I’ve started to sort my emails. There are about 10,000 of them and so this is not a simple task. However, most of them will be deleted. Fortunately, I have a few years worth of emails from my self to my coach, all those years ago. It was a time I was going through a hard time and felt adrift in a rough business ocean.
It was a time that I lacked any confidence that I’d ever get out of my financial mess (more of that later). Needless to say, I was up to my neck in it and regretted ever leaving the RAF.
This is a short piece that I wrote, back in 2011. It’s pretty desperate.
A rough business ocean
‘Imagine, if you can, you’re in a large sailing boat, its been your home now longer than you can remember. It’s your own design and you built it.
The proudest, most exciting time was when your family and friends watched you launch it, “good luck, you’re so brave, I never knew you were a boat builder!” it was a dream come true, master of your own destiny.
So you made your way out of the harbour, the water was calm and you had endless energy to check the stores, paint the deck and you looked forward to getting some distance from the shore.
“we’re just going to see what happens ” Is the reply you give when people ask “ where were you going?”
You’d not really known thought about this.
“How long was the voyage? “
Again, this hadn’t seemed important all those months and years ago.
Gradually, you did make your way further. You were so heads down working away that after a while you realised. You were in open water.
The swell grew and lately you notice that the boat rocks and rolls and you fear it’s going to tip over if the next wave is any bigger.
But there’s something more worrying. Water is seeping through the wooden joins of the boat. There had alway been a little water at the end of the day, but lately its worse, you are spending more and more time balling out the water. How could it be that you found yourself so adrift in this rough business ocean?
You thought that it was easy to build a boat, you read a few books, followed some of the advice, but there was alot to read and in the end you just wanted to get going. So now you’re miles from the shore, you’re all alone, even if you knew where to steer the boat, you couldn’t because you’d spend all day baling.
Without the time to be a helmsman, the boat simply drifts, from one storm to the next. There are things in the boat that would help, but you don’t have the skills to use them, or the time to learn. If you could just turn back the time, you would have done it all so differently.’
Being out of control, is what a rough business ocean feels like. There doesn’t feel like theres any hope, or help around. Its a common feeling and one you need to be prepared for, then hopefully you’ll never feel it.