In 1992, I left corporate life and dove back into startups. I had lost my vision for climbing the corporate ladder and went through a period of operating with no vision for my life. After a few misfires, it happened. I received a clear vision which really got me excited. I knew I could do it.
20 Years 20 Startups
I would invest in 20 startups in the next 20 years. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to be 60 and look back on the success?” The success of helping 20 entrepreneurs achieve their dream of starting and owning their own company. That was the vision, and that’s what I was fortunate enough to do. They didn’t all turn into runaway successes, but we did achieve dreams.
Richard, an Entrepreneur in Residence at the ATDC, said every year he, his wife, and a group of friends go to an eight-room B&B on a small island in the Bahamas. They take the whole place. He said it is so beautiful and relaxing to be in paradise with good friends.
They traveled over to another small island where the only thing was a bar and restaurant. While they were having a drink, a fellow in a fancy cigarette boat docked.
Richard struck up a conversation with the guy and found out he is the owner of the restaurant. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago School of Economics, a Kellogg MBA, and former investment banker. Now he owns multiple businesses in the Bahamas and scoots around on his cigarette boat.
Bahamas Fun Turned Profit
I love this story. This man probably went to the Bahamas for rest and relaxation; then, one day, he received a vision. He could be an entrepreneur, business owner, and developer in paradise. He left what everybody else expected him to do, moved to the Caribbean, and made his vision a reality.
If we are not careful, we get caught up in the familiar. We are heads-down doing our thing day in and day out, allowing our lives to be scheduled by the system we plugged into. The system which provides us with a living. Before we know it, life is over.
But if you set yourself outside the “system” and allow yourself to think out of the box, life might become richer, better, more suited to your dreams.
Step Outside the System
This happened to me, but I had to go through a complete disconnect from corporate life and the idea of being a CEO to allow it to happen. I had to free myself from the overbearing influence of the system I was plugged into.
That’s when I started to itemize my heart’s desires. I wrote down the kind of business I could build and the kind of returns in cash and capital gains I could achieve. I envisioned the kind of life I could live. Then I started to do it. And it happened.
After 23 years, I am back in a system I am serving and dependent on. It is time to step back and think, pray, and ask God for the new vision for the next 23 years! If I don’t, then one day will turn into the next, and suddenly life will be over.
We are designed for a life overflowing with purpose. We are designed to be focused, with clear vision. Destiny awaits.
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