My top five takeaways from Episode 05 – Lessons from the Edge with Jordan Guernsey: You’re not special, ditch the ego, believe in yourself, question everything, and just let go.
Jordan Guernsey is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever known. His perspective on life, business, relationships, and finding your purpose has changed my own mindset in so many ways.
Here are my top five takeaways from the conversation we shared in this episode of Community Made:
1. I’m Not Special
As entrepreneurs we become so invested in our businesses (often at the expense of other aspects of our lives) that we believe our company would not survive without us. We tend to think that we are the key component to our company’s success. But the truth is, we’re not special. Yes, we are talented and driven, and not everyone is equipped with the skills that we have, but our job as visionaries is to build a self-sufficient team capable of handling things in our absence. In fact we are obliged, on some level, to hand our A-players the ball and let them run with it.
Jordan was diagnosed with stage three cancer while in the midst of scaling his business. And while he tried to stay actively involved in the day to day operations for as long as he could, there came a point at which his cancer treatments made that impossible. Luckily, he was able to build the right leadership team and step away, but not without feeling a little bruised about the fact that they were just fine without him…
“It was really rewarding and kind of deflating at the same time, realizing how good my team was once I was gone…” Click to Tweet
I’m not special. My team is capable. I have to admit that sometimes I need to step back and let my team perform to the best of their abilities… and that’s okay.
2. Ditch the Ego
This one really hits home for me. Part of Jordan’s spiritual journey during his diagnosis and the treatment that followed was coming to the realization that he was largely driven by ego, that he had prioritized his business above all else, and wasn’t aligned with that he truly wanted.
“What is all this shit that I’ve been doing really mean?… I’d always put money and success and things of the ego ahead… With the diagnosis it made me reconsider what I think…”
He shares the spiritual journey in which he was forced to really evaluate what was actually important to him, finding that “all the things that I thought I knew were COMPLETELY wrong.” Like myself, Jordan found that all of the things he was driving toward at the time – the success, the money, the fame – didn’t actually make him happy.
His perspective reminds me that my passion lies in building things like Community Made. It’s about creating amazing relationships with incredible people and growing through life together. That’s what I care about.
Ditch the ego. What do you really care about?
3. Question Everything
If you can get to the point where you understand the ways in which you might be driven by the ego then you will, in some way or another, begin to “Ask Why Until It Hurts.”
“Everything is so ingrained in us. We don’t ask ourselves why we are doing what we are doing… Or why do I choose to work at this job? Or why do I care to be successful… We don’t question things.”
Goal setting goes wrong when what you’re doing and why you’re doing it don’t align. It’s when we question everything that the real work of aligning what we really want with what we do can begin. It was Jordan that really reinforced this for me.
4. Believe in Yourself
I mean, if you don’t believe in yourself then who will? It’s cheesy, but it’s true. You have to live with yourself 100% of the time, so if you don’t believe, love, and care about yourself, then what does it matter? Jordan taught me that
“Really believing in yourself is one of the most powerful things in the world.” Click to Tweet
5. Let Go
And finally, the last of my top five takeaways from Jordan in this episode of Community Made is this: in all things there comes a point where you just have to let go. Be it in your business or your personal life, letting go is not about becoming emotionless, or suddenly reaching a point where you no longer care.
“I need to have everything my way to be okay. I just totally let go of that… I’m untouched by anything outside of myself because I choose to be.”
Letting go is not about checking out. It’s about acceptance and understanding that our drive to control the situation at all times is not necessarily healthy or productive.
If you haven’t heard it yet, this is one episode you do not want to miss. Give it a listen and let me know what you think in the comments…