I was a bright-eyed 15 year old at the Detroit Auto Show in 1995 when a then-conceptual Audi TT was on display. "I will have that car by the time I’m 21," I told myself.
Five months before my 21st birthday, I was driving away from Fred Lavery Audi with a new, Brilliant Black Audi TT, cranking Blink 182 and smiling at my business partner.
Desire for that car had consumed me. It became a focal point of my energies and a mantra, and I had even built a little website dedicated to the TT.
When I reflect upon the 5 or so years between when I first saw that car and when I ultimately came to acquire it, I realize that my subconscious desire for it continually pushed me into new and unexpected situations that would bring it closer to me. Of course, there were a lot of other things motivating me, but at the root of my first success in business was an unassailable drive to acquire a cool sports car.
I believe that when you have a goal with a definite timetable, and that goal becomes your existence, you will continue to put yourself into situations where you can acheive that goal. Having had the pleasure of knowing the Sloans for many years now, it is no surprise to me that StartupNation exists. For as long as I’ve known them, their driving purpose in life has been to help other entrepreneurs. As for my business, I remember telling myself several years ago that I dreamed of a life in my mid-twenties that would involve getting paid to travel to different cities and hang out and party with people. I didn’t know the form, but the general vision was sufficiently strong and motivating so as to manifest itself into my current reality.
The converse of this principal has also proven to be true in my life. When I have floated around without goals and desires, content with my current situation, I have noticed a decline in my overall quality of life and general happiness.
Now, the good buddha in me is reminded of the Second Noble Truth – that the root of all suffering is desire. After 6 years of being in leadership positions in various companies, I’ve learned that if you can’t see through the veils of greed and ego, and focus on the customer, you won’t have a business for long. I am still working to reconcile some of the selfless values of Christianity and Buddhism, my two spiritual muses, with the fact that much of my success has been driven by a profound, base instinct to acquire and to build a better world for myself.
So with that said, don’t underestimate the galvanizing effects of a desire that burns so strongly that it permeates your existence. What is your strongest desire? Financial freedom? More time with your children? No more college classes? A 911 Carrera 4S? I’m shooting for that last one right now, and I’m not ashamed to say that I really want it.