A Reset Can be Painful

by Mike Murphy on September 28, 2018
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Have you ever gotten so wrapped up with the everyday that you forgot to take the time to appreciate what you have? I believe this is, mostly, a rhetorical question for just about anyone. It definitely is for me. My wife and I run a local small business in Dayton, OH

and like any small business owners, we’re involved in many aspects of the business: Operations, Human Resources, Sales, Marketing and Finance. Being a married couple also brings its challenges as the business comes home as well.

Striker-goofy-4x7The major challenge for us is that we sometimes forget to stop and appreciate the simple gifts we have in each other, family, friends … and pets. Yesterday was a tough day in our household. We lost a beloved pet, my buddy for the past 10 years. Striker was an Australian Cattle dog and unbeknownst to us, he had a tumor on his spleen that had ruptured. Up to that point, he was his normal high energy, please-throw-the-frisbee, jumping up on the bed and begging for table scraps canine. Like most family pets, he loved his pack.

This morning I woke up and he wasn't there to feed, sneak a table scrap to, or accept his requisite belly rub. I realized, that I too often forget to appreciate the simple things. Yesterday it was tough to have to put him down. The vet said there was nothing they could do: the cancer was too wide-spread.

This happened at a time when we are both so busy with the business and in the process of downsizing our house. You might be thinking that he was "just a dog," but anyone who has a beloved pet knows differently. Both my wife and I were devastated. It was a gut punch. I don't normally cry, but I did yesterday. It was over by lunch time and sadly, we had to go in to the office. The rest of the day we were both in a fog. It was a rough day to say the least.

Here are the lessons I learned.

  • Count on your team: - Nothing at work is that important. On this particular morning, we had three 'important' meetings. Guess what? -The team covered them for us. I guess those meetings weren't THAT important after all.
  • Slow down - Appreciate what's around you: We are constantly running. Stop, breathe, appreciate the little things. I know, it's cliché, but yesterday reminded me, all to graphically, that sometimes those little things can go away.

I realize this isn’t the typical business blog post, but it is in a way. Make sure you stop. The business will be there tomorrow, but the really important things might not. I’ve wondered if Striker was sending us a message last night. After a gloomy, rainy, overcast afternoon (which fit our mood), we witnessed a beautiful sunset and this morning was the perfect, cool, blue sky.  The kind of fall day I love. Maybe Striker was making me smile one last time. He'll be missed.

My last message to you is this: if you run or work at a business, please stop and take a brief moment to realize life is short. Don’t neglect what is truly important.

 

Topics: balance, small business,

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