I believe that God has given every single person in the world special gifts and talents. But are those talents a gift or a curse? I used to think my gift was a curse until I saw things more clearly later in life. Do you use your gift? Do you think it is a curse?
I used to have a really good corporate job that paid well in the Midwest and allowed me to drive super nice cars and SUV’s, take nice trips and buy that big house I always wanted and I never thought twice about what my “gift” or purpose on this earth was about. I loved the steady paycheck and felt like this was my “calling”. You could say that I was like everyone else. Until one day when I was forced to choose between doing the right thing and choosing that “steady paycheck”. For me, the rest, as they say is history. I was pushed into doing my own business venture and becoming self-employed. I can honestly say that it has been the hardest thing that I have ever done. Tougher than going through a divorce, or a custody battle, or losing those family members that I loved dearly to passing away or to fights over estate dissolution. Trust me when I say that being self-employed and trying to provide for my family has been one of the toughest things that I have ever done and nothing else has even come close. When I began my business I not only had to deal with financial stressors like my first born running up a several million dollar bill to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, but also some serious family challenges due to my mother and father passing away and losing relationships with family members I trusted more than anyone else. All of this happened as my life transitioned to relying on “my gift”. Even though those were the toughest years of my life, I would not change a thing. It was in that time that I was educated on the areas where I was not a good person and what my true calling really was.
In the corporate world I was always called upon to fix other people’s messes and make those businesses more money through change management or other means. While it gained me great notoriety, it also made many enemies. People who used to have loyalty to the “old regime “hated the change. And I hated the drama that this caused. Likewise, coming in and making more money easily always shed a light on those above me and begged the question of “why didn’t this take so long to happen”. This also made drama in the workplace. This is when I first questioned my “gift” and thought I was cursed. It seems that no matter how many messes I cleaned up, I was always rewarded by having to do it again and gain. My gift is clearly the ability to walk into a business and see their operations and immediately know how to fix the messes. For these reasons and more, I often sit back with a Cuban cigar and think that I wouldn’t have it any other way than being self-employed. I am able to bring my expertise to the corporate world without being immersed into the corporate culture full time. In my mind I had achieved the ability to use my gift! Or so I thought. I soon learned than my “gift” and talents came with a whole new set of frustration and stressors. I could not understand that when businesses did what I told them to do, they excelled and prospered, but me doing the exact same things, I struggled to land enough clients to sustain our lifestyle and that caused many issues in my marriage and personal life. I once again felt like my talents were cursed. Because I was so successful in the corporate world and fixing issues, I just assumed that the clients would be plentiful and easy to land. Boy was I wrong. I later found out that I was having issues landing clients because so many businesses have been taken advantage of by other “business coaches” and consultants who only wanted to milk as much money from them as they could. I knew immediately that I needed to reinvent the consulting world and drastically change my approach. This led to me having to ensure that the world knew that our goal was to provide the largest return on investment in the quickest amount of time possible. It was also necessary to make our clients know that we desired to make them stable and successful without us and long after we are gone. When that happened, and people saw the ROI that we talked about, magic began to happen. It allowed us to create business tools like the Business Health Check™ and Mobile Business Consulting™ that have never been done successfully on this scale before. But more importantly, it allowed me to help other business owners and individuals see and achieve their gift in life. Through consulting, I have been able to help people save their homes, their businesses and their livelihood. I have even been a part of helping several business owners who where partners with their spouses, save their marriage by clearly defining roles and rules of engagement. In these cases now, I simply ask life partners that are also business partners one simple question. That question is “if your business succeeds and your relationship fails, is it worth it?” Declarations and observations like this led me to find and embrace another gift that I was given that I didn’t want or realize. I found a special place in my heart for those businesses that are in crisis and those professionals who strive for betterment but are unable to achieve either because of background, finances, education or other obstacles. So much so, that I created and founded a not for profit called Devoted Foundations. We help those businesses or individuals in need free of charge or for whatever they can afford. This has become my new and biggest adventure ever.
I have had the pleasure to be around some of the most amazing turn around operations and seeing some of the most amazing transformations ever. I would never have been able to do that had I not trusted my gifts and the journey that they can take you one. No matter how hard things ever get, I will never give up the fight. And remember, you are never too old to find your talent and your gifts!