Friday, April 21, 2017

The Other Person

It's really easy to forget.

I do it all the time.

I get so caught up in "me and mine" that my vision gets cloudy and compromised.

At the beginning of my career, when I was a front line supervisor, I worked with a man who I believed was in a terminally bad mood. He never engaged in conversation, never smiled. Mostly he did his job and grumbled and complained.

I settled for him doing his job.

More important stuff to attend to ya know?

One evening I saw him smile and I asked him why the mood change?

His wife was confined to her bed with a chronic illness. The private duty nurse left at 11 pm. We left work at 7 am. She was alone for over 8 hours. Tonight was his last night on 3rd shift. Monday night he was headed to the 3 to 11 shift. The private duty nurse had agreed to stay until 11:30.


I take a walk most mornings. 

Being a creature of habit I don't vary my route. Consistency and all that jazz. 

One summer, a few years back, I would encounter the same woman waiting for the bus at the same bus stop each and every morning. I'd wave and shout a hearty "Good Morning!" when I passed by each day. She'd turn her head and grin. 

So it went, five days a week from early May until early August; and one morning as I motored past her I heard her say "Hey, hang on a minute.!"

She told me she appreciated my greeting each morning. She was home for the summer from college and this was her last day at work. 

She got real solemn. 

"I won't go into detail, but I've had a lotta challenges this summer and a lotta stress. It was always good to know that you were gonna be here every morning with that goofy grin, yelling GOOD MORNING and waving at me. It forced me to smile and I am grateful for that." 

The bus pulled up. She leaned in and gave me a quick hug and got on the bus. 


They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Mark 8:22-25

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

your self confidence is the best weapon in your aresenal

It's never a blessing.

Oh, I know, you can Google search terminations and you'll get all sorts of encouragement like The 10 Best Things About Getting Fired. 

They are not driving home wondering Whats gonna happen to me now.

The 90's were not my decade. In the course of nine years I lost 3 jobs.  One was in Big Tobacco - nuff said! One in the automotive industry - The CEO guessed wrong on a start up in South America, by roughly 5 million dollars and suddenly the door was revolving at a rapid pace.

Bonus Tip: When a company begins selling its receivables, it's time to look for a new job. 
(Guess who didn't)

Finally, the cherry on the Sunday was uprooting my family to take a position in a company that was looking to acquire another company. I had experience in that area. 22 months later the board of directors decided to sell, rather than buy. The new company? They had one of me. 

Not exactly how I'd like to be identified as an expert, ya know. 

From time to time my phone will ring and it's someone who recently went through the experience themselves. Here's something I share with them. 

Don't Freak Out (Don't Blame Yourself Either)
There may be a million reasons you were terminated and in most cases you'll never figure them out.

Most company's will wrap themselves in the legal mumbo jumbo they paid their attorney's to write for them. This was designed for one reason and one reason only - To assure you don't win a huge settlement for unlawful termination. No matter how determined you may be, chances are no one is going to break the code of silence.

My point? Invest your energy in the things you can control, not the dragons you'll never fight!

Don't get me wrong. I immediately updated my resume and started knocking on doors. I even had a tentative job offer, that fell through at the last minute. To say I was despondent would be an understatement. I did FREAK OUT

I went to the final interview with the company and they told me "Someone made a terrible mistake in letting you assume you had the position. We are going to fill the position internally. We are very sorry for the confusion."

After I'd been rejected 3 times in less than 10 years, (That's how I looked at it at that time.) it dawned on me that God, The Universe, the angels,  the saints and a few ancestors were trying to tell me something - Start your own business.

Bonus Tip #2: Do you know a majority of small businesses are started from necessity? 

It's been 17 years since that morning in December of 1999. If you'd met me back then and heard my story you might not have been to keen on my future. For awhile neither was I.  I love what I do and I am learning to love the challenges every time I'm presented with one.

In the end, when I looked in the mirror, the only person staring back was me. Lottsa people care, lottsa people offer great advice but when the dust settles its up to me.

What sustains me through the dicey days is my innate belief that the path I am walking is the path I was meant to walk no matter how steep or muddy it becomes.

We got this.

Believe in us