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I’m going to quit my job and start my life.

Jon Acuff wrote a fantastic book.  Quitter.  I highly recommend it if you are thinking about starting your own businesses.  The highlights of this quick read focus on settling on the fact that you are going to transition from your current job while progressively moving towards your “dream” job.  This is a method, a technique that ensures you won’t starve on your path ahead.  

You shouldn’t feel like this at your job.

This path is not for everyone and I’m here to tell you that it’s a challenging path.  I embarked on a two-year journey that started with an idea, slowly birthed over time and grew a day at a time, sometimes painfully slow.  Here I sit writing this to you as I am about to step fulltime into my new life.  During this time my wife and I had a baby, wrangled a total of fours kids and we endured businesses losses and business gains.  At this point the gains far outweighed any losses.  I’ve learned a lot about myself and my wife during this transition.  The biggest is that I’m a pretty lucky guy.  I often worked a 40 hour week and then an additional 10 to 20 hours on the business and she put up with that… while keeping me grounded.

The new business isn’t perfect and it has its liabilities but my two-year semi-paid internship in my new business has taught me a lot and I feel that moving forward I can keep it growing and thriving.

All this might sound exciting but it’s not all pageantry and successes.  While mentally enduring the thoughts of failure and self-doubt crept in a bit too often.  Even though I’d consider myself a planner, I can only account for so many unexpected occurrences.  I’ve had to resign myself to the fact that, I can’t out-plan the unplannable.  Life happens.  It’s just how we chose to deal with it.  With the help of my wife, we’re just going to deal with it. 

My wife has also been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and has not one but two ventures that are already starting to roll.  She’s making it look easy too!  Good for her. 

As you move forward in your life, are you doing what you want to do?  Who or what controls and owns your time?  Is this how you planned your life?  If not, you’re the only one who can change it.  If you are, you’re the one who can keep it right where you want it.

What is important to you?

May 1, 2012 1 comment

No room left for the big stone.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, the saying goes.  The distance from my blog has made me very fond of it recently.  I need it.  The nearly hundred posts that I wrote a year ago are a great little insight into some topics that I am very passionate about, from personal responsibility, finance, business to being a husband and father.   

 

Since the last post, I’ve expanded and improved my business.  We now cover half of the state of Michigan.  I’ve hired some great new contractors and refined my business plan for the future.  The first full year of business met my goals, and year two has nearly surpassed that initial goal and we’re only just starting the second quarter.    

 

So why am I back, I’m back because the focus on the business has made me lose the focus on my life.  It’s over taken everything.  I’ve allowed it to become all-encompassing to the point where I’m not enjoying it.  I just toil in the daily tasks and that’s not where I want to be or where I started out going.  I want to be able to enjoy my family and my life to the fullest and only I can choose to change my current course. 

 

A leadership lesson I learned long ago was to imagine a jar.  Outside the jar you have one large rock that is just a bit smaller than the jar and a pile of pebbles.  The large rock signifies the one important “thing” in your life.  The pebbles are all the other little “to dos” that creep up.  I’ve filled my jar with pebbles and now cannot fit the rock.  I’ve got it backwards.

 

I’m here today to dump out the pebbles, add the rock and let those small pebbles fill in around the rock.  What’s in your jar, a bunch of pebbles or your rock?

The focus of busy

July 8, 2011 1 comment

What is busy?  Each of us have our own personal definition.  It could be getting up and rushing out the door to your job in the morning feels “busy”.  Or it could be the stay at home mother (or father) with a couple of children who has to juggle appointments, nap time, lunch, play dates and a myriad of other daily ventures is equally busy.  Whatever your flavor of busy might be, you’re busy because you’re doing something.  Try to be busy with something you love though.

Focused and busy

When I was deployed to Iraq, I was fairly busy.  I would wake up, run 3 to 6 miles, get cleaned up, eat and then walk around and visit a bunch of Soldiers or prep for a convoy mission.  I was always checking out something.  In the heat of the day after lunch I could probably relax for a little bit, to read a book or catch a nap.  Then I would check out the command center in the afternoon and evening, have a meeting or two, eat, catch a movie and then do it all over again for about 400+ straight days.  Those were long days, some longer than others.  The busyness of those days has taught me that I can handle “busy” and nothing is busier than a houseful of children I’ve come to find out.  Not even a wartime deployment could adequately prepare me for the energy of mutiple children under the age of five.  And that’s okay.

Being busy has the ability to focus you on what is important.  You have no choice but to utilize your limited amount of time and resources in a manner that not only supports the task at hand but your entire life.  Being busy is a good thing.  It gives you focus.  If your busyness is focused on a task that you love to do, you’ll probably feel time just melt away as you conduct your business.  Focus your energy and time on the things and people who you love and you won’t have to toil a day in your life.

The wisdom of a seven year old

June 15, 2011 2 comments

Sometimes the wisdom and clarity of a seven year old makes me stop and think.  My daughter and I were talking about her future and what she wanted to be when she grows up this past weekend.

I too was surprised

She mentioned that she wanted to open a book store.  Her love of reading has blossomed over the past year and she reads everything she can get her hands on right now.  She is currently reading Stuart Little and a Star Wars trivia book.  She can thank her Dad for having both of those lying around.

As the discussion progressed I stated in all of my wisdom that a bookstore might not be the best business to open in the future.  Large books stores like Border and Barnes and Noble are currently going through some tough times and are failing.  I also added that most people may read books on an electronic device in the future like a Kindle or Nook.

She thought about my genius laden insights for a second and simply said, “Kids probably won’t have a Kindle.  They’ll still need books.”  She’s right.  She’s absolutely right.  It’s going to be hard to replace children’s books because kids need those thick, colorful pages to gnaw on and have read to them at night.  Children will still need books.

What glaringly obvious facts are you overlooking in your everyday life?  If you’d like to know, my daughter will be available for a consultation.  It won’t be cheap.  Bring your check book.

Who or what controls your time?

It's slipping away

One thousand four hundred and forty minutes.  That’s all you get today and that’s all you get tomorrow.  That’s your day. In that time you need to do a lot.  Here are some of the basics that most of us do; sleep, eat, hygiene, travel, work, interact with friends/family. 

  Read more…

Expect the unexpected

March 22, 2011 1 comment

The unexpected can’t be planned or scheduled.  You’d like to think that you can handle just about anything and maybe you can but sometimes the unexpected happens.  Actually, the unexpected happens all the time. 

Everyone is listening, all the time

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Make every chance for a connection count

March 21, 2011 2 comments

How do you connect?  Is it something that you do once in a while at a scheduled event?  Is it a chore?

Let me tell you about two examples.

A great group of people

Read more…

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