Wow - 2007 has been a big year! Lots of great things happening for Speak With Me, Inc. - which will be revealed slowly in the upcoming year - and a whole lot of lessons learned - in both business and personal relationships. I'll use this post to reflect on things I've learned this year - and hopefully all of you can share your experiences too!
1. The Fraility of Life. The Joy of Life. The Thrill of Life. Enjoying the ride!
As many of you know, I am one of the car nuts who hangs out at Santana Row routinely, coming in everything from my beater Red 1980 Rx-7 to the pretty fast blue sedan. Earlier this year, a bunch of us went on a drive thru Santa Cruz and up to Half Moon Bay - and one member of our group, Luis Aldaz - had a pretty severe accident that day, and unfortunately didn't make it. Luis - always lived life on the edge - and to the fullest. He raced his 911 GT3 routinely, skydived, and always was pushing himself in every aspect of his life, having immigrated here from Spain - and really made a name for himself in Silicon Valley. Everyone loved him - he always greeted you with a warm smile - and truly defined living life with no regrets. Luis is an inspiration to us all!
Some wonderful memories - Pictures courtesy of the Santana Row crew...
2. Live life with no regrets.
For every decision you make in life - if you are going to regret it later - make a different decision! Life is too short to have regrets!
3. If you want something, ask for it.
You'll usually get it. Being nice helps your odds :)
4. Be patient with your friends and loved ones.
I had a situation this year where I admittedly revealed something to a longtime friend before she was ready to hear it - and I got egg in my face in response. Looking back, I wish I was more patient with her - and since then - I've learned to be more patient with everyone. We all are aware of what others are going through well in advance of what they are aware of what they are going through - so in the words of the Eagles, "Learn to be still." People for the most part, have to emotionally grow on their own. Sometimes nudging them can help a ton - but only if they trust you - and trust themselves - enough to hear you and listen.
5. Never make a fear-based decision.
We all have a choice in life - to make decisions based on fear, or faith. I've found that every situation in which I've taken the faith based decision - has yielded long term success - even though there may be a shorter-term struggle to get over along the way. However, fear-based decisions tend to be extremely short-sighted and one almost always regrets them in the long term. This goes with #2 - living life with no regrets.
6. Miracles can happen - but you gotta make them happen!
My good friend Andre Vanier - founder of Rondee.com - and I had a discussion in early July - where we were going through everything I had done to get Speak With Me, Inc. funded. We went through the list three times - and we had exhausted all possibilities - so the conclusion was that, yes indeed, I had done everything humanly possible to get Speak With Me, Inc. funded. So Andre suggested to take a break and wait - and try to focus on other things. Indeed, a week and a half later, we got our first funding check in! Some day I'll post the before and after account balances (or maybe it'll go into a future book!) - I've kept the bank statements and wire transfer receipts for a company memento! The faith based decision making process I put in place in 2005 - yielded success!
7. Have Faith, have fun, and don't forget - you are a human too!
And humans - make mistakes. Self-awareness, compassion, humility, and forgiveness are the most important things to learn to yield the best out of yourself - and to give the best you you can be - to the world and to yourself. Always apologize when you screw up - and before you send the apology - be sure to have forgiven yourself first! Many religions - Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism, (sorry if I left some out - I've only read scripture from these four) among others - try to teach these concepts in some form or another. The path to success - is littered with mines, some of which might have exploded along the way. The path to failure - is not walking across that minefield.
In other words...