This is my calling. This is my call to arms. I have been gone a while from the blogosphere. I have been gone a while from speaking. The summer months are traditionally slow for speeches. However, R2 is growing like crazy. For those of you that follow the business, we grew 81% year over year last year and are up 54% at the midway point of this year. Business is great. We add more talented people and more talented clients. However, without my speaking outlet, I am not my normal self. I am not the normal passionate project manager that many of you know. These past couple of months has been trying for me. I have lived my life as an open book. The company, my career, my speeches, my family life, how I grow as a person, all out there exposed for the world to see, good, bad, or indifferent. For the past couple of months, I just haven't been there. I haven't been me. I haven't been the person I aspire to be and the person that I hold myself to be. That changes today. I had a fantastic conversation with my wife this weekend. She is the person who holds me at the center and knows me better than anyone. During that conversation I realized that I had been compromising who I was for a relationship that wasn't going to be. In business and in life, we do it all of the time. We will compromise and turn little facets of our personalities off in order for the greater good, or so we believe. Many times this is reciprocated and compromises are made on both sides. I realized this weekend that I continued to protect and compromise for a relationship that only had malicious intent for me and my organization. We have been giving so much and continued to believe that if we were the ones, or really, if I was the one that lead by example of compromise, the competing parties would fall in line. Time after time, it would just turn in to more work, heartache, stress, and mistrust. I look back over the last couple of months and I do not like who I have become. I have been short, stressed, and have lost that passion that has made me who I am. Compromise is over.
When I make a statement like that, it doesn't mean a declaration of war. It means that it I no longer wish to compromise who I am. One of my favorite lessons I have learned came from a great mentor. He asked me if I had ever gone home from work completely exhausted as if I had ran a marathon, but did not actually do anything physical. When I answered that I had, he stated the reason that I was so tired was because I was conforming my personality to something that I wasn't. I was physically holding back who I was in meetings or in reactions so that I actually was exerting physical forces that were making me tired. It made quite a bit of sense. That is how I feel today. I feel physically exhausted. I feel like I have lost a couple of months of really being the innovative person that I can be. That is why I make the statement that compromise is over.
I share this with my audience because I want everyone to be reminded to be who you are. The tragedy in Colorado proves that life is way too short and you never know what is lurking around the corner. If today was my day, would I be satisfied that I lived to my fullest potential? Today I would have to say no. That mentality changes right now. I am someone who is always on top of the details. I missed my flight today. The whole morning, I thought I was leaving at 1:15 when I was leaving at 11:15. I planned on starting to get ready for the airport at 11:15 when I received a call from Delta asking if I was going to make the flight. At that moment, I was sitting on the couch watching a cartoon with my son. I couldn't think of anything better. Normally, I would freak out and let me missing the flight ruin my day. Instead, I asked her to back me up on the next flight and calmly made the next one. Without missing a beat, I finished that cartoon with my son. It was the best moment of the day. Over the past couple of months, I haven't been the best father, husband, friend, business owner, or person I know I can be. That changed with a simple quick conversation. My son looked at me and said, "Do you have to leave right now?" I said, "Not until we see if Spiderman escapes." He said, "Thanks daddy. I love you." At that moment, I was who I wanted to be.
Compromise is over. It is time to take control back of who I am. Look out!
Be who you are!