When I was a kid I loved baseball. Born in The Bronx, I wanted to play ball in the worst way. One problem: I was so slow you could use a sun-dial to time me running the bases. Next!
I learned to play guitar when I was 5 years old but stopped playing by 9. When I turned 13 my Dad invited Tom Cashman, a young man he worked with, home for dinner. Tom brought his Ovation guitar. When he played and sang The Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon” I was amazed. When he followed it up with “Blackbird” I was sold. I picked the guitar back up.
Tom became a good family friend and began teaching me. The next year I joined my first band. By the time I put it down at 23 I’d played over 1,000 gigs, toured the northeast US, was “almost” discovered by record producer Dave Crawford in a dive club in New Jersey, and came to the realization that I hated the lifestyle and wasn’t really good enough to make it “big”. Less than 1 year later I started my first company… and BAM! Just like that I knew I found my calling.
Here’s what I learned… We are all born with skills and gifts and abilities that allow us to make a living. It’s up to each one of us not to fool ourselves about what we’re really good at. For me, it turned out to be business. Early in my career – young and immature, I thought pretty highly of myself. Filled with pride, I took great credit for any and all achievements. However, after many knock-down blows, I finally learned to never take credit for God-given abilities. I then learned that nothing gets done in business without a team of skilled people. And, finally, I learned to liberally spread the credit around, to build a quality team and build them up at every opportunity.
What do you do best? Let me know!
Running an SBE is like Dancing in the Dark… sooner or later you bump into the real Boss.