Organic Leadership Development
Several years ago, while spending the winter in Houston Texas with my family, I met a fellow Canadian couple. Bernie was experienced in life, and imparted great pearls of living wisdom into my life. One of those pearls concerned the story of how he started his current business. Bernie is a Diesel Mechanic by trade and spent many years working in the oil industry in Alberta Canada. He had grown up on a farm and learned “good common sense” from his father. He spent time questioning everything that he saw and did, looking for the real or hidden problems and solutions. He discovered how to properly maintain massive diesel engines that are on the oil rigs resulting in a huge decrease in repair bills.
It all Starts with the Dream of Starting Your Own Business
In the oil industry a diesel motor that runs a pumping station can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, so proper care and maintenance can save an oil company in repairs and replacement costs. With that thought in mind, Bernie left his job 30 years ago and started a maintenance consulting company. It looked like a fantastic opportunity at the time and even to this day, he is one of only a few who work in this field.
The Faith Test in your Business Success
Shortly after he opened his business, the oil industry took a nosedive. His phone didn’t ring for over a year. No matter what he did or who he contacted, every door was shut because the industry was on pause. It was during that time he and his wife questioned if they had done the right thing, if there truly was a business in this field of work. During our conversation, I could tell that this was a tough time for them just by the look on his face. Bernie never spoke about his financial worries at that time but I’m sure he had them. I’m sure he questioned his move and even how long he should hold on for. His decision to step out and try something new was in many ways a test. Like Bernie, every time you plan to step out and take a leap of faith your faith will be tested. How you respond to this faith test will decide your ultimate success. You will find yourself questioning your decision, the timing of your actions and the people you are involved with. The stress can mount and be overwhelming.
Testing Produces Strength of Character and Increases Your Leadership
Fortunately, about a year later the oil industry rebounded and they began to get some work. It’s now 30 years later, and I can see that my friends have come out on top. It wasn’t always easy being on the road for much of the year, working in remote locations, sacrificing time with family to make the business work. However, you can tell by talking to them that it ultimately brought them closer together. All the trials and testing they went through produced great strength in character and leadership skills. When they speak it is with a gentle but powerful wisdom that got your attention. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if they had given up on their dream.
Plan for Success in Your Leadership Test
Everyday you and I get the opportunity to live our life how we choose. Like Bernie, there are times that you need to get committed, go out on a limb, and chase your dream. Nothing great ever came from sitting on the sidelines of life. It takes courage and boldness at the very time you step out and try something new. Expect to be tested and know you’ll be stronger for it; it is part of your leadership growth. That way you will have the right mindset, the right people around you to support you through it, and the right plan to take bold steps through the test. It’s a terrific opportunity to find out how powerful you really are deep inside.
Courage to Live “Your” Life
Live authentically and chase your dreams. They’re yours and not someone else’s. Like my friend Bernie, each of us needs to have the courage to live our lives no matter what comes our way, expecting the best. When we live in regret of the opportunities we didn’t take, we lose part of our joy. So, the next time you step out of your comfort zone and boldly chase a dream expect that you will be tested; it’s part of the way it works. This test will build your commitment for the long haul and develop your leadership skills. Your reward is knowing that this will benefit you personally and your new business.
Live a courageous life…be your best!