I am a disciplined procrastinator, if that makes any sense. I have little patience for anything that requires me to sit or be tied to the same spot for more than two hours. I am more of a hands-on kind of guy. I remember when I was in university, I would always leave the assignments and the important essays to the last minute. I suffered from the mañana syndrome. Fast-forward 20 something years later, and I am still a disciplined procrastinator– nothing much has changed. Take for instance this letter. I had started to craft this letter, as requested by the design team, earlier on in the game – even before we even knew who would be on the cover or what we’d write about this issue. I remember their words clearly: “Please Marlon, we want you to write your letters a year ahead if you can.”
I then went on a few press trips, wrote a line here and there, came back – put it away – but nothing inspired me. It is now less than 24 hours before this issue goes to print and I am still trying to find that something that would inspire me to write this note. Then I got a tweet from a dear friend of mine that shared an article – that made me wonder if she knew exactly what I was going through! The article shared with me was a beautiful piece written by ceaseless entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson in her blog You Inc., “Nobody Succeeds Alone.”
Here is my favorite paragraph: “The entrepreneurs that I admire most share one significant trait: they don’t consider themselves the sole architects of their success. They have the humility to recognize that many others have helped them along the way: dedicated employees who believed in what they were doing; mentors and advisors who gave generously of their time and expertise; loved ones who supported and put up with them; inspirers who served as their role models.”
As those words resonated in my head, I revisited the moment when Diego Casco, the President of the Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce called me to share some good news: I had been selected to receive the Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2012. The first thoughts that came to my mind then were, why me? I couldn’t fully grasp the idea of being recognized for something that I do out of passion. But then it dawned on me: this recognition had a purpose and an intent.
As entrepreneurs, we are faced everyday with challenges and rewards. There is no handbook or magic wand that will give you an immediate solution when you are faced with uncertainty. I must admit that as I leave my 30s, soon to enter into my 40s, I have learned and become better at many things – and one of them is to keep myself grounded no matter the degree of success, for success can be something fleeting!
More importantly, I have learned to surround myself with creative individuals, doers and thinkers that will keep me grounded. The award bestowed on me is not mine alone. It belongs to a wonderful group of people that drive this publication! Without you, this publication would not be what it is today! So today, I want to use this page that stood blank for quite sometime to thank you, Lu, Gustavo, Antonio, Lea, Mehreen, Tishan, Dyone, Humaira, Magda, Marcelo for being my inspiration. When I always turn to you, you never cease to amaze me with the right encouraging words, always coming up with solutions and with your constant positive energy which inspires me from the moment I get up until the moment I put this passion to rest.
To thank my parents and family, for giving me the essential tools to navigate through the journey of life and for always supporting my crazy ideas. And a special thanks to Pina, Jenny and Mariale for always being there in one way or another when the tough gets going, you are always there to lift me higher.
And finally, it is in this spirit of inspiration, that I welcome Kate Browning to the wonderful family of BOLD magazine. Like we say in Spanish, nuestra casa es tu casa. As you take on the role of editor, I have faith in you that you will make our wonderful publication grow along with the rest of the team.