Can you show appreciation for the age you are while turning back the clock?
Wasn’t it just yesterday?
Today was a day of relaxation. When working from home our business can literally run us ragged if we allow it to. Learning the balance of work, home and play in running an auto transport business can be tricky. After six years though, I have finally found a nice balance. It works for my husband and me; it might not work for others.
After we came home from our church meeting, we relaxed with a nice lunch. Hubby wanted quesadillas and I dined on a scrumptious, small meal of scrambled eggs and a little salsa. It is fun watching those scales reverse direction (smile, smile and giggle) and the size of my clothes get smaller.
Knowing that I had a newsletter to write, I took just a few minutes to check FaceBook. Our daughter and family are on vacation and we keep in touch that way. The pictures she posted really touched me. It was like yesterday that we were taking family vacations with our kids as they are now.
I started to get a little melancholy then I remembered…I should show appreciation for where I am in life. By showing respect for the process of aging, we will honor our elderly parents. The sum of our experiences will make our life full, complete.
However, if you are like me I do not want to look old. You know what I am talking about, right? Aging causes many things, some good some not so good like wrinkles, memory loss and sickness in some cases. I do not mind getting older, I just do not want to act nor look it.
No, I am not a vain person; I just want to be all I can be for as long as I can be it…makes sense right? I want my cake and eat it too. I want to feel good, be able to play on the floor with my grandkids, go camping and swimming. My desire is to teach my grandkids what lifestyle can be when building a business and working hard to achieve goals.
Your business and your baby
When we started our auto transport business, you could say we treated it like our newborn baby. Up early we would work hard all day and into the evening hours. Six days a week, we kept that schedule for several years.
We made great money, developed a solid clientele and our database of preferred truck drivers grew. Our friendships blossomed, as we have gotten to know many of them in person, dining with them. Auto transport brokers and dispatchers became like business partners as we worked together to find the best owner-operators out there to serve our clients.
There were so many positive aspects to our business when it was young, but there were some negative things too. Looking back as the business began aging, we started learning from our mistakes. Our appreciation for lifestyle began to rise up. We figured out that making all that money meant nothing because we did not have time to use it.
With that realization, we began to adjust our office hours. While in the auto transport office, we worked more efficiently. I realized that when I worked for the bank we took breaks. It was not easy, but I made myself get up often and take breaks, even if just to walk outdoors for a five minute retreat. Now, this is what I envisioned working from home would be like.
Appreciation for growing pains
Looking at the pictures of our grandkids, I realized it would not be long before they will be teenagers. Time flies by when we have our heads down and are building a business. One day we look up and wonder where the time went. The kids are off doing their own thing and we wonder when they became independent.
This is the time when we figured out that family is more important than any business. As the grandkids each came along, we were thankful and appreciated that our auto transport business allowed us the flexibility to travel when we wanted to. We no longer had to forfeit those early years when they grow so fast. Now I could share my life with my clients and work the hours I wanted to.
However, I had to pay the price those first few years. We had to earn the right to build the life we had envisioned. Looking back, it was so worth the growing pains, we would do it again in a heartbeat.
Mature and aging like our elderly parents
The stage we find our business in now is like our elderly parents. Wisdom comes with experience and can be stable. It is always nice to diversify to keep the passion burning and the environment exciting. If you know me at all, you know I get bored easily. To do one job day in and day out for forty years is not my cup of tea.
Do not take offense if you have been in a job for a long time. I commend you; it takes dedication and perseverance to achieve that milestone. My husband was like that. He worked for a local lumber mill for thirty years before the mill sold. He then worked for a local friend in a one-man mill (my husband was the one) for over eight years.
During those years, he helped the owner build the company to employ six other employees and he headed the crew. Finally, he worked for the original company that sold out for another four years before retiring.
My point is this each of us is different. We all have strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. I would die if I were to work a job as my husband did. Likewise, he would keel over if he had to talk with people as I do. We compliment each other. Once we found our balance, our flow our home business became the lifestyle we dreamt about for a long time.
So for today I will not be melancholy looking at my family’s vacation pictures. Instead, I choose to work on my “to-do” list in the office. This is the schedule that has allowed us to travel whenever we want to. By using a little yellow caplet, we are turning back the hands of time and “anti-aging” instead of aging.
We are fully appreciating the way God has set up life, from infancy to elderly parents. Each stage of life and business is full of adventure, excitement and living. It is up to each of us to show appreciation for the age we are, the stage our business is at and the life we have designed for our family.
We need your help! We can’t do what we do without you. Leave your comment below and join in the discussion. We’d love to hear your thoughts about the stage you are in.
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Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.