The darkness overtakes all of us. Some of us remain in the dark for a long time. Others are able to climb out of it more quickly.
Get up in the middle of the night when your house is pitch black. One small light (of any color) can make all the difference in the world in helping you navigate the room. It provides a reference point and just enough illumination to help you find your way.
Without that small little light – a light no larger than a pen light – you blindly feel your way without quick success. It takes longer and requires you to go slower.
About 8 years ago my career came to an abrupt fork in the road that I didn’t see coming. It happens. Welcome to the wilderness. The darkness.
In a flash my identity was gone. Or so I thought. I read a book by Marci Alboher where she talked about the slashes behind your name – all the different roles you have in life. For decades my identity had been something that I now wasn’t. I started thinking of the most important roles of my life, the ones closest to my name.
Randy Cantrell, Christian/Husband/Father/Grandfather
For 3 years I was completely lost in the darkness, struggling to regain my confidence. And my identity.
These more important roles – the ones having nothing to do with work or business – were far more important than the one identity I lost. But it was more than identity that I lost. It was self-confidence. It was belief in myself.
People closest to me didn’t help. They didn’t know how. And over time I could see them lack confidence in me. I took it hard until I realized what it really was. They weren’t lacking confidence in me. They knew I could find the light switch in the dark. But they wondered if I ever would. It wasn’t them. It was ME.
Like most people who love us and are closest to us, they just don’t often know how to help us. We just need a very small light to give us a reference point, and just enough illumination to find the light switch. We need people able to do that for us. Usually it’s somebody who isn’t too close to us emotionally because those people aren’t often able to provide the feedback and accountability we need.
Don’t stay in the dark. You can find your way out. The switch is there. You just have to know where you are relative to the switch. Find people who can provide the pen-light you need. Incorporate them into your life. They’ll need you at some point to do the same for them. It’ll make all the difference in the world by helping you navigate out of the darkness much, much faster!
Some people are more open than others. We’re not all driven by our natural wiring to share. I am, but even guys like me have a reservation sometimes. It’s appropriate.
Today’s video is less than 7 minutes long, but it can help you better understand how valuable it can be for you to open up and share your story. Yes, you want to have a safe place to do it, but as a business owner (or leader) you owe it to yourself (and others) to find a place. Few things will help elevate your mental wellness and fitness as much. And it’s absolutely true that if you’ll put yourself in the company with others who can help you achieve higher performance…you’ll find yourself serving them to perform better, too. Everybody wins.
When a business owner tells me, “Sometimes, I speak from my heart,” then my radar sounds a warning. Well, not a warning as much as an alert. It gets my attention.
You can’t separate your head from your heart so stop all this foolishness of something either being head or heart. It’s not an either/or proposition. It’s always an AND deal. What are you, a Vulcan? Nope. You’re human.
In spite of her resources she needed to find her way back to life without her beloved husband. She not only needed to speak from her heart, but she needed to hear from her heart. Facebook isn’t such a small business, but my work focuses on small business (it’s what I love). Proof I suppose that the heart isn’t just the engine behind small business owner success, but ALL business owner success.
Today’s video is just 10 minutes long and I hope it inspires you to find your way through whatever challenges and opportunities you’ve got. Live long and proper!
You see it in all sorts of places and spaces. I’m a hockey fan. I’ve seen it prominently in the last week or so.
The Dallas Stars re-hired head coach Ken Hitchcock, their 1999 Stanley Cup winning coach. Hitch was most recently fired from the St. Louis Blues in a move he said was very emotional for him. He left St. Louis feeling burned out, thinking he’d never coach again. He lived just minutes away from a local golf course where he’d sometimes go hit balls. During that 10-minute drive he’d get multiple phone calls from coaches around the country wanting his help. Some wanted technical help, others needed emotional support. By the time Hitch got off the phone he was so fueled by the conversations that he said he no longer wanted to hit a golf ball.
Then a 3-day trip to a leadership symposium in New York City added more fuel to the fire Hitch was beginning to feel to go back into coaching. Armed with new and fresh ideas, all the connecting with people who needed his help added value to his life. He confessed that he gained more from these conversations than any of the people who called him. Hitch seemed somewhat surprised by how quickly his fire to coach had been rekindled by people he was serving — who in turn had served him.
Last night the Boston Bruins won game 5 of a “must win” game against the Ottawa Senators. Rookie Bruins’ player, Sean Kuraly stepped up last night scoring twice to bring home the win. In a post game interview he gave credit to his teammates, particularly the veteran players who were “chirping” in his ear during the entire game (which went into double overtime) giving him encouragement. His performance was their performance. Their performance was his performance.
People matter. Particularly the people you allow into your life, and the people who allow you into theirs. Be mindful of your own life and performance by being mindful of who you surround yourself with. This podcast – and my work – is focused on higher human performance, yours! It’s not so much about tactics or techniques. It’s about all of us being human and helping each other while we allow ourselves to be helped by others.
It’s good enough for a Stanley Cup winning hockey coach. It’s good enough for an NHL rookie who can score 2 goals in a clutch game. It’s good enough for YOU.
To find out more about the Bula Network Owners’ Alliance – an exclusive peer advisory group for small business owners – click here.