About a decade ago I was working a new job where it rapidly became clear that they needed a new everything. You name it, it needed to be overhauled, sourced, replaced, or jettisoned into space.
We were going to need to create a property management company from scratch. Without any support of any kind. No one more experienced was coming to save us.
In addition, we needed to plan and execute a $2 Million renovation of buildings, landscaping, a massive dining hall and commercial kitchen, and a total rebrand of the asset without being able to change the name. The days were 12-16 hours. There was a crew of 60 that were all looking for answers and hand holding. Meanwhile, I had a pair of toddlers at home.
Stress was the air I breathed. It was among the more daunting challenges I’ve ever faced and at times it was completely overwhelming.
It was a couple of months in when I saw this quote somewhere and decided to have it made into a sign and hung in my office. It was a constant reminder that when we felt lost or defeated we could still act.
We could do SOMETHING. We had SOME recourse or resource, even if it was just the internet and our wits. We could positively affect the situation and that’s all you really need in any situation. Yeah, it’s great to have provisions, plans, and providence at your back, but life rarely works that way.
Today, I find myself in a very similar space as I was a decade ago. We’re making tons of progress but some items are faster to resolve than others and I’m not a very patient person. Some items are so vast that we don’t know of anyone that’s successfully solved them before; at least not in an elegant and scalable way and that’s what we’re after.
The quote is from Arthur Ashe, a legendary tennis player that passed far too soon. Tennis is largely a one vs one affair spanning multiple games. I like to think that Ashe said what he did in regards to finding yourself in the midst of a heated set with a rival where not much is working for you. During the breaks, we shouldn’t spend too much time looking backward or lamenting the calls or injuries that got us here. We should center ourselves and focus on what we can change, now.
Today, that sign hangs over my shoulder and I can see it on every virtual call I attend. It’s a great reminder that we’re capable of taking action and that no situation is ever lost. We are the people we’ve been waiting for.
When did you live that moment and take a step when you felt lost or overwhelmed?
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