469. Rebuilding on Gratitude and Humility
From his towering success building a cellular network, Seth saw the upside, then the downside, of ambition. His Golden Touch became a reverse Midas Touch for a while. Gratitude and humility turned him around.
Seth Buechley is a serial entrepreneur and business founder who has led several multimillion-dollar exits. He is CEO of Priority RF, a firm that helps major venues solve their wireless coverage and safety radio challenges. He has helped bring cellular and public safety radio coverage to some of the most recognized venues in the United States, including the Empire State Building, the New York subway and Daytona International Speedway. Seth has served and negotiated contracts with leading global organizations such as Nike, Amazon, AT&T and Sprint. in his recent book, “Ambition: Leading with Gratitude,” Seth tackles the plaguing question of why ambitious people struggle to find satisfaction, and what they can do about it. His perspective, which began in a commune in the woods and led him to financial success, shines through his insights into the advantages and disadvantages of ambition. He illustrates the essential value of gratitude in leadership with lasting impact.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Higher education didn’t resonate with Seth. He went into business with his father in the emerging field of cellular communications. “In the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was all new. Eventually I made my way from ditch digger to estimator. Somewhere along the line I discovered that I actually liked sales, and I liked people, so I ended up on the front of the company. Fast-forward about a decade, we had offices up and down the West Coast and in Hawaii. We had a chance to sell our business to a public company. I negotiated to land on the board of that public company, so I had one third of the business and my dad had 2/3, at that point. When I was 27 years old, we sold the business.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“After selling the cellular company, I was on the board of the public company that bought us out, and I thought, of course, I could do no wrong. I had more money than brains. I convinced myself that I was brilliant and should become a venture capitalist. Some of my investments did well, some didn’t. That marked another turning point. If I’d had the Golden Touch up to that point, I discovered that had the reverse Midas Touch, both personally and in my business and my marriage. There were all sorts of struggles and challenges that came after this successful moment. It was a tough, challenging time. I had always been the young, wealthy guy, and now I was becoming just the young guy, as my wealth was suddenly dissipating.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“Having come off of these failures, I was in a more humbled frame of mind. I think gratitude really did play a role in how I approached the business. I felt like it was a privilege to lead the company, a privilege to recruit the team, a privilege to be out representing the company. So, I took a different tack, because I was in a different frame of mind. Gratitude helps me get a realistic assessment of myself. When I’m grateful for the people who had been entrusted to me in my life, I’m more willing to spend time over coffee, just listening to them and talking to them, and investing time and attention in them. For me, that’s part of my purpose.”
Steps to Success from Seth Buechley
1. Find your purpose and live a purpose-driven life.
2. Right-size yourself through gratitude and humility. There’s a world of difference between choosing humility and being humiliated. Choose humility.
3. You can learn through consequences, or you can learn through the wisdom of others. Learn from the wisdom of others.
4. Be the mentor you wish you had.
5. Develop a strong work ethic.
On His Bookshelf
The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business, by Patrick M. Lencioni
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne
Connecting With Seth Buechley
Enjoy Chapter 4 of Seth’s book, “Ambition: Leading with Gratitude.” Go to www.sethbuechley.com and click on: YES! DOWNLOAD NOW.
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