About 2 weeks ago I was shocked to hear that one of my business partners had suddenly passed away from a stroke.
Darren was young. He was 51 years old. And though he had some health issues over the past couple years, we could not envision him just gone.
Nobody expects to be just gone.
But it happens. It happens every day to people at all ages. Even relatively young people like Darren. It happens to all of us, though we don’t want to dwell on it. And when it comes suddenly, we are always shocked.
So, after the funeral and a bunch of phone calls and memorials, we are finally coming to grips with the fact that he is not with us. And what that means.
Darren was one of the founding partners in our startup speed dating business. I had worked with him on and off for the past 15 years. And he had worked with at least 100 event planners around the country on a day to day basis. He had a great financial mind and loved to buy and sell stocks when he was not running LockAndKeyEvents.com, a spin-off from Pre-Dating.com, the original dating event company from 2001. In fact he had texted me a penny stock to buy the day he passed away, ICLD. I bought some in memory of Darren.
As we concluded a call about Darren last night with many of the event planners, it hit home once again about how much time you have, what you do with that time and what is really important in life.
I write blogs about Startups, Web Analytics and IT Tech and things that interest me. Those things are important, but there are some higher level things I have to consider writing about every once in a while. And writing about life and death is not an easy thing to write about.
Quite frankly this is the second death in the management of the largest dating event company in the US. The first was Sundrea Ryan about 4 years ago. She was our COO and passed away accidentally in her mid 40s after she was drunk, upset and had recently purchased a gun. You can imagine what happened. We don’t talk about what happened anymore. But we try to keep her memory alive.
So, what should we do with the time left on this earth?
Well, for one recognize we are not everlasting. And regardless of your religious affiliation or no affiliation, this life is the life we are living, here and now. Not another one. Everything you own and everything you work and live for will one day slip away as will we. There is limited time for us in this world and we need to use it wisely. Because what is of value is our time, not the end result. And therefor here are a couple things I ask you to consider this week.
- Don’t get hung up on a situation that is not life altering. The next time you get upset about something not really that important, let it go. Could be on the highway or a contract gone bad. Just not important.
- Take some time out for yourself. This may seem like a conundrum to all the singles out there, because you may feel you have all the time in the world. For many of us parents, we are constantly driving, moving, feeding kids and there just does not seem to be time.
- Plan out that thing you really want to do. There is something you have been meaning to do that is more important than work. It could be calling your old friends, going on vacation, writing a book (writing a blog) or whatever you really want to be doing as you are reading this. For some it is walking away from a job that they hate and starting up their own company or not working at all.
- Make personal contact. My wife always wonders why I have lunch and coffee all the time with so many different people. It’s the personal contact and discussion I enjoy. I just like being around people! The more human contacts you have the better. One thing is to do it for the networking. I have done that. But another is to get to know people. It takes time to get close to people as an adult. You need one on one time with people to develop relationships. I have done this in the past week and it helps me move on.
- Accomplish a meaningful objective. Most things we do in our daily lives are business-oriented. I talk a lot about startups, because it is my passion. Sometimes I actually help someone out there trying to get started. I am drawn to the startup world, because I know that a successful business can change lives, hire people and give them and their families a future. But there are a dozen other things you can achieve right now, from helping someone, giving them hope and transforming people. If you are a successful business person go out and help others succeed!
People are what is important. And that’s what drove Darren’s life. At his funeral they talked about how Darren had a lunch and dinner with a different person every day of the week. The rabbi asked everybody to raise their hands if they had lunch with Darren weekly. Many raised their hands. And we realized there was not enough time in the week for that. But apparently that is how he lived his life. How are you going to live yours?
Have a good week.