Those pivotal moments that shape our lives and define decisions can be traced back to an innocent statement or event that alone means nothing but combined with other thoughts create a movement and changes the course of time.
There are many pivotal moments in my life.
The first one I recall occurred when I was in High School. Not a natural test taker, I did poorly on the SAT’s. My counselor called me into her office to discuss. She told me I wasn’t college material and set in motion an insecurity that took me years to overcome. It wasn’t until I was almost 27 that I got up the courage to enter the college arena and after five years, and Mom to a 6 month old, I received a business degree in Marketing. DON’T LET ANYONE DEFINE YOU
Another pivotal moment occurred one day when I was chatting with one of the basketball coaches that knew my daughter was performing at the Boulder Dinner Theater in Boulder. He asked if my daughter had an agent. ARgghhh! The dreaded word. (My daughter knew from the moment she could talk that she wanted to be an actress. She was in 4th grade and had begged and begged for me to get her an agent. (The closest one was in Denver) I refused) “No”, I said. He put me on the spot when he pointedly asked, “Why not”? “Because I’m not going to drive all over Denver for her to go on an audition”, I said, firm in my conviction that this was a waste of time and energy. He waited a moment and said in a calm but powerful voice, “But you drive all over the state for her to go to basketball tournaments, which she doesn’t even like, why wouldn’t you drive all over Denver to let her do something she loves?” BAM! Silence. His words struck a cord. Why indeed. I was shaken. This was a pivotal moment. I went home and told my daughter that if she could get an agent in Denver to represent her, I would drive her to all the auditions she wanted to attend. She got an agent. WHY INDEED?
I could go on all day about pivotal moments, (meeting my husband, deciding to go to school, deciding to have children etc.,), but, I will just mention two more that shaped my life. I followed through on a lead to become involved in Ladies Who Launch and have met many women that have influenced and contributed to my life in the most profound and meaningful ways, the other was saying yes to an opportunity that led to my sister and I co-creating a couple of joint projects that have given me the confidence to follow whatever dream I dream. CARPE DIEM Seize the moment, seize the opportunity
Look back your own pivotal moments and chart your course of success and happiness. Find the similarities in your decision making process and rejoice at the direction your life has taken.
How do you measure success? Do you assign a dollar number to your success? Maybe it means that you have achieved a specific goal? At what point do you say I have reached success? Success is more than any of this and can be achieved on a daily basis, a financial basis or just a personal basis. I think success is whatever you deem it to be and the fact that you even showed up today makes you successful.
I was talking to a woman recently and she has seen success. Her line of jewelry took off and she was in all the department stores and had show rooms representing her jewelry. Eventually she had to hire employees, bring on an accountant, manage a business. One day she walked away from it all. She wasn’t able to do the things she loved anymore.
Recently I’ve been thinking about my own success and what it means. I’ve achieved several goals but others I’ve reevaluated and or moved the goal posts. I’ve recognized and given credit that I’ve done my best and that I also have the right to change the measure of success.
Success is what you call it. Success is yours, when you say it is success. Let success be measured by you, not by others that put false measures on what you measure differently.
Last post was soooooooooooooo long ago. I could feel guilty, overwhelmed, and just give up, or I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and start from today. I choose the later, so here is my next post.
The truth is, I’ve been busy with way too many things on my plate and dealing with the loss of our beloved pet that has been a part of my family for almost 17 years. Life happens and I know I will get through this, but I needed to take the time to mourn.
When you join the ranks of entrepreneurship, visions of having the freedom to spend time with your family, take off to have lunch with your girlfriends, or sneak away for a mini vacay with your significant other dance in your head. After all, you are the boss now, right? Unfortunately, you wake up and realize it was all just a dream. The reality is that if you are serious about your business and look at it as more than a hobby, you will never work harder in your life and probably have less time than you ever imagined. So when your child’s class ask for a chaperone, or your friend calls with a great offer, you find yourself pulled both ways. What to do? Go do the things you want to do and the business suffers or you pay the price in some way, or stay tied to your responsibilities and resent that your personal needs are not being met.
So how do we find an equilibrium so that we satisfy both our personal and business needs? First, we have to prioritize and recognize that if we give up the freedom to do the things we love, there will be a love/hate relationship with our business. Eventually that will lead to resentment, overload and burnout. Therefore, if you can schedule a FREE day once a week, or set aside a specific time once a day so that you can include family time, fun time, think time, relaxation time, or me time into your routine, you will be refreshed and excited about doing the things you need to do for your business.
In a conversation with another entrepreneur, we talked about the value of working smarter, not harder. This is an oft repeated topic, as though we need to revisit it over and over again before we make a change that allows us to maximize our time. We all know the value, but it isn’t always that easy. Speaking from a personal perspective, I struggle with handing the reins over to someone else, especially when it requires training or I know I can do it better. Reading directions take time. And yet directions can help me avoid mistakes which can be costly and take up valuable time. But my impatience drives me to fall into the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again (skipping directions or getting training) and hoping for a different outcome. Tonight, as I was deleting old drafts and painstakingly clicking each one to empty into the trash, I found quite by accident a way to delete an entire page! Wow, working smarter, not harder.
“Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.” You can be six and want a lemonade stand or 90 and still yearning to do something before you die. Take advantage of every opportunity to do what you love, and don’t let anything stand in your way. It is never too late to be what you want to be or have what you want to have. xo, jan
I recently attended the California Dreamin’ Business Plan Competition put on by Chapman University. Nineteen groups of students from some of the top schools in the country competed for prize money totaling over $100,000 and the opportunity to obtain over a million in equity financing!
The business ideas ranged from novel technological concepts to video games to reward programs. Each group was passionate about their business idea and the students displayed confidence, poise, enthusiasm, and innovation. What impressed me most was their ability to field the hard questions posed by the judges and communicate their knowledge and differentiation back to the audience. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to hear all of the student groups, the ones I did hear from were consistent in presenting the problem they were solving, trends in the industry, what their platform was, the team strengths, financial projections, financial needs and a compelling vision for the future.
Knowing they were competing, they had to step up their A game. They had to understand their business inside and out. They needed to know where they wanted to go, how they were going to get there, what they were going to do once they arrived, and what they needed to make everything happen.
When was the last time you stepped up your A game?