Category: My Thoughts

What are we Doing Wrong

This will not be a write up for political change, or a call to arms.  I fully understand the danger of guns in this country but I also understand that we are far to gone to ever stop this Nation from having guns.  The good guys will always need them because the bad guys will never put them down.  I believe that part we all understand to a certain extent.  The part none of seem to understand is why are people, more so children, going into schools and shooting anything moving.  We want to blame the guns, we want to blame the politicians, we never want to blame the kids doing it or their parents.  What are We Doing Wrong.  Continue reading “What are we Doing Wrong”

Brew’s, Grub, and Good Times: Local Craft Brewer’s are changing the Drinking Experience.

Over the last decade there has been an explosion of craft beer distillers opening up every where.  In Delaware it seems every other week a new one is popping up in a storage building, someones backyard, a warehouse, just about any ole place.  I personally couldn’t be more excited.  The best is that this has become a great form of entrepeneurship.  The combination of craft brewers and food trucks has changed the lanscape for hanging out and having a good time.  Craft beer distillers have an amazing impact on the local economy, plus they give locals a place they can call their own.   Continue reading “Brew’s, Grub, and Good Times: Local Craft Brewer’s are changing the Drinking Experience.”

WTF Tide Pods

Are you fucking kidding me Tide Pods.  As if people couldn’t get any dumber they are now competing in the TIDE POD CHALLENGE.  Morons will literally eat fucking anything.  Here I got on for you, let’s try the ” EAT A BAG OF DICKS CHALLENGE.”   If you catch any of your children or I should say teens doing this you should punch them in the face, Hard like really Punch the shit of them.  Dumb Asses.  I am not going to attach any videos of assholes doing this because I don’t want to encourage them to do other things like eat dog shit or a bullet.  Why not try the “Go help someone out Challenge.”  Yeah instead of eating laundry detergent why don’t you eat a good time, get some real friends, I don’t know maybe I am living in a bubble.  Whatever I’m done with this rant.

The Introduction of Her Vault

This is a small introduction to Her Vault the new contributor to HISVAULT.com.   She is my partner in crime and my true drinking buddy, yup she is the wife.  I will be letting her tell you the rest on her first post.  Listen she has a lot to say and will contribute to this from a female perspective.  Plus is is going to be nice to have some back and forth on different topics.  She is going to focus on all the same pages, the biggest being DOW (Drinks of the Week).  Baby girl love her some wine.  We feel like this will be a fun opportunity to reach new audiences and expand on the fun.  Like everything we pretty much do it together so why not this as well.   We will add a section specifically for HER VAULT, this way she can have her own space as well.  Lord knows women need there own space.  Look bottom line is this is going to be fun and we can share all the crazy shit that we tend to get involved in.  The best being most of our conversations.  I will also use this chance to expand on the You Tube channel and our other social media accounts.

For those of you that actually read some of this thanks.  We will be looking for new authors and contributors down the road.  This is a new year and changes are abound.

8 years until I retire and I still have no clue what I want to do

8 years seems like a long time but in the reality of things I know it will be here before I know it.  I am always planning for the future yet there is a burning sensation that I have no clue what I am going to do when I retire from military.  I continue to fill my toolbox with all these things that I can do yet have no clue still.  In two years I hope to have my masters completed in home land security but don’t necessarily want to work in the field.  I love cooking and would love to open something on my own but am scared to death of owning a restaurant.  I want to get a real estate license yet I am afraid that I won’t make any money and that the market could be bad.  I want to travel the world eat, drink, and have fun yet don’t know how to make money doing it.  I would love to be a  sports talk radio show host.   So the real question I guess is how do I figure out what to do, how to be happy, and make some money doing it all.

MILITARY

My military career will come to an end in just eight years.  This will be by choice, I don’t want to stay longer than I need to and I will need to give some time back to my family.  I can’t and won’t ever complain about my career because it has given my so much, my house, my education, friends, respect, and allowed me to learn so much about myself.  So some will ask why leave than, it’s because of the earlier statements plus it will just be time to go.  The last eight I consider the back-end of my career because in just six years I will begin to work on leaving the military and transition to the civilian world again.  This will be an exciting time and I truly can’t wait.

THE MASTERS

The goal for the Master’s Degree was and still is a plan B if I don’t ever find something that I love.  See, I believe that in my second career I should do something that I truly love.  If that is the case then I will be traveling the world and getting paid handsomely for it.  Most likely though this won’t be the case and I will need to make sure that I have a fall back plan, the degree.  I guess folks will question me on why I am  spending all this time getting the Masters and not use it.  Good question, I really don’t have a great answer for you.  I want my daughters to see that it can be done, I want to be the only person in my family to have accomplished it, I really in enjoy the material, and I want the back up plan.   Thats really the jist of it.

COOKING

Cooking is my happy place in life.  When ever I am stressed I enjoy getting into the kitchen and experimenting with a new recipe or just throwing things together.  When I am in the kitchen everything just goes away and I can focus on the food.  I am by no means a master chef, but I do pretty good in the kitchen.  I believe food brings people together and cooking a meal that everyone loves is very gratifying.  I am happy when everyone else is happy and great food has that effect.  I also enjoy when that food comes together with great conversation.  My favorite holiday is thanksgiving because I get to make the majority of the meal, and once everyone is done they sit and talk at the table.  It’s that moment that I enjoy the most.  am I able to turn this into a career, who the hell knows.  I am scared to death of opening a place of my own, plus I enjoy the experience not everything else that goes with owning a place.  I think that having to manage, and schedule, and all those other aspects will take away from the romance of the experience.

REAL ESTATE

Getting my real estate license is the least likely avenue that I will take.  I think that I like the idea of being a real estate agent more than anything.  Being out of the office, helping people find their forever home.  Again I think I like the idea of this,  my fear would be that I would suck at this and make zero money or the market crashes right as I get my license.  I don’t think I could take putting in all that effort and time just to have something fall through at the last minute and lose out on the commission.  The fantasy in my head is that I sell great big houses and make tons of money doing it.  The reality is that I probably wouldn’t make that much money and end up in an office somewhere doing data analysis for the Department of Homeland Security.

SPORTS RADIO

Sports talk radio show.  I would love to sit and talk sports all day everyday.  If I had it my way I would be on the air talking Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and Sixers each day.  Years ago I though about going to the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and trying to break in to radio that way.  I got scared off and chose a different path.  Once again unable to pull the trigger.  My show would consist of myself and my BFF talking and going back and forth on various topics.  This may be something that I pursue yet but fear it would be too hard to get exactly what I want.  I fear that I would be sitting and playing the same new dumb ass song over and over again until I am forced to beat the hell  out of myself.

WORLD TRAVELER

My pipe dream, my coup de gras would be traveling the world enjoying various ethnic foods and cultures with great friends.  I would do all the things I love, met great people, and sit in the morning having coffee and talking about my adventures.  This is the one I get lost in, the one I know is the furthest from the truth of my life.  I would have a couple of friends to travel with me, hell we may even have a you tube channel just to document our adventures.  Honestly I just want to travel and share my experiences and yes get paid for doing it.  This would be my true happy place, my true career.  Truth of the matter is that I have no idea how to do this, and it is so different from the structured life I have always lived.  I know where to be and when to be.  I hate being late, I hate not knowing.  I love the idea of not having to watch a clock but after 17 years in the military I don’t know any other way.  When I go on vacation, like the Dublin trip from last year I was more than happy having a loose schedule and not having to follow a clock.  It was nice to just get lost in the day.  My fear is that this is a dream and a dream only and that in 10 years I will be sitting in a cubicle answering to a kid half my age on why the hell I am staring at a photo Australia.  Fuck you Steve it’s my dream, I quit.

Just like that I have already quit a job I don’t have because I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  I look forward to the journey and trying to change my ways so that I can eventually do what I love.  Will I ever get there, who knows.  Will I ever met the right people along the way, again who knows.  My life path is unpredictable I only hope that when I come to the cross-road I will have it in my to make the tough choice not the safe choice.  8 more years until I retire, and I have no clue what I want to do.

 

Coaching Youth Football – When you don’t have a dog in the Fight

Well it looks like I just completed my third season of youth football.  Each season I have been fortunate enough to be the assistant coach helping teach kids the fundamentals of football.  We volunteer our time and comes with a lot of highs and lows.  For myself I don’t have a “Dog in the Fight,” meaning I don’t have a son on the team.  I have two little girls that play soccer.  Why am I not writing about them today you ask, because there isn’t enough internet to talk about my angels. Back to the boys.

Not having a kid that plays allows me to evaluate and yell at each kid with equal passion.  This is makes it fun but even better than that I can take joy in watching each young man progress during the season.  This is the part that makes it worth while.  We invest a lot of time discussing each kid and where their current strengths are on the field.  This does not always mesh well with what the parents believe their talents are but that’s okay.  The key is getting the children to learn as many positions as they can and learn enough not to get hurt on the field of play.  Some kids will only play the line, others will play running back, and some will only play on defense.  The key is for them to learn discipline on the field and understand what it is like to work and move as a team.

The foundation for the  head coaches philosophy is to start with discipline, and playing hard.  If we do the right things and play hard winning will be the by-product of this.  Now I can also say that winning isn’t the first thought in our minds.  Yes we do want to win every game but we also want the kids to learn the fundamentals of the game so that they can play at the next level.  When I say next level I don’t mean the NFL, I mean the next level of youth football.  NO YOUR CHILD PROBABLY isn’t going to make it to the league, but he can have a  long and fun youth, highschool, and collegiate career if they play hard and stay disciplined.

The most satisfying moment of the season came in a game that we didn’t even need to win.  In the current rules there can be a coach on the field to assist the players in getting set.  This is generally necessary because the kids lack focus and tend to either false start IMG_3363 (1) or line up incorrectly or run the wrong play.  We as a team prided ourselves in the focus and discipline of our team.  This all came together in one gamer where for one series we gave the plays to the young QB while his center got the huddle together and let them run the plays on their own.  They did this with zero error and was amazing to watch since it hasn’t been done at our level all season or after.  For the coaching staff this was a major win because it showed that our boys were playing at a much higher level as far as fundamental football goes.

This year flew by just as the others had and we had a great time doing it.  The parents were the best group we have had so far in the three years that we have been coaching.  The boys grew as young football players tremendously and it showed.  Some of the kids were very raw that we got this year.  By the end of the season they were all playing at an amazing level.  Our starting backfield developed into to amazing runners, which was great because the season before they barely got to touch the ball.  The defense got more and more intense and as the season went on and they developed into a group that could keep us in any game.  The maturity level that this team displayed was second to none.  this group didn’t talk trash, they always played with extreme sportsmanship, and they worked together as a team.  We never told anyone child that they were better then the other boys, never eluded to a favorite, never let anyone think that they were any less important then the next kids.  All of the kids played a huge part in the success of the season.

The biggest props needs to go to the most thankless job in football and that is the offensive and defensive lines.  The lines are the most important job in the game and with out sound play at those positions the defense can’t stop anyone and the offense will never move forward.  This group worked hard together all season and to watch them move as one unit on both sides of the ball was amazing to watch.  My hat goes off to them because we would have never gotten as far as we did if it wasn’t for the selfless play of those kids, who by the way never complained.  These boys just put their heads down and grinded it out.

Many will determine that our season was not a success because we didn’t win the championship.  I will argue the opposite.  The season was a monumental success do to the growth of the boys this year.  Hopefully we get to move up to the next level next season becuase I believe we have an amazing foundation and footprint to help develop great football players.  Although we want to win, we want to develope first.  Winning will come when these boys go to highschool and college.  Yes I agree that winning is also an amazing tool and teaches great lessons, but more important is that losing teaches even more and always re-enforces that lessons that were put forth.

Congrats to the parents and players from this years Little Pro Eagles of the MOT youth football program.  These boys had an amazing season and have come a long way and will be great next season when the return to the little pros or move up to freshman football.  The MOT Youth football program is in a great place and has some great coaches coming up in its ranks.  I am happy to be a part of it and always thankful that I get to play a part in teaching and developing young men into not just great football players but great people.

I want to personally thank the league and more importantly all the parents that stuck with us even when it didn’t look like things were working, I can tell you that once the boys excepted the lessons they began to win.  This was all set forth by the head coach Donnie.  He will never accept credit for doing great things but he puts in an amazing IMG_3364.JPGamount of time and energy each week to get these kids prepared to play football.  I know this because I am not just his assistant coach but his boss, so I see it everyday, literally every day.

Lastly I want to thank my wife for allowing me to assist in coaching these kids, it takes up some of my time from the family but she knows I truly enjoy it even thought I don’t have a dog in the fight.

 

Roy ” DOC” Halladay

Today 7 Nov 17 the world of baseball lost a great ambassador in Roy Halladay.  For me he was a representation of a great era of baseball in Philadelphia.  He was the guy you truly felt bad for when we didn’t get that World Series victory 2011.  He was a true professional and one of the most dominate pitchers I had the fortune of watching.  He is the type of player that you can’t replace, a truly great person.   He was a blue-collar pitcher that end his career in a blue collar town.

Doc you will be missed.

Leadership – It’s Different for Everyone

Leadership as a word has a definition, but the reality is that we all know that leadership is almost undefinable.  Everyone has their own take of what leadership looks like or what a leader is.  Some thrive in leading while others are just comfortable following.  Both are just fine and doesn’t mean your weak or arrogant if you choose to be one or the other.  I will attempt to tell you my thoughts on leadership in the following writing.   Again this is my defenition of what I look for in a leader and how I attempt to lead.  It doesn’t make it right or wrong just makes it my style.  Hopefully it sparks a conversation about your style and what works for others.  Trust me I want to hear about it.

I’ll start with my foundation of how I lead people.  My main focus and goal is to find out what motivates them or what makes the individual succesful in completing tasks.  I have watched over the years too many leaders attempt to make their subordinates act just like them and in the end it rarely worked out, unless that person has a similar personality.  Rather I find what makes them tick and conform to the varying styles of those I supervise.  This is a lot harder and can take a manager or leader out of their comfort zone.  I have always felt though that it is important for the leader to carry this burden rather than those who they supervise.  Although difficult it can produce amazing results.

My initial conversation with a new employee generally begins the same way,  I inform that we can all work as equals until your actions dictate other wise.  This just means that I won’t take the “I am your boss or superior” method until I truly need to.  I have found that this can help spark more conversation and allow those that you may supervise to have a little more ease when speaking.  They may have ideas and contributions to add that may be of help, but being scared to speak may shut them down.

I have a belief in professional arguments.  This happens a lot in today’s world but the biggest problem is that they can get personal.  Having a professional argument is healthy in many ways as long is it doesn’t get combative.  The main focus is that you can argue over one topic but be able to start all over again on a new one.  The world moves to fast to waste time holding on to long.  This again will be on the shoulders of the manager or leader.  It will be his or her responsibility to keep it civil, yet make the room calm after a passionate discussion.  You want to be able to have lunch with these people later on.

Loyalty and Respect are major factors and many times confusing.  Leaders tend to get caught up in that their subordinates must show them loyalty and respect because they allow them to work for them and they get a pay check each week.  Monetary compensation doesn’t create loyalty or respect.  These people work for you so you OWE them a pay check.  Loyalty is a two-way street just as much as respect is a two way street.  You can’t demand these without starting off with them.  Employees want to know that you are going to be there for them during tough times just as much as you would expect them to be there for you during tough times.  This takes many leaders out of their comfort zones.  You have to view these qualities as fluid items constantly moving.  Just becuase you showed respect or loyalty once doesn’t garner you the return for a life time.  The best part is that if you show loyalty or respect in small doses employees will return it in a large quantities.  It means a lot to them so hand it out.

Get past judging someone based off of their personality.  This is difficult, very difficult.  We have all had that guy or gal that we have worked with that everyone believes is weird, creepy, or just off a little bit.  This may be a opportunity to take on a surprising challenge.  We tend to shoot ourselves in the foot by turning people away because we can’t get past our first impression.  Yes people can be awkward, quirky, and just strange sometimes.  With that being said though we may be missing out on someone who is truly talented and just need to be mentored our guided into the right direction.  Remember at some point someone took a chance on you.

Stop trying to fix the weaknesses of grown adults.  We waste way to much time trying to fix individuals weaknesses and avoid improving their strengths.  It is much easier to improve something that is already working rather than slowly trying to fix something that doesn’t work.  If someone is a terrible public speaker they can slowly get better over time, yet if they are amazing at communicating on social media then allow them to be great there, and have some one else talk to the public.  Exposing weakness is counter productive and harping on them will not build up that personal equity that is so valuable.

You as a leader must constantly build personal equity in your subordinates and employee.  Small acts of kindness can build equity within an employee like you wouldn’t believe.  Don’t kill an employee over being late because their kid got sick and they had to drop them off at school one morning.  Relate to it and let them know it is okay.  This doesn’t mean you should allow someone to walk all over you or take advantage of your kindness but one incident shouldn’t be a determining factor of whether someone is going to be a good employee or not.  Things like letting people head home earlier becuase the snow is piling up builds equity.  Bringin in coffee and doughnuts builds equity.  Actually asking and truly caring about someones family helps build equity.  Personal equity is an amazingly strong trait to build in an company, and is irreplacable but quckly lost if taken advantage off.

As I stated in the beginning this isn’t a fail safe way to lead people or supervise.  It is just tools to add to a toolbox of managing styles and methods.   The best thing you can do is find what your great qualities are and work on making them better.  Continue to build personal equity with those that you work with, make them feel apart of something.  People want to be emotionally invested into what they are doing.  If they can’t do that eventually they will leave.  Remeber these are people, members of your community and in a lot of cases friends.  As a leader you should be constantly refining your craft and learning new and improved methods, also don’t be afraid to fail or make mistakes.  Create employess who are happy and invested, if you lose this side, or miss a chance to get them invested and you may miss out on something special.

Just my thoughts.

 

 

 

The Italian Job

Years ago I had the fortune of spending three weeks in Vicenza Italy.  The living conditions were ok, well actually kinda of shitty but that just made it that much more memorable.  The people weren’t to bad either, only a few times did we get hissed at.  Yeah hissed, you read that right.  They would hiss like fucking cats, weird but only a couple of people did it.  This trip changed my mind about wine also.  I thought that it only came in a box.  The food, the drinks, and the experience was amazing.  I’ll try to keep the story limited to the adventures of the 4 horseman.  This is a group of characters who have been friends for long time and all have contrasting personalities.  The group consisted of the following people:  DP KILLA, TAL, CHIZ, and Myself.  I have had many nicknames along the way and depending on who I was with it could change daily.  Some include MAC, Rizza, RIZ, and later down the road Thee Time Traveler.

TAL spent most of his days laying half-naked in his bed trying to get people to look at his newly formed hemorrhoid.  It looked like a tongue sticking out of his ass.  Nasty bastard.  When you got near his sleeping area he would be lying there in his red shorts rubbing his belly and would eventually ask if you were going to finish your food.  We had to continuously give the bear food and alcohol or he would get board and start to fuck with people.

DP Killa was our designated bus driver and would spend the day driving the bus all over Italy.  He didn’t know where he was going but didn’t care.  This man is the king of spontaneous and when he gets locked onto something he just goes with it.  Normally it involves convincing me that it is a good idea and it will totally work out.  I hesitate most times but eventually give in.  If I don’t give in then he just does it anyway.

Chiz is a different animal all together.  This oversized Grasian (Greek Asian) is normally good after a work out.  Not as spontaneous but once it gets alcohol in it, it becomes an uncontrollable machine.  He has a certain smile that will indicate he is juiced up and probably going to take his shirt off.  BIG Fucker.  TAL and Chiz are notorious for there fights.  At some point TAL will either ask or let Chiz punch or slap him in the face.  The Grasian never hits him as hard as he can out of fear that he would kill him.

Then there is me, the guy that gets pulled in all different directions usually ending in doing something with DP Killa.  TAL falls asleep early, Chiz gets nuts, and DP wonders off. I usually will wonder off with DP because our personalities are so close to one another.

It didn’t take us but a couple of days to get adjusted and start venturing out finding things to get into.  The area we were staying at was very rural and there wasn’t much around us.  The building that we stayed in was about two bricks away from being condemned and had no air conditioning.  Fuck it got hot in there.  The only good part about this was that it made us go find shit to do.

The first place we checked out was a small restaurant down the street that had awesome pizza and cheap wine.  Cheap in that it didn’t cost that much.  So like the heathens that we are we all got our own pies and wine and continued to get fat and drunk.  We basically acted like typical Americans or Vikings.  I assume to most other countries there isn’t much difference between the two.  The one lesson we learned at this small establishment was that tipping was almost offensive.  So we tipped anyway.  We would spend a lot of time at this place and enjoy every night that we got to sit outside and share stories and good times.

Most days also consisted of us traveling to a local winery and filling bottle after bottle of wine up.  Again there is an incredible amount of wine there and the locals treated it like we treat soft drinks.  I thought I was doing some real work when I got a couple of 750ml Bottles filled up when a local came in with a ten gallon bottle on a push cart.  Holy Shit this dude became my idol.

We did find another restaurant along the mountain side that served some pretty awesome food.  We weren’t to sure at what we were ordering because the Chef didn’t speak English.  So we just kept agreeing with him and he just kept bringing food.  Eventually the anti-pasta, pasta, seafood, and meat would run through me.  After the third course it was time for me to shit.  So i went in side and to my amazement the toilet was a squatty potty.  I eyed this thing up for a few minutes and then decided I would take this thing on.  Basically it is a porcelain plate on the floor with grippers on each side and a whole you have to aim down.  So I got totally naked except for my sneakers and aimed as best I could.  On the positive side I didn’t shit in my sneakers.

By far our favorite place to go was called the Blue Club.  This was, how do I put it, the greatest strip club I have ever been to.  Yes I go to gentleman’s clubs.  I am a grown ass man and enjoy a good time.  Judge me I don’t care.  I will not go into all of the details of what this place has to offer but what I can tell you is that TAL had a Romanian women he told he was going to marry, Chiz owed 300 bucks at one point, DP Killa was like a 12 year old, and I may or may not have fallen in love with an Italian Girl named, oh who cares what the hell her name was she was hot.  Sorry honey but I was young and impressionable.  Tal also managed to tickle the gigantic black stripper.  Yeah he was tickling a bouncer, all these women and here this asshole is having a goddamn tickle fight.

When we weren’t causing havoc at the gentleman’s clubs we would head over to Venice.  Traveling with TAL to any historical site is a huge ass mistake.  The king of being impatient he likes to travel as quickly as possible so he can get some where to lay down and nap again.  We got of a water taxi at San Marco square and TAL’s travel guide instincts kicked in.  Now, I had never been here before so I wanted to suck in a little.  TAL had seen it already so it was off to the races for him.  The other thing was that it was pretty touristy there and the goddamn birds were flying all over you.  So we quickly started hitting the ally ways and working our way back to where we had come from.  Along the way we saw some pretty neat stuff and finally stopped an ate along our journey.  More pizza and wine for the group.  Once done it was off again.  The walk was long and it was nice just to take in all the sites and history.

Another great place to go to was Verona where there is a smaller coliseum and Juliet’s balcony.  Yup that’s right Romeo and Juliet.  This place is littered with people trying to sell you junk and gypsies trying to steal shit from you.  Once past them though this is a very pretty town and has loads of history.  I didn’t take TAL to this one so it was cool Me and DP walked all over the place and DP took pictures like an Asian Tourist.

After three weeks of eating, drinking, and traveling we found ourselves broke, tired, and loaded with awesome memories.  I saw some amazing history, a great strip club, TAL Fish hooked Chiz in his mouth, Chiz slap TAL in his face, I used a squatty potty, and watched days and days of shenanigans.  There are far more stories I could tell but can’t because I have to protect the innocent and the guilty.  Plus I think this one is long enough for now.

 

She Quit!!!!!!!!!!!

It was a Tuesday afternoon like every other Tuesday.  I called to my wife since it was the end of the work day to find out what we were going to do for dinner that night.  I did not anticipate what she would say when she answered the phone, “I quit, I am so sorry but I quit.”  This cam with of course a lot of crying and that was pretty much the only tangible thing that I could make out.  I told her it was “Ok” and “No Worries.”   How could I be so relaxed, so nonchalant about this, my wife just quit a job she had been at for 8 years and cut our income in half in the blink of an eye.  How did we get here, how did she get so unhappy that the only thing she could think of was to quit.

Lets go back 8 years to figure out how we got to where we are now.  My wife was in between jobs looking for something new and fresh.  She wanted to find something that she could be excited about, something that she could be emotionally invested in.  For my wife it has never really been about money but more about the emotional investment from the company and something that she could be emotional about.  For her, when she goes all in she goes all in.  Her opportunity came to work for a company that had been around for a few years but was recently purchased by a young man who had talent and great vision.  He was a forward thinker and energetic but more than anything he was emotionally invested in the success of the company.  He was the son of the former owner when he purchased the company.  His vision was going to take the company to new heights.  My wife’s aunt worked for the company and was able to get her in working at an entry-level position.  She was excited and liked the idea of a smaller company and was happy to get back to work.  Once she got the job she knew that something was different about this place something refreshing something new.

It didn’t take long for her to begin to spread her infectious attitude throughout the company.  She finds the best in everyone and rarely sees their faults.  That job is left for me.  She would come home at night tell me how great here day was and was generally excited all the time.  She loved going to work and couldn’t wait to see what would come next.  Slowly she began to want more, she could see the company was growing and she wanted to provide more, she wanted to be a bigger piece.  For here she couldn’t figure out what she was going to do, what was she good at.  We talked and talked and she began to ask if I thought she was going to be good at sales.  To me it seemed like a no brainer.  Everything that I had ever saw was that the only natural talent you need to be a sales person was to personable and have the ability to network.  The light didn’t go off in my head it exploded.  I remember having conversations with her about how she was a natural at networking.  She didn’t know what I meant or how it translated.  Simply enough anywhere my wife goes she meets ten new friends, she as a way of making everyone feel important in the room and genuinely thinks everyone is awesome.  I explained to her that if she did the same thing over the phone then customers will come, the only she would need to do is learn the paperwork part, but gaining customers will be almost to easy.  Her boss was the one who originally saw some this and brought it to her attention.  It wasn’t much longer before they began grooming her to become a key player in the sales portion of the company.

Over the years she would come home either sad, frustrated, or excited about new opportunities.  We would sit and talk and figure out of to tackle her new objective.  If it was something she was struggling with we would game plan different approaches on how to over come it.  If she was struggling with being a women in a male dominated world, I would give her perspective on how man react and pursue things.  If she was excited we would toast and enjoy a great night-cap.

The times that she was frustrated was due to various factors, interpretations, or interactions.  One of her biggest gripes with he new-found job was that she felt like she always had to prove herself.  She felt like because she was a women that she always had to do more, always had to sell bigger, always had to be louder, always had to ensure that when something was done people knew she did it.  I didn’t really understand this too much, well because I am a man.  I didn’t have the advantage to see it from her angle so it was hard for me in the beginning to help her.  I would give her advice that I would give another man.  I started to realize that I am showing her how to do things as a man, this is counter productive because she isn’t a man.  You see if we both picked up the phone today and tried to sell the same thing to the same customer the interaction would be incredibly different.  Say the customer was a 45 plus year old man, instinctively in many cases the man will immediately reject the female voice for being unintelligent and weak.  He may try to outsmart her right out of the gate or in some cases be little her.  Same phone call and he hears a mans voice, he most likely will listen for some time and be more passive.  This is society, this is something that isn’t going change anytime soon.  So how do we work around that, she had to become smarter, quicker, and better on the phone.  She began making people feel important, got to know them personally, she began reading and learning new techniques.  She was in love, in love with the company and the vision, and the growth.

As time went on she began traveling more, becoming bigger part of the company, yet a hole began to grow.  She still felt like she had to prove herself, felt like no matter what she was always going to be a step behind, yet the path was invisible.  She couldn’t see where it was going, who was in the lead or how to catch up.  This invisible path was distracting, it made her unhappy, and she didn’t know how to put into context what this path was doing to her.  As the company began to grow to new heights, more employees, and more money, she began to felt the path getting longer, steeper, and more difficult to climb.  The personal conversations with her boss began to diminish, tempers from both sides began to increase, and the excitement dwindled.  The women who was excited to go to work everyday found that she didn’t want to go anymore.  Found that the invisible path was getting to steep, to hard to climb.  Her greatest champion now her hardest competitor.  She was constantly under the strain of ” Getting the Whale” but was not getting the guidance of how, but more the question of when.  She has customers lined up with major projects going forward yet it was time-consuming and never in her full control.  This makes it hard to succeed but the future was bright.  She was coming to a conclusion though that it didn’t matter now, the excitement was gone, the emotional investment was becoming to painful, she was unhappy.  This was never about the money for her, it was always about the emotional investment.

Just days before she quit her job the company had celebrated 25 years of being in business.  This was a major milestone for the company, it had survived some terrible economic times and was at its height, and on that night everyone smiled.  Even she smiled.  The smile seemed weak, and forced though.  Something was gone from inside, the spark had vanished, her time was coming to an end.  Just days later her and her boss would have an argument, not uncommon in the business world, but it was at that passionate moment she said those words, ” I QUIT.”  She cleaned out her office packed up her car and began to drive home.   The pain that she felt was almost the same pain you would feel if you had just split up with a long-term boyfriend or girlfriend, you knew it was going to hurt but it was the right thing to do.

The next day she would attempt to go back to the company, but it was over.  Things changed on both ends and the split would become mutual.  The pain on both sides will be there for a bit but both will overcome and move on.  She felt the initial pains, asking questions like what are we going to do, where am I going to go, what will I do next.  So now we plan, we take our time.  I consider her time at the previous company he education, she learned what it takes to succeed and fail.  Failure is a critical part of becoming succesful and now she has seen it.  Her next job has to be something that excites her, makes her passionate, and provides her emotional value.  Her biggest hurdle going forward will always be chasing the Invisible Path, chasing the challenges that she can’t see.  I know she will be great again, I know she will find her way, I also know that her infectious love for people is what will continue to make her amazing.  Her education at the former company didn’t just make her great, but taught me a lot as well.  It’s what drove me to write this, that I can see past the physical and gender differences that exist and try to find what is in the whole package not just how it’s wrapped.

Keep Challenging the Invisible Path, Keep Challengin Your Self, Always try to Fail, In the end you will Succeed.