Twenty years into this business that I named Smart Dolphins and I continue to learn something new almost every day.
A journey like this is interesting in that the landscape changes as we travel. We need to adapt to what the new realities demand of us at any given time. As we level up the business each new tier becomes increasingly difficult to master. And the rules change: what worked on the previous level might be the exact opposite of what is needed now.
One thing has remained constant: My personal success is almost entirely dependent on the quality of the people around me. If I had one strength that I could contribute to Smart Dolphins’ success it would be my ability to somehow trick great people into joining me on this journey. Thankfully for all of us, my lack of any other ability forces me to get out of the smart peoples’ way. I hope nobody catches on.
This group of great people obviously includes my family, the Pod, our clients and all the other amazing people that have helped Smart Dolphins to be successful.
So, while we hear a lot about the dark side of human nature in the media, in my life, I have been lucky enough to receive abundant human generosity.
Another key factor in staying in business for 20 years is eventually realizing I am just not that smart. I think I have a lot of great ideas, but how could I compete with a world full of amazing ideas that have been battle tested. I eventually realized that I simply needed to curate these ideas into the business and I would look like a genius. Is my secret safe?
I have colleagues that talk about getting out of their business. I’ve pondered that (as we all should), but I really cannot imagine what else I would or should do. Perhaps that will change in another 20 years, but for now I just have too much joy and gratitude to not continue down this path.