This last year I learned about loss. I am close to friends who lost special loved ones, incomes and careers, and special pets, all things I hold very precious. And from a broader perspective, in 2011 we lost Steve Jobs, who was an entrepreneur and a game changer on many levels for the world we live in, much like Walt Disney. Jobs took no prisoners and he was uncompromising in his stance on what technology could bring to us. We can see Steve Jobs in almost every row on an airplane, plugged into millions of teenagers and delivering peace to our children in waiting rooms of doctors’ offices. Walt Disney set the bar for family entertainment; Steve Jobs has done it for connectivity in a very humanistic way. These gentleman, like Elvis Presley (whom I also cherish for bringing entertainment to us in a way that sets us free) all dared to be themselves. They broke the mold and took us from the mundane and the monotonous to a better place. I celebrate, cherish and gain inspiration from their achievements, which we all have to admit are really ultra cool.
Steve Jobs once said, “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” I am sure I have done that; albeit making some mistakes along the way. This past year has been a particularly great one, even with the loss, pain and challenges. At 43, I have a company that is thriving in so many arenas. The team at Marketsmith is diverse, talented and growing. And I have the distinct honor to be working with the most awesome clients.
It is a very fulfilling place to be, but it is not an end. I have been given the ability to make a difference, “to make a dent in the universe” to quote Steve Jobs, and I take that seriously. As I look back on my ten-year journey, filled with trials which at times seemed endless, I never lost hope. I never lost sight of my goal – to make a difference for the Brands we serve, to be one of those people who carry the light into the future. Along the way, I take inspiration from not only Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and, yes, Elvis, but also from the successful business people I have the good fortune to know every day, who have given me their time, shared their insight and values, and believed in me.
Just shy of a decade ago a business acquaintance I admire greatly gave me a paper weight that said “What would you do if you know you could not fail?” Well the truth is, I am doing it. This year that person, who has been hyper successful, has joined me as we launch a new company that will revolutionize how Brands go to market. This current year will be a tremendous game changer for my organization as we come to the final stretch of a technology that will allow Brands to have greater sight, understanding and decision making capabilities in the Omni-Channel world we find ourselves facing.
We are given a lifetime, but we win and lose in moments, not in years. My plan is to keep applying the learning from these moments, spurred on by the inspiration of the beautiful minds that are with us and that have left us, and by the great people and Brands that have come into my path. And, this year, to make a dent, for my clients, family and colleagues.
May you always be inspired.