Business is always personal. To conduct business, you need an interaction between yourself and other people.
Think of the successful business people you know and admire. People who enjoy helping others, people who want see others succeed, people who came up with an idea that had a positive impact in other’s lives. These entrepreneurs get that it is not all about the cash; it is about doing what you enjoy and leaving your stamp on the business world.
I feel fortunate to have known many business owners that exemplify the above. The ones I have the most respect for are those that dared when others told them it was impossible and those that taught me by their actions what success means.
I am especially grateful to those who did not always agree with me, people who called me out on behavior that stood in my way to grow and improve. Hearing the truth can be hard but not when it is done with love and constructively. When feedback is given and received and the ultimate result is building someone up and not tearing them down, you are in the presence of a leader who knows how to effectively manage and inspire.
I have enjoyed every single job I have had. Whether it was in fast food, in an office, working with the CDC or at the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations but the time I put in volunteering are the jobs I loved.
All these jobs had 1 thing in common. People. Making a difference in someone’s life that made even a bigger difference in mine. I may not make as much money as I want, deserve or what others may think of being a financial success. As long as my basic needs are met, I have never focused on money being my goal. Even in recent years when it seems I am always in survival mode.
Would I change things if I could go back in time? No. Instead of money, I have received something more important; freedom to live my life on my terms, preserving my integrity, friends and people who believe in me and have stood by my side.
I don’t know in the eyes of the world, when I will reach that mark of success. What I do know is of all places I have lived, here in Eureka and Humboldt County, the successes I have achieved are not mine alone. I owe them to my friends here, my church community here, and the many local organizations and individuals who have through words, actions and emotional support helped me to get where I am.
People often ask me, why Eureka? You could live anywhere else. You would make more money somewhere else. It would be easier.