Enjoy the moment as much as the goal. The journey is as much fun as the destination.
Mr. Duncan John MacDonald has proven that the pursuit of your dream is worth every effort. Raised by parents who encouraged his dreams, Duncan MacDonald fell in love with flying from a young age. His family often watched the Blue Angels perform unique maneuvers. This cultivated his fascination with flight.
As a young adult, he chased his dream to become a pilot. He enrolled in flight school, put in many hours of flight time, learning everything he could in the process. The moment of success came when he obtained his commercial pilot’s license. As a pilot, he has begun to build his future around his passion.
Today, Mr. MacDonald resides in Dallas, Texas, United States of America. He calls the area home with his wife and family. They enjoy spending time together, pursuing hobbies, and sharing in school events together.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Flying became a fascination while I was a child. My parents loved to take us to air shows. My favorite was watching the Blue Angels perform. In my experience, I found that I really enjoy flying people to and from their destinations far more than I do the idea of personal strategic flying.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Good question. Every morning that I’m working is very different from the ones when I’m not.
On a day I have a flight, I get up early so I can get in a workout and breakfast with my family. Some mornings it’s just my wife and I. Sometimes it is all of us. After breakfast, I check my bag, which is typically packed the night before, and then head to the airport.
From there it is the usual preflight process, which can be involved even before I get in the air. Once we’re sure the airplane is secured and the information is set for the plane, we take off. On the other side of the flight, I touch base with my family the moment I get to the hotel. I repeat the process the next day on my way home.
For a day I’m not working, it’s up for exercise and breakfast with the family. Help my wife get the kids ready for the day and enjoy being home. You have to enjoy your time at home to make the fun time in the air worth the time apart.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I typically discuss the important considerations with my wife. She’s the sounding board for everything. Once a decision has been thoroughly hashed out, we take action to implement it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am enjoying seeing the fresh diversity among pilot pools today. Seeing all of the unique faces, languages, and cultures becoming pilots has really made the industry robust and fun again.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I find that following up with important details is critical. I do not have a problem asking questions, clarifying concerns, or researching information if I have the slightest bit of uncertainty.
Doing research ahead of time saves you a lot of time down the road.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to make sure to enjoy the moment as much as the goal. The journey is as much fun as the destination and I didn’t always see that. I do now and my only regret is not enjoying it sooner.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I know that flying is the safest way to travel. I’m so happy to be able to fly and go anywhere in the world that my wife and I want to go. Once we get there we often select mass transit or walking to get around. It is a wonderful way to experience the world and share it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
You don’t have to be working for yourself to exercise, but it is so important. Exercising ensures a positive start of the morning, a healthy day ahead, and gives you the edge you need to bring your mind alive with the sun.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I keep myself informed on the industry. It is important to make yourself aware of whatever is going on around you so nothing surprises in and about your career. Information is always available. It takes a few minutes to locate the right sources and revisiting them regularlly ensures you know your industry well.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Early in my career, I interviewed for a job. The man doing the interview really took some time to explain things to me about the expectations and company. I didn’t ask questions, clarify any parts I was unsure about, or take any steps to be confident in my understanding. That was my failing. Not long after being hired I began to run into issues, but I then made it a point to sit down with someone with more experience and correct my understanding. This made the rest of the job much easier.
I have made it a point to clarify my understanding in every situation going forward.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
With so many things going on while children are in school, it would be fantastic to have some kind of system to link the school and families coherently. There are always things the children don’t bring home, or that get lost in a bookbag. Having announcements, conversations, and updates in a single location would be incredibly helpful.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The last time I took my wife out to eat was the best money I’ve spent. We really enjoyed sitting together, just the two of us. We talked until the restaurant closed and our poor waitress was tipped well for having to wait on us.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Honestly, this is likely going to be very simple. I typically just use my calendar. It can be updated from my phone or from my computer. It’s set so my wife can update it with family information along the way too. We get reminders, updates, and changes when they happen so it keeps me on schedule and on time.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
My wife introduced me to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. I really didn’t have a lot of expectation but I promised to read it. I was really surprised. I believe we’ve read every one of them since. So, I would pick the Chicken Soup for the Soul series instead of a single book. The whole series causes you to think and often smile.
What is your favorite quote?
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” by General Colin Powell
That really put a lot into perspective when I first heard it. It is something I keep in mind always.
● Hard work makes the difference
● Research and stay informed keeps you prepared
● Do what you love and what you love will flourish
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.