#INFLCR - Extra - Legacy
Through the past 15 years, INFLCR Founder and CEO Jim Cavale has had various seasons of peaks and valleys in his entrepreneurial journey. Several of the peaks have led to speaking engagements to share his story, including a recent visit to the Rotaract Club of Birmingham, Alabama at the Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham.
In this eight-minute #INFLCR Extra, Cavale encourages a room of young professionals, ages 21-35, to think about the bigger picture of one’s personal life among the professional life – a message he says he wishes he could speak to his younger self.
“What I’ve learned is life happens in seasons. If you’re in a season right now where there’s a harvest and everything is going really well, whatever that means … just know that the harvest will soon turn back to farming … but realize you’re farming for the harvest and these seasons go back and forth,” Cavale said.
That harvest may be financial gain, new relationships or new business or volunteer opportunities, but Cavale said it was those moments of farming which helped him develop.
“Every time I really wanted something and it didn’t happen, there was a reason for it,” Cavale said. “What I’ve learned is the things that I didn’t ask to happen, the unfortunate times in my life, are the things that created perseverance, determination, character that’s helped me through those things and helped me really see the bigger picture.”
Cavale says the simple way to keep the bigger picture in focus and connect personal life to professional life is to think Why, What and How. However, he says don’t get too caught up on the how without first looking at the why (your reason) and what (the measurable goals to achieve your why).
“I want to make every person that comes into my life a better version of themselves. I want to do that through my work. I want to do that through my parenthood. I want to do that through my marriage. I want to do that through my church. Any opportunity God’s brought to me, I want to be the best versions of themselves,” said Cavale of his why.
“Set goals that feed into your why. Your why should drive your want,” he added. “Write down what you want to see happen in each role you’ve been blessed with, and if you don’t write it down, it’s a wish.”
He says most “people usually go straight to how, because that’s what gives them income and to pay the bills, but if you go straight to how and you miss your why and your what, then you may lead an insignificant life, and no one here wants to do that.”
Cavale encouraged the room to measure their success by looking at the relationships they’ve developed.
“Relationships define you,” he said. “Your relationships are what you leave behind that has an imprint of you on them even after you’re gone.”
He said the biggest lesson he’s learned through this is that of developing empathy and compassion for others by getting to know others who are different than himself. He says Birmingham is already a generous community, with opportunities to do more – challenging each person in the group to spend eight days over the next year to find eight people different than themselves and truly listening to their story and beliefs.
“We have to wake up every day and connect our work, our life as a person outside of work, to the place that we live, to our community, and you are doing that,” Cavale said before leaving the group with one final thought.
“Think about not letting your identity get caught up in your work and how you can instead let your work compliment who you are and provide more opportunities for your relationships you can leave a lasting impact on.”