The problem with life’s defining moments is that we only realize they were of monumental importance after the fact, rather than in the moment they are happening. For example, my Aunt Doris was the matriarch of our family, and when I was five years old, she became a driving force in mapping my future as she planted the idea of a dream that has taken several decades to formulate into more than just a precious memory. Her vision for my life has helped shape me into the person I’ve become.
When I was about five years old, I remember her saying, “Greg, I have a vision of a blond haired, blue-eyed man who will accomplish great things in life and make our family wealthy. You are that boy and the man you will become will change all of our lives.” I didn’t understand what she saw in me that would cause her to feel this way, or even what she was talking about—we were all far from rich—in fact, my family was constantly in a struggle to survive and put food on the table.
A few years later, following a church service, a visiting minister drew me aside and told me, “Son, someday you will preach to thousands of people.” I have never felt the calling to be religious in the widely accepted definition of the term, but over the past eight years I have worked as a professional speaker and counseled thousands of people about the principles of building wealth and creating a legacy for future generations. The Entrepreneur Unleashed book is ultimately a product of those two visions.
At such a young age, I didn’t understand what my aunt or the minster were talking about or what they saw in me, but I do understand it now—they saw my heart, my gift as a human being and my capacity for love and big commitments. They saw that I would have both the courage and the willingness to do whatever it took to help my family and also to teach others to be able to do the same thing.
While Aunt Doris’ statement may have sounded as if she was talking about being “rich,” what she was really saying was, “Gregory, you are going to love your family so much that your life mission will revolve around seeing to it that each and every one of us is safe, secure and free.” I realize now that she was also telling me, “You will be powerful enough to hold a vision for your family’s future that is free from the fear of not having enough. You will light the way for others to build a future of financial independence and abundance.”
That vision has been a motivating force in my life for many years now. It was not enough for me to build wealth; it was not enough for me to become a millionaire and help my family when they were in financial turmoil due to unexpected tragedies or illness. Her vision for me was to do whatever it took to bring my family along and teach them what I have learned. It was for me to take a stand and create a business that would teach others, as well as my own children, and also the children in generations to come that I will never know.
What Aunt Doris saw for our family, I see for yours. My mother calls this process “future mapping.” Future mapping is the process of creating a mental and physical map of where you are financially and spiritually in the present moment, where you want to be in the near future and the legacy you are committed to creating for a hundred years after your death. My mother has always said, “Gregory, life isn’t airy fairy magic dust. Every choice you make leads to an action and every action creates and leads you toward a certain future.” Future mapping is about your intention, followed up with a plan, making conscious decisions and then taking actions that set the systems and processes in place so that you arrive at your desired future.
I believe the Entrepreneur Unleashes book will be the impetus for a defining moment in your life, just as my aunt’s words became a defining moment in mine. You have the potential to learn the lessons of entrepreneurship and then teach them to the people you care most about. This frees you from simply enabling others and becoming the person who has no expectations and helps no one. Rather, by teaching others what you learn, you provide them with the ability and the power to shape, mold and create their future. And in doing so, we will change the economy and the world. We will create legacies that stand the test of time.