Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Music

Everyone has heroes whether they admit it or not. And, I'm not talking about the hero-worship attitude we see concerning athletes or entertainers. I'm talking about people after whom we model our lives; people in whom we see traits we would like to emulate.

I have three heroes: Jimmy Buffett, Ron Rice, and Bob Parsons.

Buffett turned a lifestyle into a career, and then into a brand. I've read a number of biographies, tons of articles, his autobiography, seen hours of interviews, and read a couple of his books, and I can tell you that the most important point about Jimmy Buffett is lost on most of his fans. Buffett worked hard to find the thing he was good at, and then he focused all his energy on getting better at it and expanding its reach.

Ron Rice used the same strategy (and, essentially, headed in the same geographic direction, to Florida) as Buffett. As creator and owner of Hawaiian Tropic he searched for a product that would allow him to create a life and business around the lifeguard's lifestyle. I interviewed Rice once for a magazine article and he told me, "Go where you want to be and look for a way to make a living that allows you to live there."

Bob Parsons is a Marine Vietnam veteran who came home to eventually start and sell a couple of software companies. A couple of years ago he founded godaddy.com and has used the company as a vehicle to have fun (and poke fun), make contributions to a wide range of causes, and pioneer widespread use of the Internet for any and everyone.

I keep thinking about the common denominators of these guys. All three took off in directions that were far away from the suit and tie world. But they used suit and tie rules, traditional business basics, to succeed. The key attraction for me is that they did it their way. Granted, all three met and overcame obstacles, and, from what I can tell, worked exceptionally hard. But, also from what I can tell, it never seemed like work to them. What they do is fun to them, and they show it.

I keep thinking that The Perfect Workday is my music, Hawaiian Tropic, and godaddy.com. Working shouldn't be like being poked in the eye with a stick every day. And, it isn't for me.

Is it for you?

What's your music?

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