Paddling to YOUR fountain!

It’s 5:30 a.m. and the alarm on my iPhone goes off to “All I do is Win” (hey, don’t judge – use what gets you going).  Every morning I wake up to a plethora of emails, instant messages, and social media notifications.  As I reach for my phone, I begin sifting through it before my eyes are fully focused.  I send 3-4 emails and messages before my feet ever hit the floor.  In a world of likes, follows, shares and tweets sometimes we have to step back and look at the simplicity of our goals. 

Recently, I had the humbling experience to join my son’s 2nd grade class for their annual team building day at The Refuge. This retreat was tucked deep in the pines of eastern North Carolina.  Summers in NC come early and this day was no different.  If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a summer in NC, you know the temps can make it well over 100 degrees and the humidity is so dense, it feels like you are suffocating.  In the middle of this property was a big pond.  On one end the water was shallow and it was thick with mud, algae, and high grass.  On the opposite end the water was deep, flowing with a beautiful fountain that sprayed up in the sky like a geyser.  The kids were not in their swim suits and plunging in for a refreshing swim, instead they were fully clothed, including socks and shoes, and a life vest strapped to them.  I watched as sweat poured down their little red faces.  They were filled with excitement as they looked at the fountain spraying high.  I smiled as I heard chatter amongst them “can we get wet?  Are we allowed to go under that?” They were practically envisioning themselves under the fountain as they asked.  Teams of two were put into canoes and launched into the end with all the muck.  They were not given any instructions, other than “the canoe is almost impossible to flip”. However, they all had their eye on the same goal – the fountain.  I watched as they struggled to paddle through the mud and grass.  For many of these kids, this was their first time paddling without an adult.  My son was paddling his little heart out, while his partner held his paddle in the water in the rear of the canoe.  This worked like a rudder causing the canoe to turn in circles.  Can you imagine the frustration of an 8 year old, going the opposite direction of his fountain oasis? Some moved more quickly than others, some getting stuck in the mud, and some taking detours along the way, but ALL of them kept going and none of them gave up. 

As entrepreneurs, salespeople, and business owners we start out in the muck and the high grass.  We struggle, we turn in circles, and sometimes we lose sight of the fountain. When we continue, we make it to clearer waters and the paddling becomes easier.  Some fear the canoe is going to flip, some of us take detours and others zigzag along the way, but we keep going – keeping our eye on the “fountain”!!!  

Jim and I are here to help you navigate through the mud, teaching you how to paddle and put you on the right path - encouraging you when you get turned around and turning you back in the right direction.  We want to help you to bask in the glory of the fountain.  What does YOUR fountain look like?