Time…

clockWe can waste it, or make good use of it

There can sometimes never be enough or sometimes simply too much

To some, it is worth more than they have to give.  For others, it is a precious gift

It can be spent wisely and used for those that are most important to us

We can prioritize or procrastinate

Your use of time will ultimately determine your priorities.  We all have the same in a day, how will you choose to use what you’ve been given?


I was recently challenged by a friend when I stated that “I don’t have time to write anymore”…There was no time to sit and write or to even think some days….even though thoughts were bouncing around my head, the time to sit and compose just didn’t exist.  He didn’t buy it.  He told me that maybe someone needed to hear what was bouncing around in my frontal cortex… maybe it is a matter of priority.

Obviously I will not be choosing to write a blog or start a book over spending time with my wife and kids, however, if something feels important, don’t shelf it completely.

Prioritize and give Permission

If you are like me, days are scheduled; routine is key and any disturbance to the routine feels like defcon 1 – assemble for battle, ready the troops – Daddy’s going to blow… but I’ve learned that this mode of thinking and doing simply restricts the potential for new priorities, for new ventures, for new spontaneous activities.  I know it can be difficult for some, and I’m included in this group.  So where possible, give permission to allow some time.  Write a couple of words, play a few chords, draw a few sketches, design, read a page, listen, explore…acknowledge and give permission to allow yourself some time.

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your story…

“Your story isn’t finished yet”.

this thought challenged me in a semi-sleepy-state the other night.  Most self-employed entrepreneurs can likely relate that sleep is a precious commodity that we rarely get to experience; even on a good day.

Minds race, thoughts, visions, goals, lists etc, bombard our conscious and ricochet through our temples.  With millions of neurons firing about what our next days will hold, our attempts at REM sleep become futile.  This night in particular was difficult to close my eyes.   I was already rattled, blood pressure was high, my head was spinning and my brain felt like it was in a vice.  When out of nowhere, this one thought echoed louder than the rest…”Your story isn’t finished yet”

In the midst of feeling a world of negative emotions; anger, guilt, frustration, unmotivated, stressed, tired and ready to toss in the white towel…I suddenly felt calm

now for me, this makes some sense. Growing up as a pastors kid, my mom the church secretary, hearing those words brought a sense of peace about my situation and about the chaos of that very moment.  I had been recently reading through the book of Psalms (and to be honest, my scripture knowledge and dedication to the Word has not been up to par lately…but in dark circumstances we reach for the familiar when it feels we have nowhere to turn)… I remember reading Psalm 139:16 (16Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. ESV)  and all I was left with was “Your Story isn’t finished yet”.

This certainly isn’t a blog post to try and convert anyone or discus faith etc… so whatever your belief, whatever your faith, whatever your thoughts on spirituality, please know that your story is far from over.  Even as a believer in a divine creator that knows and guides my steps, I still have free will, I still doubt and I still struggle.  But I have the potential to make choices that can negatively or positively affect every aspect of my life, my families life, my kids, my wife, my career…everything.  It is these choices that will determine and ultimately shape the way I am and the man I will be.

Does our past define us?  I think so, but I don’t think it has to keep us hostage.  Our choices may change us, they may influence future decisions and they may challenge our current relationships, but it’s not the end…far from it.

Our past and present situations are merely footnotes in our story.  They are references and research that provides the content to our best seller!

Your story isn’t over yet…keep writing it.  Take comfort in the dark times, tough circumstances, and overwhelming chaos, that your story isn’t over.  You can use the experience and knowledge your situation has given you to move forward, redeem and continue writing the story of your life.

air

its been a while since my last post and boy has life been interesting… not going to get into all the details, but it has been tough…

I’ve already shared about the importance of breathing, and how life can make us forget that we are still alive, and just how much of a gift that is… but that is something that I have taken for granted lately.

Breathe

simply, fluid, involuntary

when we consider the need for breathing and how each day is another challenge, another test of will, another something….why do we forget that we are still breathing?  even when we feel the need to hold our breath in frustration or we feel we need to come up for air as the challenges of life push us deeper…there is another breath coming, so be calm and breathe.

I want to wake with purpose…with passion…with motivation for my day

I want to breathe and be grateful for the air that fills my lungs and for the life that is ahead of me…and I want that for you too!

so be grateful for each breath, it is a gift.

killbear pic breath

vision and perspective…

Being in business for a decade now has taught me a significant lesson on sacrifice.  Not a lesson I have leaned on my own or taught myself, rather an introspective glance into the world my wife and family lives everyday, being attached to a self employed entrepreneur.

when deciding to take a step into this writing/blogging thing, I have forced myself to look at all the aspects of my business.  The daily trench warfare that either causes the successes or failures of each day.

The hardest lesson I have ever had to learn was that I cannot do this alone.

Trust me; I tried.  I failed… and not only failed myself, but others.

Heartbreaking Reality!

I try to be positive and optimistic surrounding the concept of failure and how it can always be curved into a lesson we need to learn, however, this one, I repeat, was the hardest lesson to learn.

On my own I followed my goals, desires, wants, and selfish motivations… I had a vision, but lacked the perspective

In business you must have a vision, but you also need perspective.  Not just your own eyes, but the view from another lens.  Being entrenched in the day to day stresses and craziness, it is near impossible to see the possible damages, long term struggle and potential destruction you may inflict on your own successes, and how it may effect the others around you or those that rely on you for their own existence!  To be honest, in the early years of my business, I was cruising through everyday like a Clydesdale with blinders on, completely unaware of my surroundings, just taking my family along for a ride…not realizing the ride was about as comfortable as riding a downhill bike with a broken seat post, two deflated tires and missing brakes -bumpy, painful, nauseating, frightening and emotionally draining.

It was only when I almost lost it all that I decided to take the blinders off, step back from my current struggle and see where I went wrong.  At that point, I took the advice and perspective of those closest to me, and even though I am currently paying for my lack of perspective, regaining their trust, rebuilding their faith, I have certainly gained a new found respect for the sacrifice, dedication and perspective of those I have failed along the road.

To those reading this that have begun their journey into the world of business ownership or even deciding on a new career, job, school etc… talk to someone!  not that crazy friend who is exactly like you who will tell you that opening a squirrel farm is a wise idea, but someone who has been there before, who is older, wiser and knows the business you are entering into.  Take the advice of those closest to you…take it to heart, think on it and heavily consider and weigh it out.

Their Perspective may be different from yours, but they may see what you can’t.

Until next time….be well!vision perspective

Skinned Knees…

This summer my four year old son learned how to ride a two wheeler bike with no training wheels.

super proud dad moment!

I could write about his motivation, determination, tenacity and persistence which lead to conquering the art of the peddle driven recreational vehicle in less then two hours and how we can take a page out of his book and apply it to how we should approach life and business….sigh.  All good stuff, however…

a topic mulled over and ruminated among most self help or business literature

so what did he teach me?

Focus

If you have ever watched a three foot tall beginner cyclist, a common observation is the consistent head turned-sideways glances in search of meaningful gestures and gratifying confirmation of a job well done.  While this is all well and good, I mean, who doesn’t want their spouses, family, peers, bosses, coworkers approval when we’ve first mastered any craft.  We are extremely excited and pumped full of adrenaline that we want everyone to see.  The problem becomes when this need for recognition lingers.

and lingers

until it becomes our focus.

Now for my four year old on his bike for the first time without the stabilizing support of training wheels, I’m sure you can guess the inevitable result.

This is a good comparison to our life in (and outside of) business.  It is fine to seek some approval and recognition from others; its fine to take note of our environment around us (competition, engagements, criticisms etc) and in fact we need it to stay positive and driven.   However when the focus turns away from the drive to our destination, we loose the focus that will eventually lead to our successes….along with earning some skinned knees and scars.

Keep your eyes on your goals and stay focused on your destination.  Certainly don’t ignore what’s around you, take note of your surroundings and situations and make the necessary adjustments.

stay focused

we will all fall off our bikes eventually – pick yourself up, dust off, clean your wounds and keep pedaling!

bike fall

Motivation vs Influence

it is quite difficult to get motivated these days.  There seems to be this twenty-nine & one principle that I’m plagued with.

29 days of the month I’m lucky to have my head on straight

1 (or 2) days of the month I am motivated, driven and focused, ready to destroy any obstacle in my path

I would love more days like the latter and have been trying to figure out what has been causing this tension between motivation and laziness.

Why can’t I find Motivation?  Maybe I’m working for the wrong reasons?

Influence

You can’t motivate anyone.  This is an internal, personal effect that comes from our influences.  What influences us will therefore motivate us.

It is an inward expression of our outward influences

when figuring out why we do what we do, the most important aspect is to figure out our influences.  What influences us on a daily basis to get up in the morning and do what we do, regardless of occupation, stress, finances, how tired I am….  When we loose site of what influences us, we start to loose our motivation to continue.

In my opinion we should also be mindful of what we let influence.

Fame and Fortune tend to be among some of the prevalent influences in today’s generation, and to be honest, they are not all bad.  I’m not going to lie and say I don’t wish to have a little more then I do, to be recognized, to have financial freedom.  However, I also strongly believe that our primary influences need to go deeper then our wallet or lights.  They should move us, challenge us daily, be challenging, and deeply personal, rooted in emotion and have deep meaning for years to come.

Only when we discover our deep influences can we truly be motivated.  Regardless of the upward battle we face daily, we cannot give up for it will have a much greater significant impact then not being able to purchase a new shirt or pair of shoes.

these are my primary influences (along with my wife)…I’m lucky to have 6 perfect reminders every day of why I wake up in the morning!

20140606_185738

everyday is a battle, but for these gems, I will fight!

Breathe

A simple tattoo was all it took to remind me just  how important it is to “breathe”.  It was the only word inscribed with permanent ink in the sensitive skin of a wrist.    No words needed to be exchanged to experience one of those moments that will have a lasting impact on my current reality.  As a therapist, we encounter a multitude of individuals and have countless conversations daily, and the more comfortable you are with a client, the deeper the conversations get.  Obviously within the profession we have specific boundaries and guidelines that we do not cross, and what is said within the four walls of a treatment room is trusted to stay there.  However, on occasion, there are moments and conversations that you can’t forget, they come at a time that it is most needed, that we might be looking for something to grab on to…. this simple tattoo was what I needed to see…BREATHE

When in the depth of chaos, when the seemingly unrelenting stress of business, finances, health, family and priorities begin to cloud judgement, when poor decisions are made, when relationships are strained; a simple step back and breathe.

Reset

Take the time to stop, take observation of the surroundings, take control and begin the steps to create positive change.

Sometimes it happens daily, but the constant reminder to breathe could begin to give clarity to your chaos.

 

Choices

  20140910_103313   I don’t consider myself an expert in the sports injury or business field. There are plenty of world renown therapists, medical practitioners and business leaders that are years ahead of me. However, I am passionate about what I do, with a decade of experience starting and operating a small business. There have been several bumps in the road and by no means am I done learning, experiencing and growing as a leader in my field, to be honest, I still wouldn’t say I have hit the pinnacle of success, not even close!

My path has not been an easy one, the dreams of the future I conjured up in my mind while in my third and finally year of college working at a local downtown Peterborough coffee bar late into the evenings while on my second pot of highly caffeinated yet incredibly flavourful coffee, have not yet come to be. I can still remember sitting with a classmate and good friend, in the same afore-mentioned coffee shop, talking about the future and what it will be like when we can finally sit after our work day, put our feet up, grab a drink, read the paper and say “life is good”. Let me point out that by no means am I saying my life is not good. As I sit to write this, at my second office, Starbucks, while savoring my go to morning brew (my coffee addiction is incredibly evident at this point already), I currently have five incredible children, an absolutely beautiful wife, a roof over my head, food on the table, own a rehabilitation clinic in Peterborough, I have worked with National Sporting Teams, elite and professional athletes and am proud to be able to call some of Canada’s top athletes friends. So life is good, I would even say life is great…just not what I had thought it was going to look like when I contemplated the next ten years when I was back in college. I can’t say I’ve had a chance to read the paper in about eight years!  Life plans change, situations and climate changes, and we simply roll with the punches.

I certainly wouldn’t change much; I love my wife and kids and would go to the grave for them; I couldn’t imagine life without them. However, there are parts of my business journey that I don’t think I would enjoy repeating! Life is full of lessons, and I’ve always said “there are no mistakes, only lessons learned and experiences gained; no regrets”. But as I look back at a few choices I’ve made in business, I might actually say that it’s possible to regret certain decisions. I’ve tried to approach business with a motivation and passionate fervor that would inspire a generation, but some situations, day-to-day struggles and the trap of complacency and monotony I have found myself in from time to time, has led to a rather bitter taste.

So here I am faced with another choice and another cup of coffee to start the next chapter. Maybe it’s the caffeine, maybe it’s the adrenaline of being backed into a corner and needing to fight for survival, but regardless, it feels as though the motivation is slowly creeping back. With the new decision to write, educate, compose my thoughts and experiences on paper with the hope that someone will learn from my past regrets, gives me a new passion and purpose. Maybe I will be able to give those regrets purpose and reason.

This blog will seek to inspire and motivate others. To inform and involve those in similar situations or those starting out. I hope you will make the choice to follow along, and hopefully this will not be a regret but a decision made that will help guide, shape and motivate your journey.

From the ground up…

Welcome to a new blog…  in an ever-changing, technologically advanced world that contains an absurd amount of words written by anyone from my fourth grade daughter to the most incredibly influential pop superstars and world leaders, why would anyone want to hear what I have to say?!?

This is a question I have struggled with for the past two years, which began to fester when in my local Starbucks having a conversation with a client.  Now for those who know me, you may be wondering why a small clinic owner and Massage Therapist would be meeting a client to chat over coffee?  This particular client was a business consultant and writer, and at that time two years ago, I was struggling with thoughts of giving up my practice, quitting the business I had built for four years prior to our meeting, and moving on to something, anything that was different that might decrease the stresses I was facing at the time.

To be honest, I don’t remember much about our conversation other than a few words that have been nagging in the depth of my cranium for two years now…”I could see you as a writer” she said.  I laughed a little inside as I gave the traditional “mmhmm” with the typical agreeing head nod, all the while thinking “writer?  you’re nuts lady!”

But here I am, writing, with thoughts of a book in the future, with the premise of exploring what I have learned in business, and why I have kept going to pursue success in my field.

For now, I will share some thoughts, musings, and hope to give some current and aspiring small business owners a glimpse into what it takes to make it.  If I can teach one person something about business or about themselves that will save them some of the headache and stresses that I have experienced, then this will be all worth it….and maybe I will eventually become that writer I was told I should be!

welcome to my blog…this is a new journey in my career path and I thank you for tagging along!  I hope I can help take you From the Ground Up!