I was a bundle of energy almost ten years ago. I remember giddily leaving my 9 to 5 job at Disney to work in my dad’s company. The family business. Where I didn’t have to answer to anyone but my dad. Where can I do anything I wanted, whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted. And the sky was the limit.
I was excited. I was giddy. I was looking forward to the challenge. I was calling customers left and right. Taking suppliers on long corporate trips across the USA. I was thinking about all types of way to expand the business and build it into an “empire”. I was thinking big. Thinking large. Thinking how to dominate the space.
And it was exciting. Fast forward ten years to now in 2021, and I have a stable set of customers. But, I am a bit more lethargic, a bit more set in my ways of doing things. Things were not as exciting as they were before when I just started out in the family business. I’ve gotten into a role or a habit of doing things.
And as I got more up to speed with the company finances and operations, my roles shifted from one of mere sales and business development to holistically understanding how the company is run entirely. From start to finish. Top to bottom.
And there are A LOT of administrative duties and back-office responsibilities that need to be taken care of. Stuff that I used to take for granted. Stuff that my mom and dad would do behind the scenes to free me up to do more of the “exciting” responsibilities like selling and corporate trips and conferences.
The pandemic has made me come to terms with my company’s finances. And the more I operate in this mindset and within these parameters, the more my mindset crystallizes. The more I become set in my ways. The less I look into business development. The more I look into simply maintaining my company’s operations.
I guess over these almost 10 years of working in the family business, I’ve come to terms with reality. Maybe it’s not necessary to reach for the stars. Maybe it’s not necessary to think big and achieve one billion dollars in revenues or something like that. Maybe it’s okay to keep it in the family and maintain our small business status.
It’s comfortable. It’s safe. It’s familiar. It’s crystallized.
But, on the other hand, what’s wrong with continuing to think big. Of continuing to look towards building a lasting empire. You reach for the skies, and at the end of the day you’ll be satisfied with what you achieve - whether it be big or small. They’re two different mindsets. Neither is better than the other. It simply depends on the situation and on our own beliefs and ideals.
Like most things in life, there’s no good or bad. No wrong or right. It just is what it is. My mindset gradually crystallized from one of growth and development to one of stability and maintenance. Over the years, the company has grown, but not to the level that I was dreaming of. It is what it is.
That doesn’t deem myself a success nor a failure. It just happened to break the way it broke. And that’s okay. These days, I have other things to think of as well. Of starting a family. Of taking care of my parents as they age. Of becoming more familiar with the company back-office work. After all, I’m eventually going to after to take over the entire operation. Not just the glitzy part of the business.
So, my mindset has changed these days, and I’m running the business with a more limited mindframe - for better or worse. Things crystallized over time. And I’m no longer the glowy eyed novice that I was back in 2012, when I first started in the business. Calling all types of clients. Taking in all types of opportunities. These days, I pick and choose my spots. And I realize that most opportunities - more often than not - will result in failure rather than success. Luck is a big part of it all as well.
So, I slog on and carry on. Working towards developing the business, though no longer with the idealistic passion of the yesteryears. I’m more set in my ways. More developed in my understanding. And more realistic about my goals. For better or worse.
I guess that’s how most people view life in general as well. They start out as glowy eyed youth - ready to take on the world and overcome all challenges. And then they gradually morph into adults that are more set in their ways and realistic in their everyday expectations of life. That’s life in a nutshell.
We aim for the stars. And then we fall back down to Earth, crystallized in our ways. But, I realize that either option or mindset is okay. As long as we practice acceptance of the here and now. Everything happens in its own beautiful and unique way, and it’s up to us to come to terms with it.
Wherever we are in this spectrum of life, whether we are glowy eyed or crystallized, we have the power to choose our perspective. To accept wherever we are, whenever we are, doing whatever we do. And that, in itself, can lead to greater peace of mind and fulfillment - regardless of our mindset, growth, and development timescale.