This is the week that the United States celebrates the Thanksgiving, and, in fact, this blog is being posted on the exact day this year. Although to many Thanksgiving is a great occasion to take some time off from work and enjoy some good food with family and friends, it also provides a great opportunity to reflect on and give thanks for the many blessings we have in our lives. Even more than that, it is an invitation to examine our lives and try and appreciate the things that we take for granted, and to cultivate gratitude not only for what we consider the good, but also for things that we have complaints about and may be dissatisfied with.
If you have never worked with friends and family, either at a conventional job or in your own business, you might imagine it to be one of two things, depending on your relationship to your kith and kin. If you have a great relationship, it can be so much more fun and rewarding than working with strangers, and if you have a so-so relationship, it can be more difficult than working with strangers. But if you have a bad relationship, it can be a catastrophic nightmare that you feel you will never escape from unscathed! That last reason is why you have heard so many people probably tell you, “Never go into business with your family/friends!” Of course, at The Ghannad Group, we did just that and things have worked wonderfully. As such, I’d like to present a few tips for those thinking of doing the same, in hopes that their experience will be just as rewarding as ours. (And just as a side note, I will be focusing more on working with family than friends, but most of this advice is applicable to both situations).
Have you ever had one of those days, or at least one of those moments, when you knew exactly what to do to solve a problem or make something happen and perhaps even knew how to do it, but you just didn’t feel like doing it? If you’re like me, the internal dialogue in your head usually shifts into overdrive during such times, debating every little detail of whether you should get in action or not and leaving you in a state of “analysis paralysis.” Don’t you wish you could defeat that little voice in your head that’s always talking you out of doing extraordinary things? Or better yet, instead of wasting time and energy defeating it, wouldn’t it be great if you could learn to just ignore it and get going anyway? And I don’t mean that you get going anyway when you feel like it; I mean you get going anyway whether or not you feel like it at the time. Well, I have good news for you. There is a way. Even when you feel physically tired and mentally beaten down, there is a way to make the quantum leap from how you feel right now to how you would be feeling if you were where you wanted to be. How do you do that? You re-generate yourself. The even better news is that you can do this on demand and it takes less than one minute.
Have you ever found yourself stuck and unable to break through to the next level of performance or fulfillment? I believe it is safe to say we have all been there. No matter how awesome you are at what you do, if you are up to something big and you’re stretching yourself to increase your influence and create extraordinary results and fulfillment for yourself and others, there will come a time when you are faced with seemingly insurmountable barriers. People or events whose negative impact you don’t seem to be able to mitigate will persistently bog you down. The only question that matters at this point is whether you remain stuck and give up, or whether you figure out a way to move forward despite the obstacles and continue making the kind of progress you want to make.
I cannot tell you how many times I have been told by leaders that they are simply too busy to invest in their own or their people’s growth and development. It is as if to say, “I know I’m running out of gas but I’m in a hurry and I don’t have time to get gas.” There are too many of us simply killing the goose to get the golden eggs and, in the process, leaving the people in our organizations increasingly dissatisfied and under-skilled in a rapidly evolving world.