Tough love and a fresh perspective

If you could get one tip, one piece of advice, that one small thing that makes a change, moves the needle, or helps you gain clarity, it was all worth it.

We were sitting on the edge of the cliff and the view was amazing, breathtaking. The combination of sun and wind on my face reminded me why getting out of the city is so important. Looking at the mountains before us, I told my friend I felt tired. I was exhausted from the urban race, running my company and the day in, day out hustle and grind from dusk till dawn – literally working my life away.

He looked at me and smiled. He had just turned 62 and had a successful consulting business helping CEOs of major companies improve the way they run their businesses, teams and how they make decisions.

And me? I was in my mid 30’s working hard at my digital marketing agency and feeling tired. It felt as if he was over those mountains and I hadn’t even begun the journey to cross them.

He smiled and said, “Can I tell you something?”

“Sure,” I replied eager to hear what he had to say.

“Can I give you what we call tough love? I will tell you the brutal truth, the way I see things but remember I’m saying this because I care and have your best interests at heart.”

“Please do. I won’t get offended or anything.”

I was certain he was about to share the secret to success – that trick we all hear about on social media, that one hack to rule them all. My eyes opened up, my ears attentive to his every breath, as the very next might carry a genius tip. He looked at the stone in his hand, passed his thumb over it and threw it far away. Then he looked at me and said in his assertive and soothing voice: “You’re too fat. You need to lose weight.”

Not sure what I had just heard, I decided to wait a moment before I spoke, absorbing this Mr. Miagi, karate kid, ‘wax on, wax off’ concept. What is this mind trick?

Well, I had been eating quite badly in the few months prior, and I was barely sleeping 4 hours each night. The most sporty thing I had done recently was to hold a pint of beer for a few hours at the local bar. Damn. I’m fat huh?

He stood up, reached out his hand to help me up and hugged me. I couldn’t believe it, one act of tough love, one sentence – what an impact.

All I needed was an outside perspective, someone telling me how they see things. But, one might ask, how is that connected to my business?

Sometimes we need to get that one tip, one piece of advice, that one small thing that makes a change, moves the needle, or helps you gain clarity, it was all worth it.

For me that resulted in leaving work every day at 6:30p.m. and going for a walk. Eventually this turned into a run, which then led to a change in my eating and sleeping habits, less beer drinking and being more positive in general. Setting a work schedule meant I needed to be more productive, choose what’s really important and focus more. These activities resulted in my business doubling over the following 12 months.

We all need a fresh perspective, sometimes from someone we do not know or who has a completely different background.

When you feel it’s time to make a change in your business, reach out. I will listen and see if I can share my experiences in marketing, sales and branding to help you improve your business or mindset. I promise to give you tough love when necessary and if you start exercising or changing the way you do things, I will know I have chosen my profession and passion well.


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