If I made a new years resolution for 2010, I'll be honest, I don't remember what it could have been. I do know that this year ended up being unexpected and full of surprises I wasn't prepared for. So, while I like setting goals, I've also learnt that sometimes you need to be able to adapt to whatever life throws at you.
So for 2011, I'm keeping it simple. Do what I love. Read.
Right now, I am about halfway through reading Tony Hawk's book, The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO. I have to tell you, it's exceeding my expectations so far. For a guy who loves skateboarding, he has weaved his way through a number of business ventures, some hitting the top notes of success, others falling flat with hard-earned lessons. And I find it refreshing that while some people will start a company purely to make money, Tony started his because they fueled his passions. The guy got critisism for lending his name to a series of McDonalds happy meal skateboard toys, but he actually likes eating at McDonalds - and the toys were a huge hit. Besides, I'm willing to bet the majority of the skateboarding community also eats at McDonalds, so I'm not sure what they were whining about. It's not like he appeared in a Justin Bieber dance video.
What I *really* respect is that he personally took financial risks and cut his own royalties to keep funding his ideas. That's the measure of a good leader. I also like that he owned-up to his mistakes, admits that he honestly got lucky at times, and was humble enough to include copies of emails from both fans and haters about what he's done. I particularly like the one from a kid who thought Tony was just a video game character, and should actually try to skateboard. Bless his heart.
From a business perspective, Tony Hawk has been an ethically awesome leader as far as I can tell. He seperated from bad business choices with grace, kept his trusted friends close, and sought for honesty and integrity in all of his deals. Plus, no one ever questioned what he was really good at - skateboarding.
And seriously, if you think running a business is hard, try skateboarding sometime. I picked up snowboarding last year, and while I slam into fluffy white snow and skid down a mountain, Tony slams into pavement wearing shorts and t-shirt. Much respect.
I suggest if you want to read a really awesome book about loving what you do. Pick this one up. And follow him on twitter @tonyhawk.
[ Get your read on! ]