Don’t Let Your Business Cost You “The One”

Photo shoot 1 017 (resized)I started this blog to help people. I am often asked to have lunch with people so they can “pick my brain” about business. Though I would love to meet with everyone, I can’t. But I also understand that sharing the successes and mistakes of life can help others. This is one of those times.

There is debate over whether you can balance work and life. I don’t think you can because balance infers equality. When building a business it’s all but impossible to give EQUAL time to both and build a strong, sustainable business efficiently. I have always felt that. I still believe that. However, I recently witnessed something that has caused me to give pause to my purely black and white positioning on this issue.

A friend of mine met a female a while back. They became friends. Nothing more, nothing less. Over time they developed feelings for each other. He was building his business, and that was his primary focus. That is something I can truly relate to. As his feelings became stronger, he became more and more conflicted because he fell completely and totally, head over heels in love with her, as did she with him. Though he felt he had met the woman of his dreams, he still focused on his business. In his mind, he was building a foundation for their lives together. She knew he loved her. And she trusted him. He wasn’t a cheater and she knew he was loyal. He relied on those facts to wrongly make the assumption that everything would work out in the end, and everyone would eventually be happy. However, he missed the NUMBER ONE rule in business. ALWAYS listen to the customer.

In this instance, SHE was the customer. And his product was a life together. All she wanted was his love, and to feel special. She wasn’t demanding of him. All she wanted was SOME of his time, and the little things that matter. She wanted to feel like he was with her, and that there was hope for a future down the road. She never pushed him for much. She wasn’t after him for money, or what he could do for her. She was 100% supportive of his needs, and she would do anything to help in any way she could. She even sacrificed her own happiness for the sake of love and being supportive to him.

Now to get the scope of HIS love, you must know he loved her with every bit of his heart as well. He wanted to marry her and raise a family with her one day. Those of us that knew him, knew that. He felt it, but he didn’t express it in the manner that he should have. She relayed her feelings to him. He didn’t ignore them, but he didn’t truly understand the depth of her pain. Subsequently, he lost her and she met someone new.

He and I have always felt the same about work/ life balance. And I had never seen a situation where things didn’t work out in the end. So I always felt he was doing the right thing. And, as usual, at the end, everything would work out. But as we spoke, all I could hear was his pain. I had never heard him sound like this before. Here was a guy that had it all, and once had everything he could want, standing before me totally defeated. Heartbroken. Lost. My heart felt for him. The pain he felt was unimaginable. He said these words to me.

“Will, I have success, respect and money. I have a successful career and I have unlimited opportunity. But not a single bit of that matters now. I’d give all of it up to have her back. Without her, all of this feels empty. I have never felt so alone and lost in my life.” That has been permeating in my head for weeks. In the end, after being friends with this guy for most of my adult life. After building careers neither of us ever thought we would. After living unimaginably blessed lives, the most valuable lesson in life had been taught. Success, fame, money, lifestyle, whatever your ambition; if you are blessed to find the person that makes your heart beat fast; if you find the one you think you want to spend the rest of your life with; if you find the one that hearing their voice changes the way you feel, let them know. Don’t just let them know. Make sure they feel it. After all this time building a business, all my friend wants in the world is to hold her again. a chance to win her love back, and to spend the rest of his life with her. He was so busy building a world where they could have it all, that he never realized he already had everything he wanted. And now the only thing he wants in life is her back. I pray he gets his chance. I think what they had is special, and extremely rare to fine. And I think he learned a valuable lesson in his heart. Not just in his mind. He has an even greater appreciation and value for than ever before. Maybe this situation can be the catalyst of them building an even stronger foundation together.

Until next time…… God bless and dress well.

 

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

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The 3 P’s of Success

Photo shoot 1 017 (resized)Most people can’t run a successful business for the same reason they can’t have a successful relationship. They lose sight of what they’ll feel later, because they focus on what they feel now. They sacrifice long-term joy for short-term happiness. In a world consumed with convenience, we want to have everything and we want it now. We want it our way. It’s all about US. And it’s about when WE’RE ready. That’s not how success works. Never has. Never will. Success is the reward of doing the right things, the right way, for the appropriate amount of time. Many of us don’t achieve the fullness of our success because give up too soon. This happens in relationships and in business. I had this happen to me once.

There was this girl. She was amazing. She was beautiful, funny, intelligent, had a strong work ethic, a Christian; she was a good girl. She had everything I could ever want. Now, if you know me, you know I don’t make emotional decisions, and I admit that I am as bad at relationships as I am good at business. I’m often told I will be a bachelor forever, and that I don’t give anyone a fair chance. We can debate those later. Anyway, I was in love with this girl. She had my heart in her hand. Even without a title, she had my total commitment. But I wasn’t ready for a relationship. Relationships come with obligations and requirements that I wasn’t able to give. This had nothing to do with wanting other women, or keeping my options open. I was preparing for the future. I was building a business and it required my focus. I wanted to make sure when I’m we were finally in a relationship, I could fulfill my responsibilities as a man, and as HER man. I couldn’t imagine my life without her, so I wanted to make sure I could provide for her a life equal to, or better than, what she had before me. If I ever get there, I want to ensure that work is an option, not a requirement, for my wife. And I want to make sure that if I ever have children, their only thoughts of college will be WHERE to go, not IF they can go. That’s what I think a man should do. ( However, I will not pay 1 red penny for my child to go to the universities of Alabama or Texas) Because of my business building, I didn’t have the time needed to focus on a “traditional relationship”. But I was willing to compromise as best I could to make something work. I knew there would be some sacrifices on her end, but I told her “If you give me the time. You’ll have everything you want and more. I’m committed to you and I have no desire for any other woman in my life but you.” All the things she wanted she would have had, and then some; in time. Unfortunately, she wanted them THEN. She didn’t see a future, and she chose to move on. It crushed me, but that was her decision to make, and she did. It crushed me, but I had no choice but accept it. Having a relationship THEN was more important to her than having ME later. I’m not saying her decision was right or wrong, that isn’t my place to say. I know some of you are thinking “Well if you loved her so much, why didn’t you just give in? That way you wouldn’t lose her.” The answer to that is easy. You don’t shortchange a person’s future, for instant gratification today. We both wanted to the same thing. I wanted to be able to give it to her consistently, not for a limited time. But this is what many of us do in our own relationships, and in business.

Success in our personal lives and professional lives require, what I call, “The 3 Ps of Success”: Planning, Preparation and Patience. Each of these must be executed fully in order for any of it to work. Many of us get the planning part down easily because it is centered around what WE think. It’s based on OUR ideas and what WE think works.

Preparation is where we start to fail. Just because you know what you want, doesn’t mean you’re ready to have it. You still have to prepare. Writing a business plan doesn’t mean you’re ready to start your business. You may have to clean up your credit report in order to secure some financing. You have to get proper documentation. You have to do research to source the proper resources, and vendors you will require to do the business. You have to identify your market. Then you have to research how to best appeal to their market. You have to establish a brand. Then you have to research how to best make your brand attractive to your target market. All of this happens before you even decide on a name. The planning and preparation phases can be as stressful as the execution.

After you have completed the planning and preparation stages, you HAVE to have patience. Without patience, you are sure to fail. Achieving success requires patience. The limits of your patience will be tested. Many don’t realize the roller coaster ride success will take you on. Things will be great one week, and you’ll be pulling your hair out the next. You’ll have record sales one month, and the next month, you can’t buy a customer. You’ll have to turn down work one week, and the next you’ll be checking to make sure your phone service is working because you’re getting no calls. You will feel the highest of highs. But you will also feel the lowest of lows. When the lows come, that’s when most people give up. Especially if you’ve been low for a while. But if you are willing to be patient through the darkness and uncertainty; if you hold on when you feel there is nothing to hold on to. If you have the will and the strength to see the big picture and not get caught up in the emotion of where you are in the moment, you can have everything you ever desired, and then some.

No one ever says achieving success is easy, but everyone says it was worth it. Running away and giving up only prepares you to run farther, and give up more often. You have to have faith. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” You have to have faith in order to have success. You can’t just give in to emotions because you’re not currently getting what you want. As the famous quote says “You have to do what you HAVE to do now, to do what you WANT to do later.”

God bless and dress well.

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

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