On December 10th 2010, I traveled to New York City, went to 1221 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan, took an elevator to the 51st floor, and at 10:02 AM I signed a contract to write The Zigzag Principle with McGraw Hill.
What an amazing ride this has been.
Last Friday was 1,189 days since the initial signing. I was invited this past week to do a keynote at Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts. With me was my 17 year-old son Nathan. As I put on my portable microphone and approached the stage I found myself a bit emotional. I often refer to Nathan as a new and improved version of his old dad. As the professors learned about Nathan and that I intended this lecture to be my final, formal Zig Zag lecture they offered to have Nathan indroduce me at the keynote. Is there anything more cool than having your son introducing you at Harvard? Particularly on your final presentation? Let me share with you very quickly what he said.
This is particularly symbolic to me due to the fact that the final chapter of Zigzag (Firm Foundations) tells of my decision to leave the corporate world. Those of you who have listened to me lecture know that the driving reason for leaving the corporate world was mainly the toll that it took on my family. In that chapter I reference a story of when I returned home from a long trip and my beautiful son Nathan, who was approximately a year and a half old then, cried and pushed me away because he did not know who I was. This was the moment that I knew I had to leave the corporate world and jump into the deep waters of entrepreneurship.
How fitting that Nathan was able to accompany me for this lecture. How fitting and joyful, even more joyful and meaningful to me than the success of The Zigzag Principle, and more important than any business that I have built. My son Nathan considers me his hero.
Some eight years ago Roy H. Williams from The Wizard of Ads asked me a very pointed and probing question. He asked me, “Rich are you an author, or are you just scratching an itch?” I have thought a lot about this over the past years and here is what I have concluded: Roy, indeed I am an author! From the time I began my career I have complied short stories and life lessons. I have written hundreds of these privately. I named them Management Metaphors. This being said, I am a private author. I value my anonymity and I don’t need the main stage. I shared the messages of The Zigzag Principle and Bootstrap Business because they were so boiling hot for me, I simply could not contain them.
With this final lecture, I also look forward and plan to return to a more private life. The next chapter of my life is filled with excitement, new challenges, and a very exciting new model that I look forward to discovering.
I want to wish each of you who have followed The Zigzag Principle success and happiness. Don’t follow the straight line. Don’t fear failure. Make sure you enjoy the ride. The ride is what really matters the most.
I now close this chapter of Zigzag and wish you God Speed!