Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A bit about me

So, you're... (circle the correct answer):
A) ...thinking of leaving the family business.
B) ...are about to leave the family business.
C) ...have already left the family business.

If you've circled one of the above, I am your friend. I left the family business after over 13 years, filling different senior position all with good pay and conditions.

Why did I leave? I came to the understanding that the emotional burden that came with working in a family business was taking a toll not only on myself, but on my wife and children too. And once I figured that out, the "golden handcuffs" could no longer lock me down.

The decision to leave was a long process with many ups and downs. Actually leaving was even more difficult.

If leaving is still fresh for you, all I can tell you is: stay focused and confident. In the long run it is the best thing for you and your family.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

There is always another elevator...

I was with my 6-year-old son waiting for the elevator. It arrived, and being preoccupied we missed it. I was in a rush so I cussed under my breath. My son turned to me and said: "Don't worry daddy, there will be another one".

How true.

If you've missed your chance at something, don't worry about it. There is always another elevator...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sad only masquerades as sad

We have four basic feelings:
Happy – Sad
Anger – Fear

It's pretty clear why happy and sad are antonymous. Anger and fear? Well, they go back to primitive times when it was all about fight or flight – fear and flee or get angry and fight (we're very courageous when we're angry).

It's very easy to know when we are happy, angry or fearful. The physical feedback our body gives us is easy to detect. But sadness? Sadness will throw you off.

The thing with sadness is that it only masquerades as sadness. In most cases the underlying feeling is actually anger. Why does this happen? It's all part of our socialization process: We're taught from babyhood that being angry is not good, that we should stop crying or having that fit. And so we replace anger with sadness.

The other day I was feeling really sad. I had had a good day but something in one of the meetings made me feel down. But looking closely at the situation I was actually angry with myself for not doing something.

The important thing with recognizing this is that anger needs room to vent. If you don't recognize it and leave it as sadness it will build up and eventually explode.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Life will smack you in the face. Period.

I know you've heard this one before, but there is no avoiding it.

It happens because someone (or something) is trying to teach us a lesson. Not an I'll-show-you! kind of lesson. But one that we should really learn from, that can really better our lives and ourselves.

When I get smacked—and trust me, I do—I take a moment and, as painful as it is, think about:
  • What are my gains? What do I stand to learn from this?
  • What is the risk of not learning the lesson? What will happen if I choose to ignore the lesson?

There is always a lesson to be learnt. Always. At the end of the day, it's all about becoming better people. Better as fathers/mothers, husbands/wives, friends. And we do this by learning our lessons...

Go learn.