A few years back, at a steakhouse in Newport Beach, a couple were wrestling with a Ferrari 360 convertible. Alarm blaring, the car wouldn't start, it's the stuff so many of us dread, the substance of our dreams plagued by the realities of our worst nightmares. Fighting the moment, the couple, at the height of material success have a revelation. They should have brought the Jeep. At least they know the Jeep would start. In the thing you thought you desired most, you find out the thing you had, the thing closer to you, is reliable.
David Bizousky, Biz, had been to heights many have dreamed of, especially when you come from where he did. Amazing house, wonderful cars, the lifestyle we all think dream of at some point. Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in that amazing machine, heading to that brilliant dinner with a woman out of our dreams. Biz can tell you that it's not all it's cracked up to be.
"It's not all models and bottles."
I had some coffee with Biz this morning, in the heart of the Holy City, enjoying a remarkably mild summer morning, for Charleston in August. The man is pure energy. I imagine this is the way a firework feels right before it is about to rain color and light over a baseball game. He smiles and laughs with a palpable integrity. We joke about how a "wild night" when you get older is a little less wild, and often ends at somewhere between 8 and 10 pm. We have a lot in common. We both were at high places in our lives, coming from lesser beginnings and working our asses off to get up the mountain. We each found our own perches, our own peaks.
We both fell.
Biz and I both went through divorces, with lon separations and assorted trials during that time. It's something you can't really understand until you go through it. Biz found his way though. He is that kind of guy. If we all were to walk around with signs above our heads, indicating motivations like comic book thought bubbles, Biz would have one saying "Make It Work." He is the founder of one startup tech company and working at a friends. He loves it, truly loves it. Not the easy infatuation so many people have. Not the love of "models and bottles," the easy desire for the appearance of wealth and fame. No, Biz lvoes being an entrepreneur even when it's hard.
I recently made this same jump, going on your own to start something you love and just figuring it out. As good as it seems, those of us who have done it know about those moments when we ask "why am I doing this." and we get up the next day and do it.
That's why a guy like Biz, with that smile and that clear love for what he is doing, is such an incredible person to encounter. He's been down some rough road. I can only know some of it. I don't know the material success side of it to that level, though I can honestly say there are times I wish I did. Hell, even hearing the description of that car makes you a bit envious. The energy around Biz though is the energy of someone who has realized something, learned one of those great lessons of life. Happiness is not the money, not the lifestyle, it's something more.
We all find our happiness from different places and, some of us, substitute things in place of it so we can at least fake it (perhaps the greatest tragedy). As John Lennon said, "whatever gets you through the night." Some of us find it in faith. Others find it in work, in the sunrise, the a cup of coffee with friends, the hand of a loved one, the fishing trip we take every year or any of a thousand moments and experiences. I'm not about to debate where you find your happiness, that is for other people to do. I will not tell you it is legitimate, not argue it is lacking, because it is yours to find.
For Biz, he finds it in the grind, deep down in the suck of his work, in the building of his legacy. We don't have days off, and we don't worry about it. We blow off steam when we can, otherwise we make it work. Biz is inspiration on two legs.
He and I are just like any other two people on this journey through life. It turns out that we took some of the same stretches of road though, and that is an incredible feeling, to sit and have some coffee with another traveler before moving on down the road. I know we will see each other again, and have no doubt we will have different stories about the same bends in the road. I cannot wait.
Favorite Dinosaur: Stegosaurus
Why: The Land Before Time (I am a very happy man that this movie gets cited so often.)