How many of you are cruising through life, observing and advising, thinking that you are real Doers, when down deep you are actually scared to really commit to being a Doer? Well, don’t beat yourself up, it can happen to anyone… even me.
I want to tell you today about what has happened to me over the last 3 months or so, and ask you to reexamine your commitment to being a Doer, as I have. I want you to ask yourself some hard questions, and I hope the answers you find will lead you back to the principal that Doers aren’t observing, they’re participating––they “do,” they accomplish. I want you to be “all in” as a Doer, because that is the only way big things can get done.
So here goes…
On May 8th, I was in my first Twinlab Board of Directors meeting, in Boca Raton, Florida. As the meeting was going on I was already thinking about the blog I was going to write about this experience and I started to reflect on the last 5 years of my life.
I have spent much of that time advising Pegasus Capital Advisors, and their portfolio of companies, on wellness and sustainability issues (which anyone who regularly reads this blog will know is near and dear to my heart.) It has been a fun ride, and it occurred to me that I could take that experience and help Twinlab. Then it hit me––observing and advising is not the same thing as doing.
I wondered, could I really be the guy writing a blog about Doing, and not be a Doer? That made my stomach turn a bit, and in a weird way, I have to admit the fear of Doing, in this moment, made my stomach turn even more.
The CFO was discussing the balance sheet, and I’m a little ashamed to admit that while I was trying to listen, I continued to explore this mental conundrum a bit longer. I went even deeper into the mental abyss of observing and advising versus Doing, and questioning why I was scared of doing more.
I reflected on my career––how I was trained, starting right out of school and for 10 years, by Ralston Purina to become a CEO of one of their divisions. That was 10 years of sitting in divisional CEO’s offices, in a different location every 6 months, observing and learning. I thought about the processed food system, and big agriculture, and everything I was exposed to and how concerned I had become about food additives, food processing and chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides used in growing the beautiful fresh produce we eat. I remembered how I worked with friends and associates (that I still work with today) to make a difference by forming companies that produced food without processing or chemicals, foods that where good for people and the environment. I became a Doer. I became an active participant in the organic industry, both as a builder of companies and an advocate.
Of course, I realized I better get my head back into the meeting, and when I did, the topic immediately changed to children’s nutrient deficiencies, the impact of processed food and chemicals, and how much this industrial food system is contributing to disease and impacting the health of people, especially in the U.S. I couldn’t believe it.
I wondered if it was possible that I was in this meeting because it was time to move from observing to participating again. Could I actually impact people’s health with Twinlab nutritional products? Is this why I am sitting here, I asked myself? If so, why am I so scared? Why do I want to simply leave the meeting, jump on a plane, and not think about this nutritional supplement company until I come back for another meeting in 3 months? (Sorry to say I have done this exact thing with other boards.)
But I thought about Pegasus Capital and how much I enjoy the people there, how much good they are doing with wellness and sustainability investing. Almost without even realizing it, I had come to a very scary conclusion: It was time to get back to Doing. While Pegasus was more of an observing and advising situation, Twinlab seemed an opportunity to rediscover Doing.
Obviously, I couldn’t write this blog if I didn’t go “all in.” So, while sitting in this meeting, in my mind, I went from board member to Twinlab CEO, and from operating partner to Pegasus Strategic Advisor. Of course this became a reality a few weeks later and that also meant that I went from a California resident to a Floridian, and a host of other changes, too. In other words, I went from an observer to a Doer in almost the space of a few hours (really, about 3 months, but it certainly felt like a few hours!)
I am happy to report that since that board meeting, I have felt invigorated. I have never felt more alive, more purposeful. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and that my wife and family are supporting this Doer and what he is Doing.
Yes, of course I have moments when I am scared, and sometimes doubt my ability, but this is quickly washed away by great––no make that fabulous––people, the Doers at Twinlab. They inspire me every day, and I am confident they will be making a major difference in the health and wellness of people everywhere. I know they have already made a positive impact on mine. When I think about the opportunity of preventing illness and improving people’s health with science-backed nutraceuticals, I get chills.
So ask yourself if you are observing rather than Doing. If you are, take stock and make a change. Is there a wrong that upsets you like nutrient deficiencies and chemically-laden food upsets me? Do you think you could go “all in” right now––to make a difference, to change things for the better? If you’re scared, that’s okay. Plow through it and start Doing.
Remember that you are a unique, incredible and awesome individual, capable of Big Big Things. Start now, start today. To paraphrase FDR, the only thing you have to fear is fear itself.
Here’s to being a Doer again—