Another entrepreneurial story from our series…
Secret desires, we all have them.
by Blaze Lazarony of Blaze a Brilliant Path
Many people keep their desires locked up close to their heart. Some of us are brave enough, in time, to speak them out loud.
I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek’s work and have watched his 2010 TED talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action over twenty times. His video inspired me to crystallize Why I do What I do, and How I do it. If you haven’t seen it, it really is inspiring.
To be honest, my Why didn’t come to me as a lightening flash of genius. Rather it’s been a slow gathering of thoughts and ideas that best describe the work I do it the world. Once I crystallized my message, I wrote it on a large Post-It note in my office. It reads: I help people discover their essence, the truth of who they are at the “being” level, and live into that in both their lives and businesses before they die.
Yeah, before they die. That line was super important to me, because when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2003, I knew that I wasn’t going to die right then, but the life I was living needed to. So it became both important and urgent to help people build lives and businesses that lit them up, because the truth is we have a limited amount of time here on earth.
Yes, one day we’re all going to die—once I realized that, everything became easier—life, fear, love, set-backs, failures, successes—everything.
My Why has hung on my office wall now for years, I read it every time I sit at my desk.
Helping others discover their unique Why has become an important part of my business mentoring process as I work with clients, whether I am working with people one on one, or in larger groups. One of the groups I work with on a regular basis is students in the Ernst and Young Leadership Seminar at California State University Northridge.
These are Junior and Senior Accounting and Information Systems majors who apply to take this course. I have the distinct honor of teaching two classes a year, and attending two other classes as the students present their final Vision Boards, an assignment I give them during my class.
I really look forward to the final presentations. In the six years I’ve been teaching, no two boards have ever been alike—each one is a true inspirational reflection of each unique student. Helping people discover their essence, and then translate it into how they will be future leaders in the world is an absolute energy rush for me.
My Purpose in Action
In May of 2013, other teachers of the Seminar, as well as all of the students, their professor and I, gathered for an evening of celebration and Vision Board presentations. As each student stood to present, the room fell silent—everyone eager to listen to the stories of how each person discovered who they are, and who they aspire to be in the future.
And then Erik took the spotlight, at the front of the room, and spoke of places he’d like to visit one day, he talked of the person who he used to be, and the man and the leader that he was becoming. He shared a special family recipe, and said that like everything in life, it takes time to prepare, and love always makes it taste best. At the end, the room broke into applause, just as it did after every student presented.
Except this time was different, as Erik went to take his seat, he collapsed—he had a heart attack. The room erupted into action, calling 911 and working to stabilize him. Three brave people with CPR knowledge stepped up to help Erik directly. Others went outside to lead emergency personnel into the room, while still others prayed and held each other. I was on all fours, gazing into Erik’s eyes and praying every prayer I’d ever known—over and over again.
It was a miracle. Thankfully the three people who knew CPR literally saved Erik that night, and the room full of positive thoughts and fervent prayers helped too.
I went to sleep in the wee hours of the next morning exhausted and at the same time knowing that the work I do in the world is powerful–helping people know who they are is truly one of the greatest gifts I can ever assist people in discovering. And then using my years of business knowledge to help them build custom fit businesses and soul based lives around who they are, is icing on the cake.
I am so happy that I took the time to discover my Why, and had the courage to follow it in life. I am also so grateful that Erik did not die that evening, and that I, along with all of his fellow classmates, professor, and other teachers had the opportunity to bear witness to the leader that he is and will forever be in future.
“Watching people claim who they are is one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever experienced.” –Blaze Lazarony
That night changed my life…if I ever had any doubts that this is the work that I was put on this earth to do, that night proved it to me. Erik showed me, he was my sign to step-up and to keep doing this, to keep believing in my Why! I am forever grateful to Erik, and eager to help others know themselves, and help them build illuminated lives and businesses.
Erik’s doctors were impressed with his progress in the hospital, and were waiting for him to continue to get better to decide on the next steps.
Sadly, Erik died two week later of another heart attack, this time they could not revive him; he was 45 years old. He is missed very much by his family, friends, and those of us who only knew him for a short while—but whose lives are forever changed as a result of meeting him.
Without divulging too many of his personal details (which I am really wanting to honor and respect) he reconnected with his family. I believe he was comfortable in his own skin, and really knew who he was as he left this earth. From a spiritual standpoint, I think he had done what he had needed to do here, and he left feeling loved and happy.
P.S. On his Vision Board, Erik said he wanted to go somewhere really peaceful and full of potential, and he shared a picture of Yosemite. He said he wasn’t exactly sure where this “peaceful” place was, but Yosemite was a good image. (I know he is at peace now.)
He also spoke of taking the future as it comes, that it takes a long time to realize your potential, and that he had a fire burning in his heart to reach his goals. His last words of his presentation were that he was going to face everything that comes head on—he delivered these words with an open heart and an engaging smile.
Rest in Peace Erik.
What are your secret wants and desires?
Take a moment and dream, imagine, and create a mental picture in your mind’s eye.
Does it include a star studded book tour? Or maybe you’re on stage singing, dancing or sharing your important message with an adoring crowd? Perhaps you’re committed to helping others by sharing your knowledge, insights, experience and you see teaching others one on one? Or maybe it’s the thought of that six or seven figure business that makes you smile a wide grin? Maybe you simply want love and to be loved?
I want to help people first fall in love who they really are—the silly parts, the weird parts, and the quirky parts. All the unique and seemingly unrelated parts of themselves that make them brilliant. I believe that we can see all of who we are, we can fall in love with ourselves. There is magic in seeing our own inner light.
Next, I want to help people build profitable and successful businesses that are reflection of them—no two alike, just like snowflakes. Because I believe that when people do something in this world that they are truly passionate about, the entire world benefits.
All of this is deep psycho-spiritual work, with real world business strategy mixed in—a mixture of leadership, plus networking, sales and customer service, as well as marketing and social media.
My BHAG is to work with a minimum of 150 people each year, for the next ten years, both individually and in group programs to achieve their unique business and life desires. And if I were to embrace Dunbar’s Number theory, then a quarter of a million people would directly benefit from my direct efforts—and a quarter of a million people will definitely help light up the world, right?
What questions do you have for Blaze about her business and how she’s grown it? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below…