Sunday Snippet: Guy Laliberte (Cirque du Soleil)

“Business is difficult. But it could be approached two ways: Seriously, or with the same way you’re doing your job, with entertainment aspect, with pleasure, with fun. And we decided to try to make it as fun that we do our creativity.”

Life should be fun. If all you do is get bogged down with the challenges in life, struggling through every minute detail for some idiomatic dangling carrot, you’re missing the point. Develop your skills and chase your dreams, to be sure, but don’t forget that you should have a good time while you’re at it.

That’s just one lesson that we can learn from folks like Guy Laliberte. His name may not be all that familiar to most people, but he just so happens to be the founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, one of the most successful entertainment companies on the planet. And he got to where he is today precisely because he would not give up on having fun and providing worthwhile entertainment.

His company is currently in Vancouver with Kooza, in addition to the several other traveling Cirque du Soleil shows around the world and the resident shows in places like Las Vegas. He has grown quite the empire, amassing an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion (and rising). That’s why he was named the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

And it’s not like he was born with all the advantages in the world either. He didn’t have a silver spoon when he started out as a street performer in Quebec. However, he was able to parlay his skills as an accordion player, stilt-walker and fire-eater into the massive success he enjoys today, not only as an entrepreneur, but also as a poker player and philanthropist. His name makes perfect sense: Liberte means “freedom” in French.

As you make your way through life, reaching for those just-out-of-reach ambitions, don’t lose sight of some of the most important things in life: to have fun, to explore your creativity, and to be happy. With that, let’s end with another quote from the Cirque du Soleil CEO.

“Inside every adult there’s still a child that lingers. We’re happiness merchants – giving people the opportunity to dream like children.”