I would like to share a little bit of my private side so you can realize – we all have stories and obstacles, triumphs and celebrations, which allow us to become what we hope to be.
Right now, my family is on the other side of a really challenging season. We’ve had a hefty share of trials: family (surviving the teenage years), finances (surviving the credit meltdown), marriage (growing in our relationship as a result of it all!).
I’m not going to candy-coat it…this season was tough. Not so tough that I didn’t see it as a series of solvable problems (I believe every problem has a solution)…but because I had to allow those around me to come up with their own solutions and conclusions.
It was frustrating because I am an entrepreneur. I’m curious. I embrace what’s possible. I work for what can be rather than what it is now. I build things rather than destroy things. I’m optimistic and realistic. And, I’m used to directing the ebb and flow of my business.
And while my family is my business…they are not a business. They are people. And these were people I loved; however, I understood it wasn’t my job to build their lives or make their decisions. My job was to just be there…and wait…and encourage…and love.
Where Business Building and Family Building Merge
For me, building a business is about way more than making money. It’s about growing and testing and pushing the limits on what you’re capable of and what you’re called to do while you tip-toe (or speed) through life.
It’s about being fearless, and curious, and doing something that matters. And it’s about having FUN!
On some level, I saw the challenges of the people I love the most (including myself) as an obstacle, a delay, and really something very silly which was simply getting in the way of our higher abilities.
Intuitively, I knew we were simply navigating our individual and collective journeys and within those challenges the seeds of something better were being seasoned and strengthened for our future. I believe that long-term success is possible when your outer skills and talents are matched by your inner growth, wisdom, spirituality, compassion, integrity, and sense.
I also believe these things take time…and that timing doesn’t always run on your own personal clock. You can’t put it into your personal calendar as in “I”ll have my sh*$ together by 5pm on this date…”
Yes, we can and should choose and control our own lives. But I’ve found that when you strive for the success of an entire family you sometimes need to step back and allow all members to reach their own potential in their own time.
Set the World on Fire!
What I really wanted to do is just get on with the business of building a family, marriage and business and not be sucked into (and drained) by all the other “stuff.” From my vantage point, the answers were simple: Get your ego out of the way, quit wasting time, stop trying to please the wrong people, and use your God-given talents to set the world on fire!
Instead we somehow had to navigate a foreign world filled with drama, lies, manipulation, denial, and a whole lot of people and situations that seemed hell bent on destruction. Hell, some even tried to destroy individual people in my family.
The funny thing was these other people didn’t see what they were doing as destructive. When they said they were not doing any harm I would simply scratch my head and think…really?
It’s like this: If they had the experience of being the recipient of the very same actions they were involved in, they and everyone around them would cry “foul” and rally to their defenses and call the culprit a villian. They would be pissed if someone did what they were doing to them, or their best friend, their sister, or their daughter or son. I guess it’s harder to wrap your head around any misconduct when it’s played out the other way around. They couldn’t see that they were culprit dishing “it” out so somehow that made it ok. I guess it’s all in your perspective, right?
I don’t know…I sorta think there are some things where wrong is wrong and you just can’t paint it over in pretty colors, no matter how hard you try. As a result, a person can expend a lot of energy trying to force others to do and be something they were never intended to be in the first place.
NOTE: If you’re faced with a toxic situation or person, check this article out
In my world – I build things; in that other world – things are destroyed as crowds of people either look on and cheer the destructive behaviors and choices, or look away and pretend it’s not happening.
Like I said: foreign.
I always say I was blessed with great parents. They showed us by example how to live a good life, taught us right and wrong and allowed us to explore our own experiences with each, encouraged us even when we might fail at the things we tried, held us accountable, and gave a little tough love when it was needed.
I’m grateful for them because they gave me the foundation which allows me to build things: business, family, marriage, and a life that I’m proud of.
This doesn’t mean I’m perfect. And it sure as Hell doesn’t mean that I haven’t screwed up! In fact, it’s because I’ve messed up…big time…that I was able to ride out this season of turmoil without giving up – on me or on the people I love.
Why Am I Telling You This?
Because we all have stories of struggle and challenge.
Too often we only see other people’s success, compare that success to where we are now and think we can’t do what that other person has done because surely (we console ourselves) they have not had to deal with what you’re dealing with.
I call bullshit!
When you look on Facebook, or any other social media platform, you most often see the highlight reel or a life they wish they really had. You’re not seeing the hours of work put in behind the scenes. You’re not seeing the moments of doubt or wrong decisions or times when they turned left when they should have turned right.
You are seeing the editor’s cut; you’re not seeing what’s lying on the editor’s floor.
Does that make it a lie?
Sometimes….but not always.
For those that you consider successful, what you’re seeing is possibility.
Rather than look at the success of others and say “I could never…” maybe you should consider they too had their share of challenges to get to that point and somehow they turned the impossible into the inevitable.
So here is what I want you to take with you as you build your life and your business:
No matter what has happened in your past, or what may be going on in your life right now, it is there to bring you closer to where you should be. The trick is to see it through the eyes of possibilities.
You will meet hundreds, maybe thousands of people in your lifetime. When you do, you may ask them “What do you do?”
Their response will most likely be a job title, a company, and the offering of a business card. You know, networking stuff.
But try this:
Ask them how they got there.
Watch them come alive as they tell you their story. They have one; you have one; we are all connected through our stories. Allow your story to build you up because too often we think our story is only meant to hold us back. That’s a lie.
Personally, I believe we are stronger than we can imagine and capable of more than we could ever hope for.
Lean into that.
Whatever it is you want to do (and probably should be doing)…do that. Write, create, build…whatever it is. You are the architect and author of your life. That means you can build it and write it into whatever you desire.
Until next time…
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