Hello My Friend:
The pursuit of happiness can drive your life, and you are not wrong for pursuing it. In fact, you should. For the next 20 years, find your happy places. Not in money or wealth, but in life.
So, 35-year-old Nick Powills, let me tell you this: life moves fast. In fact, in a blink of an eye, you’ll probably be rewriting this column as a 75-year-old version of yourself. Scary, right? Maybe—but maybe not.
Life will only become scary if you don’t live each moment to its fullest potential—if you let the little things distract you from your big picture, which is = happiness.
You can find the fountain of satisfaction, and you will do so by constantly trying to improve yourself as a human being—in both your personal and business lives. Bad things happen to everyone—but the good ones can always manage to find more good than bad in any situation. Karma, I still believe, is alive and well.
In business, you have to battle your way to the top—not of the businesses you create, but of the industries you so desperately want to be a leader in. Take the International Franchise Association, for example. You have this great desire to influence and inspire change. Your desires are right, but your timing is wrong. Politics is certainly a piece of the puzzle, but so is time. Yes, you have been in the industry as long, if not longer, than those of your same age—but there are plenty of people who have been in it longer. Keep speaking up—eventually it will be your turn to create change within the association.
Keep doing what you are doing. By building a publication that is by far the most socially shared publication in the industry, you are making waves—and more importantly, you are getting people to listen. You are helping lead change through your voice, writing and editorial. Align your in-person business missions with your virtual voice and you will be able to impact more and more businesses—just like you know you can.
While your intentions with your team (co-workers) should always be in the right place, know that sometimes no matter what you do, how well you try to treat them, there will be certain ones who disappoint you. Don’t let this change you. Don’t let this stop you from trying to create a wonderful environment for them.
Never, ever believe the hype, though. The second you settle is the second someone else takes away what you have built. Keep innovating. Keep thinking. Keep challenging the norm. By doing so, you will have a chance to create the greatest mid-sized agency by the time you are my age (55-year-old Nick Powills).
In your personal life, stay true to your foundation, your wife, your kids, your parents and your siblings. Have their backs. Constantly tell them you love them. Always love them—even when their wishes and beliefs don’t always align. That foundation is, and will always be be, critical to your success in life.
Life goes fast. You are very in tune with this now, but you will be more in tune when you get to my age. Don’t take the little wins for granted. Enjoy them. Find ways to enjoy the ride.
You will lose friends. You will lose clients. You will lose money. You will lose support. But you will never lose the love of others as long as you love them equally and more.
The next 20 years are going to be an amazing ride for you. Stop and smell the roses. Say thank you. Continue to try to be a better person. And then, as long as you gave it your best effort, you will feel like you constantly find what = happiness each and every minute, hour and day throughout that ride.
Hang in there. Good things happen to good people.