Don’t go for Coffee with Charles

When I say Don't, I really mean Do but when doing so, take a F*&K OFF sword because believe it or not this gentleman will have you slaying dragons. Ok this sounds weird but hopefully I can shed some light on the this as you read on.

“This is my first ever blog post, go easy on me. Hopefully I wont bore you, if I do, let me know and I wont do it again”

The idea behind this post is to hopefully give others an insight to changing up their un-purposefull and un-meaningfull career. No matter how scary that can seem, I speak from the heart when I say this “I was shit scared of what was going to happen next” … somehow the journey I have taken over this last year made it all ok.

I would start my story off 20 years ago when my path of least resistance decisions got me to where I am now but I am told blogs are not 212 pages long, so il save you the time…

I work for a family company, we supply Engineering services over the south coast, we have some great clients (some bad) and an awesome team. Iv gone from engineer to director, director to MD, bla bla bla who cares!!

If I was asked 10 years ago what I wanted to achieve, my previous answer makes my current self shudder. Id tell anyone that asks, I want to be successful, build a great company and support my family. Now that does not sound so bad does it? However it was the way I defined ‘successful’ that was so wrong. Id define this by assets, money in the bank, property status, what car I drove. What was so scary for me is that I have spent my life loving, caring, wanting to help others outside my work as much as I could. Impact those that I love and hopefully make a difference. Yet I would only do this in my personal time. Something had to change.

So I started searching for like minded people, tribes, straight up awesome creatives that thought along the same lines as I did, that there is another way to ‘work’, another way to spend 50% of our lives than just make money.

I stumbled along The Happy Startup crew and Summer Camp in early 2014!! Now this looked like the tribe of awesome that I had been searching for. Having hated networking with the “grey suited mood hoovers”. I thought that The Happy Startup Summer Camp was the way to go. All booked and I had no idea what was around the corner.

The problem with attending such an awesome event in summer 14 is exactly that, its just awesome, inspiring, refreshing, gives hope, gives purpose, passion, meaning, friends, great friendships and a whole new meaning to living. Why is this a problem? well if you do absoluely nothing about your new found knowledge and experience for a whole year then its actuall really painful. It physically hurts to be so empowered yet not allow yourself to be… well… you.

This Summer camp had become way bigger than The Happy Startup Team, it was not about startups, it was not about work. It was about life, it was about being human and a F*!KING great one at that.

So, in a quest to redeem myself, I decided to re-attend this awesomeness and head over to SummerCamp15. This time I had to approach this in a different way, so my shy self dropped the pen and notebook that I had hidden behind in SC14 and decided to listen, really listen. Then to take another leap outside of my shell and connect, really connect and with as many of the most amazing people I had ever found myself surrounded by.

I can not recommend this enough, if you are so lucky to attend next year be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster, a train wreck of yourself to arise, a painful thought provoking experience… it gets better… by the time you leave you will have shared, laughed, cried with happiness, witnessed happiness, loved, loved some more, realised what it means to lead meaningful, purposeful and passionate lives, sang your heart out and “Danced like nobedy was watching”

So through my year of pain between the two Summer Camps and the way that the second camp had become about ‘being human’ above anything else… what was next for me?

I went for Coffee with Charles, be this brave, stupid or perhaps the last step I knew I had to take before pulling the rip cord on just about everything I knew. Charles Davies [insert what on earth it is he actually does here]coaches people in helping them with clarity, helping them get clear ideas on what it is they do. Their work, money, their organisations, theirselves.

7 hours I never want to get back. We spent the day together, im not even sure what Charles said or what I said but what I do know is this. I messaged Charles later that night with the following:

“All I know is that everything from here is going to be OK”

Charles helped me realise that all the demons that were in my way, ‘the demon of letting my family down, letting them know that I did not want to be the MD of our family company’. The demon of ‘how bad my Dad would feel if I told him this, how crushed he would feel’. The Demon of ‘If I do this, there will be no reassurance in my life, no safety net to fall back on’. What Charles did was make me realise just one thing. All these demons had been created by me, they didn't exist, they were unlikely to ever show their face.

I was asked right at the end of the day. What I was feeling about all of this right now?

“My biggest fear, my demons, the dragon that I had put in front of myself that I was going to have to find a F*%K OFF sword to slay was actually no longer the scariest thing in my life but it had become my biggest ever achievement”

Facing your biggest achievement is a much less scary way to follow you dreams.

So, I quit being an MD and it feels incredible. Whats next? Who knows and im ok with that.

THANK YOU HAPPY SUMMER START UP CREW & every single last one of you that attended. Oh and Thank you Charles for letting me borrow your dragon goggles, they were kind of awesome!!