Hidden Blessings

Some time ago, I wrote of a disaster that had struck my plans for 2020 and 2021.

I had been working on a leadership platform to teach classes and share the lessons of both my experience and deep education in leadership development. I was almost ready to launch, within a day or two, when my provider got hacked and months of work was lost. I was determined, as I wrote about it, to push forward and rebuild, when disaster number two hit.

I was diagnosed with cancer. In my case, with cancer returning. So it has been daily treatments since November. I have come through it OK so far, but I have all the side effects they tell you may happen, the most frustrating of which has been a real lack of energy. Still, I have plugged on. Slowly. Steadily. And on days I was so tired I could not focus on work, I would simply lay down on my sofa and think.

Today, I am glad it happened, all the mess, even the diagnosis and side effects. Let me explain why.

I was close to launching something I am good at, something I believe in, and something I believe will make me good money in time. I learned a lot along the way and I love to learn new skills.

But I was not excited about it.

The reason was built around not feeling true to myself. My entire career to this point has been built around the ability to be one of the last of the great generalists. Whatever my title was, whether I was working for someone else or in my own companies, I LOVE wearing far more hats than a title can ever explain. I loved figuring things out that weren’t my bailiwick, and helping companies and organizations do amazing things that they could not have done without me and my broad vision of making success happen.

I thrive when I get to take all the different aspects of what I have done in business and life and see the connections and create wholistic successes that help people and organizations rise. And that has been the greatest joy of both my coaching and consulting career of the past decade, and my pastoral career of the last six years. I love my work.

But…..

But the experts all say, if you are building an on-line presence, particularly in the webinar business, you have to be ultra specific. Find a niche. A tiny little niche that you can stand out in. And so while I knew (and know) my approach to leadership development was a perfect niche for me, I was frustrated at it’s narrowness. I could not see me doing this, alone, for another decade. In the end, I just bit my tongue and built the niche system.

Until of course, it disappeared and I had to start over. Until of course, I got knocked for a loop physically with my daily dose of radiation.

I did begin again. But progress was slow. And I am glad, because along the way I spent so much time lying on my back, just thinking. And finally it came to me? What advice would I give my clients, be they corporate or personal? How would I have them approach this same delimma

  • Be true to yourself.
  • Go big.

Put that way, the answer was easy.

So I am doing both. One platform for the leadership work. One for my generalist work. It is taking more effort and the progress is going slow. Launch costs will be (slightly) higher. Marketing costs will be (slightly) higher.

But the payoff! I am excited as I plug away at all the details that will make this work. A little each day. I chip away at it, but I believe in what I am doing. It is true to me and there is room for success in both endeavors. And a “True to yourself” path is always the greater success.

I believe that. It’s one of the work lessons I have lived by professionally. I just needed a little kick in the teeth to be reminded.

Don’t be as stubborn as I was. Take the lessons and run. Where ever you are in your quest for dreams, success and personal power. Be true to yourself. Go big. You’ll never regret it.

Be well. Travel wisely,

Tom

PS: My treatments end in a couple of weeks. I should be fine.

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