One morning, I had an appointment with one of my customers at 9 a.m, so I figured I would leave the house at around 8:15 a.m. with my son, who I was dropping off at school. The plan seemed reasonable with plenty of time to spare to gather my thoughts before walking into the meeting.
At 8:05 a.m., I tell him to make sure everything is ready. Shoes, lunch, school bag -- the usual stuff that an elementary school student would need for his day. Then, half-way to the school, I hear, “Oh no!” from the back seat. I say, “What happened?”
“I forgot my violin.”
My first reaction was to frown. My first thought was, “I will be late.” Next thought was that we would lose a sale because, since I am late, he would think that our company was unreliable. A whole bunch of scenarios ran through my head within 30 seconds.
But then, I just sighed and thought this -- "There are much worse things that could have happened today.” At the next intersection, I circled the car around and headed back to the house. I hear, “I’m sorry.” To which I replied, “It happens.”
I really wanted to give him a lecture on being prepared. Instead, I told him to get ready to sling-shot out the car so he can run into house to grab his violin. He laughed and went in, and I smiled.
1. Business versus personal life
What I have learned is that what happens in one part of my life does have an impact on the other. If I don’t create business, that immediately affects my personal life, but seldom do we think that our personal life impacts our business.
I could have easily scolded my 10-year-old, and make his morning terrible. Most likely, I would have felt bad, and that would have affected me during my meeting. However, I walked into that meeting happy and came out with an opportunity that was unexpected. A great personal life does indeed result in good business fortune.
2. Being in control of the small choices
Every day, we make a series of decisions that will nudge us closer to being extraordinary, keep us in status quo or further down the path of destruction. They may seem negligible at the time.
Yes, I could have been really angry at my son and blurt out what immediately popped into my head. However, as the adult with some level of emotional maturity, I chose to be in control of situations like this. Where do uncontrolled choices lead you? I made a choice that nudged me toward my happiness, and I got a nice big hug from my boy as he started his day. For me, I get to add another dollar to his college fund!
3. Having a 'why' for goal-setting
My ultimate goal is to live a happy and fulfilling life. With that in mind, I can’t sweat the small stuff. Overall, the turnaround time was seven measly minutes. Those seven minutes could have cost me a whole lot more in my life than in my business.
Since, I remind myself of my goals and strongly connect them to my "why." It helps me focus on how my business goals are created and results in providing the life that I want for myself and family. So, does the dog wag the tail, or the tail wag the dog?
As much as you teach your kids about life, there are many lessons to be learned just by interacting with your kids. I’ve probably made millions and lost millions because of how I reacted with my kids. Thank goodness that my kids have balanced that scale somewhat in our favor.