Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What's next?

It is interesting.

When I was younger, say 20 years old or so, I had a very clear sense of purpose. Married, first of two kids on the way, and a very independent nature. My sense of responsibility has always been really strong.

I knew my best opportunity for income was turning wrenches, specifically fixing things like cars, equipment, mowers, well anything that was self propelled I guess.

Somewhere near 30 years old I started to wonder about those boyhood dreams. I still remember sitting in class in high school reading U.S News and World Report and seeing the stories about successful entrepreneurs and the power they had over their own lives. With the kids old enough to fend somewhat for themselves, My wife who was tired of raising kids and looking for more adult conversation decided to enter the Paid employment world.

We've always lived rather frugally. We literally moved all of our worldly possessions to our first home in one trip in a 1976 Toyota Corolla station wagon. Somewhere along the way we fell prey to the consumer marketing engine and started accumulating "stuff" but that isn't the point of this post, maybe I'll speak more on that later. Suffice it to say, even with what we considered wasted shopping, it has always been at a level far under most folks unneccesary spending. That meant we could live off of her wages, I didn't HAVE to work....

Now that business dream comes back to me in a POWERFUL way.

I suppose my purpose in life or my "why" took a change that I am just now realizing. Initially I was to be someone capable of providing for my wife and kids. Now I wanted to amass enough assets to provide for them should I leave this world.

At this point, unless improperly managed, I'm pretty sure they could make it. It is interesting though, could they or I for that matter make it without a good attorney, accountant, etc.? How about the vendor relationships? What happens if they (or I) chose not to treat the customer right? My point is, that while I no longer have to live my working hours doing formally directed work, I do have to provide value to others.

The single hardest lesson for me to learn or accept up to this point is that contrary to popular opinion, we don't live in a win/lose world. For instance, in the big picture you making more money, doesn't mean I make less. The reverse is also true, but haunts me to this day.

Pragmatically I know it to be true, but with so many years of misguided teachings to the contrary it is hard to let go of. It has been my experience my entire life that it is harder to unlearn something than it is to learn something. Once we have it in our heads that we are right about something, we need consistent compelling almost ridiculous amounts of proof to let it go. Yet coming in as new information we're easily led.

So what's next? Does my "why" change?

It has to.

Life waits for no one. I can sit here and watch all I've worked so hard for gradually wilt away, or I can renew, peel back another layer of life and peek inside at what is next.

Interesting enough, I think it involves getting to know myself better. If you've been paying attention this far through this story, you know that I sacrificed all, and that includes my own health to serve my family. It has been my addiction. Sure parts of the real me have helped to point my efforts in a good way, but what am I avoiding?

It is in here already but the simple answer is that I've got to get past this win lose thing. It is preventing me from helping more people.

More on my journey tomorrow.

Tim Allen

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