Recently I heard someone talk about a startup founder with real adulation. They put the person on a pedestal and held them up as an ideal. Of course, an ideal is just that, a simple idea on what we think is somehow perfect. This has less to do with the person themselves, and more to do with ourselves, and what we’re looking for.
Who do I admire (in business) and why?
- Jeff Bezos – He has a vision. He takes risks. He has an inner compass unlike any other
- Elon Musk – When you dream, have big, world changing dreams, and then make them happen
- Richard Branson – Have the courage to take that first step and do great things, and have fun doing it
- Richard Hastings – Have a clear focus and execute, regardless of the competition or establishment
- Bill Gates – He has shown the good one person can do for the world, putting his wealth in good use
- James Altucher – A recent addition, who has shown me to be brutally honest with myself and life
I think it’s a good thing to have people to look up to, as long as we remember that they are people as well, with their own challenges, strengths, weaknesses and insecurities. Even the most successful business people talk about feeling like a fraud at times. I know I’ve felt this way at times. Who am I to write a blog? Why should I have a podcast? What do I know? I think we all have these fears at times, and that;s when we have to recognize fear for what it is, an illusion. It’s a thought that’s slowing us down because we’re afraid. I’m afraid of failure, so maybe I shouldn’t even try and save myself from failing. Better to just do nothing. EVERY PERSON HAS FEARS.
It’s often the case that the most outgoing, hard charging people are the ones that are most afraid. If I do so much, so quickly, no one will notice my fear, and I won’t have time myself to acknowledge my fear..I’m too busy. There is an old saying, “Do not confuse motion with progress.” Recognize, does fear slow you down, or speed you up? Once you recognize it, you can address it. The truth is no choice is still a choice, inaction is an action.
Warning: Do not put yourself on a pedestal. When you start to put yourself above others, and believe you are better, stronger or smarter, or whatever the case may be, you are doing two things. You are creating an invisible barrier between you and others, and isolating yourself. The only way we grow in life is through interaction, and if you separate, you simply don’t have the same opportunities to grow.
If you find yourself next to a pedestal, please, don’t climb up. Start pushing other people up onto it. Help others succeed. These same people are the ones who will give you a helping hand up. A pedestal is a lonely place. Let’s turn pedestals into patios. That’s where the best parties are.
Thanks for joining me on this journey. It wouldn’t be the same without you.