Hi, I’m Rick Sessinghaus. This is the next video in a series I’m doing called Influencer, is what has influenced you in your life to make you who you are, both good and bad. I wanted to share what has influenced me in my life. On this video, I want to talk about probably the number one influencer, my family. I mean, think about it. When you’re a kid, you’ve got your parents, you’ve got your siblings, you’ve got your grandparents that are constantly there, and they can influence us in many different ways.
Well, some of the positives that I certainly was influenced by, by my parents for instance, is this notion of Rick, do what you love for work. Now, they had great jobs, but they were very secure jobs, didn’t get them excited to go to work in the morning. There was a lot of bureaucracy that went with it. They just kept coming back from home and, “Guh. Rick, I hope you find something you love to do.” That was pushed in at a very early age, and guess what? I’ve been very fortunate that my career for the last 25 years have been built around things that I love to do, and using my strengths, and being able to go at it.
Now, it always hasn’t been easy, by the way, because I’ve been kind of my own boss, but having that as an influencer of what was I going to do in my career, that became the number one value is the freedom to choose something that I love to do. Now, the other thing that my parents certainly talked about is don’t let talent be taken for granted. What they meant by that was, is I was fortunate to grow up where I did and, again, my parents had great jobs and stuff like that. However, they hated seeing my brother and I take things for granted. Is that, “You guys have skills. Work hard at it.” Work ethic is going to trump the skill and the talent in the long run.
What that helped me do is create a disciplined work ethic to where there’s always somebody better out there. Now, some people say, “Oh, that’s kind of a …” No, no, no. It’s good because it pushed me. It wasn’t like, “Rick, you’re the greatest,” it was, “Hey, you’re good. However, you could be better, and I think you’re taking some shortcuts.” So, to me, it was more about work ethic was more important than talent.
That came across a lot with my dad with sports and how I practiced, and how I viewed things after the match, or after the tournament or whatever that may be, is that I was in a learning mode to get better. He didn’t make it very easy for me to just lay back and go, “Oh yeah, I’m really good.” He didn’t allow that. High discipline, high expectations. Having now that has helped me, as I become an entrepreneur, is to work. I’ve got to work all the time. Talent is not going to pay the bills, but work ethic will.
The other thing which, this was a little bit of a negative, is I was trying to pursue perfection as a kid, and even in early adulthood, is be perfect, be perfect, be perfect, because I thought that’s what was going to get me love from my parents, that was going to get love from the world as I was perfect. Now, we know perfectionism is not good, but what my mom, especially, told me about is that excellence could be a good thing to strive for but perfection never is, is that she did want me to take pride in myself. She did want me to better myself, but perfection was not a goal. It really wasn’t.
It was actually creating issues for myself where it was self-defeating all the time, because I could always be better, always better, and say, “Wait a second. Did you do, today, were you excellent at that? Are you pursuing excellence instead of pursuing perfection?” So, my mom really helped keep that thing in perspective for me. It was more about excellence than perfection.
Now, my wife, who I’ve been married to for over 20 years, has been a huge influencer for many, many reasons. The number one reason, and this is from even when we started dating and our first few years of marriage, was you are enough, Rick. You don’t need to be anybody else. You can improve yourself, but don’t try to be somebody else. I fell into that trap early, that I wasn’t enough thus I need to be somebody else, or like somebody else, and it really didn’t work. She appreciated me and said, “No. You be the best version of you, and everything’s going to work out.”
And you know what? It has. I have my ups and downs, and my positives and negatives. However, if I grow each day as the best version of myself, then I feel like I’m living kind of an authentic life. My wife has been extremely supportive in that and keep reminding me that the answer is kind of more within me not searching for something out there. So, family has a huge influence on us, doesn’t it?
Now, I didn’t list some of the negative stuff, but we have to now filter those things out, but I’ve been very, very fortunate that my family has had a very positive influence on how I see the world, my work ethic, and how I see myself. Start thinking about how your family has influenced you to perform for success.