Who doesn’t enjoy at least one or two of those mythological creatures from ancient Greek culture? I’m personally intrigued by the Phoenix, the bird-like creature that is continually reborn and receives new life from the ashes of its former self. Maybe I’m drawn to the Phoenix because its existence seems to align so closely with the personal journey of my professional life as an employee as well as a business owner.
Starting off as a young aggressive “bird” (mostly turkey at the time) running a landscaping company in the summers from the age of 13 and working for a large copier sales and supply company in the off-season, I learned many critical things about business, people and money that I would need in my “next life.”
In my mid-twenties, after growing a landscaping business to over $1.5 million in annual sales with a team of around 50 employees; my over-aggressive, risk-tolerant attitude and overly-optimistic world view would take it’s toll (you know what they say about pride). I tried to push the business to the next level and negotiated a deal with another landscaping organization that wanted to sell. Structuring what I thought was a great investment and borrowing significant money from banks and personal friends, we signed the deal and went to the races. What happened next is where the Phoenix begins it’s initial transformation.
Implosion, crash and burn, up-in-flames… call it what you will, but the ashes left in my personal and professional life after going for broke were painful and plentiful. Thankfully, I believe we as humans have been given a significant gift from our Creator. It’s called the power of change. While we are often creatures of habit, we have been given a unique perspective in life that is deeper and more meaningful than what the animal kingdom of this world can experience. I believe we have a soul. That part of us that is the innermost being that intuitively knows right from wrong but can be tempered and calloused over time to that reality. With our soul, or “mind’s eye” as some may call it, we can exercise introspection. We can think critically about who we are and who we want to be as though we are outside of ourselves. This aspect of our being can bring great hope, or if we aren’t careful, can also bring great despair depending on how we interpret our circumstances; this is largely based on our belief systems about purpose and meaning. Really, it boils down to our world view.
My world view as a young aggressive business man had become increasingly warped and skewed by success. I was on that treadmill and kept hitting the “speed-up” button because I liked the humming sound of the rotating belt and the look of my legs (as short as they are) moving faster and faster in the mirror. It all looks and sounds neat until you have that one misstep. Yea, I was THAT guy!
Needless to say, this experience was humbling and yet was precisely what I needed in my life. After a bout of depression brought on by the guilt of unmet dreams I had sold my best friends and family, I spent the next decade analyzing and studying everything I could about organizational management and growth. I tried to understand what I had done wrong. I wanted to learn from my failure. I devoured every leadership, management and marketing book or podcast I could find. During my “day job” I tried applying the ideas and concepts I was learning and it helped that my employment at the time happened to be in the non-profit sector. This experience gave me an even deeper understanding of how organizations function (or in some cases how they fail to function).
My personal successes, but frankly, even more so, my failures have taught me valuable lessons about myself, life and organizational leadership and management. This is why I’m so passionate about New Vision Custom Solutions! As we rise from the ashes and our wings become established, our desire is to learn how to soar together with other small business owners and non-profit managers/leaders. We are focused on helping our clients get clarity around their vision and mission and then to organize resources in a way that increases the effectiveness of fulfilling their stated mission.
As we embark on this flight, we invite you to join us in this journey. We will be regularly updating resources as well as news and events that can allow you to stay connected and not only get a birds-eye view of what we see everyday, but also we’d love for you to join us at the “Phoenix nest” via our website and social media activity. God bless and happy flying!