted from life and to go for it. And now, “life” was serving up to us exactly what we had wanted. We suddenly lived where we wanted to live, lived how we had only dreamed of living, and had an amazing quality of life.
We had redefined “success” in our lives and were living proof that it actually worked. We were not focused on the money side of the equation as much as we were focused on the “living life to the fullest” side.
By removing that pressure, soaking up life, traveling more, and focusing on moments – not things – everything was falling into place. Suddenly our business was doing fantastic. I was walking my daughter to school everyday. We were enjoying sunsets as a family. I was present for my wife and kids. Our students and colleagues all over the country loved us and felt more connected with us. Life was truly amazing.
Fast forward to the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016….
My best friend for over 35 years joined the company in 2014 and is now the President of our company and has helped the company to achieve amazing things in a very short period of time. We have had another record year and we are finally poised for exponential growth as an organization. We’ve grown up and moved into acting like a “company” rather than an “entrepreneurial side show act.”
Our entire organization is based here in La Jolla now, only a few minutes walk from my front door (that’s never gonna change). We have partners and colleagues around the country that have helped us to build the organization into a world class company that people admire and are truly proud to be a part of.
None of this has been at the expense of my family and the attention that I devote to them. We have traveled more in 2015 as a family and as a couple than ever before. I still walk my daughter to school right down the street, we still take the time to enjoy the sunsets, and I make sure to “press pause” to be present for her.
I am extremely grateful for all that has taken place over the last 3 ½ years. I have grown more as a father, a husband, a brother, a son, a friend, and a leader than at any other time in my life. I finally feel like I am as authentic and as genuine as I am capable of being. I no longer feel like a fraud.
I share this with you because as I lay out my goals for the next year of my life, I think it is important for people to know that anything is possible if you will take the time to do a few things…
1. Write your goals down
2. Hold yourself accountable – no excuses
3. Read A LOT
4. Be willing to lose a little – to gain a lot
5. Focus on collecting memories – not things
6. Remember that Time is what really matters – not Money
7. Be real, be authentic, and stand up for what you believe in
8. Surround yourself with people that support your dreams and goals
9. Remember that you matter and deserve to live an extraordinary life
10. Do something that scares you as often as you can – you will be amazed at what you are capable of and the experience will empower you
If you want the perfect life, then you have to take the time to lay out what it looks like. If you do, and then you take the steps and risks that are necessary to achieve it, you will be amazed at the results.
I’m living proof.