What is your definition of success? Why push yourself to be successful? Where are you putting all your resources into becoming successful?
My brother and I owned and operated TideWater Landscape Management, a nationwide grounds management and lawn services company. For many years, as our business grew, my brother and I worked six days a week, daybreak to dark. We didn’t know how much revenue we were making per month.Instead, we were focused on how much we owed at the end of the month.
I began flying and driving from many different military bases throughout the U.S., doing government contract-based work with TideWater. Often I stayed in the local “do drop in” hotel.Many times I woke up in a hotel and had to think about where I was. I’d be gone a few days, and that would turn into a few weeks. Did I feel successful? I don’t know, but I did feelexhausted and partially empty inside.
As a husband and father, I thought success was measured by working long hours and providing my family with a nice home,a comfortable lifestyle and material possessions. The truth is, I’m not sure we can really determine success. It’s a moving target — an area that’s neither black nor white, but gray.
If I could go back and give advice to my younger self aboutsuccess, here’s what I’d say:• Money can only buy material items; it can’t buy you happiness.• Eating dinner with your family every night is a gift that should not be taken for granted.• Life is short, so make sure you are spending time on the right things.• Do not miss birthdays or holidays with your family.• Sunday is a family day, not a travel day to be somewhere for Monday.
When my dad was in hospice care, in the hours, minutes and seconds before he took his final breath here on earth, our family was all around him saying our last goodbyes. As a person of faith, we knew there would be a celebration in heaven as he closed this part of his life.
The memories I had of my dad were not who thought of him as a successful businessperson, how much money he made, where his house was located, what his title was in the business world or why he was satisfied with his job for 40-plus years. They were about him, and what kind of man, father and grandfather he was.
As you read this, you have a choice. Ask your spouse, children or friends: What memories will they have of you, or of a conversation you had, as you draw your last breath? If that’s not how you want them to remember you, start making the memories you want them to hold onto after you’ve said your goodbyes.