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You Never Know Where the Path Will Lead

inspired1 You Never Know Where the Path Will Lead{Ann’s foreword: This article was not written by me. It’s by my fellow MyBlogGuest user who I have been lucky to network with more closely recently. There’s a reason why I asked Don Sturgill to let me publish this article at SEOsmarty. Ever since I have become a solo business owner, the path of inspired entrepreneurship has been particularly interesting to me. I love reading about what other people have accomplished and I hope you’ll be as excited as I am!}

My first computer (1989) was an Apple Macintosh II. I was doing research by way of the Internet in the days when a 28.8k modem was the fastest thing going and files had to be downloaded from education sites via ftp. I launched my first Blog in 2006.

first apple computer You Never Know Where the Path Will Lead

I had a Facebook account when most users were still college students, and I was on Google+ as soon as I could finagle an invitation. By most accounts, I am a fairly early adopter of the online universe.

But Guy Kawasaki has me beat hands down.

Kawasaki left his job as an evangelist at Apple in 1987 – two years before I had even touched a Macintosh computer. “Macintosh had plenty of software by then,” he says in his bio, “so I left to start a Macintosh database company called ACIUS.”

And by the time I climbed aboard Google+, Kawasaki had almost 40,000 followers. Check the Kawasaki count today, and you’ll find it nearing 4 million – making him the 7th most-followed Google+ user in America.

Any way you cut it, Guy Kawasaki is a pioneer. He beat most of us to the punch.

But, that’s not what impresses me most about Guy. The really amazing thing is that he is still in the vanguard today. He’s a leader of the pack, and he doesn’t show any sign of slowing down or letting up. As a matter of fact, he’s still kicking butt every day.

guy You Never Know Where the Path Will LeadHere’s a little bit of what Kawasaki has done and is doing:

  • Apple evangelist and fellow
  • Founder of ACIUS
  • Co-founder of Fog City Software
  • Co-founder of Garage.com, an angel investment firm
  • Founder of the Truemors website
  • Co-founder of Alltop.com
  • Blogger and Social Media user extraordinaire
  • Author of columns for Forbes, MacUser and American Express Open Forum
  • Author of at least a dozen books (his latest, APE, is climbing the charts right now)
  • Well-known and much demanded keynote speaker

And on top of it all, Guy Kawasaki is a dedicated family man, a diehard hockey player and someone who goes out of his way to help others.

Ask Guy about his story, though, and you’re likely to hear something like this, “The key to my success is the willingness to work hard. In fact, I would take it beyond ‘willingness’ all the way to I enjoy working hard.”

Kawasaki had to be born with a silver spoon in his mouth, right?

Guy is from Hawaii, but not the part where the tourists go to play in the surf. He’s from a part of the island that’s a little tougher than the rest – decidedly more of a blue collar area. Many of the kids there don’t make it out. Guy’s parents worked hard, though, and sacrificed to get him into a private school – nothing fancy, but a place where dreams could be nurtured. It was there, at ‘Iolani School, in Honolulu, that a teacher named Harold Keables got ahold of the young Guy Kawasaki and began to teach him about writing.

Said Guy, “He taught me that the key to writing is editing. No one in the universe would be more shocked that I have written (books) than Harold Keables.”

From Iolani School, Guy went on to Stanford. He gained his bachelor’s degree in 1976, with a degree in psychology (“The easiest major I could find”), then went on to law school at U.C. Davis. But he dropped out within a week. (Take notes folks; quitting something isn’t always a bad idea – especially if it just doesn’t fit.)

Kawasaki went on to gain an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. While there, he worked for a jewelry manufacturer and learned something the books can’t teach: how to sell. Later, a roommate from Stanford  name Mike Boich, paved the way for Guy to go to work for Macintosh – and that is where a whole new world of possibilities opened up for Guy Kawasaki. As he puts it, “When I saw what a Macintosh could do, the clouds parted and the angels started singing.”

[Guy Kawasaki’s Response]

“I was in the right place at the right time. If I had not gone to Iolani, I would not have gone to Stanford. If I had not gone to Stanford, I would have not met Mike Boich. If I had not met Mike Boich, I would have gone to work for Apple. My career is testament to the concept of “you never know.”

The end, but not really …

If there is one thing Guy Kawasaki is, he’s a motivator. That’s not what Guy calls it, though. He has another word for motivation: Enchantment.

In his book by that name, Guy says, “The first step of enchantment is to get people to like you. To do this, you’ll need to accept others and find something to like in them.”

That’s tough stuff to hear (unless you happen to be listening)

My own life hasn’t been quite as blessed as Guy’s. If he’s made all the right choices, I’ve made all the wrong ones. Early on, I knew I wanted to be a writer – especially a songwriter. At about 10 years old, I heard the “perfect song” on the jukebox at Mom’s Café – and right then and there, I decided no one could ever write a better song than that. So I gave up the chase immediately.

And I went nowhere quickly.

nashville You Never Know Where the Path Will LeadWhen I came of age, I tried logging, firefighting, sales, the military – you name it – but I wasn’t worth a plug nickel at any of them. Finally, after my father died in 1989, I headed to Nashville with my guitar. Going to hit it big. Going to be somebody. But the truth is I ended up driving a taxi cab, pretending to be a songwriter and spending more time drinking beer than writing songs. Oh, I made the rounds on Music Row all right, and I received considerable encouragement from the music publishers there – but I lacked one major component of success: I didn’t believe in myself.

So when I started reading about Guy’s success and saw how every word he uttered was rebroadcast endlessly – when I read and heard about him in interview after interview, and when I saw he was coming out with yet another book – I was jealous. And I didn’t like him. And I wished to heck he would just make his ton of money and go away.

Then, the lights came on …

I re-read that line in Enchantment: “The first step of enchantment is to get people to like you. To do this, you’ll need to accept others and find something to like in them.”

So I began looking for something to like about Guy Kawasaki. When I put aside my petty jealousies, I began to see him as a man of integrity, a hard worker, one who is out to help others instead of trying to put the down. I saw a straight-shooter in Guy, and I began looking for ways I could help him. After all, his social media posts and books were helping me.

But it didn’t stop there.

I began to look around – at co-workers who rubbed me the wrong way, at the receptionist who was taking too long on the phone and at the cashier who wasn’t moving the line quite fast enough to suit me – and I started looking for something to like in those people too.

I realized my main problem was not Guy Kawasaki, or an unfair world, or bad luck or poor career decisions … My attitude was keeping me down. It was an inside job.

That is when my own rendition of “The clouds parted and the angels started singing” occurred.

For those who want a better life

I know, it sounds too obvious and simple:

From “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” to “Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, you get to keep them,” you would think anyone with a lick of sense could figure out how to do amazing things in this great land of opportunity called America. Despite her faults and setbacks, she’s still the land of the free.

I guess the question before me was, “Will you be one of the brave? Will you quit making excuses, stop blaming life and start stepping out in the direction of your Dreams?”

You see, as long as we’re still breathing, it’s not too late to stand up, assume responsibility for our own lives and begin using the gifts we’ve been granted to enrich the lives of others.

The only sure way to fail is to stop trying. My decision to give up on writing had darkened my outlook so badly that I had given up on me, I had given up on you, and I didn’t like Guy Kawasaki simply because he was doing something I had despaired of ever accomplishing myself.

Lessons learned

ape cover You Never Know Where the Path Will LeadThank you, Guy, for encouraging me to keep dreaming. I wish you and your family all the best. And I hope APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish Your Book sells so many copies the printer has to work around-the-clock to keep up with demand.

God bless Guy Kawasaki.

That’s what I say.

And God bless America.

[Guy Kawasaki’s Response]

“And God bless my parents who sacrificed so that I could have the education they never did. And God bless the teachers and coaches who formed me as person. Without all of them, who knows where I would be today.”

Don Sturgill found the courage to stand up to the critical, faithless voice that kept holding him back. He writes about Roadturn principles and Life on the Way, authored Dream Into It: The Roadmap to Freedom and helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into reality.

Image sources: Wikimedia and Morguefile

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 You Never Know Where the Path Will Lead
Don Sturgill is a freelance writer who specializes in articles, blogs, and website content. He is the Elite Gallery editor for Ann Smarty’s My Blog Guest and a believer in the power of guest blogging. Circle Don on Google Plus, visit his home on the web at donsturgill.com, or stop on by the next time you’re in the Content Marketing Capital of the World: Bend, Oregon.
 You Never Know Where the Path Will Lead

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  1. 10 Responses to “You Never Know Where the Path Will Lead”

  2. Wow Don, really inspiring. Thanks for making me feel great and introducing me to the “enhancement” mantra.

    Ram

    By Ram Shengale on Jan 31, 2013

  3. Write on, Ram …

    By Don Sturgill on Jan 31, 2013

  4. Don,

    I couldn’t agree more! You are so correct that it is an inside job. That is what inspired me to start a “5 Hugs A Day” campaign and encourage others to do the same. And, if someone doesn’t like to hug, think 5 positive thoughts about others (including those, like you said, that rub you the wrong way). Kudos to you Don! Great job. You are inspiring.

    -Deborah

    By Deborah Anderson on Feb 1, 2013

  5. I love Don’s writing. And, I can so relate to having had those feelings of jealousy or an unfair world at one point or another. Glad to see that Guy K. is a nice, humble and appreciative person, too. Great message. Very well written, too. Thanks for sharing. :)

    By Helen Hoefele on Feb 3, 2013

  6. Hi Don,it’s really inspiring.Thanks for sharing it.

    By Taswir Haider on Feb 4, 2013

  7. Thank you, Taswir. Very much. Never give up. This is the day.

    By Don Sturgill on Feb 4, 2013

  8. Thank you, Deborah and Helen. Your kind and encouraging words are much appreciated. Feels like I just got one of those hugs from Deborah’s campaign :)

    By Don Sturgill on Feb 4, 2013

  9. Hi Don,it’s really inspiring.Keep it up.Thanks for sharing it.

    By shahrukh on Feb 23, 2013

  10. Thank you, Helen and Shahrukh. Your kind remarks are appreciated. Guy is a pleasant person to interview. He is a living inspiration.

    I love your Figmentations site, Helen.

    By Don Sturgill on Feb 28, 2013

  11. Interesting and informative! Honestly, I unconsciously use Twitter to know what are some of the most recent events. With numerous active users logged in, it is a good source of information

    By amir on Apr 8, 2013

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