Building a Life and Business of Character

There are times when we get so consumed by what we want to do that we forget who it is we want to be. I’ve participated in several interesting conversations around this topic recently; two that really stand out to me.

The first was when I interviewed eight-year-old entrepreneur Ryan Ross. During the interview, he said that running a business was easy and fun and everyone should do it. And that if we all did, we could help more people around the world.

Then I had the opportunity to ask billionaire Sir Richard Branson at a recent web conference for his thoughts on keeping his passion alive and giving something back as part of his work as an entrepreneur.

I don’t think it’s an easy feat to stay connected to our core values and who it is that we want to be. No, strike that. I think it’s easy to get so distracted by the “busy-ness” of our businesses that we forget our purpose, our mission, or our vision for our life and who we hope to be.

I want my life to be about giving back, helping others and being of service, but then the days happen. I move from one to-do item to the next, and before you know it, a month or three months or even a year has passed, and I haven’t really spent a big portion of my time encompassing or embodying the traits that I hope will make up the biggest portion of my character.

I don’t know the answer for sure, not yet at least. Maybe we figure it out with time, with age and with wisdom. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I hope there comes a time when I can focus much less on the things I hope to do and much more on the person I want to be.

Maybe instead of (or at least alongside) a to-do list, I should have a “to-be” list and then make a concerted effort to complete them both.

How do you instill more of the “being” even with all the “doing”?

Photo by Flickr user foxspain, licensed under CC 2.0

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