What I'm Grateful For - What Are You Grateful For?
The holiday season is upon us once again. I want to wish all of my readers a Happy Thanksgiving.
I'm grateful for each of you, because I write this blog for you, the vision masters and execution masters, the innovators and imagineers, the men and women who, each day, keep tying rocks (reality/processes/systems) to clouds (concepts/ideas) in order to ground your visions into the viable businesses that will make our tomorrows brighter. When I think of what you will bring into the world (or already are bringing into the world) it makes me pause and realize how fortunate I am to have the time and resources to spend much of my business life helping entrepreneurs like you succeed.
And I mean to succeed in a meaningful, measurable way. Today, merely 3% of innovative companies receive the funding necessary to bring their ideas to the world. That's simply not acceptable. And it's why Intelliversity is absolutely committed to increasing that rate by ten fold -- to at least 30% -- by continuing to unlock the secrets to funding for entrepreneurs and the secret to getting funding commitments from the investor community. Together, we can accomplish this over just a few years. I'm also committed to increasing the success percentage of innovative companies that DO get funded, with success defined as having paid investors back at a market rate or better, while maintaining a viable and growing company. The ideas, activities, advice, research, and strategies found in this blog are a part of that process.
Suppose we succeed in that goal. Imagine a world where exploration and discovery, including both product innovation and scientific research, are the most common purpose of humankind, more compelling and unifying than any other. Imagine the resulting improvement to life in all areas, including but not limited to solutions to the painful problems that remain and in many cases are getting worse (disease, aging, war, crime of all kinds, human trafficking, urban living conditions, quality of food, totalitarianism, and collectivism, drug and alcohol abuse, climate change). In one way or another, you and I are playing that game, sharing that kind of vision and giving our precious time, energy, money and reputation on the line to bring it forth.
I'm a futurist at heart and I imagine that many of you are as well. We see a possibility out there in the distance for how things could be and we find the courage to risk all to see it happen. As a futurist, one of the challenges I sometimes face, maybe you do as well, is forgetting about what's great right here at the present time. It's challenging sometimes to look at what "is" and feel grateful when there are so many problems, so much conflict, and chaos. But then I remember that a sense of gratefulness can start closer to home. I can cultivate a sense of gratefulness for all the blessings in my own life, while still holding a picture of that wonderful future world that I'm working toward. Anyway, that's the bargain I make with myself when Thanksgiving Day rolls around: If that future world isn't here yet, well, ok, as long as I'm part of the tribe that's working on bringing it forward. And from that place, I can think about what I'm most grateful for here and now.
I thought I'd share my short list with you and would love to hear your comments about your own shortlist. Then, after the long weekend, we can all turn our attention back to the futures we are creating for ourselves and others. So, in no particular order:
- I'm grateful for having good health and a vibrant energy well into my 60's so that I can confidently work on that great future I see and enjoy my days and nights here in the present.
- I'm grateful for having a mix of intelligence, EQ, and IQ, that enables me to pursue my future goals with rigor and be present and available for the people in my life here and now.
- I'm grateful for a visionary mentality - able and willing to look clearly into the future and see what's possible and also what the risks are.
- I'm grateful for the humility to know that I can't do it alone, need help, need a team, and need a tribe of like-minded people -- because that's how a futurist and visionary (like you, too) gets and stays connected to people here and now.
- I'm grateful for my mother who loved me unconditionally, which cultivated in me a deep sense of the "okay-ness" of things, even amidst the most challenging circumstances.
- I'm grateful for a father whose acceptance and love appeared (as I grew up) to be highly conditional, very critical, who, through this, taught me to handle criticism and pain patiently and without taking it personally; who taught me how to handle tough people; who taught me that the opposite of love is not criticism but indifference; and then, finally, who taught me how to forgive.
- I'm grateful also for a father who taught me to value reality and rational thinking above the comforting desire to believe things for which there is no evidence. This is what allows me to pursue the future from down here on the ground, rather than in a white tower, far removed from what's actually possible. Because, the only future worth pursuing is one that really could be, not one that we only wish could be.
- I'm grateful to have always valued mentoring, because it has brought truly remarkable people into my life, help me mitigate my weaknesses and strengthen my strengths.
- I'm grateful for my mentors such as Arthur Lipper, George Kenney and Steve Meleen in the world of finance because their hard-won wisdom shared with me is a gift that I, in turn, get to share with you in this blog and when we work together.
- I'm grateful for my mentors (names are confidential) in the area of leadership and relationships because their support has made me a better man.
So that's an even ten. I could think of many more things to be grateful for, but ten is the number of wholeness and completeness, so it's a good place to stop.
Ahh . . . I thought of one more thing. I'm grateful to be on this journey with each of you. I can't think of a more worthy, important and energizing journey to be on in life. Together, we're going to narrow the gap between visionaries worthy of funding and investors with dollars to provide. Together, we're going to instill in the investor community a sense of trust with those of you who master the principles of trust-building that we discuss so often in this space. Together, we're going to build your confidence and capacity and readiness to receive funding. Together, we're going to inspire the investor community to meaningfully increase the amount of funds committed to innovative companies like yours.
So, enjoy the holiday weekend. I hope you're with family, friends and/or team members. Cultivate a sense of gratefulness for the special moments the holidays bring and the special blessings in your life, and know that the future you're building will be calling to you again Monday morning. And, we'll answer it's call and march ahead.
Before you go, tell me one thing you are grateful for.