I am sitting in my office in Louisville, Ky watching the Fall season actually begin- something television proclaims but it’s a false start really. Leaves are gold and brown, some red and they fall hard this time of year, almost as if they are angry that another turn as come and gone and they must play their second role, namely, feeding the earth. The practical side of me is reminded that each leaf that falls mounts up an urgency for work, and with so many large and beautiful trees in our yard, I am in a constant stop and start: love the beauty, hate the mess.
Fall Season Begins
Seriously, I have to decide to pause on the beauty to enjoy it. My mind has been fashioned by my world, unfortunately, to somehow get this season and this awesome picture into 140 characters, squeeze the tube, grab a rake and blower and move on.
Officially, I am sitting here because I am in between ‘the next thing.’ I am both contemplative and anxious, this being the fall of my years on the planet, my ‘turn’ as it were- and knowing that in another 10-15 years, my leafs will be falling and knowing that with this latest change in my season, I have a rare opportunity. Some would brand this book as a mid-life crisis, but it really isn’t. I am at once trying hard to really listen to God and get His leading on my next steps on the journey, while the corporately trained Coyote in me is vigorously punching at my skin to move to the next thing.
The next thing is actually the next ‘things.’ For some time, I have worked with a small team to develop what could turn out to be a catalyst in how companies of all sizes communicate. That sounds really large and it is. In fact, one day, what we have developed will be as normal to do as placing a quick call or jotting a note used to be. That has exciting prospects, but for that to ignite the next few years of my life, it will take God’s continued, unmistakable intervention. Every time I feel like this is as far as this big idea can go, another door opens, and I walk through, with minimal expectations, waiting for there to finally be a room that ends the journey, but for now, as long as the doors open, I am a loon enough to bonk in and have a poke around.
Then there has always been a dream of mine to help companies build passionate sales teams that operate efficiently and effectively- and make a difference in both the clients world, but also in the lives of those doing the hard work of selling. Growing up in sales, beginning with my very first sale at Glenn’s House of Shoes in Atlanta, to a quiet woman who was unsure about buying, only looking, until I told her it was my first day and she would be my first sale, ever. She bought. A $19.99 cap-toe, sling back, mid heel navy pump made by Capri, a Brown Shoe Company off brand. I was 16 and greener than a spring shrub. But something about living on the razor’s edge, rejection lurking around every corner, failure whispering to you, doubts assailing- and that feeling that happens when the 90 rejections turn into a win and then a winning streak. I have seen so many great sales people, teams and companies, and having the ability to share in those successes-and failures, gives me the desire to seed some of that in companies that need a spark and some direction.
And then there is the real draw of investing more years in larger enterprises, helping them shape teams, focus on the vision and take another hill. Been there and done that, but if the right situation came along, something that made sense and I was able to integrate with leadership, and the culture of the company wasn’t a toxic clean-up- then that bridge is open as well. Part of me has outgrown a general sales vp role, and I say that not out of cockiness or pride, but that I have learned to see things intersecting at higher levels- and thus the push to have a bit more control.
Regardless, the truth is, this is more of a ‘try-sis’ than a crisis. And it is impossible for me to shape it into a simple string of text. I am full on aware that Fall season has begun, and given the speed with which the Spring came and went, I am doing my best to be thoughtful, prayerful, and listen.