Wake up tomorrow and go to work for yourself. You are the sole proprietor of your one person company. You have the freedom to move your service to any industry and any company. You take your resources, skills and assets with you. You get 100% of the profit. What you have “become” is the “X” factor that will make you a success or drive you into bankruptcy. You can seek out companies with missions that are in line with your personal little company mission statement and use the foundations of these organizations, not to prop you up, but to propel you and your one person business to the top of your own little industry. In turn you will bring the most value possible to the company you partner with. Eventually becoming an irreplaceable supplier of your one of a kind service for that company. Today you own it. Act like you do.
If you read my previous blog about ownership and who you work for, you might be feeling a little defensive or uncomfortable, good for you. You are learning something and realizing that you have more to offer. You have quietly been waiting. At least one to ninety nine percent of you is now crying out for you to take control of your life and stop playing the “I just work here” game. Powerful teams are built with owners. The kind of people that see work as personal and believe they are an integral part of everything. If each person in Home Depot realized that they work for themselves. That every time they help a customer, or don’t help a customer it is a reflection on them personally. Home Depot would put Lowes out of business in a few months. If each person is any organization felt a deep sense of pride and connection to their work and how that “job” was an extension of their purpose. Their role is an extension of their place in the universe and their unique opportunity to bring some value to the world. In turn they would receive recognition, satisfaction and yes a paycheck. Their life would be better and the bottom line would reflect that vision.
I ask this question to groups around the globe and I usually get a similar response. Five to 10 percent of the room slowly raises their hand as if they have the last winning ticket in a church fund raiser. In my mind they should not feel guilty for working in a big company and possessing that “if it is to be it is up to me” kind of spirit. Why are people in fear to proudly say they work for themselves when working for another company? Do they think teamwork is at stake or that they will be labeled as selfish. I’m not talking about running a small business or having “Owner” at the end of you your business card, but real ownership. The next generation has missed a beat in the tough work, make it or break it, school of hard knocks our parents and grandparents grew up in. They think that it is up to other people to make their situation better or to give them some kind of mission in life. To wake them up early and ask them to stay late to accomplish their dreams. They think that if they had another promotion or another raise they would increase their level of performance as a result. Continually playing “You go First” with their manager to make the first move to recognize them. They would follow with an proportionate level of commitment. If you are waiting to be an Owner to work like an owner you are missing out on your own growth and security.
Everytime I take off in my Cirrus SR20 I feel like I am about to be lifted by the virtues of humanity. I can’t help but think of how many innovations came from so many people dreaming of so many possibilities to make it safer, faster, stronger, quieter. And how I enjoy these things is beyond words.
How many unfortunate, unplanned ‘landings’ have inspired brilliant innovations allowing the profound dream of flight to prosper. That little cuff on the wing, the ballistic parachute that explodes out the back of my plane with the pull of a handle if all things start pointing ‘down’ without my approval . There is a sense of teamwork that transcends generations, companies, and countries. Human beings are such a powerful team. We get it right so much of the time that we forget how incredible we work together for the things that lift us up!
It is easy to forget about this when something doesn’t go as planned. For some reason, I end up losing the greater context and become a victim in the micro moment of misfortune losing sight of all that is fortunate on the greater clock in the sky. Things happen in airplanes all the time and pilots demonstrate their virtues of humanity through their application of knowledge on to the technology that is the expression of someone else’s knowledge. We figure stuff out. That’s what we all do.
Next time you take a trip across the country at 40,000 feet going 500 miles per hour after complaining about your 30 minute delay you might want to challenge the context of your view to include the miracle of our ability to rise above. I hope you can join me at that moment celebrating on the wings of humanity.
Interestingly, at the age of 43, I’ve been having some serious issues with insomnia. All my life, I’ve never had a problem sleeping! The old adage, “you don’t know what you’re missing until it’s gone”, definitely applies here! However, I’m doing everything in my power to use this time (anywhere from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) somewhat productively. The majority of the time, I think about work. Now you might think that’s a negative or stressful thing. It’s not. For the past seven years, the best thing that has happened to me in my entire life (outside of being in my amazing family) has been the decision to become a part of Odyssey Teams, Inc.. The company has grown three-fold over the years and we have some incredible programs to offer the world (if I do say so myself). We offer everything from our Life Cycles Program (a bike building / teambuilding experience), our Playhouse Project, the Helping Hands Program to traditional ropes courses. I seriously pinch myself everyday and am so thankful that I love getting up in the morning to go to the office! Outside of the fulfilling, rewarding work we do, I have the pleasure of spending my hours with my fabulous colleagues. If you personally know any of these people, you know exactly what I’m talking about! You don’t find this kind of quality just anywhere. So…when I’m awake all those hours when the streets are quiet, the hustle and bustle of the day is over and everyone is asleep, I’m reflecting on this team of people. They have touched my life, made me a happier person and I feel thankful that I get to work alongside them everyday of my life!
Isn’t it a terrible feeling to let someone down? I think this is one of the hardest emotions to deal with (especially if you’re a Type A personality such as myself). Having someone you love and respect be disappointed in you is one of worst emotions and I strive SO hard to never let it happen. But then…being human steps into the fold. I try to tell myself that “everyone does it from time to time”, that “my intentions were good”, “I didn’t mean to have that happen” or possibly make some excuse as to why things didn’t go according to the original plan. I woke up today not realizing that my day would unfold and a glaring “let down” would make itself known. It was a terrible moment. I saw it coming from the second I heard, “can we spend just 5 minutes on the phone” discussing this project. I knew. The sinking feeling swept over me and my gut fell into my Uggs! This stinks! I am always on top of my game and this situation came back to bite me in the rear end unexpectedly! OK…time to get my mind spinning on WHY the project didn’t happen and HOW to fix it immediately to dissolve the pit in my stomach and make things better with the person I let down. I apologized immediately and took responsibility for my shortcomings with regard to managing this project and not providing my own personal input. I went for a long walk in the park to clear my mind and reviewed that the “Type A” can make mistakes in life too! It’s OK. One mistake doesn’t outweigh the thousands of things we do right each day. There are two little words that can make everything better if they are said with genuineness…I’m sorry. It’s amazing how these words can heal anger, hurt or disappointment in an instant. After my heartfelt apology, I got into action and called in the cohorts to get the job done! We’re already on our way (in a couple short hours) of meeting our initial goal. Man…it’s much better to face a difficult project than it is to face disappointing someone you love!
When teams build bikes for kids, teams are brought together. Click here for more information on the original Life Cycles bicycle building teambuilding. Kids and bikes… bikes and kids, is there a better match than kids and bikes? Odyssey’s bike building, teambuilding program called Life Cycles is a great event to promote teamwork. Building bikes are a great way to build teams and work as a team. Walking into a room with kids and seeing the kids look at all the bikes in the room that are for each kid is a wonderful teambuilding experience. Kid’s light up when they see bikes. Teambuilding is great for the participants, especially when they are donating a bike to a kid. Building bikes takes teamwork. When building a bike that will be donated to a kid the teamwork is more effective and memorable. When kids walk in and see bikes and the groups that built the bike see the kids, smiles and tears are on every face. Build bikes for kids for better teamwork today.
Its simple…just smile and say pass it on. Smiling is the quickest way to relax every muscle in your body, bring cheer someone’s day, and add value to someone’s life.
The times when I smile the most are when I am at an Odyssey Life Cycles Event, the teambuilding, bike building event. At this event it is apparent how rewarding it is to donate bikes to kids. Not only do I get to see these kids’ faces light up, but also I am able to help them learn about the value of a smile and saying thank you.
Being in the room with the kids before they get their bikes is a really fun experience because many times, the kids do not know that they are getting a bike. Usually the kids think they are on a field trip. There is excitement from the moment they arrive. As the unveiling of the bikes gets closer it is really fun to watch the kids smiling as they line up and are given numbers. When they walk in the room their faces exude excitement as they see the shiny new bikes in the room. Every person is smiling and so thankful for the past hour that they had either building the bike, or waiting in anticipation. I am confident that every person does one RAOK (random act of kindness) they would not have done after they leave that program. It is the best way to show people that actions speak louder than words and that the things we do have a profound impact on those around us. Don’t believe me? Start a smile chain.
Just a way to spend the day? What about an investment into the future? No matter what teambuilding experiences you may have done before, none of it compares to a teambuilding program with Odyssey Teams, Inc. Odyssey not only provides hands on teamwork and applicable life application, but has found a way to incorporate philanthropy and make investments in the future.
Building a bike for a kid that has never had one before is one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime, in my opinion, one that every person should have. Building a bike that is donated to a kid is a very memorable experience. Watching the kids face light up as they see their brand new bike that was built just for them is a once in a lifetime experience. Additionally, each child learns about the importance of gratitude and appreciation. Many of these kids never thought that they could have a bike that they could call their own. With Odyssey and their teambuilding experience, not only do they provide a bike, but the investment into a kid’s life that says they are worth it. It speaks volumes to parents and volunteers that companies would take time out of their day to build a bike and donate it to their kid. Every person leaves the program smiling and ready to go out and do a little more good in their day. So far 10,000 bikes have been given away… imagine the return on that investment.
Yesterday the pigs got out. We are all getting ready to go to work, school, the gym and get our day started and 10 year old Adam ran out back to feed our 5 pigs. After looking out the kitchen window, it was taking way longer than usual, I went out to check on him. There he was sitting on a stool crying while 2 of the pigs were running around. Totally helpless. Now, when a pig gets loose (since you all have experienced this, I’m sure) its hard to get it back in the pen by yourself. They like to run around and need to be guided on 3 sides to pointing them where to go and tap them on the shoulder to keep them focused and prod them along. After wiping some tears, Adam and I corralled the pigs and got them back where they needed to be. We walked back to the house with my arm around his shoulder more connected than we had been earlier that morning.
Sometimes in life the pigs get out, and our first reaction is to sit on a stool totally helpless. Remember, there are people there that want to help you and get you back on track. We don’t need to live life alone, doing everything by ourselves. There are people out there, guiding us on all sides tapping us on the shoulder and making sure we get back to where belong, because they care for you and want the best for you. You may relate to any person in this story, but know that which ever one you are your role is incredibly important. The journey begins…