What Really Matters to Me

UPDATED: August 8, 2017
PUBLISHED: August 8, 2017

I can’t take much credit for leadership on this issue of SUCCESS. In the most important stretch of editing and production, I didn’t come to work. My team picked up all the slack for my absenteeism. And I have to thank Amy McMurry, Christian Stovall, Jesus Jimenez, Jamie Friedlander, Cecilia Meis and Jim McCabe greatly. Through their sacrifice, I was able to experience something deep and profound.

While the team was busy working on this issue, I was saying goodbye to my dad. He died on June 22, with me, his only child, holding his hand as he slipped away just a few days after suffering a massive heart attack.

I’ll remember my dad not for those difficult final moments, but for his huge smile, bright eyes, workman hands and the big, tight hugs he gave, punctuated with a pat on the back and the words, “I love you, son.” And I’ll always be thankful to my team not only for the great work they do every month, but particularly for allowing me to be fully present in the hospital leading up to my father’s passing, so I could speak those final words to him: “I love you, Dad.”

Related: 13 Loving Quotes About Fatherhood

When you have a great team, you don’t have to worry because you know that if something happens, they have everything under control. They have your back. In my bereavement, I knew this month’s magazine would be as good as any we’ve ever produced. It’s fitting, I guess, that this happens to be The Priorities Issue of SUCCESS. What greater priority is there than to provide comfort to a loved one when they need you most, or to help a friend, allowing him to do the same?

In this issue, you’ll read about Elon Musk—a single dad, like my own father—attempting to balance his family responsibilities with his life’s passion. You’ll learn why money isn’t everything, why authenticity is a most valuable trait and why love governs all. You’ll discover new ways to be your most productive, best self, and to reach your true potential.

These are lessons any loving father tries to teach. I know that my dad would be proud of me for helping to share them with you.

Related: 5 Life Lessons I Learned From My Father


This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Josh Ellis is the former editor in chief for SUCCESS magazine. Before joining SUCCESS in 2012, he was an accomplished digital and print sportswriter, working for the Dallas Cowboys Star magazine, the team’s gameday program, and DallasCowboys.com. Originally from Longview, Texas, he began writing for his hometown newspaper at 16.