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The Great Do Over with opportunity

If I’m playing golf for fun with a group of friends and hit a bad shot, I like it when they say, “Take a mulligan.” That means a do over. I remember in school, occasionally most of the class would not do well on a test. Our teacher went over the material again and then said, “We are going to have a do over on that last test.” Occasionally after a health scare we get the opportunity for a do over. We can choose to change our life style.

Life is full of decisions. Some decisions may seem important at the time like what movie should we see. (when the theaters are open) If we choose the wrong movie the impact on our life will be minor. Other decisions require more thought and have greater consequences. Like, what should our career be? Who will be our life partner? Where will we live? What kind of relationships do we want with our family, friends and especially our spouse?

In one of my Learned Leadership programs, I tell the participants most decisions are made on emotion and justified by logic. I use the example of a love relationship. As an engineer, I believe I’m a very logical individual. I try to gather information and weigh the facts before making a decision except when it came to my wife of 45 years, Lynnda. The decision to marry her just felt right. It was emotional. Attendees over the years felt the same way when it came to love except for one gentlemen. He told us he took a yellow legal pad and wrote on one side all the reasons to marry her and on the other the reasons not to. Very logical. I was surprised. Then he added, “I have been divorced twice. I didn’t want to screw this one up.” He chose to get married. I wonder how it worked out.

Whether we like it or not COVID-19 has given us all an opportunity for do overs. We probably wouldn’t have chosen some of the do overs, like jobs lost and businesses closed, some permanently. One of the most important things about a do over is to make it count. When I hit my first golf ball into a lake I hate it when my next shot follows it into the lake. During COVID-19 I know families that had dinner together for the first time in months. Some families began spending quality time together and couples began to communicate instead of talking or shouting. They have a do over and an opportunity to improve their relationship. They get to decide if they will allow things to go back to the old normal.

If you lost your job or your business was forced to close this is a major do over. There are no easy answers. What I can share, is sometimes the thing we thought was horrible created an opportunity. When my employer chose to leave me (lay me off) over four years ago it hurt. It also probably saved the jobs of two younger employees. Lynnda and I went through some financially challenged months before Shale Crescent USA and I found each other. My employer ended up going bankrupt a few months after they laid me off. What looked like the worst thing created one of the best and most fulfilling opportunities of my life.

You might recall the 1970s show The Six Million Dollar Man. After Col. Steve Austin (Lee Majors), the main character, was injured in a skydiving accident, the show opened with, “We can rebuild him…Better, stronger, faster.” If we are going rebuild our businesses or get a new job we can to do the same. Look for the opportunity in adversity. For professional speakers and trainers COVID-19 was an equalizer impacting all businesses when meetings canceled. Everyone is starting over. Live presentations are becoming virtual. If speakers learn how to be effective on the virtual platform they can now generate revenue speaking and training all over North America without leaving their office. It takes preparation.

I struggled with this change until Lynnda and I realized the opportunity. At this point in our life we don’t want to spend our time flying all over the country. I avoided marketing our Learned Leadership speaking and training outside the Region. My focus is with Shale Crescent USA. I am passionate about our mission to bring high wage jobs back to our Region and making a positive difference in people’s lives. I can live my passion with Shale Crescent and still do training or a dinner keynote virtually in Florida, California or Toronto without leaving our home office.

COVID-19 exposed our country’s weakness of depending on sources outside of U.S. for many critical items especially medical products and PPE. It gave us an opportunity to bring high wage manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. by manufacturing those products in our Region. It also created a marketing opportunity on radio for us to tell the Shale Crescent USA story across the country. We are using platforms like Zoom to do presentations for marketing. We can reach people all over the country without leaving the office. We don’t get many do overs in life. We need to take advantage of them. Can you use yours to create better relationships? Can you learn from past mistakes to create a more profitable business? Can you have a happier life? Look for the opportunities. Change your future and those around you for the better. Thoughts to ponder.

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Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert and the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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