Who Do You Look Up To? [4 of My Business Inspirations]

Everyone looks up to someone, whether it be a sports star, academic, or artist. And though it’s important to not place people on pedestals, as everyone has both strengths and weaknesses, I wanted to share some of my business and entrepreneur inspirations.

Here are four of the men I either grew up admiring or am currently impressed by. Although none of them are perfect, each gives us lessons to learn from, and personal as well as business success to strive for.

Truett Cathy, Chick-Fil-A

Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-Fil-A not only was a great businessman, but a great family man, which is what I hope to be as well, especially with the newest addition to our family this week, baby Quinn.

Truett wasn’t just a savvy businessman in the mid 1940s, he was also a strong Christian man who believed in rewarding hard work and closing on Sundays – two things I can fully get behind.

In addition to his work success, family life, and beliefs, I also admire that Cathy was always a teacher. He wrote numerous books (Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People, It’s Easier to Succeed Than to Fail, It’s Better to Build Boys Than Mend MenHow Did You Do It, Truett?, Wealth, Is It Worth It?) on topics ranging from wealth and success, to inspiration and parenting.

I hope to one day make as many waves, changes, and have as far of a reach as Truett Cathy did during his lifetime.

Steve Jobs, Apple

Steve Jobs hardly needs an introduction, but he has often been the individual I think of when I ponder innovation and creation in my lifetime.

He had such a unique story and such a gift for producing, marketing, and creating true usable technology for the masses – and that is something I greatly admire.

Though I work more in the digital field, rather than with physical tech, I still find many of the lessons Jobs spoke and wrote about pertinent to myself, my team, and my company.

Additionally, Jobs was a true entrepreneur who never gave up, never slowed down, and because of that, I find his drive motivating.

Larry Ellison, Oracle

Larry Ellison co-founded the software firm Oracle in the 1970s and created a true customer relations management database, in addition, his company has pushed into cloud computing, acquiring the cloud-software Netsuite 2016 for almost 10 billion dollars.

Not only do I respect Larry Ellison’s ‘5th richest person on the planet’ label, but I respect his charity work. Though he is sometimes said to have an ego that matches his wealth, he is humble when it comes to giving, sharing, and putting his money into causes he cares about.

I find that successful business owners and moguls who do not use a considerable amount of their wealth for charity are squandering it – but this is certainly not the case with Ellison.

Pierre Omidyar, eBay

Pierre Omidyar is the founder of eBay and later bought PayPal. He now owns 5% of eBay and 6% of Paypal – making him a great investor and someone to watch when it comes to money markets.

He also has a great love for the truth, which he supports by donating large sums each year to journalism, fact-checking software and sites, and press-advocacy groups and movements. And though Omidyar and I may disagree on some political issues, I certainly support his search and protection of the truth, reporting, and public news.

Omidyar and I have another thing in common as well, besides our love for the truth, and that is a lovely, smart, and driven wife by our side.

Speaking of my wonderful wife and family, I believe I hear baby Quinn in need of her dad, some rocking, and a story.

So, until next week I’ll leave you with this: Who do you look up to, any why?

Sometimes, that question can tell us a lot about ourselves.

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