Let’s go back to the beginning of my story, when I was a vice president no one listened to, floundering in the imminent failure of a business my husband, Mike purchased from its previous owner. We worked side-by-side in those days, after he bought the cash-register company, already dying from financial inattention and a rapidly-changing industry.
Before he purchased the company, Mike was the lead technical repairman. He can fix just about anything. He worked for the company several years before the purchase. During this time we both learned a hard lesson; being a top-notch technician does not guarantee success as a business owner. Working in a company and owning one are two very different things.
As a technician, one is given a set of tasks with broadly-defined guidelines along with a time period during which the job must be done. Expectations are set by previous service calls, customers are known and you answer to someone other than yourself. A business owner on the other hand answers to his/herself, sets the guidelines, manages expectations, deals with customers and employees. Sometimes it means stepping up, doing the unpopular, taking on conflict……and working with creditors. These early lessons I learned while watching my incredibly talented husband slowly fail after acquiring his company.
Being a part of the failure, I understood no matter how badly an individual wants to succeed, when overwhelming fear keeps one from confronting employees behaving badly, right-sizing a business or managing debt, there is not a person capable of pushing another hard enough to walk through fear. It’s an inside job. In the end, I wonder if fear kills as many companies as does competitors, changing markets, rapidly-advancing technology and well-intentioned people who don’t understand the challenges they face before taking over or starting a business.
Out of this experience, I came away with a better understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses……and hope. It’s what kept me afloat until God navigated my boat into new waters, something I will talk more about in my next blog post. Until then, enjoy every beautiful moment life offers. Each day I experience is another brick in my foundation, provided I’m in attendance. The present is a gift. Today I try not to waste it. ~ R.