My turning point
Aspiring to be an Entrepreneur was always a dream I had from a very young age and something many other people share. Yet, to actually become one is a lot harder than you are led to believe. For sure, you can try to fast track this via a number of coaching and mentorship programs, although normally out of reach, or not known by the average person. Yet, the desired and ambition to make it and share the notoriety with industry veterans and the lour of more money and fame is a big enough hook to get you motivated to take on this endeavour.
For me, it wasn’t so easy, not plain sailing at all, and often wondering to myself, ‘I’m I really cut out to be an entrepreneur?’ Having spent the best part of 20 years working for technology software companies, from various international countries. And forever on the road, on a weekly basis, I found I was spending more time away from home than actually there. Living out of a suitcase and often waking up not remembering which country I was in. Thinking to myself, is this as good as it gets? Although, this was fun when I was a lot younger, when I had no commitments, as it gave me many opportunities to be foot loose and fancy-free, exploring many different countries, predominantly throughout Europe.
Yet, like most things, the bubble was going to burst and when it does, it hurts much more once you get married and have children. I’m not saying it is impossible, but both my wife and I are expats living in Bern, Switzerland and having a 3-year-old son and then, to our surprise, twins (a boy and girl) coming along, presented us with both jubilation and trepidation on how we were going to cope. This was the start of the turning point in our lives and a future that wasn’t mapped out and we surely didn’t have a plan B.
It basically changed everything and all came to a head when I admitted I couldn’t maintain the international weekly travel, and asking for more flexibility and understanding was not on the cards. To then be told by my boss; ‘Are you a ‘Houseman, or a Salesman?’ was basically the last nail in the coffin. Leaving me unemployed and feeling worthless. 20 years of international sales in many senior roles, came to a crashing end. To top it all, it was my 50th birthday and I knew seeking any new job, let alone in Switzerland, with my pigeon German, it was going to be extremely hard. Even the recruiters saying; ‘You don’t speak German and are over 50, it’s going to be very tough, even for a Swiss national.’ This was then very hard to swallow and didn’t reassure me at all.
So now, with new commitments, beautiful twins, a recently bought house mortgaged up to the hilt, a bigger car on finance and no job, I was desperate to say the least.
Although being unemployed and I believed unemployable, I was searching for this magical formula and plan B that I was going to use. Unfortunately, I didn’t have one and applied in vain for local jobs that didn’t have international travel, but to no avail. So, accepting I was now a failure and would be an embarrassment, I took every course the unemployment threw at me. The usual ones, helping to write your CV and Covering Letters, which were already more than adequate anyway, so I saw little need for them. The main problems were the lack of business German-speaking and being at that golden age of 50.
Yet, there was light at the end of the tunnel. I took a course that changed everything and completely transformed the way I think and my outlook on life. Actually, the course was by pure chance, if there no such thing. My coach said, that if I really didn’t want to work on my CV she could do something different, that is outside of the training program if I would be interested.
‘Oh yes!’ I thought and jumped at the opportunity to learn something new, although at that stage had no idea what it was.
She said it is very deep and you will learn a lot about yourself. Mmmm, she had me on the hook, eager to know more. ‘Ok, let’s do it!’ I said and she asked me; ‘Who are you?’ Oh, an easy one, I’m James. No, she said, that is just a name. ‘Who are you?’ she asked again, so I replied; ‘a father of 3 children’. ‘No!’ she said, and asked me again and again. Every reply I answered with, she said no, no, no! ‘This is not you, these are situations or a name, but not who you are!’ I then said; ‘I have no idea who I am’ and she replied, ’90% of the worlds population don’t know either, so you are not alone in that, and they, like you, exist but don’t live a meaningful and fulfilling life!’
So, to cut a very long story short, sparing you all the details, I now know exactly who I am and what I can offer and therefore who I can serve. It was so insanely powerful, I didn’t want to leave it at that. So, for the next few years I also studied and practiced this on friends and family, so I could also coach, mentor and guide others.
I now do a number of meaningful and fulfilling jobs with passion and desire, so I can help aspiring entrepreneurs take that leap of faith on their journey and to enable business owners to find their true purpose and then grow a business that has a foundation built on the things they love and are good at. All of this was made possible by me, finding my purpose, believing in myself and having the desire to know. To ensure that I could grow, as I’m not the expert at everything, I also found mentors. One being Kevin Harrington – the original shark of the shark tank, that has been a great influence in how I approach business, giving me the skill set to create my own magic.
So if you really want to make an impact in your life, start with finding out who you really are first and let me unlock the secrets and value that you hold!
Find Your Purpose – Create a New Life!