Thursday, January 17, 2008

Taking Chances

Met with a new client yesterday (one who has never gone into business for himself before). As we were discussing all the concerns this gentleman had... leaving his secure job (that he hates), leaving the status of his title (that really means nothing to him), leaving 5 weeks of paid vacation (to which he always takes his laptop and Blackberry), it got me thinking about myself and all the changes that have come from taking the chance... taking the leap to officially be in business for myself.

1. I've Lost My Fear of Failure: With less at stake, just my own ego, I'm more open to taking chances and risking potential failure. No longer wedded to constant success, I relish the learning curve of a new experience, if not always the result.

2. I say Yes Instead of No: Thriving on your own delivers a knock-out punch to that portion of your brain that's always muttering, "You can't do that." Yes, actually, you can. A lot has been written about the courage to say no... the tremendous freedom in turning down unwanted requests and invitations or turning aside nosy queries. Let's take back the courage in saying yes.

3. I'm Less of a Control Freak: Okay, notice I say "less," not "not." I used to think that if I wanted something to happen, I had to micromanage every detail. Now, I understand that I can also surf the waves of life, working toward a goal rather than attacking it like Normandy Beach. It's amazing the serendipities and financial rewards that will just flow to you if you'll get out of their way.

4. I'm Nicer: My friends and family know that I am always open for coffee, a ride to the airport, a shoulder to lean on and cry on. I genuinely pay attention to the name tag on the checkout person at my Whole Foods, and I look for opportunities to say "good morning" to others.

5. I'm Smarter: No longer tied to one particular industry of business, my consulting takes me into the intricacies of wine fermentation, the complexities of IP telephony, the orchestra of running a successful restaurant, and the twists and turns of all kinds of businesses. I get to meet facinating people every week and it's amazing to feel my own creativity humming.

6. I'm More Fun: If we wisely write our plan as we launch into a career of our own, the new life will make us happier. We will become a delightful person reminiscent of who we were as a child. On Monday this week, Scott Ellis and I were working on his DZX Medical company together in our sweats and ball caps. Around 11:30am after having been hard at it for 4 good hours, I said, "Let's go for a walk."

Across the street from my condo is a private park nestled between three office buildings. It is beautiful... landscaped shrubbery, manicured grassy lawns, small pools with fountains, and tons of benches under large shady trees. To make this oasis complete, the park has installed a 8 foot by 8 foot concrete checkers board with large, 1 foot diameter round checkers.

As attorneys and bankers and finances players ventured down from their offices, ran quickly to the diner across the park, and hurried back to their desks all in 10 minutes flat, Scott and I played checkers for an hour.

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