Inspiration - The Khuram Dhanani Blog
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Khuram Dhanani

Inspiration

Many entrepreneurs are drawn to the sheer joy of creation and innovation. They may be motivated by wanting to find meaning in their life, contribute to the benefit of society, or achieve a variety of other aspirational goals. 

Walt Disney appears to be one such entrepreneur, his very name connoting the excitement of magic and family entertainment. There is no question that Disney was dedicated to fostering such feelings among the public, possibly founded on the desperation that may have fueled his desire to be successful. 

In some respects, the construction of Disneyland was the culmination of Disney’s entire career. He conceived the theme park as a brighter, cleaner version of the American amusement park. He envisioned it as a “Magic Kingdom” where families could escape from the real world into imaginary lands like Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Frontierland. Disney had first offered escape through movies and cartoons, but Disneyland took fantasy worlds from the big screen and made them as real as possible.

Andrew Carnegie also was partly driven by a strong desire to contribute to society. In Carnegie’s case, he hoped to elevate the masses by giving them the same access to the education and opportunity he had worked to achieve. More than any of the other famous tycoons of the 19th century, Carnegie is remembered today mostly as a philanthropist. He gave millions (billions in today’s dollars) in support of libraries, colleges, and other social institutions.

Like many who are inspired to help others, Carnegie took his inspiration from the guidance and support he received early in life. Young Carnegie relied on Colonel James Anderson, a successful Pittsburgh-area businessman who allowed working boys to use his massive personal library on weekends. Carnegie took full advantage of the opportunity, borrowing and reading books at a furious pace.

In his autobiography, Carnegie wrote, “In this way, the windows were opened in the walls of my dungeon through which the light of knowledge streamed in…It was from my own early experience that I decided there was no use to which money could be applied so productive of good to boys and girls … as the founding of a public library in a community which is willing to support it.” When Carnegie became wealthy, one of his central philanthropic endeavors was the endowment of more than 2,500 Carnegie libraries in communities around the world.

Carnegie also donated generously to various colleges, helping to found Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. He contributed significantly to African American educational and economic organizations like the Tuskegee Institute and Booker T. Washington’s Negro Business League. After leaving a generous bequest to his wife and daughter, he willed the vast bulk of his fortune to the various organizations and causes he had supported during his life. 

While it was common in his day for the wealthy to make charitable donations, Carnegie went far beyond what others did. Clearly, his clicking point was the inspiration that carried him from poverty to extreme wealth and provided the incentive to offer educational resources for those who wanted to improve their minds to live more fulfilling lives.

The clicking point of inspiration is unlike the six preceding clicking points as they are based on urgencies from which the entrepreneur seeks liberation. Inspiration is different because the motivation to succeed comes from the desire to improve the general well-being of others. Entrepreneurs who are inspired to achieve success do so because they wish to leave a legacy that improves the human condition and brings more light to the lives of people who are either struggling or would benefit from living their lives in a new and better way.

Lessons Learned

1. A clicking point defines a person by giving them purpose and drive.

2. Clicking points are highly personal, and emotionally charged, often a compensation for a painful experience early in life.

3. When an entrepreneur finds their clicking point, they become unstoppable.

4.A person’s clicking point has nothing to do with money, success, or business, but everything to do with their self-perception and their need to find inner harmony and emotional balance. 

5. 100% of successful entrepreneurs are compelled by “clicking points” that push them forward through failure to eventual success.

Khuram Dhanani
Khuram Dhanani
Khuram Dhanani
kd@softstonecapital.com