Leave room for possibility

When Amy, my business partner at Braithwaite, and I decided to add elearning to our services two years ago, we had a business plan full of charts and projections. We'd both worked at Fortune 500 companies so we knew the drill. Former bosses would have been proud.

While we were planning rich, the elearning business didn't unfold for us as we had expected. Our logic was undeniable, yet what we hadn't counted on was serendipity, the outside chance.

For us the outside chance became the new core - a "mad genius" happenstance that turned our business plan upside down. It was something we could have easily missed had we viewed our original plan as the be-all-and-end-all. Today our elearning efforts have come and gone, replaced with a different kind purposeful work that motivates us daily.

We learned so much from this experience!

Re-invention is both art and science. Sometimes two plus two equals four, and other times it equals five depending upon the circumstances. We learned to not get so caught up in the process that you miss the magic.

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. ~W.B.Yeats

Be the water. Patience may sound quaint in these days of instant gratification and fast-everything, but it's a great skill to nurture.

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. ~Winnie-the-Pooh

Leave room for possibility. Many times we're so focused on the specified outcomes that we nearly miss that we're shooting at the wrong target. Amy and I had to hit the reset button to achieve what Seth Godin calls "the reinvention that changes the game." We needed to have structure and direction yet remain open to ambiguity and the serendipity it can bring.

You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope. ~Thomas Merton

Trust. Amy and I trusted one another enough to face the bumpy (and uncertain) ride of our journey. Sure we wanted quick, positive results just like any other corporate refugee. But we'd had bad experiences in the corporate America jungle where trust was low and the big dogs were quick to eat the little ones when results went awry. Been there, done that, and don't want to be that.

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. ~Ernest Hemingway

Just try it. Sometimes you just have to throw the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks. It's disorderly. It's time consuming and produces results you learn don't/won't work or aren't what you want. All this muck is OK. We had to learn to not fall into the trap of thinking the whole process was a failure because course corrections were needed.

Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker. ~Zig Ziglar


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