Or, How I Became an Entrepreneur at Age 60!
I read a great article by Daniel Gold recently about his decision to leave his law practice and believing in his “Why”. He was influenced, as am I, by Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why,” a wonderful business book that continually asks you “Why do you do what you do, How do you do what you do and What do you do.” Simon calls that the Golden Circle. Read Daniel Gold’s article here.
How I Found My Why!
I had a similar revelation as Daniel Gold less than four years ago, and it was one of the best decisions that I ever made. While not an attorney like Daniel, my transformation was nonetheless dramatic and life changing. I left a well-paying job to start a digital marketing agency at the young age of 60. Was I out of mind? Maybe. Was it a mid-life crisis (a bit late for that), or was it something more. As it turns out, it was a search for the Why! I had lost the “Why do I do what I do” and I needed to find that to fully enjoy my business life and my life in general. More about that in a bit.
So what do accounting, drums and web design have web in common? For some background on me, I started playing drums at age 10, I have never stopped, and I’ve been in various bands beginning in elementary school until today. Hoping to spend my life as a full-time musician and attend a music conservatory, my parents “gently” pushed me into the accounting field where I spent the ensuing decades in public accounting and nonprofit financial management, and ultimately a position that required the knowledge of web design and marketing in addition to my accounting skills. I learned the new skills via on-the-job training, and it turned out that I had a love for the creativity involved with digital technology. I credit music with that love of creativity. This merging of the right and left brain is unusual. I have met very few drumming accountants; however, many web designers have a musical background.
On the surface, accounting, drums and web design have numbers in common since they all use number-based systems. Each has a certain rhythm that I feel as I use a keyboard to create a spreadsheet, an email marketing campaign, a website, or play around with garage band to try to write a song (not my biggest strength). On a larger scale, I feel that my unique background allows me to understand the business side of business and the creative side of business people, whether they are lawyers, CPAs, medical professionals, serial entrepreneurs, or people who decided to leap into the business world to find their “Why.”
My responses to Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle are:
Why: I chose to use all of my skills to create a digital marketing agency and create beautiful, functional websites for business people to help them grow their businesses. How: I spend time learning about a potential client and what they are looking for in their business and what their “Why” is. I can build a far better website for them if I get a better understanding of who they are and their expectations. What: I am not just throwing code and images into WordPress and hope for the best. I am creating a way for my clients to grow their businesses and be able to spend more time on their own Why, How, and What.
Believe in your “Why” and take a chance on yourself.
You won’t be sorry!!