Fuel for the Future

I bet you were thinking I was going to say solar energy…or maybe wind energy…or let’s turn plastic waste into energy…all good ideas but not where I was going today.

Nope – nothing earth shattering or outwardly revolutionary.  I’m thinking about our internal fuel – what helps us move forward.  What is the fuel that lives within ourselves? Think of all the stories you hear of people rising from adversity.  It that the fuel that pushes them forward?

Yes.  Our stories and our dark places give us the motivation to push forward.  Of course, those dark places give us fear and doubt that can keep us locked.  A quote I saw recently was ‘Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you in better conditions’ Hafiz. 

Fear and doubt keep us quiet, keep us from living, keep us from speaking up, keep us from sharing our voice.  When you look around your office today – think about the fact of each and every one of your have dark places – some darker than others.  Even those happy and outgoing people can have some of the darkest places.  The outside is no indication of the inside.

I’ve been on a journey these last 5 years – not an intentional one but a clear, driven journey none-the-less.  With the benefit of hindsight, I see a hard journey with lots of walking on hot coals, lots of stripping away the past – the fear – the doubt – the worry.  I have cleaned more dark corners than I ever thought could exist in my heart.  Each step forward gave me confidence for the next steps.  Each cleaned corner made me feel lighter, more at peace, more comfortable, more confident.  It’s my fuel to reach higher, to write more honestly, be more open, be vulnerable. 

Our fuel is our dark places, our dark corners, our pains and our scars.  As we work to clear them out and face them, we feel stronger and have more courage.You can do it.  You are ENOUGH.

DEADLINES – how to survive

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines…it’s a constant in our work life.  Mix those in with home life to do’s and mandatory schedules – ‘I promised a date with my spouse tonight’! How do we survive?!?!

I do two things:

1)      Acknowledge there are seasons or cycles to everything.  Marketing is going be busy in the fall.  Selling is going to be heavy in the holidays.  Accounting is every winter/spring.  Kiddo’s sports/events/theater is every spring and fall.  You get the picture.  Somethings will get caught in that crunch – be kind to yourself and others.  It’s expected if you’re in the right frame of mind.

2)      Prioritize based on those cycles. 

Life: If you’re a tax accountant, a vacation in February is not a great idea.  But one in May – much appreciated and much more enjoyable.  Kiddo’s game on April 14???? – talk about it ahead of time.  When cycles collide, have someone else clean the house, increase your budget for takeout, make extra meals before hand for easy lunches. 

Work: Despite what it may feel like, not all deadlines are real and not all deadlines need to be kept – this is the secret.  Which ones are not real and not needing to be kept are something you learn.  In the meantime, talk to your boss(es) and explain the constraints (not the family ones) and find out which ones can slip.

Bottom line – be open, be honest, see what’s ahead of you so you’re prepared.  Being hit by a Mac truck that you could have avoided completely sucks!!!  That’s why you have to slow down.


Case Study: B2C Troubles

I started with a retail supply company shortly after they had lost their good standing with Amazon for 5 days, costing them approximately $80,000. B2B had been their bread and butter and was operating normally through their warehouse. Their B2C dropship channel was in dire straits. Their core physical problem was their order process required a manual interface between the vendor and the warehouse. For B2B orders that are one order for thousands, this was manageable. But dropships are thousands of orders for one item and that became too cumbersome. Automation was attempted but was unsuccessful. Their core strategic problem was there was no strategic thinking.