Finding the Silver Lining
This is another in the series of Mindful Moments which are written to guide us to think about what’s important for us to remember or keep-top-of-mind as we move through our week of personal activities and professional work.
Resistance is such a part of our vocabulary and national thought right now. We see it in videos, hear it on TV and read it in the newspapers. There’s even a national movement. I love the concept of resistance. I love resistance itself as a physical and mental activity, but today I am thinking about acceptance.
It was a year ago this month that I decided to reset my business with a new focus and brand. I made another big decision; I would hire a web design team to help. This was huge because I myself work with others on their brand, to find their core messaging and key services. So I naturally began the project assuming I could do most of the copy and design work myself. But once I had clarity about the brand, I just wanted to get it done, and fast. So, yes, I hired others to make that happen. I was so excited and determined to get my next business evolution up and running I would, as they say, throw anything I possibly could at getting it done.
So with the team in place and all knowing that the ‘go live’ date was in 2 months, we set upon the tasks to make it happen.
It’s surprising to me that here I am today, a year later, and only now am I on the eve of launching my website and introducing my new brand. I had to wonder how the heck this happened. I’ve rolled out major corporate enterprise technologies and projects, have been a business owner for over a decade and help others start or revamp their businesses. I’m good at gauging work effort. Also, I’ve done web development myself and written a lot of web and marketing copy. These types of things just don’t take that long.
Hmm, not generally. But unforeseen circumstances arose, and lingered, more often than I expected or wanted.
My designer just disappeared about 6 weeks into the project. After 3 months of many attempts to find out what happened, and no forward movement on my site’s development, I finally wrote a plaintiff but terse email to the team’s copywriter and developer. I wanted an explanation and, most importantly, I needed work to once more commence. My frustration was especially peaking since I had fully paid for design and development months earlier.
That email did stir a response and explanation. It wasn’t ‘happiness making,’ as I like to say.
My web designer was in jail. Yes, jail. I verified all I was told by my research into newspaper articles and court documents.
I knew I had to move beyond this stunning news. I had to look forward. I asked the copy writer and web developer to help me finish my site and they said yes.
This now modified team arrangement went along pretty well for a few months despite the fact that my site was not a priority on anyone’s project list other than mine.
To further heighten the already tense and slow-paced project, I became ill and found myself hospitalized. The calendar page turned again.
I recovered and was ready to, as Nike will tell us, just get it done. But now the copy writer wouldn’t respond. I sent messages asking for her to finish the work we had all agreed to do. No response — ever. It was not déjà vu. This was no illusion. I had been here before.
Work on my website again stopped.
For several reasons, I opted to not fight my growing anger and instead made plans to ‘get out of Dodge.’ Well, not exactly. But I did travel to Italy and went on a few other more local trips to put issues raised by both work and illness into perspective. I rekindled my love of travel and today continue to take trips, poking around some more unusual places to satisfy my historic and artistic interests.
The website? Well, I’ve been working with my web developer to finish it. Just the two of us. It’s a much slower path to completion. But it’s become a labor of love in some ways because of all I’ve been through during the past year. There was anger at being ‘conned’ by someone, the incredulity that business people wouldn’t honor a contract, the disbelief that severe illness had once again found me. Yet there was faith that there were business people with integrity, gratitude that I had again physically rallied to fight a health battle, and fulfilled promises to once more soak up the history and life of places outside of a small radius from my home.
As you might imagine, there’s so much more I could tell you about all of what is written here. What amazes me is that I don’t look back with any type of anger, frustration or regret. I feel instead a calm because these experiences have revealed something more important, a silver lining in a a way, both personally and professionally.
I have had the grace to acknowledge, to accept, that which I could not change.
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Tassey is a former IT executive who has worked for the federal government, the Nasdaq Stock Market and as a consultant to non-profit associations. Today she is owner of Level Up Solutions and works with entrepreneurs and small business owners ready to take a hard look at where they are today and plan for future business development based on strong value propositions and strategic solutions. She strives to position her clients to attain foundational and sustainable growth, operational management and revenue.