My eighteen year old son Cory asked me what was it like when I first started the business? He was speaking of my gutter and window cleaning business. I asked him what made him ask me that question. He did not really have an answer. I then began to explain what it was like.
I told him it was incredible. I felt so excited and alive and free. I was free to do things my way on my terms and knew I would be treated fairly on the job, because I was running things. I did have the luxury of not having to work for anyone else and push my business full-time because I was still young and living with my mom. As a matter of fact, I was determined not to have to work for anyone else any more, and took pride in the idea. I worked long days and loved every minute of it. When I was not working I was working to get work, all day long. When things got slow, I would walk door to door, dressed nicely with a note pad. I would let potential customers know our company was in the area offering a special this week. Or I would make cold calls to apartment complexes asking if they had someone maintaining their gutters. When I got busy from such efforts, I felt unstoppable. I felt so alive during all of this it was unbelievable. I was on a mission loving every minute of it.
I also told my son that, not only did I feel more alive, but I felt like I was living this adventure that far too many people were missing out on. I also believe that not only was it exciting for me, but also for those who were around me at the time. In the back of my mind I even felt like the way I was so wrapped up in the business actually made me different and more attractive to the girls I was dating. As I talked about these things to my son, I could not help but think about how we all need a mission. And if one ends, it is time for a new one.
Now don’t get me wrong, there have been many struggles along the way. I first had a landscape business when I was about eighteen or nineteen. I failed at least three times and went for a period where I owed many people money. I got back up and started right back up every time. I learned a lot from my mistakes and made changes along the way. Years later I had friends tell me that they admired how I had the guts to start back up over and over. Now I am fortunate that this same business that some said I was crazy to try to live off of, is taking good care of my family. That mission is somewhat complete, but I have others on the horizon. I am thankful to Cory for reminding me how I must be just as obsessed and wrapped up in my new endeavors, if I am truly going to be alive. I believe that we all need a mission. Something we are willing to struggle for. Something that makes us excited to get into the day. At least I do. How about you? Tell me what you think.