I’m writing from 30,000 feet in the air. Not perspective, but literally. I’m experiencing the miracle of flight today and hoping for a miracle in my mind. I’m trying to write myself out of a self-induced funk.
It’s one of those days where though all really is well – and even beyond well – exciting – my mind is stuck on small losses or frustrations that are like that tiny little raincloud following Winnie the Pooh around all day – while everyone else gets sunshine.
Business is very much like baseball – or any sport for that matter. Hit a home run in the first inning, but have a few strikeouts or a dropped ball in the 3rd and the ecstatic feeling of the home run evaporates into thin air. Success feels short-lived, like so many of life’s little pleasures. The perfect cup of coffee is too quickly lukewarm. A great episode of television is over leaving you wanting another. It’s the curse of ‘never enough’ and it permeates those of us who insist on success and hate losing.
I’m on the same flight I was on 4 years ago coming to Newport News, VA to do the customary formal demo following making the short list. I usually love these trips – meeting new people, talking ticketing, and flying quickly in and out without losing a beat. This trip, however, was different. The flight was rocky at best, and we had turbulence in the small commuter jet that made me wonder if maybe, just maybe this was that flight. Coming in for the landing, pitching from side to side, and then shooting back up into the darkness while the pilot announced, “Well, folks that didn’t really go as planned.”
A rough demo with a poor internet connection (from what I remember) and a tight flight connection left me wondering why I do this over and over again.
And then – the award of contract. Suddenly the turbulent flight and rough trip seem insignificant and we have the privilege of working with smart, capable people in the top Escalon of clients.
Then there’s today. Sigh. Same kind of trip – long flights, connections, poor sleep, an early wake-up call. This is the stuff entrepreneurs live for. A record month in September. Road warriors #takingcareofbusiness. A team that works harder than any I know. But I call the office and one of the reps hears it in my voice. “You sound tired, “she says. “Um, well – I’m just feeling a couple of things that are weighing me down,” I say, and realize at the same time that she’s right.
Women business leaders feel it all. It’s our power and our weakness at the same time. We don’t compartmentalize (generally) and therefore, are more susceptible to allowing negative feelings to creep across lines. Victories fade like the perfect cup of coffee cooling too quickly. Damn, I think. A 30% growth rate isn’t enough? A growing team? New building? Five year planning in the works?
Am I Louis CK’s fussy flier? I’m experiencing the miracle of flight! I’m flying through the air! In a chair!
“But I had to pay for my sandwich!”
Good god. Today – I am the fussy flyer. Forgetting the miracle of flight – the pure joy of success – I fuss about paying for my stinking sandwich.
I’m landing shortly in Newport News – again, 4 years later – to meet with what is now our client. This time, no matter what the weather (I think it’s sun in the forecast) – I’m going to enjoy every minute of this miracle of flight. I’m happy to be here. And I will happily pay for my sandwich.