Every once in a while we get the opportunity to realize just how lucky we are when we can make a living doing what we love to do and live a life in many cases better than we ever thought possible.
This morning I had a company out to clean and pump our septic tanks. It is an awful job, in my opinion, where no matter how clean and good smelling you are when you walk out the door, no one will even want to shake your hand after you have been in that truck.
The owner of the company is a really nice guy. He does a great job and takes pride in his work. He is the “& son” in the company name. His father passed away a few years ago and his mother last year, leaving him with a company that I am not sure he really wants. Life has presented him with additional challenges and I get the sense that he feels a little trapped owning and running a company that might not have been his first choice. Should he make the choice to make it his own, things will change greatly and become far more positive.
When I traveled to see my daughter who is posted overseas in a place that will probably never make the Tourist 100, I saw men and women who had been out of work for many years, selling just about anything that might bring a little money. There were others doing work that many in the US would feel is way beneath them. Many of these men and women are highly educated with masters and doctorate degrees, they are proud and protective of what they have and do not mourn what could have or perhaps should have been. They did not get the choice they had built their lives for, but have now chosen the path that is in front of them.
In our own communities, with the state of the economy, there are people who are doing jobs that they would not have chosen as their first choice. Many, by accident, have found new passions, developed new skills and are going to taste the sweetest lemonade in the choices they are making. Others will continue sucking on lemons rather than making a choice to change, grow and or experience something different. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining. The silver lining here is that more entrepreneurial spirit has been kindled recently than we have seen in the last 50 – 75 years.
I have always felt very lucky to be able to make the choices I have in terms of the type of business I want to do, what I want to write and whether I want to work 60 or 80 hours per week, not to mention many other choices. I have also felt extremely lucky to have the family and life I have. All of these involve choices that only became lucky because of timing, opportunity and the willingness to choose a perspective that would let me control optimization. My life and business are a four leaf clover.
Four leaf clovers are rare because they are actually a defective set of leaves. They are not perfect, but we have chosen to consider them a symbol of luck. This choice, rather than focusing on the deformity, celebrates the difference. Business and life exist in a virtual bed of four leaf clovers, ready for us to choose and enjoy. Only those lucky enough to have chosen to look for them ever find them.
Have a happy and fun St. Patrick’s Day and may you find your four leaf clover.