I’ve been at this entrepreneur thing for about thirty years now. In that time, I’ve had some huge wins and some colossal failures. I’ve been very grateful for the people I’ve learned from along the way. In some cases, I didn’t realize how grateful until several years later. Everyone, in some way, has contributed to my purpose, to my ultimate why, whether positively or negatively.
I guess it was about 4 years ago, while not in the best place in my life, I read a book by Simon Sinek, “Find Your Why”. Within the book, there’s a framework to figure out why you do what you do. Where do you draw strength from? What stories from your past have shaped you into the person you are today? How do you give meaning to your life in everything you do? I went through the exercise with a really close friend and shared stories through the various chapters of my life that had a monumental effect upon who I had become.
From those stories, you try to find the common threads and the hidden meaning. It was a long, involved and emotional experience. At the end of the process, from dissecting all the meaning from your stories, you try to come up with a personal mission statement or your why statement.
I remember coming up with my why statement and being pretty happy with it.
The problem was, my work life wasn’t congruent with my personal life. They were still pretty much distinct and separate from one another. One didn’t necessarily complement the other. So, I just continued on the way I usually did.
Then last year, I came across a paper about mental health and entrepreneurs. This gave me the opportunity to merge my business stories with my personal stories, especially as they related to my own mental health. I was getting closer to my world being congruent, but I still wasn’t quite there. There was still something that was missing.
Then, earlier this year, I had the good fortune to meet Mark Halpern. He was doing some amazing things in the world of philanthropy. He was helping people think about the legacy they could leave, think about what causes and charities could benefit from this legacy, and significantly minimise their taxes.
I had read a lot of his stuff on charitable gift-giving, and he had read my stuff on mental health, particularly about my daughter Maddie. I’d explained how my ex-spouse, Nicole and my boys had done tons of great work through The Maddie Project, which was the foundation that we had set up in her name after she had passed away from depression 6 years ago.
Mark was pretty excited about the synergies that existed between what we were both trying to accomplish. At the end of our meeting, Mark said to me, “You have a tremendous ‘why’ that you’re passionate about.”
And there it was, the final link that brought my business world and personal world together. A cause that gets you excited about all the great things that I can do. My Why Statement had finally come to life.
“To openly communicate the lessons learned from my past so that others will thrive in their lives, minimize their setbacks and leave a positive and lasting legacy.”
I believe this pandemic has made a lot of us rethink why we’re here. If you’re at a crossroads in your life or wake up each morning uninspired and not sure of being on your right path, I’d highly encourage you to take this time and get a better understanding of who you are and what makes you tick. It could be the best investment you make in your life. I mean that sincerely.
Stay tuned; there are some really exciting things on the horizon.
Chris learned through the bankruptcy of his first business; a strong balance sheet means nothing unless you can get the money out of your business and into your hands personally, tax efficiently, and creditor protected. Chris helps and coaches business owners to avoid a similar fate as he suffered in his first business.
Through several clever strategies, he illustrates how these little-known vehicles can get money out of your business efficiently, build your corporate brand and create a legacy through charitable means to help make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
Also, he has seen the impact that mental health can have upon success within your business and your life and how the two are on a constant collision course. When Chris became aware that Entrepreneurs struggled with their mental health at more than twice the rate of average adults, he realized he wasn’t alone and made it his ambition to understand why and do something to help. The goal of his business, The Finish Line Group, is to help support the entrepreneur’s financial, philanthropic, and emotional needs.