We love Dan Tyre around here and we think you will too. In today’s guest post, Dan writes about some of his formative business experiences and how he came to adopt a personal mission statement that serves as a guiding principle for everything he does – both in his work as Sales Director at HubSpot and as part of 1MISSION’s Board of Advisors.
Early in my business career, my guiding principles were pretty basic and could be easily explained this way.
Dan Tyre wants to:
1. Learn stuff
2. Have fun
3. Make money
I lived by that philosophy for a long time and was fortunate to enjoy a lot of success living by those principles. I’ve helped to create or scale a number of businesses as an employee, investor, board member, and community leader, most recently a member of the original team at HubSpot, the world’s leader in inbound.
Several years ago, my son Eli went off to college at the University of Chicago, a great school full of lots of smart people like him. He attended for a year and then took a semester off because he had worked very hard through high school and university and needed a breather. After the first break, he took another semester off. Then we got the phone call: “Dad, I don’t think I’m going back to school.”
Amy, my beautiful wife, has worked hard to raise our children to think for themselves, so I knew it wouldn’t be easy to push Eli to do something he didn’t want to do, but I was sure going to try. I did a couple hours of research, gathered the data about the economic and connection advantages of a college education that I would need in my attempt to convince Eli that returning to college was in his best personal and economic interest. As usual, Eli managed to refute everything I said. But I refused to take no for an answer, so I kept pressing.
Eventually, at the end of several long conversations, Eli turned toward me and said something along these lines:
“Dad, the bottom line is this – all I want is to do the most good I can for the universe.”
When your 21-year-old son says something like that, it’s hard to continue any sort of rational argument. So I said, “Okay. One, you are an amazing person. Two, you have to follow your path. Three, can I use that as my new mission statement?” I also told him there was one condition: “I’m going to steal that line and tell it to a million people.” Eli laughed and said, “Dad, knock yourself out.”
So I adopted my son Eli’s worldview as my new personal mission statement, and now I use it in all my public presentations to explain how I live my life.
Part of living a full life is having a lot of fun and I’ve had WAY more fun than any human being can reasonably expect, I’ve achieved some level of financial success, and I’ve learned a TON about a variety of different things – I have been married 29 years to the beautiful Amy Tyre, we have two beautiful smart and socially responsible children, we practice yoga every week, we eat good food. So now I’m all about helping other people. That’s become a strong guiding principle for me and one of the reasons I sometimes refer to myself as the luckiest guy in the world.
Image: Dan Tyre and his wife, Amy, helping to build a house during a recent trip to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, with 1MISSION.
A couple years ago, I was the emcee at an event during Phoenix Startup Week where Jason Schneider Law was a speaker. We didn’t have much time to connect that day, but a couple of weeks later, he asked to meet at The Henry, a great local restaurant and gathering place in Phoenix. Once a month, I donate a day of my time and make my schedule publicly available to everyone in the community to try to help. As long as they book the time, and send me a quick email on the three things they need help with, we connect for 25 minutes or 50 minutes and work through whatever the entrepreneurs need. Goals, challenges, plans, timelines, scaling issues, how to raise capital, all kinds of issues that sometimes hinder entrepreneurs.
I usually get to the Henry at 7:00 a.m. and go to the same couch on the right-hand side of the restaurant (where there are two plugs near the couch for my phone and laptop) and stay at that table until we run out of time. All kinds of GREAT people sign up for slots to talk with me and ask me to help them noodle on their problems. Phoenix is an amazing entrepreneurial ecosystem, considering the number and quality of startups and scale-ups – and there are dozens of women-led companies, student-led companies, African American-led companies – so I am all in for helping as many people as I can, whenever I can.
So on one of these mornings Jason schedules time and he says, “I need help.” If you ever want to get my attention, those are the magic words. I asked him what the issue was and he told me he wanted to do more good in the universe through 1MISSION and needed some advice on how to grow the team. He wanted to give more and more families the opportunity to earn a house by serving their community – but didn’t know how.
I smiled and told him that I would be happy to help. From my perspective, 1MISSION is similar to a lot of the fast-growing companies and tech startups that I work with. So I started a program of working with Jason personally and with other senior leaders on the 1MISSION team to provide some guidance.
Pretty soon, I fell in love with what 1MISSION is doing to help build communities by helping people in poverty earn a house for their family – reinforcing their own sense of dignity. It makes me tear up just thinking about it.
When it comes to doing good in the universe, I rarely tell other people what to do. I am a big believer in personal responsibility and urge people to do what is in their heart. But in 2018, everyone can make a difference, every day. And getting in the habit of helping people is a tremendously rewarding and addicting thing to do.
I am in the habit of telling people three things:
1. You are [insert your name here]. (That’s a fact.)
2. You can do ANYTHING. (This is slightly aspirational but mostly true. Just figure out what you want to do and write out a plan, since planning gives you a huge advantage for getting things done.)
3. If you get stuck, think of a person who could help you get unstuck. (If you can’t think of someone, just email me.)
And that’s how great things happen.