Monday, December 20, 2010

CHALLENGES ARE ALWAYS DIFFICULT – BUT NECESSARY


I have no doubt that many of you have faced some measure of what you thought were insurmountable challenges in the past year. You may have lost a job, a family member or a beloved pet. Maybe you had to overcome the trials and tribulations of health issues and medical payments. Early this year I too had a difficult challenge to overcome. I needed to make a decision that would ultimately change many of my personal and professional responsibilities and certainly the direction of my life. I had to choose whether I was going to continue the livelihood of our company by choosing to own it, or close it down.

Now there may be some who would think that that was not a difficult decision to make. One may ask, “Who wouldn’t want to be their own boss? Who wouldn’t want to take time off when they wanted to and tell people what to do?” Yeah, right! The reality is the amount of pressure that a business owner goes through especially during difficult economic times is considerable and that if you haven’t gone through them you would have no idea of the choices one has to make.

Sometimes, however, the most difficult challenges and decisions we face need to happen in order to move forward. So, you need to ask yourself “Do I want to move forward?” I chose to move forward and accepted my current position as owner. In the process, I have learned that the fears that engulfed me were overridden by my determination to be great at something, to be of value, to provide value and most importantly to prove that I could get it done.

As 2010 comes to a close and as we embark on another year, I’d like to share some of the things that helped me overcome my fears and face those challenges that came with the decisions I had to make all the while remembering what Walter Anderson, Editor of Parade magazine, said “Our lives improve only when we take chances – and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.”

Know yourself.

This was and continues to be one of my most difficult hurdles. I thought I knew myself pretty damn well. Na├»ve? Oh, most certainly. I know we will always face unexpected circumstances. For example, one such situation presented when there wasn’t enough work and I had to make a decision to pay everyone else but myself whereby my personal financial security was tested. The thing is, that somewhere deep, deep, deep down I knew that I have talent and believed in myself so much that all I needed to do was to become creative, go back to basics and work really hard. I began pushing myself to limitless possibilities. And today, I can honestly say that it was worth it and I’m glad I didn’t give up. In the words of Optimus Prime from the movie Transformers: “Fate rarely calls us at a moment of our choosing.”

Which brings me to my second revelation: A positive attitude goes a long way. This is difficult to achieve in the face of uncertainty, but you have to think that it will always get better-because it does. I have surrounded myself with people who don’t believe in the words “no” or “can’t”. They help push me in the direction I am meant to follow but most importantly keep me from losing my focus on the big picture. My advice is to find several people who believe in you as much as you believe in yourself and allow them to keep you on track. You may suffer a little humility if you’re not the kind of person who asks for help or advice often but believe that you’ll be a better more successful person because of it.

Finally, invest in others. One of my most coveted revelations is that when I help another person succeed, I too succeed. For me, it is more than a little strange how much truth there is in how the Law of Attraction really works. Even though I’d like to say that I’m great and help everyone out (I have some borderline narcissistic tendencies) I can’t say that. Our company was founded on the principle of providing employment and job training to men & women who are willing to work. In the course of my ownership, I have expanded that principle on a personal level to help people who are in business or looking to start a business. I truly enjoy being a business owner even amidst all of the challenges that arise throughout any given day. I want other business-minded professionals to live their passions and excel because it is tough and we need all the support we can get. Due to my interests and vision I have accepted the responsibilities of directing a Mastermind group as well as a position with SCORE. One of my favorite quotes worth remembering is from Robert Allen “Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.” As the New Year looms close by I hope that you can incorporate any of my personal revelations into your life. I hope that you embrace next year with as much determination and willingness to succeed as I have, and look forward to continuing.

On behalf of myself and the entire Sweeping Dimensions family we wish you and your family a safe and Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!