While reading Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose' by Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos, which was sold to Amazon.com recently) with Kindle on my Droid (which by the way is the best thing in the world... thought I'd never want to read on my phone but its amazing), I realized something.
In the beginning of the book, Tony goes through his childhood and the different entrepreneurial ventures he attempts, from worm farming, to button making, to Christmas card selling. He also tells about his involvement in activities that were out of the norm. I'm sure there will be more great stories ahead (haven't finished the book yet), but even this short list got me thinking about my childhood.
When I read books like this, I often compare myself to the author in an attempt to figure out whether I have the same mentality (which hopefully therefore puts me also on the path to success). This time was no different, except while searching my past for comparable things, I remembered some things I had forgotten.
Even when I was young, I had entrepreneural ambitions. I've always easily recalled the times of having a battle at the lunch table with my friend Jon Corbett over who was going to be more successful in life and the starting of Delphin Solutions and eventually DS410 LLC in college, but I had forgotten about the various things I had done between those memories.
Though I don't remember the age I was at the times, here are some examples of activities I particitated in:
- Walked around my apartment complex to sell gifts out of a catalog
- Made peanut butter balls from a kids cookbook recipe and sold them door to door
- Built my church's website
- Started the trend in middle school with Jon of doing the announcements in the morning over the PA system (Later, everyone wanted a chance to do this so we had to train others)
- Got to skip a full day of school to learn about the lighting board in the theater and be one of the very few people allowed to run it (for performances, etc)
This trend continued into high school, where I tried to start a web design company with classmates (Delphin Solutions) and then into college where I merged with Jon's company to create DS410 and hired my classmates as interns at my company.
I'm sure there have been plenty of other entrepreneural memories that I can't remember but that's all I've got for now.
It's comforting to know that I'm doing the types of things that other people who have been successful did and, though it doesn't guarentee success for me, it does make me feel good as my struggle continues to build new things and reach new heights. It reminds me of Steve Job's speech at Stanford about connecting the dots looking backwards in your life to see how you got to where you are (One of my favorites...See Here).
"So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever because believing that the dots will connect down the road with give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference."
- Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple
Hopefully this trend continues as I push forward to success. I'll keep you posted. :-)