The Roles We Play

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It was over a year ago that I completed a speaking engagement in Florida and realized that I wasn’t living the life I was meant to live. I got home and two weeks later had a brainstorm in the shower; “What if we took the kids out of school for a year and traveled the world?” I exited the shower and mentioned it to Ilise and she loved the idea. I also mentioned that we should bring a teacher with us so that the kids don’t fall behind in school. That week our 13 year old daughter, Drew, mentioned that she might want to be an exchange student in high school like her uncle Kenny (my brother). I mentioned the conversation with her mom and suggested that we might be willing to take her and her brother out of school for a year to travel the world. Her response, “When do we leave?”

We are now two weeks into our trip and so many things have changed since those two innocent conversations. We are in Australia and will be until March 15 when we head to Dubai for a few days, then off to Europe until the end of June when we return to New York to get the kids ready for camp. During this trip I thought I would be managing 4-Profit from the road, but ever since July of last year the business has taken some interesting turns. I was the CEO & President of the company when we decided to take this trip, but my heart was someplace else. I knew what to do, had all the relationships to make the business successful, but my soul was telling me that I should be pursuing something different. Before we left on this trip I decided to end my 19 year business partnership and let the business go. We helped a lot of business owners over the past 20 years and I’m proud of what that business accomplished.

So, without a business to manage what do I do with my time while traveling? What is my role over the next 5 months of this journey? I know I want to build a new business focused in San Diego moving forward, it’s already incorporated and we have launched a pilot program as we travel. So, trying to build a business in San Diego during our travels makes very little sense. We are far from independently wealthy, but we have made enough money that the trip won’t push us into bankruptcy. Which leaves me in a very interesting place, one that I’m not used to. I’m used to being the provider, the stern parent, the son, the brother, the friend, the thinker, the writer, the entrepreneur and numerous other roles, but are these the roles I am to play on this trip?

I am the main architect of the trip, booking the places to stay, our flights and more. We continue to find nice places to stay and hopefully that trend will continue, but there will be a time in the coming weeks when most of the planning will be complete, which leaves me with the same question, what is my role, what do I do with my time? I came on this trip to become more connected with my family and to try to step away from the life we have built in the US, and now I am understanding what that is like. I am realizing a few things straight away.

First of all, I really enjoy helping people with their businesses. I have gained a significant amount of knowledge over the past 25 plus years and I enjoy sharing that with business owners. I also really enjoy helping individuals create their own businesses from scratch, especially those with great strategic skills that are leaving the corporate environment to start their own small practice. I believe that there are so many people that would be better off as sole practitioners using their skill set to make money then they are as employees. Helping people make more money is one thing, but helping them make a difference while making more money is something totally different. That is the focus of the rest of my life in regards to my business.

The other thing I am learning is that I don’t know how to be any other way. I believe this is why I was put here, this is my purpose, to help people use their business skills to make the world a better place. This might be a good thing or maybe over the next 5 months I will learn some new roles, but that will happen one day at a time. I have always been the serious one, maybe it is time to move away from that role as well. I’m not sure where this is leading, but I’m open to see where it ends up.

To a life well lived!

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