It is the perfect time of year to pause, look back, and be thankful.
[To my son, may this give you some guidance 20+ years from now]
The last two years is a very significant timeframe for me and my family.
Just over two years ago (Dec. 16, 2014) I left my job. It was a really good job, with great pay, and I had terrific team members. But, it was a job, and I wanted more. I needed more.
Here is the Ledbury shirt I wore the day I resigned. You see, I remember crazy things like that. This shirt will make an appearance again later (cliff hanger).
I took three weeks and five days off.
At this moment in time, no one (NO ONE) knows what the future will hold. I know I didn’t.
The only guarantees you have are your talents, and the story you’re telling yourself about what you believe. Consequently, these are also the only two things that matter in any venture.
Your Talents + Your Story
Looking back two years later here’s what happened (Reader’s Digest Version).
To start, I was scared. Was I making the right decision? I learned its ok to be scared. It means you have something to not only to lose, but to gain. Sometimes what people are most afraid of, is understanding how good something different truly can be. Understand the downside, and decide, but move —-> forward.
I was excited. If you know me well, I can get excited easily. Excitement and anxiety are nearly the same feelings, but the latter wears the cloak of fear. Both look toward the future and the future = uncertainty. How good could this really be? What I learned was, it was (and always is)…up to me. Make it great for you, and those around you!
The key to any journey is STARTING. Take the first step. As Steve Jobs says in his Stanford commencement address, “the dots will connect later.” You can’t possibly know how, but know life has a way of connecting down the road and awarding the daring.
Back to the story.
Our business grew. We grew as a direct result of many team members committed to answering the question, “How do we get better” every single day. No days off in this pursuit.
How do we get better, today?
We grew as a team and we had individual team members making massive strides in their personal growth. This is probably the most rewarding part of looking back over the last two years. Not numbers, or financials, but real changes in behavior. Numbers come and go. We’ve all seen it. Behavior is power and can be counted on.
As we continued to grow, we took on new challenges. Most importantly, what does the future hold for our blossoming team?
In rolls 2016.
I had the unique opportunity to become a minority partner in the business as we jumped head first into 2016. An opportunity I’m thankful I had the audacity to ask for, and more thankful to my partners for their openness to engage one another.
Remember son, nothing is given. It must be earned.
This last year (2016) was followed up by even more tremendous growth by our team and individuals. If any of you are reading this, know that I am so very proud of you all. I know I’ve probably said it from time to time, but sometimes it’s more rewarding to read it. Job well done! But don’t stop now. Your sails are up, capture the tailwinds.
We reached an inflection point in our business.
Just recently, our business was acquired and we will be joining a new team in 2017. A future I’m tremendously excited for and an acquisition we’re proud of.
Looking back at the growth of the business in the last 12 years, I’m so very happy for my partners and their families. They started it. I simply tried to add fuel to the fire the last two years.
You see, its fun to look at now, but no one wants to think about or experience the pain, anxiety, travel, loss, and hardship in those early years. Those guys lived it and we’re all better off for it. Thank you!
Cheers gents! I hope it never gets old celebrating what you built.
Back to the shirt as I alluded to earlier in the post.
The day we signed off on all the paperwork, guess what I wore? If you’re wondering…who thinks about what to wear for something like this? I do damnit!
You guessed it. The Ledbury shirt I wore almost exactly two years prior when I resigned. It carried tremendous significance.
I promise you, no one knew but me, but boy did I ever know where that shirt had been two years ago. Two powerful (life changing) decisions were made wearing that shirt. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it…No matter what!
After all that. You’d think I’d be over the moon excited. Right!?!
But here’s the funny thing.
Immediately I was sad.
That night we went out and had a few beers, shared stories, laughs, and even a few tears.
That night when I got home, I couldn’t sleep.
With my wife and son fast asleep, I went down to the basement and was sad like a person is the day of graduation. So much time, energy, and short history wrapped up…just like that. You don’t cry at graduation because you’re afraid of going to college or fear of going out on your own. You do so to be thankful.
I barely slept that night. What can I tell you? I’m human with ALL the human emotions.
It took me a couple days to let everything sink in.
It took me a couple days to think about my wife and family that supported the decision the day it was made over two years ago. She knew it was going to work far before I EVER DID!
It took me a couple days to think about all the support I’ve received to make such a big dream happen (to all my close friends who believed in me).
This isn’t a post telling you to quit your job today. Use your head and do some thinking first. It’s also not about taking all the chances, but at some point you MUST TAKE A CHANCE. Why not?
More than anything this is a dump of thankfulness from my heart, and a nudge in the direction of listening to your gut.
Lastly, its a big thank you to anyone who’s ever read (you right now), liked, or shared a post. I started this journey a couple yeas ago with the idea that maybe (just maybe) I had a few unique ideas to share and that the most important thing I could ever achieve would be to help someone else achieve their goals, their mission, their dreams.
I don’t know if I’m helping to change the world, but I’ve helped a few people think a little differently.
I’ve helped a few people start meditating and they’re telling me it is bettering their life.
I’ve helped a few people get a raise or a new job.
I’ve been able to help friends as they take on new and bigger opportunities. If nothing else, I just listen.
I’ve helped nudge a few more to follow their dreams.
Thank you all for taking time to personally tell me I had anything to do with any of it. You did it yourself. Maybe you just didn’t see it right away.
From the bottom of my heart.
Happy New Years and cheers to what the future has in store!