Monday, October 15, 2012


You only live once.
Take your life in your own hands.
Life is about the journey, not the destination.
When life serves you lemons, make lemonade!
Actions speak louder than words.
You have to give in order to get back.
Rome was not built in a day.
Practice makes perfect.

The thing though about clichés is that they tend to ring very true to life (excuse the cliché).

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Three Challenges [Guest Post]

I am happy to host this guest post by Christopher Wilocki, who recently left his family business to follow his heart. Moving across 3 states to Colorado, he now "lives to create pictures". If you'd like to know more about Christopher, follow the link above. Drop him a line — I am sure he will appreciate it!

Christopher, I for one am proud of you!

"With change comes discomfort. With discomfort comes questioning. With questioning comes doubt. With doubt comes fear. With fear comes failure."

During my never ending journey to leave the only career I ever knew, I went through a lot. We all experience this process, and we all know of the days and nights of weighing options. In my case, I spent almost a year in silence about the decision I was about to make in my life. I knew that if I made my family or employees aware about how I was feeling it would make any decision even harder because of the wave of unsolicited advice and persuasion that would come my way. So I remained silent and mapped everything out in my head. It was not until I began to see a future away from the business that I started moving in that direction. The coming months of telling my closest employees and then my family were extremely hard. But because I planned everything out before hand, I was ready for what was to come.

As we all know, leaving a family business is extremely hard. There are a million things to explain, or try not to explain. And things take much much longer than in the real world. Mainly because you are not only leaving a company, but you are in many ways leaving your family. And it is tough.

After I left I have had a couple months before my new job and new life started. In those months I started turning into the person I have always wanted to be. And I started looking around and wondering why more people are not leaving their jobs to do what they really dream of doing. In this day and age we are surrounded by self-help books about the four hour day and owning your own company. But very few people commit to doing any of it. Looking back on the journey I am still neck-deep in, I started to put together why "leaving" is harder than people think.

Leaving is extremely uncomfortable. You are no longer in your element. Your routine changes drastically, you think about money, your spending habits are sometimes squashed. And the biggest change is that your future is now foggy as hell. In fact there are days you can't see past the end of the week. This is the first part of leaving anything. And even the tiniest feeling of this causes people to turn back.

When this discomfort comes, you begin to question what in G-ds great name you are doing. Voices in your head start asking things like "what are you doing? You had it so well at XXXXXX!"; "Maybe your Dad is right and this is stupid!"; "How is {enter new job here} going to make you enough money?". These questions are really hard to face. And they have this amazing ability to come out of nowhere, and they make your stomach feel like a bad taco in Mexico.

With these questions come doubt. These questions can turn your world into a doubt filled dreamworld. We will all deal with these questions in our everyday life and I found that the only way to make them go away was to face them head-on. I wrote about them, I listened to them, I faced them. And in return, I proved them to be false and sometimes true. And I moved past them. It was very hard, and even to this day some questions pop up from time to time. But I always make sure I never let them linger to long. Without facing these questions, doubt of what I was doing would have crippled me. And I realized again why leaving is so hard.

The final phase, after the doubt wraps itself around you, is fear. Once this fear has entered your body there is little you can do. At this point you're so uncomfortable it's impossible to see where you were ever going in the first place. There are so many questions screaming in your head you can't think about why you were leaving at all. And now, you have little confidence that you can ever be without your family business at all. All these things lead into a fear that pushes you back into whatever you were leaving in the first place: family business, bad relationship, bad vacation or even a meal at a restaurant you are indecisive about.

And then comes failure. All these steps have defeated you. You will then find reasons why its better to stay. And all of a sudden you burry the idea of ever leaving.

These are the steps I faced. I am not saying they are the same for everyone. But they are similar in so many ways. They are hard. They require lots and lots of hard work to get through. They require a good friend or two to navigate with. But the key to getting past them is facing them. Head on, no compromise. If you don't, like many things in life, they will beat you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Looking in the mirror

Looking in the mirror, do you (re-)examine the tiny scars, the blemishes and imperfections? Do you get "caught up" in those places? Focusing so much on the flaws that you fail to see the big picture?

The same happens when we try to assess our own value and worth — we get caught up by the bad things. We compare ourselves to people who we — in our perspective — regard as successful or better, and judge ourselves on not having their traits. We focus on the flaws, failing to see the good...

When was the last time you looked in the mirror, and liked what you saw? Appreciated it? If you haven't liked/appreciated in a while, it's time for change...