There’s nothing like birthdays, anniversaries, and interviews to get you going on a path of looking back, and looking forward, and taking an inventory of your life. Or maybe that’s just me. I’ve been through all three recently and WOW, what an inventory indeed. For those of you that have followed the blog for awhile, you’ll find it hard to believe that an entire year has come and gone since I landed on Oak Island, NC and swore off trying to fit squares into circles. My birthday was just days before that post went up and now it’s a year later, POOF! just like that. I’m a year older for sure, but am I any wiser you ask? You be the judge.
I’ve read that if you do something for seven days in a row it becomes habit. I’m here to tell you it took me a lot longer than seven days to get in the habit of living on an island in North Carolina. The thing about life is it’s rarely like a movie. There’s no big dance number with a parade and a trophy at the end of the day. And even if there were, what’s wrong with you that you would need that? I promised myself I would start over and reclaim my life and my happiness on my own terms. Turns out that’s no small feat – especially when you’ve got a business involved. Actually, turns out it’s almost impossible. But those that can dig deep and suck it up and keep their eyes on the prize are the truly incredible people. We’ve got one shot on this earth as far as I know…I’m not going down as anything less than incredible and honestly haven’t let anything stand in my way, including myself. Most importantly, myself.
Looking back, I can’t remember when I finally turned the corner. There wasn’t any single moment I can think of when I felt things finally click. No big production numbers. But I think it was around the time the MyUntangled trademark went through. I had just rung in my first New Year’s eve in North Carolina and was so incredibly thankful to be away from Boston winters. (Sorry peeps.) I’ve thought a lot about Desiderata in the last year. And not to go all Oprah on you…but the older I get, and the more I pay attention to the rising and setting of sun and moon and tide, the more I realize that the quest to find your own happiness is a quiet journey within yourself, which begins and ends with gratitude and thankfulness and simple, thoughtful living. As Desiderata says:
“whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.”
And let’s be honest folks, if you can’t find gratitude and happiness in this view, we’re all doomed!
So how is my company, you ask? Well, that brings us to the interview part. Last month I received an email from a gentleman who saw me speak at a small business Meetup in Wilmington, NC right after I moved here. He was taking classes towards his Masters and needed to conduct an interview with a business owner as part of an assignment. Of course I was flattered and happy to help. The questions were varied but some of them really got me thinking about where we’re at as a company and more importantly, where I’m at as a manager, like:
- What are the most critical skills a manager needs to succeed in today’s business climate?
- How do you motivate your employees/team members and encourage them to bring value to the organization?
- When evaluating an employee or team member’s performance, what factors are most important to you?
- What part of management do you find the most satisfying and the most challenging?
I mean, what was I thinking saying yes to this interview!?!? But seriously, in thinking through these questions I realized just how different my responses would have been had he asked me a year earlier. I also realized just how relevant the same sorts of questions are for my personal life. And how similar the answers are. MyUntangled Media, LLC is on course to blow away all previous years. Our client base keeps growing and we’re branching out into all kinds of new and interesting verticals. I’ve been chosen by Constant Contact, Inc. to represent Eastern North Carolina and the Myrtle Beach South Carolina area as their Authorized Local Expert. We’ve even got a wait-list for new website builds!
It sounds a little anti-humble, but I’m absolutely sure the success of the company rests on me and my ability to stay true to myself and my vision of my life. When I look back at business decisions that have turned out to be disasters (a much longer list than I will ever admit) I can see that I knew all along they were the wrong decisions. I may have been swayed by the words of others. I may have been swayed by money. I may have been swayed by competitiveness. But in all cases, I swayed from being true to myself and from believing in myself. I don’t do too much swaying any more and I look for the same in others.
If it sounds like I have it all figured out, I have most certainly misled you! But at the end of the conversation, my interviewer thanked me and told me I sounded very wise. I thought to myself, am I really, though? According to dictionary.com, wise means
“having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion.”
The answer to the question of whether or not I am wiser might be a little deep to delve into at the end of a long post. Plus it’s a holiday today after all, the weather is gorgeous and the sun will start setting in a couple of hours. Come to think of it, that’s my queue to sign-off here and plug-in there. Perhaps I answered the question after all.