Have you ever felt lost, not knowing your purpose, not understanding what you were cut out to do, feeling like you are down the wrong path in career and life sometimes? Don't worry we all do. For me this has been a constant challenge. They say surround yourself with successful people, well I would say you look around all the people I have come to know and am surrounded by talking to weekly, have some pretty successful careers and stories to tell. From successful business owners, to inventors, to professional athletes, to venture capitalists, and the wide array of talented individuals in my life. It can be inspiring yet sometimes frustrating. When racing slowed and I jumped into the business world, I had to reinvent myself, find out who I was in the business world, find my passion, find my strengths. This took a long time and I evolved as a person, I became who I thought I should be, I tried to be someone I wasn't at times, I struggled in social settings from time to time as I felt like a failure many times. It was a time where I had to relearn who Jonathan was as a person, not as an athlete, not as a business man, as a friend, a human in society.
As I started my business career, I was challenged in more ways than you would think when it came to working with others. I was always used to competing and motivating the team, being a leader full of enthusiasm and was awesome at what I did as I had spent many years growing and improving my craft. I joined mid size companies, startups, and big corporates, and there were some differences and similarities to all the roles I played. I have always enjoyed meeting people, helping bring value into their lives, creating relationships and thus this is why I have been drawn to leadership positions along with roles that involved growth, strategy, and competition. Being at a startup for about 4 years taught me so much about the importance of the company culture along with the value of having a mentor/mentors (coaches). As a CEO, team leader you have to lead like a professional athlete. You have to understand what motivates each "player" in the company. I turned to close friends and mentors to understand how they handled leading people, understand how they motivate their staff, understand how they have grown in their craft. It was amazing to learn that they struggled with many of the same things I was going through in life, and that there is always someone out there who is willing to help you. As I stated in my previous post, we need a support system and that we all need to offer that helping hand to others when asked.
We all have had different life experiences which has helped mold us into who we are today. Whether you think it impacts you or not, most of the time it will have some sort of change to how you perceive a situation and how you embrace people's mannerisms. I found in these times as I started to look inside and see what really made me strong was I connected with people, I listened, and I cared. I started trying to figure out more what I wanted to do when I grew up. I began driver coaching, I went into surgeries with a couple of friends in the neuro and plastic surgery space, I shadowed business owners, and I kept coming back to the same feeling, I enjoyed helping people. I enjoyed coaching because I saw the excitement on the face of the student improving their lap time and becoming better, I saw the patient after the surgeon told them they were going to feel better or that they had fixed an issue, or a business owner helping the client find the solution they needed. So now what? That leaves many options of career paths, but I know that for me now going forward it's about those around me, it's about the leader I am becoming within an industry, it's about the people I work with and the passion they have.
During the times above again I can say what I forgot to do was enjoy the journey a little more. I met my best man in my wedding during those times, I met a lifelong mentor and a man who is like another Dad to me who is changing so many lives doing charity events and giving back along with some great friends around him, I met my brother in law and wife, along with so many great people who I speak to on the regular who are making an impact in this world. Whether it's through cyber security, medical, financial management, or helping people find their pass time outdoor adventure. It's because of these people that I am where I am today, it's because of these people I decided to share my journey, it's because of these people that I am going to continue to work to make a bigger difference in this world as an entrepreneur, and it's because of them I may have a career in politics...... wait forget the last part but honestly throughout the past 5-6 years of my life, I have really struggled with defining who I am and understanding my role in this world. It's been tough but I go back to the friends in motorsport I have made, along with the close circle of people in my life who have helped me to think through challenges and help me grasp what is really important to me and how their lives changed over the years. Over the coming weeks I hope to share some stories around my travel and life since stepping more into the business world along with some athletes tell their stories as they launch businesses on the side from racing or the sport they are involved in to how they found their why and what they love most about what they are doing.