How will this month define you?
It’s 4:30 am as I write this column, which seems to be my new norm. Up around 3:30 am, take the dogs out, make some coffee then head into my office to work. Sometimes I read or listen to a podcast, work on business plans and ideas, email, or sometimes I just sit in silence.
This morning I read an article written by my college roommate and long time friend, Joe. In his article, “What Can Be?” he shares his belief that what we are all going through right now is a “defining moment in our history” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a defining moment, not just in our history, but in our lives.
In one year, when you look back to April 2020, what will you see? What will you remember? What will your family, children, friends, colleagues and clients remember, about you? Just for a moment, ponder this question.
Who are you going to be?
Do I want to get up at 3:30 am? No, but it's my new norm. Why? Well, the answer is not what you think. I”m sure most of you believe it’s because I’m scared and worried and I am. Just like the rest of you, I’m worried about my business, my team, my family and more. This is real and this is happening to us and it’s happening now.
But that’s not what wakes me up. What gets me out of bed, well before the chickens across the street, (yes, my neighbors have an obnoxious rooster that starts crowing at 5:00 am), is excitement and joy! Before I even get out of bed, my mind is racing with all the things I get to do today - so much so that I get up and start doing!
You see, I’m making the most of this moment. I’m defining the moment - it’s NOT defining me. I choose joy! I choose to serve. I choose to move forward. And, I’m doing it in a new way and making an impact in my life and the lives of others.
What do you choose?
I am not stuck in quarantine. I’m stuck in the middle of an amazing gift - the gift of April 2020. The gift of connecting with my family in a new way. The gift of reinventing my business. The gift of serving our community and its people. I could go on and on about the many gifts I’ve been given at this moment, but the most important gift I’ve been given, is choice!
What gifts have you been given?
While reading Joe’s article, I realized that I had become what he calls an “April Innovator.” I’m using this time to “springboard to create a new way of looking at the world and business.” I’m embracing grit, perseverance, hard work, creativity, innovation - and I’m being a disruptor. “I’m driven by faith, hope and the belief in the power of joy. It’s the knowledge, quite simply put, that everything is going to be ok.” Because it will be ok and if you tackle this challenge head on, you will come out on the other side in a better position and a better person!
What actions are you taking?
Right now, moving into action is one of the most important things you can do and there are lots of options. Are you working on a new idea, project or initiative to serve your customers or are you binge watching NetFlix? Are you expanding your knowledge and skills right now or are you glued to the gloom and doom of the news channels? Are you having meaningful conversations with your customers and family or are you moping around pondering how bad this all is? Your actions and your mindset are everything - and people are watching you and your actions!
I’m working longer hours, in smarter ways and harder than I have ever before - and I’m having more fun. Yes, more fun and I’m more excited than I thought possible. The world is full of choices and the actions you take now could define you for a long time - so let it define you the right way.
How do you get moving?
I get it, it can be hard to get motivated and move everyday and show up as your best self. But my encouragement to you is to focus on these things, in this order:
Remember, you have a choice of how you are going to show up and lead. Make the right choice. Join me and my friend Joe, and become an April Innovator! Embrace the gifts you have been given and move forward. Make a positive impact, everyday, on you, your family, your friends, your colleagues, your team and your organization.
When you look back on April 2020, what will you see? How will you define this time in history?