Chapter one ended last Friday. Five years ago this month, Melinda and I started our own business. Batz Enterprises was born out of genetic yearning (I always knew I’d run my own firm), situational embarrassment (the stress of my old job brought out the worst in me) and unlimited promise. The journey to this point has been anything but smooth…the roller coaster analogy fits. Here’s why:
Recently, I became one of the American Business Journal’s online “How To” columnists. It’s exciting! We are now reaching people in 47 US markets with the goodness message. My first column ran ten days ago with this headline:
Why quitting my job in embarrassment turned out to be the best thing for me.
Pow. The first time I let someone else write my headlines…and (s)he hit me right between the eyes. Embarrassment? It turned out to be a good thing: we’ve had more than 10,000 unique page views on my first column. By any national standard, that’s really good.
In the column, I told our story and forecasted the finest hour in our first 5 years: hitting the $100,000 goal for the Bucket of Good Will. Friends of the Good Leadership Breakfast stepped up with online and cash donations. Then last Friday, we collected $4,471 in cash along with a sponsor match and another $1000 gift. We finished the day with $105,337 in total donations. The big winner, Leonard Segal, donated the daily total of $8,942 to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, in honor of his grandparents who survived the holocaust. Everyone in the room felt significant, and good.
A local Fox news station covered the event, featuring speaker Tony Sanneh. And since the “quitting my job in embarrassment” column, people all across the land asked how they could get involved in the Goodness movement. Donations came from California to Illinois. Inquiries about the Good Leadership Breakfast Series came from Austin, Texas, San Francisco and elsewhere. As I watched this whole thing swell to a new level, I knew we were finishing Chapter 1.
The next chapter starts with middle age: the day after the breakfast Melinda and I celebrated 28 years of marriage. With two college graduates and one child in her first year, I’m feeling 51 years young! It’s the story of good leaders, working together with good intentions to make great things possible!
My spirit is inspired by authors, coaches and speakers who are vital and in demand into their late 70s. The Seven Fs© and the Cornerstones of Goodness© are powerful, magnetic, world-class ideas that need spreading. Could I do this for 25 more years?
Good Leadership Breakfast: November 21
We’ll get started again with Cathy ten Broeke, Minnesota’s catalyst to end homelessness. She’s the first Good Leadership Breakfast speaker in “Chapter 2” on November 21. By then, I will have completed another “Goodness Dinner” sponsored by US Bank Wealth Management in Los Angeles. A special group of leaders will share their insights about How Goodness Pays as background research for a new book project.
Where’s this all going? We’re not sure. I’m learning to let go and ride the spirit that guides us into the next chapter.
Good Leaders pause to celebrate the significant milestones that highlight everyday goodness. And they embrace the idea that good leaders, working together with good intentions, make great things possible!
PS: please join me in saying thank you to Delane Wetterlin. Over the past four years, she helped keep Good Leadership Enterprises between the ditches. She’s been called to a new role…maybe we will see her for breakfast?