Crippled CEO Blog #096:
My dead dad thought I was a disappointment.
I started my first business at 12 years old. I bought my first house a week before my 19th birthday. I was in USA Today at age 16 and featured as an expert in two New York Times bestsellers by 21. Mother effing Forbes did a whole piece on me. Before he died, I had grown the business he started to 6 times the size it was when he retired and I took it over. And I did this with cerebral palsy, in a wheelchair, with all of the issues you can — and can’t — imagine that go with that.
And for my entire life, he thought I was kind of a screw up.
There’s a good chance that you know that your parents feel the same way about you. Like my dad, they saw all of the dumb stuff you did growing up. They saw the irresponsible things you did in high school. In fact, that’s when they knew you best — before you moved out and grew up.
If my dad can look at my life and be disappointed, it is pretty clear that this is a game that can’t be won. I don’t think it would’ve mattered what I did, and I bet the same goes for you, as well. I’m sure there are leaders of nations and self-made billionaires who have also experienced this.
Parents who are going to be disappointed are going to be disappointed. I think the best bet is to employ the reverse of the famous break up line: it’s not you, it’s them.
(You know what parent is never disappointed in me? Your mom. She’s also never disappointed when she gets a text from me every Sunday. You can, too, by texting the number 484848 with the word CRIP as the message.)