In some ways, I’m fortunate to have found what I’m good at while at a young age. I started my first company while in college and haven’t looked back since.
For others, though, the journey isn’t always clear from the start. Many people end up in their careers — industry, role or otherwise — almost by happenstance. They start down a path and before they know it, their life feels like it’s been decided for them.
This, I believe, is a life of missed opportunity, both to do what we’re supposed to do and to be owners of our own lives.
Control Your Own Destiny
Ask my kids (or practically anyone else I work with) and they’ll relay what might be my favorite piece of advice: In life, you are always best served to put yourself in a position to control your own destiny.
That can mean a lot of different things to different people. To me, at the end of the day, it means working for myself and providing enough for my family. I encourage everyone to explore their own idea of controlling their destiny and to ask themselves if they’re doing that in their lives today.
How to Control Your Destiny
As a business owner, I’m clear that I make decisions every day that help my business to succeed or fail. The better decisions I make, the more power I have over what happens.
For someone working for an employer, controlling your destiny means to work like you own the business. As a leader, I can tell you that every company wants great people and because they’re very hard to find.
I’ve watched so many people who aren’t in a hurry in their jobs. It’s like they’re at work just to get a paycheck and do as little as possible. They might not even care how the company is performing, beyond their small role. And it’s easy to spot.
If you work like you own the business you’re in, everyone you meet with recognizes it — from your manager and peers, to your customers, partners or outside acquaintances.
When you work like an owner, two things will happen: Other people will try to hire you away and/or your company will do everything they can do to keep you. In both cases, you’re in control. And it all stems back to your daily choice to care deeply about your work and act in the right way.
One final note, that I cannot stress enough. When everyone at a company cares about what they do — when they pay attention to the impact of their work on the company’s performance, they come to work for more than a paycheck and are committed to the cause — everyone benefits, top to bottom. That’s how great companies are built. It’s no longer about what I can get versus what you get, it’s about getting there together.