Moving Forward

My parent’s home finally went under contract on the 11th, but yesterday all the paperwork got put together.  Inspections in a week.  Fingers crossed all goes well.  The first set of inspections went excellent so I do not foresee any issues.  If all goes well, by the end of June they can consider themselves official full time residents of Massachusetts.  Hopefully they get a house that has ample room for me, Jessica, the baby, and all my puppies (not sure they are thinking about that, but I am. Haha)

On a second note, had a long-ish conversation with my manager regarding the future of the company and our region.  The company is in a transition period with changes coming rapidly.  There is a lot that is unknown at this point, but it allows for some opportunity to think about the business a little differently and come up with some new approaches.  Luckily, my head is clearer today as I feel better, so I was able to expand my thinking.  Gives me something to mull over during the weekend.

Another appointment

So I am beginning to think it is a cold.  I went to the gym but just walked for 30 minutes on the treadmill preventing annoying everyone coughing up my chest congestion.

Again my morning was flooded with emails for last minute questions/orders.  It’s just that time of year where I need to almost be attached to my computer to solve issues as they come in.

We had a follow up doctor’s appointment to go over the results of the 1st trimester screening, but because our screening was rescheduled later the results were not available for our appointment.  The appointment was pretty low key.  The doctor did a quick ultrasound to check the heart beat, asked how Jessica was doing and sent us on our way.

On the way to and from the appointment I listened to a new Tim Ferriss podcast where he interviewed athletic trainer Ryan Flaherty.  What a sharp guy.  Only 34 years old and made me feel like I was a slug.  He was a top trainer in getting athletes to get faster.  He was totally deep into the science of exercise science which made him a top trainer.  But listening to him, I kind of wished I had explored more career options in high school because I thought I’d enjoy beings a physical therapist.   I know it’s never too late to do something, but I just think if back then I had explored it, I probably would have proceed down that path.  Oh well, one missed opportunity for now to open another one down the road.

Gotta pay those bills

Monday, monday.  Getting the motor started Monday is always a little rough.  I hit the gym, but due to some chest congestion (not sure if it’s allergies or a cold) I did about 15 minutes on the stepper and I was done.  It’s good to know when to not push it too hard and to let your body rest/heal.

Not feeling 100% it takes that much more effort to get going. The best tricks to get yourself in the right direction are to make your bed, take a shower, and get dressed for work even if you have no where to be.  It tells your brain your in work mode and it allows you to start being productive.  I set out to hit some schools and do some mailing.  While I was out and about the emails started piling up and I needed my computer to get some results so back to the office. I targeted the most important emails first and worked backwards.  Since we are towards the end of the sales season and I have been procrastinating taking care of my accounts receivable I decided to focus and start paying invoices.  This is quite a process in an antiquated system so it takes time.  In all I paid about 30 invoices and that brought me dinner time aka quitting time.

What started as a slow, sluggish morning ended as a pretty productive day.

Defeat on the horizon

Had a day traveling with my territory manager.  It was pretty uneventful overall until the phone rang.

We learned that a presentation we had given a couple weeks earlier for the largest high school was starting to turn sour.  It wasn’t because of our business unit’s portion of the presentation, but our partners.  The potential relationship is at risk unless they can enhance their bid.

Luckily, we the overall program they were offered for doing business with all three business units was something they really wanted and needed.  That was the only thing holding everything somewhat together.  Hopefully we can pull this together and take it for the win.  Fingers crossed.

Complain

I hate when people complain and typically try not to because no one really cares to hear it.  But now it’s time for my pity party.  Yesterday I had a lingering migraine all day.  I had work to do and orders to process so I was stuck on the computer most of the day which didn’t help.  My seasonal allergies finally started to subside and I get knocked out by a migraine.  Early bed time for me hoping for a better day tomorrow.

And He’s Out

Over the past couple years I was lucky enough to have a powerful mentor as I changed careers and started with a new company.  His name was Mike.  He was a retired rep that looked at problems differently.  He self admittedly was a strange bird, but that’s what made most people like him (it’s also what made some people hate him). After retirement he bought a farm in Iowa where he cultivates and sell corn. He would, a few times a year, travel out to Connecticut where we would work together for the week.  We would brainstorm different ways to attack the business and prospect at schools.

Most of my success today can be attributed to him.  It would be way to long to explain how and why (and probably boring for you the reader). He taught be that you need to be different.  To create positive energy and positive things will follow.  He taught me how to sell on relationships and not transactions.

Well yesterday I was supposed to pick him up at the airport to travel with me for the week.  Early in the morning I got a call from his “boss” at corporate.  Mike had quit.  There was a disagreement between him and the company and they parted ways.  I can’t say I was 100% shocked, I knew there had been previous conflict, but still for it to be official hurt a little.  I looked forward to the time we would spend both working and after hours just relaxing talking politics or business.

As the day went on I reflected back on his previous trips out and it started to sink in.  I know it wasn’t like he had passed, but it was close.  I knew now that he cut ties he wouldn’t be interested in talking shop any longer.  I don’t blame him for that.  He had a long career and now it’s time for him to be a farmer.  As of day I have yet to speak with him.  I figure he is being bombarded with a lot of calls and want to give him some time.  I’m sure the decision didn’t come easy for him.  So hopefully in the next week or so we can connect.  I am not sure what I’ll say, but he will be missed.

Taking Action

Last week I wrote about listening to Ricardo Semler on a podcast with Tim Ferriss.  In the podcast Semler spoke of his “Terminal Days” in which two days a week he did what he wanted to go had he been informed of having a terminal illness. (View post Semler Revisited)

Well yesterday I took a terminal day.  It was tough I won’t lie.  In the middle of having work to complete and a kitchen remodel in progress there was definitely productive work to be done. But when I took a step back and asked was my work urgent and the answer was no I decided I need to seize the day.  The kitchen could wait, I would have my phone if there were some emergency and I could go on with my day with things that could only happen yesterday.

So what did I do?  My sister is on vacation this week from her speech pathology job at her school so we decided to meet for lunch. We met at the border, about an hour for each of us.  She came with my 1 year old nephew Jack and my mother.  It was a simple lunch at Applebees.  We walked around the nearby Marshalls and Petco.  Very low impact but very high reward.  It is not too often we have the time to just eat lunch and go especially during a beautiful spring day.

After lunch I headed home to spend some time with the dogs and let them exercise.  We ran around the yard to play. I of course could not fully avoid work, so I completed some order placing and computer work that really should get done. But then I went back to my terminal day.

Jessica’s cousin from Maine has a daughter and we wanted to take her on a photo shoot at the daffodil farm at sunset.  I gathered my equipment and we headed out.  The lighting was perfect.  The daffodils weren’t fully in bloom but they were bloomed enough for some great shots. I was really happy getting the shot I got and look forward to finding the time to go deep into editing to perfect them.  (They will soon be available for viewing Here)

So although I did spend a couple hours in the afternoon completing some work, I did do better than expected.  I got to spend the time with family and create some while taking photos.  And guess what?  No emergencies happened.  Nothing negative happened.  My self created fear of everything falling apart in my absence was just that, self created.  There is definitely something to these terminal days.  I think I need to schedule some more often.