I was talking to a friend of mine last night – someone I have known for many years and we talked deep. I mean really deep. And we found some things out about each other that we both had not known before, which shed light upon why we resonate so well with each other and always have. And what we talked about was the lesson of loss and our businesses.
When I was a child we moved house 8 times by the time I was 6. I got used to change and to losing friends by then, and what I did to cope with that was develop the ability to make lots of friends really quickly but not let any of them too close – cos it was painful to leave them behind – especially as a small child who had no control over that process.
I had an amazing father, with a powerful presence. This was not a man to be messed with. He was also someone who you felt entirely safe with – he would tell you the sky was green and next morning you would wake up – and it was. Whatever he said – however outrageous it may have seemed – however impossible a dream for other people – if Mike Fossey said it would happen – it happened. There’s a lot of certainty in that for a child.
And as I grew and became an adult – there was always one person who I felt knew the answer to all of life dilemma’s and drama’s and emergencies. And that gave me immense confidence.
And then he died.
And suddenly there was no certainty in life about anything.
In the years following his death I struggled and I didn’t know why. I had my own business – something he would have been (and was) very proud of as it was the ONLY thing in Dad’s entire life he wanted to do but didn’t (out of love for my mother who wouldn’t support it). I had 2 kids. I had a great husband and family and what anyone looking in would have said was a nice and reasonably successful life.
And then, as sometimes happens, I hit rock bottom. The recession had bitten deep and I had funded my business for sometime, several close family members died, and I had a big decision to make about the future of my business. I didn’t know what to do. Where was Dad when I needed him?
And that’s when I realised. It had been such a struggle – not because of ‘the recession’ (though it certainly hadn’t helped), not because I was suddenly unable to do my job after 15 years of high success, not because of any of the things I was blaming….but because I was living someone else’s dream, and I was doing it from a place of fear and inadequacy.
I wanted to be successful to please other people, to be in control, to make other people happy – and therefore stay, to not be in that lonely place ever again. Fund the business, pay everyone’s wages, keep people happy – it doesn’t matter if I am not happy, I can deal with it.
And I also realised in that light bulb moment – that I had stopped pursuing MY dream, because to be successful without my Dad seemed like disrespect. How could I supercede this incredible amazing man, who made my life so certain and who was my rock? Without him… how could I surpass him?
Does this make any sense to you?
Well, as soon as I realised that, I also realised my choice about the future of my business was easy. I had a dream, to be the most innovative recruitment company in Manchester, adding unexpected value to my customers and be the obvious ‘go to’ place for growing SME’s. I knew now I was going to do it – I just didn’t know the details.
And the universe heard me and brought me back in contact with my good friend – who I mentioned earlier, who has brought me into his multi million pound group of companies, who has organised the funding of our growth and who, like me, is pursuing his own dream lovingly free of the need to do it for Dad.
Don’t give up.