Sometimes you don’t realize the impact a person has had on you until they are gone. The absence of their physical presence reveals the impression made.
Scott Dinsmore, founder of popular blog Live Your Legend, is gone.
At 33 years old, Scott was in the middle of his year long world tour with his wife Chelsea when he died in a tragic climbing accident on Mount Kilimanjaro. He was on an adventure. He was living his bliss. He was living his legend.
When I heard the news, I cried. This doesn’t happen very often. No celebrity death has ever caused me to shed a tear. So why did news of Scott’s death cause such strong emotions?
I’ve never actually met Scott, but his words and the communities he created played an important role in my life.
Scott openly shared his hero’s journey. He wrote about the power that can come when you allow yourself to connect deeply with those around you by showing your vulnerability and finding common ground. He spoke of the joy that is generated from doing what you love. He shared his journey and encouraged others to do the same. Others like me.
As I read of his death I was clearing email by my apartment’s pool in Austin, TX.
A few minutes later the phone rang. I had to compose myself to meet the movers that were helping me lug the infrared sauna my girlfriend and I had ordered into our apartment. Messages from an amazing community of local entrepreneurs are rolling in on my iPhone’s GroupMe app letting me know where they are co-working, where the cool bands are playing (Ratatat for $10 at ACL Live) and the BBQ that is happening this Friday.
I just finished a three day training with team America of the Asian Efficiency crew. I learned about sales, marketing, writing and computer hacks that will save me a collective week of time in the coming year. We broke for lunch and dinner to dine at some of the best restaurants in town. I’m sure everyone on the team is glad to be free from hearing me repeatedly say,“This is the best [insert food name here] I’ve had in my life!”
As someone who loves to learn and have new experiences, I could not ask for a better week. I sometimes feel like I’m living some other extremely lucky person’s life. But I’m not. It’s my own.
Life was not this way when I first came across Scott’s blog. At the time, I was in the middle of trying to create my first business. It was a consulting firm called Buckets. I taught small business owners how to collect, organize, review and do all of the things they needed to get done. I called myself a technical efficiency coach. TEC (pronounced tech) for short. I charged $500 for a full day of work on email, calendars, to do lists, documentation and automation.
Did I have any clients yet?
Was I ready to take on the world, to follow my bliss of teaching others how to have more control in their own life?
What gave me such confidence?
I was not alone.
It certainly wasn’t prior experience. I had pretty much failed at everything in my career up to that point. I was almost $20,000 in debt due to student loans on a masters degree I hadn’t finished. I was leaning heavily on my girlfriend to make ends meet.
It wasn’t my track record. It was the people I was beginning to surround myself with. These people thought differently. They saw quitting a career that you were not passionate about as a positive lesson not a flaky misstep. They saw entrepreneurship as a way to make a living doing something you loved. They believed helping and encouraging each other was in everyone’s best interests.
Nobody wants to take their journey alone. I was no exception. Live Your Legend local groups were created in December of 2013. The timing was perfect. Our Denver crew met weekly to support each other. To celebrate the wins. Members freely shared their expertise, their network and their compassion. We all grew. The path eventually lead me to work for Asian Efficiency. This new team has grown and taken us and our followers to new levels.
So why did I cry?
I cried because I’m grateful that Scott was here for a time. I’m grateful that his message hit me at the right moment. I’m grateful for the community he created that allowed me to give and receive support, to make me feel valuable and cared for. I cried because I know Scott would have done so much more for others. He would have created more love, more support and more inspiration to those he didn’t personally know. People like me. I cried because I can only imagine the pain his parents, wife and close friends must be feeling at this moment.
You are not alone either.
I will do my part not to let Scott’s legendary message die with him. I will use the tools and inspiration he gave me. I will do work that matters. I will live my legend. I will help anyone who wants to live their legend. I hope you’ll consider doing the same.