Chances

It’s good to take chances. In my younger days, I took them all the time in my professional life. By and large, with each chance taken, I became a better, happier person professionally. Eventually, one of those chances didn’t work out so well. Even then, I learned so much, met so many awesome people I’d have never met, I got to work with my wife, that it was hard to feel like a failure even when that business most certainly failed. Still, the overall experience, from a financial and a family strain perspective, did cause me to stop taking chances for a few years. Then in 2015, it felt about time to put myself out there again. I met a good guy with an interesting business who was looking to expand. Over the course of months, conversations turned into plans and I joined his venture. We did some good work and opened an incredible new store. I’m proud of what we accomplished in a very short time and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have been a small part of the storied history of a landmark in our area. But … as we got through the Christmas season, it became obvious that the plans we made in August weren’t the plans that seemed right in January so this latest chance came to an end … but rather than being down, it feels like it did when I was younger. I certainly wish things had worked out the way I thought they would when I took the chance but even though they didn’t, I’m a better, happier person for taking the chance. I met great people, did good work, I made a difference to my employer’s success and most of all, I learned stuff. How is that not awesome?

Of course, I’m momentarily unemployed. Scared? Well, I have obligations and I don’t really have a back up plan but no, not scared yet. Some of those awesome people I’ve met have already reached out to me with opportunities. I’ve reached out to previous employers and friends and already, opportunities are forming … including more chances to take. Sometimes (often if I’m completely honest) I wish I had just found a job out of college befitting my degree and ridden the clock towards retirement. I might have some sort of security, some sort of nest egg but I’m just not built that way. I might as well wish I could crap gold. This latest chance has reminded me that I’m built to take chances so that’s what I should do even if it’s in just small ways. Maybe some people’s puzzle has more pieces than can be assembled in 10 or 20 years. Maybe I’ll find my corner pieces this year or next but I’ll find them as long as I keep looking and I keep taking chances.

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About Mark Still

Father, husband, occasional triathlete, bicycle gear junkie, bike racer (only in my mind, in reality I just like to ride road bikes), coffee roaster and espresso, whiskey, and whisky enjoyer.
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