Like many entrepreneurs, my passion became my business.
Like many entrepreneurs, I learned that the primary role of my business was to make money.
Like many entrepreneurs, my business caused harm, and I had no idea.
By nearly every traditional business metric, my first business was a success. What started as a youthful passion for modifying my BMW 3-Series became an international e-commerce & local retail business that achieved over $50 million in sales to 177 countries while employing over 200 people.
Success? That depends. What's the definition of success?
Back then, my definition of success was pretty traditional:
Make money to get a stable financial footing in the world.
Grow a team of good people my business could financially support.
Earn respect and recognition in my community.
I was doing that in my first business, and it felt great! It felt important. It felt like success! Looking back, I now know that my business was harmful to the planet and didn't help any social causes that I deeply care about today.
My mentor, Vance Caesar, teaches this principle: “I've always done the most important thing for me to do, at that time, given the information I had at that time.”
The first time I heard this, I tried to think of things I had done that would contradict it. I couldn't because the principle holds up, every time. Information is crucial.
I didn’t have the same information then that I have now. My definition of success was not very purposeful.
Fast-forward to today. I have more and different information now than when I started that first business in 2004 at nineteen years old. I'm launching a purpose-driven business because of it!
What information have you chosen to receive?
What does that information lead you to identify as the most important thing to do?
What's your definition of success? Do you want to change it?
Change your information, change your priorities, and achieve your success.