It was 11:00 in the morning on a Monday…and I was on my way to the zoo. That’s when I realized I’ve made it.

Lion at the Zoo
The beauty of entrepreneurship is that one day, you will make it, whatever your definition is. (Click to Tweet)

I just recorded an interview with one of my favorite people in the world, John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire.

One of the questions he asks every interviewee is, “Have you had an ‘I’ve made it’ moment?” For some reason, that question rattled in my brain for a few days after we scheduled the interview.

My voices

Free Book
FREE BOOK: Who Will Change the World…if Not the Entrepreneur. Get it here.

Here’s what the voices in my head told me:

“Have I made it? Of course not. That would mean I’ve reached the pinnacle as an entrepreneur and as a person. “

“I’ll never make it. I don’t want to make it. It’s a lot cooler to continue to strive and push and set goals.

“HA! You think that’s why you’ll never make it? You’ll never make it because you aren’t good enough, don’t work hard enough, and won’t sacrifice enough.”

“You work too hard. How can you ‘make it’ if you are always working so hard?” (It’s ironic that one voice says I don’t work hard enough and the next says I work too hard…voices are like that)

“You don’t even know what it means to ‘make it.'”

That last one was true. I didn’t know what my definition was of “making it.”

But the others were all crap. And I realized that at 11:00 AM on a Monday while driving to the zoo.

The zoo

Fifteen minutes earlier I was deep in work. I was focused. I was kicking butt and taking names. Until my wife called.

Tara and our daughter, Aracelli, were at the zoo together while I was working. But today was a special day, the zoo luau. So Tara called just to let me know.

And that’s when I got up and left.

Aracelli McWilliams feeding a giraffe
This was my “I’ve made it” moment.

OK, I finished my thoughts, made a list of things to do later that day, and then I left. I then spent the next three and a half hours at the zoo. I even had a call cancel at 2:00 that allowed me to stay a little longer (Interesting how things like that happen sometimes).

On the way there, it hit me. This was my definition of making it. That, in the middle of the day, I could leave work and spend 3+ hours with my family at the zoo.

That is the beauty of entrepreneurship. One day, you will make it. Whatever your definition is.

If you work hard enough and smart enough, dream big enough, and surround yourself with the right people, you will:

Make more money than you ever dreamed of.

Find joy in your work.

Have the freedom to do what you want when you want.

Be able to encourage others to do the same.

For the most part, I’ve found all four. So I can honestly say, “I’ve made it.”

And I want the same for you.

What is your definition of “making it?” Have you “made it?” 

15 thoughts on “My I’ve Made it Moment | Entrepreneur on Fire #EOFire

  1. Jon Stolpe says:

    Glad you could enjoy time with your family. I guess I’m still figuring out the whole “make it” thing. I’ve made it to where I am now. And I’m thankful for this fact. Next week, I hope to “make it” again. And next year, my plan is to “make it” again. “Making it” is definitely a matter of perspective.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Perhaps you have figured it out then Jon!

  2. brentmkelly says:

    Congrats on the EOF interview. I can’t wait to hear it. That is one of my favorite podcasts. I am blessed to have a great job, but am just begging a side entrepreneurial endeavor and am very excited. All the best

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      That is awesome Brent. It is such an exciting time. The key is…and no, I have not figured it out yet, is keeping as exciting or even more exciting in three, five, and after ten years.

    2. Tom Dixon says:

      Watch out Brent – it will consume you! But it is a lot of fun. Good luck!

  3. Let's Grow Leaders says:

    I suspect the good feeling came as much from the fact that you DID go to the zoo, as the fact that you COULD?

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Definitely that I could. Being there was awesome but the euphoric Feeling first came on the way there.

  4. Kirbie Earley says:

    Congratulations on being able to spend time with your family! There is nothing more important! I gave away some working hours this weekend – like about half of my weekend, to my grandchildren but I wouldn’t trade one of those moments for anything at all! I don’t have that freedom during the week YET, but I am going to!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Awesome Kirbie! Sounds like a great weekend.

  5. Tom Dixon says:

    You hit the nail on the head. Watch out, I’m right behind you.

  6. Mark Sieverkropp says:

    Man, totally awesome “I’ve made it moment” as exciting reading it this time as it was when you first told me about it!

    What’s my definition of “I’ve made it”?

    Not worrying about whether there’ll be enough money to cover the bills, doing something that I love doing so much I don’t feel like I’m working. Not feeling like uttering the phrase “is it Friday yet”, and being able to coach my kids’ soccer teams, go on field trips, go to school programs, and know I’m making a difference in people’s lives.

    Great post brother.

  7. Jon D Harrison says:

    Congratulations Matt! This message is a great encouragement to me at this moment, but I’m most happy for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.