For my birthday (which is today) or Christmas, loving family and friends sometimes ask what they should “get” me. Last year, I asked for support in digging a well for a village in Africa. This year I’m asking for something closer to home.
I get to work with some of the most talented video artists on the planet. There are even more waiting eagerly in the wings, demo reels in hand. It’s my job to keep them busy and it’s never easy.
For my birthday, I’m asking my friends and family for their help.
Below are three ways you can help me and other entrepreneurs chase their dreams:
1) Seek to understand their chase
Just like it’s nice to understand that a farmer needs rain or an athlete needs to win, entrepreneurs appreciate being understood too.
Leadership can be lonely.
Many of them are risking their retirement, friendships, and health to follow their dreams. If you care about them, join them on the journey. Follow their business on Facebook. Subscribe to their blog. Have discussions with them more than once a year on their birthday.
Disclosure: I had surgery recently and am back on prescription Vicodin after trying to get off the pain meds too quickly. I’m learning some new lessons and think they might be applicable to everyday life. Hear me out.
We can learn something from my pain.
Here is what I notice as I try to work through the pain and medication:
I forget things and I repeat myself.
I won’t say things as well as I could if I wasn’t in pain or medicated.
I use bad grammer.
I get distracted from what I’m working on.
I repeat myself after I forget I already said something.
I ramble on.
I wonder if we all make similar mistakes when coping with the pain of going through a breakup, dealing with death, losing business (or a job), or facing other severe challenges in life.
Many try medicating the pain away so they don’t feel it.
Others try ignoring it until they break.
Some try both.
Of course surgery is one thing and life is another. However, when we see a fellow warrior struggling to get back up after a painful incident, we should help. For those of us in pain, we should accept help.
We can’t afford to ignore it. We don’t have time to waste.
All of us are guaranteed pain in life.
It’s how we deal with it that determines our future. We can’t do it alone.
PS. If you’re curious how I’ve been tweeting, feel free to follow me at my @Biebert account. Unfortunately, the new new twitter won’t let me reply twice, so I’ve left some of the bad tweets. I probably should take the advice of my doctor and sleep more, tweet less. Let me know what you think.
I was writing an email on my iPhone and forgot to open the garage door before warming up my truck. No one would have thought it was an accident. It sure makes me think.
Three thoughts on this one:
1) Are people accidently killing themselves because they are focused on their mobile devices?
The other day I left the gas stove burner on for 7 hours. I sometimes write emails while driving. I’ve charged my iPad while using it in the Jacuzzi tub. A bus almost hit me when I walked into the street without looking up from my phone.
Am I going to kill myself one of these times?
Is anyone going to believe it was an accident?
Today, the garage filled up with fumes and I got dizzy. I opened the doors before passing out. Next time I might not be so lucky.
2) Don’t make the same mistake!
It’s cold out and I see so many other folks addicted to their smartphones. I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake.
The life of an 8pm Warrior can be crazy, hectic, and consuming. We’re like autopilot sleepwalkers sometimes: exhausted, overwhelmed, and distracted. We don’t need to add dead to the list.
Maybe we all need to wake up a bit.
3) Are we telling people who we truly are?
When I told others about my brush with death, my wife and a close friend both said they would assume I killed myself. Yes, 2010 wasn’t a great year for my business and I still ache from it, but I never thought people would make that mistake. It makes me wonder if my personal goals I discuss here on the blog are taken seriously. Do I sound like someone who would kill themself? Do I seem fake or delusional? Maybe I’m not telling people who I really am. Are you?
I’m not sure.
All I know is if someone finds me dead, I only want them to ask: A) Who killed him! or B) How did this accident happen?
Suicide isn’t an option. My death won’t make anyone’s life better, but my life will. The same goes for your life.
We’ve got families that need us, talents that can help others, differences that can be made. Some folks might believe their life will never be the same after a major failure. It might be true. That might end up being a good thing.
If we change our focus from ourselves to the lives of others, we find a new meaning for our lives.
We might find a new legacy to leave.
For any of my fellow warriors out there who have considered suicide, I want you to personally email me at Support@8pmWarrior.com so we can talk. I’ve been in the dumps too. I’ve felt worthless. I’ve wondered about my future. I’ve discovered that life really isn’t about me at all. It’s too risky to bet it all on yourself. That’s why I’m now focused on the lives of others. I invite you to join me.
My death won’t prompt candle light vigils around the world or make newspaper headlines. However, as long as I’m living I can still make a difference to someone. Until that changes, I will never take my own life. Never.
Thanksgiving needs it’s own day because it’s a good thing that doesn’t come naturally.
It’s counter-intuitive, but the richer a country or person becomes, the less thankful they become as well. Modern psychology backs me up on this. A successful person often attributes their success to what they’ve done.
Human beings tend to take credit for good things and blame external factors for bad things. That is part of the fundamental attribution error concept.
Even Abraham Lincoln recognized this in the beginning of his original Thanksgiving Proclamation:
“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come…”
- Thanksgiving Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln
We are forgetful.
Great leaders establish rituals that help remind people of what they ought to do and ingrain it into our culture. The Thanksgiving holiday is no exception.
Take the reminder. Shake off the cobwebs. Remember where the good things in your life came from.
Regardless of how hard the last year has been, there are still so many things to be thankful for.
Everyone thanks differently, but leaders must thank bigger and never leave doubt of their appreciation. Take time to do it right. It’s so important.
Here are 10 different ways to say thank you this Thanksgiving:
1. Walk up and say it
It can be as simple as walking up to a team member and telling them how thankful you are for them. You can never say it enough. If you are really thankful, don’t hesitate to say what chokes you up. Be brave. Be thankful. Be vocal.
2. Write a handwritten note
I hate writing handwritten notes, so if you ever get one from me you know I am thankful. I doubt that I’m unique in that way. In a computerized world, handwritten notes will stand out.
Time is money. Time is precious. Say thank you by giving them your time and attention. Share a bottle of wine, write them a Linkedin recommendation, help them move furniture, introduce them to someone who can help them, or just listen.
Whatever you do, make sure it isn’t distracted time. Put the cell phones, text messages, or emails on hold. Your attention will show how thankful you are.
5. Share their creation with the world
In a digital world, sharing is caring. Thank someone who writes, records, or builds something by tweeting, sharing, or blogging about their creations.
6. Give a personal token of your appreciation
I hate gifts that are boring, thoughtless, or sterile. Giving someone a considerate gift says you actually thought about them. It says you are really thankful.
7. Blog about your thankfulness
Although it was general in nature, last Thanksgiving I wrote a “Thank You Notes” blog post and emailed it to the people I was thinking about when writing it. It gave me a chance to demonstrate how strongly I felt, without making it into a public circus. Not everyone is a fan of the limelight.
8. Make them something
If you have any particular skill at crafting nice things, don’t hesitate to bake, build, write, or paint them something as a thank you. Just make sure it’s actually nice.
9. Share a meal
Take them out to lunch or dinner. Breaking bread is a great bonding experience and a wonderful way to say thank you. Some of my best memories are great meals or a bottle of good wine.
10. Pay it forward
The movie “Pay it Forward” was interesting and helped showcase what might be possible if people paid good deeds forward multiple times. If you are thankful to someone you can’t contact, pay it forward.
In a changing world, there is little certainty for what the future holds. What should leaders invest in? Invest in relationships.