We recently launched a new initiative at our company, Fishbowl, called Oceans Institute (Lighthouse Lifelong Learning) that seeks out individuals of uncommon courage and inspiration who teach us how to be a “lighthouse” to one another. We look forward to sharing the “best of the best” segments with you.
The subject of our first discussion is Chad Hymas, one of the country’s most sought after motivational speakers today. We are honored to share with you the lessons he taught us during his brief visit to Fishbowl last month. The Lighthouse lesson we learned from Chad is: “We all have a choice each day. We can be a light for others or be as harsh as a wave that crashes against them.”
Chad gets up every morning with a smile on his face. He does more living in a single day than most of us do in a week. Our team wanted to know how Chad has been able to be so positive and so motivated despite the obstacles he has faced. “Your setback is the platform for your comeback,” says Hymas.
Chad definitely thinks and acts differently than others. At first we thought it was in order for him to survive. After meeting Chad we discovered it’s actually so he can thrive. He has a way of helping people adjust their internal weather patterns and set them right again so that they can get back to the business of doing their best.
Chad’s life took an unexpected turn when he suffered an accident 13 years ago that broke his neck. This debilitating injury took him down but most definitely not out of the game of life. A year and a half later, Chad broke a world record by wheeling from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas, a total of 513 grueling miles. Today, Chad is a member of the National Speakers Association and he speaks at more than 200 events a year worldwide.
Lighthouse Lessons Chad Shared with the Bowl
1. Three Words that Stifle the Spirit of the Entrepreneur
The words I, Me, and My can immobilize an entrepreneur. Chad encourages us all to focus more on what we can do for others instead of ourselves. “Compliment people. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses,” he says. “You can’t reach what is in front of you until you let go of what is behind you, and that includes letting go of judgment of yourself and others. Try not to focus on what you don’t have, but what you can do for others.”
Chad reminds us that “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Chad believes that if you work hard on behalf of others, success comes in great abundance.
2. Two of the Most Powerful Words Every Entrepreneur Should Follow: Show Up
Chad volunteered to speak at Fishbowl’s winter holiday event to inspire individuals in the community who needed an extra boost. As luck would have it, we experienced a record snowstorm that day. More than 350 people had RSVP’d and we had added extra chairs for the “standing room only” event.
On Friday, we began wondering how we would fit everyone into the auditorium. On Saturday morning, the heaviest snowstorm of the season hit. We were concerned about Chad. He lives in an area of our state that is close to the Great Salt Lake and the snow is extra heavy there due to the “lake effect.” If we get five inches of snow in our part of the state, Chad’s ranch will get more than double that.
Chad travels alone to most local events in an older model van. While we fretted and worried and wondered, Chad drove to the event because he said he would. He didn’t let anything stand in the way of making good on his commitment. He arrived at the event early, in fact. Instead of presenting on stage, Chad sat in the middle of the audience with the 88 people who showed up. His message was “Show up in life. Work hard. Forgive. Don’t Judge. Stay humble.” Chad also encourages us to keep in mind how we “show up” for one another in times of crisis – when a friend or coworker needs us most. Do you have his back or do you add another layer of gossip to the fire? “There is always more than one side to a story and more than one solution,” Chad says.
Chad also recently showed up at his son’s basketball game, this might not seem like a big deal until you know the rest of the story. Chad had been stuck in Iceland! But he found a way to get back just as the game started to support his son. Chad taught us that we can all improve a little each day in how we show up (literally and emotionally).
3. The Best Entrepreneurs are Codependent
Chad explains: “I need help getting in and out of my van and with many other things in life. If we first look outside ourselves and get beyond the I, Me, My and genuinely serve others we are happier, healthy and stronger. The best entrepreneurs achieve success because they are not focused on themselves. I have too many flaws to be perfect. But I have too many blessings to be ungrateful. Not focusing on what other people think is the best choice you will ever make.”
There are many things in life that can bring us down. We believe that most folks are good at heart and when they know better they do better. All of us at one time or another will know how it feels to have our hopes dashed and our candles burn out. Chad is like a lighthouse, giving others a great example to never lose hope in stormy waters. We never really know what is around the next bend of life.
It is our hope that today’s column inspired you. Folks like Chad lift us up and inspire us to become better people.