I’ll start this by saying that I love to travel. More than the sights and the sounds and the tastes, I love to meet the locals. It is in meeting these people that you really hear the stories and learn the community and its history.
During our recent trip to Kauai we made a pit stop at a local park so the girls could get their wiggles out after a few hours of sight seeing. Needing to use the restroom, I excused myself from the swings and wandered into a local bookstore (because I can never pass up one of these! I can tell you about my travels by describing these bookstores, such as the one in Van Horn, Texas, where all books were covered in dust and the door stood open in the heat of the day, allowing the warmth to wander in).
This bookstore in Kauai was operated by an attractive lady who I would age to be in her mid forties. She wore her hair short to her scalp and spoke in a soft but strong voice. She mentioned a few books that I might want to take a look at after we talked about my reading taste, and then I wandered over to the local’s table and chose a book written by a local author.
In the interim, she asked where I was from and then laughed and said that she too had lived in Southern California at “another time in her life”. And then her story flourished. Once a high paid engineering type, a self described geek, someone who did some work ‘in Hollywood’, she and her husband chucked it all the year after 9/11, left all possessions (including a few cats) behind, and began to travel. They wound up in Kauai and six years later, there they are: owners of a small bookstore on the island.
She told me that everyone believes it is so difficult to let things go in life, but that after her house burned, and after the devastation suffered from 9/11, she and her husband realized how easy it really was to let things go, and what would be waiting out there after she did.
Now they are growing restless again, ready for their next adventure. She is talking about selling her bookstore, which brings in a fairly good profit, or at least letting someone to come in and babysit the business so they can go again.
“Where do you want to go next?” I asked her.
“We don’t know,” she smiled.
The moral of today’s post: You really can have the life that you want. Sometimes you just have to take some risks and pack it all up, literally, in order to make the next stage work.
In business, we need to do this from time to time as well. We don’t have to give up our companies and start a new one, but we may need to do a little rearranging. Cut back in one area, cut out another area entirely, maybe develop a new aspect to our company that is not there yet. You should be constantly challenging yourself, and your company, by asking what it is that you are lacking and what it is you can do to get what you want.