Norna OBrien Godfrey, ON, Canada
Wow! After reading and listening to this chapter, I realize that I have much work to do! My late husband had all of the ideas for the businesses we ever owned. I became the workhorse and made his ideas come to life. I remember feeling a little jealous and wishing I had that ability to come up with the ideas, but my life was busy carrying out all of the day-to-day chores that were required to make the businesses work. e.g. all of the administrative work involved, designing forms and inserts for our environmentally friendly cleaning cloths, keeping the books in order, booking home, car and bike shows to demonstrate how well the cloths worked, filling orders received from our website, looking after the banking, etc. etc... finding contracts and booking appointments for our asphalt sealing and repair and line painting company and helping with the physical side of the work as well as the office work; looking after the PR for our vending business, cleaning up the route as it had not been looked after by the previous owner and assuring the customers that I would be someone they could depend on and to keep the machines in their establishments. I spent the first year cleaning up, replacing where required and restocking 1100 single vending machine heads, showing up every month to build their trust, being at the office every day for our wholesale business, doing administrative duties, taking orders, ordering product, paying bills, sometimes putting in 12 hours a day by the time we got the truck loaded for the next day deliveries and selling some of our products at the flea markets on weekends. When I think back, I understand why when my husband was gone and my father, whom I looked after for almost ten years, was gone, I felt empty. It is a hard feeling to describe, but after being so busy all of those years looking after businesses, family, and home and then having it all gone, it felt like having a rug pulled out from under me and I was forced to thinking about all of the time I did not take to look after myself as I should have. But ... better late than never!
This chapter took me back to my childhood and being taught amazing work ethics by our father. I remember doing dishes and housework and he would inspect it all and if not done to his standards, had to do it all over until we learned to do it right the first time. He taught us that we "had to find a job and work hard for anything you want in life", but was not encouraged to imagine what I would like my life to be or to think about finding something we would love to do on our own and build ourselves. Back then we were told to "keep our heads out of the clouds and stay grounded".
It was refreshing for me to read that our imagination never goes away or dies but just goes dormant from not being used and can be awakened. I feel like I have quite a journey ahead of me and I am excited to learn more about what I am capable of once I learn all of the steps required to do this and how to discipline myself to put them into the actions required to make them work.