11:45 am. I was reading an article about personal development on Medium in my office when my coffee cup ran dry.
11:47 am. I left the office and walked up the flight of stairs to the coffee pot in my kitchen to find it empty as well.
11:50 am. Noticed it was kinda dark in my normally sunny, south-facing, kitchen as I made coffee.
12:06 pm. Wife came home for lunch, asked what I thought of the eclipse earlier.
Eclipse? Did I miss the eclipse?
Evidently, yes, yes I did!
The single most hyped up media fest for the Summer of 2017, and I sat quietly sipping coffee in my office. I didn’t even have to travel to see it. Just walk outside. My house was in the ‘noticeable totality’ band around the event. (The full-on totality experienced for 2 minutes was about 150 miles North of me)
I came back to my office and started thinking. Although not common, I do that occasionally.
I was amazed at how ‘easy’ it was to miss an opportunity. One that won’t be repeated to such an extent in my lifetime again. Granted, I have seen a total eclipse before (and several partial ones since). That was 1969, and I was 13. And it was only visible in a small part of the United States, unlike this one.
It wasn’t so much missing the eclipse that had my attention. It was the ‘missed opportunity’ in general that had me perplexed.
In my zeal to ‘do things right’ – what other opportunities have I missed?
I was doing what seemed, at the time, like a positive aspect. Reading about how to better understand the effect the surroundings I live in have on me.
Yeah. Well, I guess I now know part of the effect my ‘surroundings’ are having!
It’s true. I have ‘chosen’ to engulf myself in an environment that has placed me reading about how to ‘change’ rather than DOING IT!
Me. The “Outlaw” marketer. Live by the rules? Nah, I broke the damn rules, and MADE NEW ONES! Some of which, over a decade later, is still considered the ‘standard’ (for better or worse is debatable) in the TE model. Others have influenced a wide and varied market,
The noise from my single spur announcing my arrival on stage at seminars would cause men to get nervous and women to become faint of heart. (Ok, that ‘may’ be a slight exaggeration, but it sounded really cool!)
Focus. It will make, or break, you.
Somewhere along the way, I lost the single most important aspect of a business, and life, for that matter. Focus.
It started off with the best of intentions seven years ago. Learn new skills, research applications, build on that knowledge. I even took a job for a year to better understand the engineering, tech, and chemistry aspects needed for this project. I built experimental systems, interacted with others in the same field of study, and . . . the list goes on. I was making progress.
A few months ago it became blatantly clear that my ‘focus’ had changed from making things ‘happen’ to endless research to ‘get ready to be ready’. And the time to ‘be ready’ was rapidly moving further away. It had, in fact, moved to the point that I was about to lose the single biggest investment I have ever made in a business. Opportunity waits for no one, and I was about to miss it.
I thought I had changed, realigned my focus. I was wrong.
Yes, I went from talking about the project to developing a prototype (with the help of an engineer), testing it, refining problems, and being ready for release since then. Phase 1 of this endeavor is set to go public next week. We had 45 sales in less than 2 hours when the website was accidentally made public two weeks ago. All a ‘good sign’ of things to come.
But today . . . I realized I haven’t yet ‘changed’ enough to reach my goals. Opportunities are still being missed.
Don’t let the actions of the past influence the decisions for tomorrow.
I, like everyone else, am a creature of habit. Habits built over a lifetime. Some good, some bad, but all influence our actions.
If we are to move forward, we have to identify, and change, those habits that hold us back. Introspection, and taking responsibility for what you see, can be one of the hardest things you can ever do. But it must be done.
By my own actions, i have allowed myself to be drawn into a situation that only serves to negate what once were ‘good’ habits. It has taken me away from being productive, building from what I have to better things, and lowered my own expectations of what I CAN do. Yes, I placed myself into this position. There is no one to blame, but me. And no one can change it, but me.
We can listen to only the ‘best’ people. Read from critically acclaimed books. Spend hours talking about what we are going to do with friends. But at the end of the day, without taking ‘action’, we have accomplished nothing.
There have been MANY times when I just want to tell someone to “Wake UP damnit! You are missing an opportunity!” Now, I know, I am the one that needs to ‘wake up’ as well.
I read on Facebook that this eclipse will ‘change’ the world . . .
I can but hope it changes me. And, perhaps, as a byproduct, allow me to help others find that ‘change’ they need.
Learn from my mistakes. Don’t travel down the path that leads to dilution of effort and lost opportunities. Focus on what will lead you to the next path that will open opportunities to learn, move forward, and achieve more. Stop talking, start doing!
It may well be time to pull that spur out of retirement, dust it off, and make some noise again.