A Much Needed, Long weekend
I have great kids. This past weekend proved it. My oldest took me on an adventure. He sure can be a pain in the ass sometimes and he drives too fast, but I am a pain in the ass and drive fast, too! (Genetics is a powerful thing) He spent his own money and took me on a trip to SW Florida for a long weekend. We hung around Naples, played some golf and checked out the area. The only downside was that we flew Spirit Airlines (The room... see that sexy leg and the millimeter of space, see below!) and some kid kicked the back of my seat the whole way home, PLUS I was reminded that I still suck at golf. However, I got to spend some quality time with my 18-year-old, Hunter, and took some stock in my life.
It is an anniversary of sorts for me. Four years ago today, I shut down my consulting company. I had a customer who told me over the phone on January 30th, 2014 at 5:30pm, that is “was his company, or mine." That night, I had a grown man cry at my kitchen table and that man was not me. Sure, I had a choice to keep it going, scale back and restart. I had done it a few times before, but the night of January 30th 2014, I made the hard decision and killed it. I was done getting texts on Sundays in Church from customers. I was done listening to employees and the excuses, I was done with all of it. Mostly, I was done with myself and what I had allowed myself to become. The decision I made upset people. A handful of them took it well. Others… not so much. One dude in particular, even took my painful email to the employees and used it as his auto-reply! To make matters worse he even sent it to the Milwaukee Journal. I should have visited him over the weekend.
January 31st – Anniversary Day
I have gone through some painful stuff here too, a bunch of it recently, which made the trip all that more meaningful. Some of this stuff happening was eerily reminding me of four years ago and had me thinking about picking up my toys and going home. That would have been the easiest thing to do, but I am not one that is into "easy". Marketing firms, employees, myself (again)… name it. It had become no fun and I could not see how to fix it. Being chained to the area for the last 4 plus years, made it worse. My 18 year-old kid saw it, but I didn’t. I am too busy, like before, with my head down trying my ass off and seeing little results. But this weekend changed me and I am vowing to get the hell out of Princeton, more than every 4 years, see the world and some of our customers - in person. I am sorry Princeton, it really has nothing to do with you, it’s me. I made the decision, I am going back to having fun, staying put and taking this to the end-zone.
Burled Black Walnut in a North Naples home.
Sincerely, I do – to all those who think I wronged them, to all the customers who have waited too long for speakers from me, to the investors, the bankers, the vendors… all of it. I will work to correct it and I am sorry. I learned an important lesson over the long weekend, one that came from my kid.... If your head is always down, how can you see where you are going?
Thank you - Hunter.