Building a business from a simple vision offers tremendous rewards. However, in pursuit of these rewards, we need to be aware of what is happening around us, to be mindful of the potential monster we are creating.
As Dr. Henry Frankenstein said in the 1931 classic, Frankenstein, “Look! It’s moving. It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive! It’s ALIVE!” Followed later by Dr. Waldman famously saying, “You have created a monster and he will destroy you!” It’s possible, if we are not careful, we will have created our own personal Frankenstein of which we may need to destroy eventually or watch it slowly devour us one bite at a time.
I am hopeful that by sharing my story I can help others find meaning, purpose and peace in their own lives.
I know firsthand that this can happen. At 23, I entered the financial services industry with tremendous vigor, a relentless attitude and an ignorant approach to failure. Failure simply wasn’t an option. Borrowing from relatives, firing banks that wouldn’t lend us more money, and using most any creative financing option we could find, we somehow persevered.
As I sped down the entrepreneurial road, I found very little time to get to know myself. Addiction, death and divorce created an opportunity for me for personal reflection. I am hopeful that by sharing my story I can help others find meaning, purpose and peace in their own lives.
Becoming vulnerable has cracked open a door to another realm of personal growth. Also, self-examination has been both very liberating and humbling. My pain and suffering aren’t more tragic than most, it’s just unique and different to me.
On October, 4th 2016, our oldest son Seth, at the age of 23 was found dead of a heroin overdose in a seedy hotel room, alone and afraid. A tremendous 20-year marriage came to an end soon after. My past life as an alcoholic and compulsive gambling addiction became something I was no longer afraid to confront head on. In the midst of all this, I was somehow able to build a very successful Financial Advisory firm, and yet I had a huge hole in my life.
Let me close with this. I am one of you. We entrepreneurs are obsessive. That’s how we make something out of nothing. But that relentless quality has to be managed if we are to find joy and peace in our successes.
My struggle and pain have taught me a great deal. I am thankful for every lesson.
12 Powerful Daily Steps
Here are my 12 daily steps to achieve success, balance and peace:
- Win the day, nothing more nothing less
- You can’t undo your addiction, embrace it. It’s part of your story but will not negatively define you.
- You don’t get over trauma. It’s part of your story but will not negatively define you.
- Addictions need not be negative. Be addicted to telling the truth, your health, and your family.
- You can always tell yourself a new story about your past.
- Meditate, read, laugh and cry daily.
- Have goals but not at the expense of living in the moment.
- Never waste a good failure.
- We all suffer. We all die. We all can be happy. One of these isn’t a choice.
- Attention redeems most anything in the moment.
- You’re not a label. You’re a miracle.
- Live your life undeterred
My hope is that you will find the success you have always dreamed of and worked for. But as you do, be sure and take care of yourself.
As American lecturer and author Brené Brown has well said:
Vulnerability is not a weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.
Be honest to yourself, be vulnerable with others and ultimately live your life, undeterred!
Iowa business owner, Jeff Johnston, is the author of This One’s For You: An Inspirational Journey Through Addiction, Death and Meaning