Some ten long years ago I was on a roll, I was recovering slowly, but surely from a nasty divorce, I was spending a ton of quality time with my kids and I was enjoying an excellent salary, more than I ever had made in one year, actually a lot more.
Life indeed was good and my passion, the automotive industry was doing great, gasoline was a $1.39 per gallon and oil futures were only $48 bucks…
As little as two years later, my friend, our software company owner and president called me into his office to tell me that his last two acquisitions had gone very sour. I was not amazed as I insisted that I was against these purchases from the get go, one had possibilities, but the other was a waste of money. Oh well, it was his decision and his millions, but it was my career, my livelihood and my family that were on the line.
Needless to say he gave me two options that fateful day, to leave now with 30 days severance or continue on with my assistance preparing for the sale of the company he had built from scratch along with a tidy 30% cut in pay. I chose the latter and started looking for other opportunities.
“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching – they are your family. “ ~ Jim Butcher
I recall that afternoon vividly as I took my usual late lunch to pick up my children from school and get them set up comfortably at our home until I arrived a few hours later. It was so nice having the school principal living across the street and a wonderful friend next door to watch them for a while if needed.
For some odd reason though, I wasn’t all that worried at the time about money, I had saved and in my mind I was very employable in so many ways, something would surely turn up quickly, hopefully without me having to move.
As we sat down for dinner that night, I tried to explain to my beaming kids that my job was imploding and that serious changes were on the horizon. What amazed me was their candor and unwavering support of their father and openly expressed they were on board with any and all challenges we might have to endure.
At that moment, I realized that the money part of life was not all that critical and that our survival together as a dynamic, happy family was far more important.
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” ~ Lao Tzu
From that day forward I changed my attitude about my career and any insistence to meet or exceed my last salary range was nowhere near as important as keeping my family together. Reading books and listening to CDs on titles like the Tao Te Ching and Think and Grow Rich during these trying times, I was experiencing life at 47 in amazment and it changed me.
The ability to spend even more quality time with my beautiful children was made quite clear and became an obvious inspiration. Within misfortune, fortune resides…
I was re-tuning my view of life, my career goals and I had come to realize even more intently that regardless of the economy or my ability to maintain a six figure income was far less important that it had once been. Family it was very clear to me to be my everything!
So today my children are nearly off on their own attending college and examining life for themselves. Dad is still important to them, but I have seen and felt the changes and I must simply roll with it and provide my constant support of their lives moving forward.
I am once again rethinking what the next best steps should be and I am enlisting the following single important mantra for my future success –
“Wake up, Be kind, Be present, Be genuine and Be generous to others.” ~ Buddha
What impresses me most about the new friends I have met here is that most are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and passion. Many generate their primary revenues from owning, building and maintaining their own businesses. Many more are supplementing their incomes with various online ventures and therefore I am very intrigued by these examples of success.
Some of my favorite friends are deeply and passionately involved with real estate and so I am studying for my CA real estate license, but there exists a burning deep inside telling me to not even think about stopping there.
I love real estate investment and I love the people I am meeting in that business, but there is more to be learned about providing a compelling and worthwhile product or service. I am fascinated with the possibilities of making a difference and potential profit via my writing and blogging.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” ~ Martin Luther King Jr
What I have researched in my unemployed menagerie of frustrating online applications, resume rewrites, custom cover letters and Craigslist job post responses is that I desire to own the business I am involved in. To provide products or services that are second to none and to do something worthwhile that people can and will appreciate and benefit from. There are so many more options and opportunities in my view when you think of your career in this way.
The search continues and I can assure you that looking for employment with an inspired attitude that ensures that I will be able to supplement my income with something that is based on my new passions is just the boost needed to keep moving upward and onward.
Wish me luck!