I had a really interesting week last week. Over a 3-day period, I met in-person with five different clients and former clients… and while every conversation was a little bit about business, each became more about their lives and what’s important to them. Things that are far more important than the top line or the bottom line.
On Tuesday evening, the CEO of one of my clients was in town (unrelated to our work together) and he wanted a guided tour of downtown Nashville. So, I took him honky-tonkin’ on Lower Broadway. We had a few beers and listened to some really good country music in three different clubs. But when we chatted between songs, what I discovered was that this energetic and relatively young entrepreneur is having heart surgery in a couple of months. Talk about something that will give you perspective.
On Wednesday, I drove to Cincinnati for meetings that day and the next.
It started with a team meeting at my client’s office in the afternoon, after which I took the President and VP out for dinner. The President excused himself to leave early… he didn’t want to be late for his grand-daughter’s recital at school. As a grand-father myself, I think he’s got his priorities absolutely right.
Thursday morning had me meeting with the President of one of our longest-tenured clients. We met at her lovely condo in a very nice neighborhood in Cincinnati. She had recently moved into that condo because it happens to be next door to the memory care facility where her husband now lives. As the son of a father with Alzheimer’s, I know the stress she lives with and how that situation with keep things in perspective.
After that, I walked to a nearby restaurant to meet the principal of a former client. Not only had his firm closed its doors a couple of years ago, but the ‘big firm’ he went to work for laid him off after less than a year. I was there as a ‘friendly ear’ and to talk a little about career strategy so he could get back to work to support his family. With two kids in high school, he had visions of years of college tuition ahead of him. If that doesn’t help you see what’s really important, I’m not sure what will.
Lastly, on my drive back to Nashville, I stopped to meet with Brad Marsh, the President of Consensus Point. I’ve known Brad for years and we did a little business together when he first started there. While we did talk about business for a while, we also talked about his wife who – several year ago, at the age of 36 – suffered a massive stroke. He told me about the book they wrote together that tells the story of the healing and recovery process they went through… and the foundation they started to help other young stoke survivors and their families. Brad is a very smart and successful businessman… but his purpose and perspective are now far different than they were just a few years ago.
It really was one helluva week!
As we approach the end of 2019 and the start of the Holiday Season, now might be a good time to take a few minutes to (as my mother used to say to me when I was growing up) make sure your head is screwed on right! Business is important… but it’s just business. It’s what supports the really important things in our lives and allows us to spend time doing those things that are of highest priority. Make sure you’ve got the right perspective on your life and your business.
Have a terrific Holiday Season and a safe and joyous New Year!
If you’d like to learn more about Brad Marsh’s foundation, go to: www.OneStrokeForward.org. You can also find his book, Love Stroke, on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Stroke-Kelly/dp/1532002874/