It was all off to a good start when the chauffeur-driven black Escalade arrived way early at my house...
"Ms Shaw, please take your time getting ready and then we'll get you to the airport."
Sitting in the back of the limo I finally took a deep breath knowing my children Will and Olivia would have a great week with our former Swiss nanny who had arrived just the night before from Switzerland with armfuls of chocolate.
But just as I was about to board my first flight to North Carolina, the challenges began. An hour delay meant I would miss my connecting flight and have little chance of making it to a very important meeting the next day.
Why is it when things start to go wrong, they seem to go really wrong? There was only one loud-mouthed passenger on the plane and she ended up just one seat away AND wanted to talk at me non-stop once she discovered I was from England. Next a rather large (I'm being diplomatic) man squeezed in between us. But that didn’t put off the loud-mouth passenger – she gabbed at me for 4 hours straight, pausing only to catch her breath – impressive but highly irritating! To top it off, the large fellow trod on my handbag and crushed my glasses case!
Arriving in Charlotte my connecting flight to Hilton Head was then cancelled but I was able to get the last seat on an alternative flight to Savannah. After boarding that flight was cancelled too. So a cheap airport hotel was my remaining option and I remained upbeat until I discovered that my suitcase would not be spending the night with me.
Time to get resourceful and I managed to sweet talk the shuttle driver into taking a detour so I could pick up some late night emergency supplies. Amazing how appreciative you are of wet wipes and a toothbrush at moments like this!
Three and a half hours sleep and then it was back to the airport to get the first morning flight to Savannah with a limo waiting to drive me to Hilton Head. Whew. I finally made it.
So what on earth does this have to do with building a business? More than you might think.
When we start any business, we always start out full of enthusiasm. Being eager to reach your destination is the easy part.
But let’s face it. You’re essentially guaranteed that a number of challenges will show up in one way or another. It's how you handle them that is important. Do you get flustered and frustrated and want to give up? Or do you become more resourceful and find another way? Do you just get irritated with others around you when things go off track? Even though that might ruin any hope of getting that extra help or favor you really need to get you to your final destination? The ability to remain positive, resourceful and resilient when faced with adversity are both key life and business skills.
The middle part of any journey will always be full of ups and downs and twists and turns but it sure feels fabulous when you finally arrive at the destination in style!
So just breathe and try to enjoy the journey. It's all good. You’ll be fine. You’ll get there. I finally did.
Oh but do send me positive wishes for my suitcase arriving too....