I’m a year into this new venture and it’s always important to pause and look back. Too often we don’t mine our experience for lessons that can help us in the future. It’s why reflection is such a gift.
One of the the filters I’ve used in reflecting on this past year is: What I Wish I Had Known. This isn’t the full list but I thought I would share four of them with you.
1. I wish I had known that everything is “figure-outable.”
I can’t remember where I heard this made-up word but it describes so much of this past year for me. We can all figure things out. For example, the usual challenges of starting a new venture can loom larger than they really are. If you’re not careful you can convince yourself that you’re not smart enough or talented enough by yourself to figure them out. And in some ways, that’s true. It’s why you need to surround yourself with people who can help you figure things out. I’m fortunate to have surrounded myself with incredible people who help me figure out things way beyond my skill set. As I often tell people, I have a very limited skill set. I can speak and write, in that order, and that’s about it. Wendy and I, together with our team, have figured out all sorts of things that were seemingly not “figure-outable.” If you’re putting off a move because you’re convinced you couldn’t figure it out, let me give you some encouragement. If I can, you can.
2. I wish I had known how valuable it is to just keep moving.
Uncertainty and fear try to paralyze. It’s why, whenever I felt the anxiety rise, I prayed for guidance and sent an email, made a call, took some action. Certainty feels good but can lull us to sleep. Uncertainty prompts you to get moving.
3. I wish I had known the more at peace I am the more provision I receive.
It’s been so interesting to me that when I am at peace, trusting the Lord to provide, He does. That’s not to say you disregard your responsibility. After all, we need to give the Lord something to bless. At the same time though, I’ve discovered being at peace is a fantastic business-building strategy.
4. I wish I had known sooner that I don’t have to build a life I won’t enjoy.
Early on in a new venture, you’re tempted to say yes to every opportunity. After all, what if the opportunities shrink up? Quickly though, Wendy and I started using this statement as a filter: “We don’t want to build a life we won’t enjoy.” Sometimes that meant saying no to good opportunities because they came at the wrong time. Sometimes that meant saying yes to a lot of things because we decided this was what we wanted to do.
At each decision we would look at one another and say, “Don’t build a life we won’t enjoy.”
Too often, I read stories of leaders who worked so hard at building something only to discover they built a life in the process that they didn’t enjoy.
It’s why I often quote my friend Bryan Miles, “Are you owning the business or is the business owning you?”
Finally, let me just say thanks to you for being an encouraging part of this new season. I’ve been able to meet so many of you either virtually or in person and your words and support have meant so much.
If you’re coming to the Live2Lead event in Atlanta this Friday, please be sure to come up and say hey. It would be a great opportunity for me to personally thank you for being a part of this first, new year.