I have the pleasure…and pains of working for small companies within the Building Materials Industry. I am a multi-purpose service provider to them, whether it is with web development & E commerce, Marketing Strategies or Team Building and Human Resources Solutions. I enjoy analyzing and creating solutions, consequently these last few months have provided me with many creative, analytical, sleep deprived opportunities. While the spirit of the financial world was giving a brief sigh of relief this week, my clients’ offices still remained far too quiet.
Six weeks ago and six months ago and a year ago, we put into motion a strategic plan that addresses and prioritizes the top priorities of management. After rounds of employee cuts and overhead reductions, I have made my case for increasing efforts rather than the alternative. Sales priorities have been established and re-established, marketing efforts were rolled out and internal control issues were addressed, each time with small celebrations but no victory in sight. The silence yesterday, was a gnawing reminder that there are no immediate solutions. The troops are fading.
So, the stress levels seem high and the fears insurmountable. The question begs, what do you do when you’re giving more than you have and getting nowhere?
It is no wonder that the local churches in the Boise Metro area are feeling a surge in attendance. The questions on the faces of so many have moved beyond any consultant’s specialty. Its times like this that I reflect on darker days for my roadmap. In 2003 I sat in a hospital room a few times a week surrounded by a number of other patients. Lillian’s hair had begun to grow back after her last round of chemo. David, who was 12, liked to play cards and listen to his IPOD while he received his fourth round of treatment. Jonas was a retired school teacher with a great sense of humor that he graced us with each session. Each person that found themselves in that room had not been prepared by any previous experiences. They had no legal recourse to recoup the time and money that was being taken from them. In their world this topped any Ponzi scheme. While there were moments of fear they were always outlived by the moments of courage and strength that came from knowledge that cancer, while part of our lives was not our lives and never would be.
I share this story because something happens in our business mind when we connect to the life outside of it. Mindfulness is a powerful tool so easily lost when we forget to reflect on our purpose. When we ask ourselves, “What would I do if I had one day left?” We begin to understand where our values truly lie. Once we can see the map of priority in front of us, the course is very easy to plot and maneuver. Mindfulness is an art and discipline. It requires us to practice returning to that map. It allows us to understand difficulties and empowers us to utilize them as catalysts for growth, change and renewed perspective. When our abilities take us to our limits, our heart takes us beyond.
Just as you can spend more than you have, you can give more than you have and chances are you will get nowhere. If we practice mindful action…If we can remain grounded in our authenticity…If we stay open and aware, how can we not get where we want to go?
A powerful reminder of what matters: Team Hoyt