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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