“You’re hot one moment and cold the next”. These are words spoken by Leo who is a homeless man living in New York. Leo caught the media spotlight in 2013 when Patrick McConlogue offered him $100 to learn how to code. Leo took his skills and built a mobile app that generated him $15,000 in revenue – which is still sitting in a bank account while Leo continues to live on the streets (see video):
Reading this article (see “A homeless man learned to code and became famous…“) and watching the video got me thinking about my life as an entrepreneur and business owner. Is there some amount of value locked up somewhere that I am choosing not to access? What is the real difference between myself and Leo as business owners?
I have asked many successful entrepreneurs the question “if you earned $1,000,000 why did you not earn $10,000,000? If you earned $10,000,000 why not $100,000,000?”. Surprisingly all of the answers sounded the same – no answer. It’s a difficult question to respond to. It’s even harder to respond to when you think that your performance and level of success is acceptable. Leo seems provides an answer that he summarizes in one word – “life”. Life either gets in the way or life moves us along or life distracts us from needing to think about the question. As long as we are dealing with life to the best of our abilities then everything should work out. Right?
As I reflect on my own work and business I would say that I get up every day striving for the next level of achievement by doing the things I think I need to be done. But this is not the same as thinking about things that maybe I am missing or like Leo are right in front of me but I am choosing to not to take them based on my personal insecurities or challenges. Even though we might look at our life and be unsatisfied with parts of it I think we ultimately get what we want. Why have I earned the money I have and not more? Because maybe I don’t actually want more. Why do I spend time doing certain things and not others? Because maybe I don’t actually want to spend time on activities that would have me face the personal insecurities or short comings I have.
So what about you? If you have a business what is holding you back from capturing all of the value available to you?