As readers of this blog know, my father passed away on Thursday, March 19th. I’ve gotten so many wonderful responses to the post about my dad – both online and off – that it has blown me away. A post I wrote very much for myself seems to have been more than that.
Thank you all for your love, support, and wishes – they mean more than I’ll ever be able to explain.
I work very hard to ensure that this blog focuses on the issues facing fast growth businesses. To that end, I stay away from personal issues and thoughts. Today, I’m making an exception.
This morning, my dad, Philip Gardner Davidoff, passed away. I love my dad. And I owe my mom and my dad for giving me the inspiration to believe that a kid from Bowie, MD could change the world.
My dad wasn’t a role model to me in the traditional sense. He taught me, through word and deed, that I should follow my own path – not his. My dad instilled in me that anything was possible, that one person could fight city hall, and that it didn’t matter how much money you made unless you went to sleep that night comfortable with who you are and excited about what you are going to do the next morning.
Dad showed me that you should follow your dreams – even if that means risk. My parents started a travel agency before most people knew what a travel agency was. He left a comfortable, secure job with the government to work at the agency; and he did this when the world was in a recession that, in my opinion, was worse than what we’re dealing with today.
Dad also taught me the value of original, contrarian ideas. Dad wasn’t easy to get excited (though when he got excited there was no stopping him). He was understated and really smart. To get him engaged in a conversation meant you really had to bring something to the table. Dad showed me that when you have a powerful idea, you owe it to the world to do what it takes to bring it to life – even if that means some people will not treat you well in the process (Mom taught me this too).
I wasn’t the easiest kid to deal with. As an average student with a micro attention span and a little bit of attitude, Dad did for me the most important thing any parent could – he gave me the confidence that no matter how badly I screwed something up, no matter how badly I failed; Dad and Mom would be there accepting me for who I was.
Dad was instrumental in giving me the confidence to doubt the world, set a course, and pursue it. Every post you read here is the result of what Mom and Dad do for me.
I wrote about Dan Sullivan’s advice yesterday. He has another piece of advice that I work everyday to live by. Dan says that “you should always make your future bigger than your past.” I remember the evening I talked to my Dad about this. We discussed that always meant always – that on the day of your death you future can be bigger than your past, if; IF, you inspire enough people to advance your journey.
Dad, your future is bigger than your past. I miss you.