The Readiness Factor
My journey as an entrepreneur has brought with it a series of ups and downs, with some of my ventures becoming successful and others memorable failures. My journey into the “unknown” started with a solid, five-year stretch of growth and success, which had given me a pretty good sense of confidence … until the bumps and bruises came. Seemingly overnight, the tables began to turn, and for the first time in my young career, I questioned if I was capable of having sustained success in business.
I continue to have a clear vision for my life, as well as an innate sense of urgency that creates a lack of patience for things that don’t progress as planned. However, after that rough patch, I started asking myself the really important questions. The biggest one: Am I ready for growth? As entrepreneurs, it’s in our nature to visualize where we will be, what can be or the next venture. Integral to this is dedicating the time to stop and reflect about where we are, as well as our readiness to be in the place we envision ourselves. Over the years, I’ve come to rely on three areas of reflection:
1. Readiness to GIVE
We must have something to give in order to receive. When I was an entrepreneur in my twenties, giving wasn’t something of which I was conscious. I wasn’t aware enough of my own abilities to understand what I had to give, and I wasn’t observing my behavior enough to understand how I would give. It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I began to develop a meaningful awareness of these things. Today, I have a very clear understanding of my abilities: energy, vision and leadership are a few of mine. Having clarity here enables me to stay mindful of what I can give each day to those around me, which has had a significant impact on the success of my ventures.
2. Readiness to GROW
It would be difficult for a non-runner to wake up one morning and run a marathon. Growth is a process similar to running, or preparing to run, a marathon. It’s something you have to be ready for, mentally and physically, for it to be meaningful. Your growth as an individual will have a direct impact on the growth of your business. If your vision is to triple the size of your business, what needs to change within you to lead and support such growth? Growth can come from reading books, a coaching relationship, an MBA or through a Forum experience. Whatever the case may be, when it comes to growth for business leaders, winging it is not an option. We need to be intentional.
3. Readiness to RECEIVE
Have you ever read about the lottery winner who, over a short period of time, had blown through their winnings with nothing to show for it? Have you heard the age-old saying, “Easy come, easy go”? I believe that if you’re not grounded in your values and purpose, success can be difficult to sustain. At least it was for me. What has helped me prepare for today’s successes has been the journey of becoming clear and convicted in my values, my life mission and my vision. Being grateful for where I am today, and taking meaningful time to give thanks, is an important factor for me. I often ask myself: “Am I ready for that next achievement?” For many of us, the answer to that question will be “yes,” but I find the proof to be in the results, and the results come with ease when the readiness is there.
I am grateful for the chance to live a life I love and make a living as an entrepreneur. It’s a journey that has exposed me to situations and people that have molded me into a person I feel good about. Looking back, it’s been my readiness that has enabled me to arrive at this place; the more ready I am, the greater the experience. With still so many miles to travel and challenges to tackle, I continue to reflect on where I am in this journey and my next milestone. I can’t wait for what’s ahead.
Chad Hughes is an EO Calgary member and president and CEO of LandSolutions LP, a Canadian-based land and environmental consulting firm. Chad is also the founder and chairman of Hughes Corp, a conglomerate involved in the distribution of health lifestyle products, and “Dogtopia,” a canine hospitality concept. Contact Chad at ChadH@landsolutions.ca.