This story happens to be relevant to many situations going on in the lives around me…and I have used this story to help my friends to see their situation differently.
My very last job “working for the man”, before I started my entrepreneurial career, was with a custom clothing company. To me at the time, my sales manager was a power hungry control freak. He used to have a morning meeting every morning at 7am sharp. If you were 1 minute late, you were docked $5. After our morning meeting we would go on our day of appointments that we made the days prior. We were expected back in the office no later than 3:30 pm in the afternoon and if we were 1 minute late, we were docked $5. We were then expected to make phone calls for 2 hours and if we were not in our offices making calls at 5:30 pm, we were docked $5. So each day you had the potential of being docked a total of $15 if you were not in the office at the expected times.
You know, I just don’t do well with rules. I especially don’t do well with rules that are so stiff that they stifle you. I could see his good intentions on disciplining us into good practices, so I went along with it. This was my career at the time and I would play along like a good boy.
I got a phone call from my sister and she was hysterical – “Dad had a heart attack and is in the hospital!!! You must get home immediately – we don’t know if he is going to live!!!” So, I jumped on a plane and spent the better part of the week with my family while my dad was in the hospital. And yes, he had a major heart attack and would have to undergo open heart surgery once he stabilized, though he looked like he was going to make it – if all went well. And he did pull through and had the surgery successfully and still with us, going strong.
Upon my return from the family emergency I was greeted by my manager with the realization that for each of those days that I wasn’t in the office, I was being docked $15!!! Something clicked inside of me at that very moment. I didn’t say anything in that moment, but inside I made a decision. I knew in that instant that I could no longer work under this kind of management…it just didn’t work for me any longer. I started to make the plan for my exit…and that is exactly what I did.
At the time, I despised that manager for being such a hard ass. I now thank him for being a hard ass! If he hadn’t been such a jerk, I may not have ever started working for myself; I may not have had the nerve to jump out of the nest and find my wings. I now credit his ass-ness as the foundation for me finding my own wings. I am now so thankful for that entire situation because I started to work for myself and I am where I am today because of that exact hard ass-moment.
I believe we are presented opportunities all day long on our path and sometimes we have our blinders on because of complacency. Even though we are not happy in our current situation, the fear of the unknown keeps us there. Well, sometimes doors are closed for us and it is the biggest blessing…because we may not have had the strength to close them ourselves. Sometime we must be pushed out of the nest in order to find our wings. And when the door closes in our face, it doesn’t feel good in that exact moment, but it may be the BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN for US! And, I mean for us…not to us. These situations are not happening to us…they are happening for us…for us to grow.