Saturday, April 16, 2011


I have a thing about being on time. Punctuality is important to me and as many of my members will attest, I work hard to finish my events on time. I feel it is a sign of respect to do so.

That being said, twice this week I have been late – for an event and a meeting. Why? Because I got lost. Not only lost, but my GPS had me going around in circles.

By the time I was forty minutes late picking up my volunteer Melanie, I was almost beside myself. I knew I was going to be late for our event and I had the name tags, registration material etc… And sure enough, when we arrived people were waiting for us, several concerned because I am never late. Well after this week, nearly never.

A few days later, I decided to try a different route home from Kitchener. Big mistake. Again following my trusty (or not so trusty) GPS, I started to notice familiar sites – I literally was back where I started from, and suddenly where I thought I had plenty of time to get to my meeting, I was behind and stuck in traffic. Fortunately the people I was meeting with were flexible and we were able to get together, albeit half an hour later.

No one likes to get lost. It makes you feel vulnerable. With places to go and people to see, my frustration level was at an all time high. But it made me realize how it must feel when you are lost in life, when you don’t know what to do next, and are drifting with no sense of direction or inner voice telling you what to do. It’s not a comfortable place to be, and yet all of us have been there at some time in our lives.

As business owners, it can often be when we have some tough decisions to make and we aren’t sure how or whether to make them – whether it be to take that big step and hire staff or undertake a major expense or at the other end of the spectrum, to face the unwelcome reality that your business isn’t working or is not financially viable and it’s time to close the doors.

In his book The Dip, Seth Godin talks about how often we give up when success is just around the corner. Certainly I set myself a time limit and had determined that if I hadn’t found Melanie’s farmhouse by a certain time, I was going to have to give up and sure enough, seconds before that deadline, I found it.

With my second tardy experience, it bothered me more than the people I was visiting, so really I could have cut myself some slack. Maybe we expect too much of ourselves.

Whether you are lost physically or mentally, one thing I know for sure, asking for directions can help you recognize and reach your destination. Talking it out with a friend or family member can bring a different perspective, one that brings objectivity to your situation and help you see a clear path and sense of direction.

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