You’ve Got to Go to Grow

The Path to Success Is Not Through the Familiar

I looked over the crowd of 8,000 current and future entrepreneurs. The young men and women who will create and grow the new Uganda. The next generation of leadership into the mid 21st century.

My Advice, “Go!”

These people came mostly from villages and other under-resourced areas of the country where multiple family generations have lived their lives and built their families. They have long accepted their lot in life. They have a limited view of what is possible for the next generation, this new generation. How does the next generation bust free?

They must go! They can’t stay where they are and be agents of change. They must go where the action is. More importantly, they must surround themselves with the goers. These are the people who do not accept the limited thinking being imposed on them by their villages and their leaders.

Is It from God?

Before I gave this presentation, I had a question. Is this biblical advice? Did God give this command to his chosen leaders?

What I found astounded me. The command, “Go,” is the most frequent command given by God to man in the Bible. To do the work God wants us to accomplish, to build all he intends us to build, to create what he has planned for us, we must go.

As I look back on my life, I see the importance of this command. I grew up in a working class section of Jersey City. We were comfortable because my dad, like almost all the other dads, was a hard working provider for our family.

Janet Soars

My dad wanted my sister to be a secretary, get married, and have kids. I was given a great education with the hope I would go to college and get a job worthy of a college education. When I graduated, I think my dad was more surprised than proud. He just didn’t expect much.

My sister, Janet, broke free of this limited thinking. She relocated to Miami, pursued her Masters of Fine Arts, and became a professional and notable South Florida artist. She escaped all that was expected of her…as little as it was. I wanted to follow her. I wanted out, too. But it wasn’t easy.

My Big Break

The headmaster of my high school sat down with me two different times. He tried to convince me I needed to stay in the Northeast. To stay in his system. To stay in my parent’s system, their village.

As I write this, I am sure if I had gone to college in the Northeast, I would still be there. How different my life would have been. But I didn’t stay. Instead, I attended the University of Miami.

In college, I was in an environment which taught me to think bigger. I thought internationally as I was surrounded by many different cultures.

My big break came while in my first professional job. I met Richard Brock, and he invited me to join him in this new industry called the packaged software business. I talked to a few of my friends and mentors about it. Every single person I talked to told me to stay. Every cell in my body said, “Go.”

Nick Will Discover His Path

My son Nick is about to graduate from college. I see the opportunities which are being presented to him. He’ll have to decide.

  • Stay or leave.
  • Remain or go.

My wife, Kathy, wants him to stay. My gut hopes he goes. Both Kathy and I want what is best for him.

If he stays, he will slowly expand his network beyond his college and high school friends. If he goes, he’ll be thrust into creating a whole new network. For a while, he’ll break free from his current network.

He’ll break free not only from who they are but how they think. This includes his parents and siblings. He’ll be forced to grow at an even faster pace than if he stays. He’ll be cut loose from the dock and will be out in open ocean. His life will get bigger, faster.

The Road to Success

I have given a lot of thought to this “Go” command. Almost everyone I know who is radically successful has done this.

  • They left their village.
  • They left what they knew and went to the unknown.
  • They stepped off the edge of the cliff hoping the bridge would appear.

And all of them succeeded. Their lives became bigger, more exciting, and fuller. All because they trusted God when he said, “Go.”

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2 thoughts on “You’ve Got to Go to Grow

  1. Charlie, Great Advice. the advice also applies to people who are in the wrong careers or in the wrong companies. I came back to Atlanta after college, the army and Graduate School. One of the reasons that I became a CPA was that I thought I could have professional success without being required to move around with a large company. After 5 years it became obvious that to succeed with a national CPA firm, I would be required to move. Somehow Oklahoma City, Iraq or Malaysia did not appeal to me or my family. So I left–to stay in the familiar of Atlanta.

    But I left the familiar of Big 8 CPA firm and started with my first start up, a company in Raleigh but they were moving to Atlanta. Great deal. Within 6 months I resigned and was faced with a family of four, no savings, a mortgage and no income. Through networking I was able to find short term employment and then found a good job with a division of a national corporation. Ah security again and no need to move from Atlanta.

    Within several years it was obvious to advance I had to change jobs, if I wanted to stay in Atlanta. I did so with a national company division HQ and that was a change. A year later, it was back to unemployment as the companies reporting the the HQ were all sold and no HQ was needed.

    So I joined another startup company. It was going to be a great success. It had just raised $ 30MM back in the early 1980s–a lot of money then. Well 3 years later, guess what back to unemployment as the company spent all of the money and never really launched the product.

    So what is the point of the story. It may not always be change of location that is important to personal growth. It is, however, always being able to take risk of change and to GO as you have stated.

    Since then I have had success in start ups and success in real estate. I would not be where I am today with out the GO.

    so where would I be if I had stayed with the Big 8 CPA firm and avoided risk. Probably dead from a heart attack or stroke because of stress.

    I have a great painting at my house. It was painted for me by an artist by copying an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal. The title “Risk. It isn’t always where you expent it to be” A picure of a man on a beach with a fishing pole, but under the water you can see he is not on a beach but standing on a giant fish.

    Ralph

    • God has taken you on an amazing journey. You are a smart man and you have always stepped into God’s command of “Go.” Success always followed. You are my living example of this.