You lose 100% of the time when you don’t try. When you don’t ask, when you don’t put yourself out there, when you don’t give 100% at work or in the gym. The biggest cop out is not to begin.
They say the more things change, the more they stay the same.
This might be true. Then again, sometimes your life changes in just an instant.
And out of this pivotal moment you may think: ‘Gee, I wish I hadn’t gone down this path that has led me to this calamity.’
Or you may think: ‘Is this really happening to me? How lucky am I?’
Or, in my case: ‘That was too easy.’ Maybe the next one will be harder?
Business relationships are like dating. Kind of a lot like dating. Especially because in business if you have resources it’s very very tempting to do everything yourself. Because you can, and it’s easier, and there’s none of this ‘can I trust these people; can they deliver,’ etc. In my position as medium-sized company trying to get big, looking for partners makes sense.
But which ones, and why? More importantly, what’s in it for them?
You have your initial meetings. These are kind of like getting introduced by friends or meeting at some random place. Sometimes you are, in fact, introduced by other companies, or friends in the industry. Then you realise it’s going somewhere and it’s about to get serious.
Then the nervousness begins: do they REALLY like me (insecurity)? Who else are they talking to (jealousy)? Can I really trust them (fear)? Are we really doing things that are in the best long-term interest of both parties or are we missing something (doubt)?
Trust your instincts. My gut has so far, always been correct. When I try and force what I want to happen over what my gut tells me is the reality of the situation OR just what other people want that’s not aligned with my own desires, then it’s been a mess.
Every. Single. Time.
I had what can really be best described as a work date on Thursday night. Took out a potential new business partner to dinner at The Roundhouse (as one does when one is trying to show off). And hell if I wasn’t as nervous as I have ever been on any date, EVER! Sheesh. Luckily I’m charming, at least when I’ve had a glass or two of wine.
I should say, though, that it was an effort to get my charming mode on. I was feeling under the weather. I am going to start calling it Jozi flu. I go to Jozi, have a whirlwind of fun & excitement, then come back to Cape Town and immediately get sick for 2-4 days. Not sick sick … just under the weather and not wanting to train. I woke up Saturday morning, after a massive struggle to get out of bed, and got as far as putting on my CrossFit clothes and socks, and had my shoes halfway on before I realised: I don’t actually feel that well, I have no desire to train, oh yeah and that shoulder does need good chunks of rest throughout the rehab programme. So I changed into civilian clothes and made myself breakfast.
See, I am getting smarter. Slowly. So no gym pictures this post, ha!
So my beautiful friend Hes is getting married. I love Hes because she’s kind and genuine, and wow to listen to her: she takes much more seriously than I do the experience of the new girls coming into the CrossFit gym, and she takes so much more seriously her personal transformation.
For me (see above post), it’s sort of like: ‘Oh ok yeah I’m no longer an overweight couch potato. OF COURSE I’m one of the best athletes in this small region I find myself in. How do I get better?’ It’s a sort of mix of not being satisfied with the current condition but also not doubting too much there current position in which I find myself. Hes gets excited when I, an athlete she considers elite, compliments her muscles in a photo.
Just another reminder: careful what you say, and how you say it. People are listening, as my pal Chris reminded me not so long ago in London.
Back to Hes. She’s beautiful inside and out, and she’s also very much one of those WYSIWYG people that I love so much. Plus, her friends are cool. Her friend Samantha, down from Pretoria this weekend, is another amazing girl. I am so blessed with cool women in my life right now. For a girl who was always mostly just a tomboy, in my growing maturity I’m now appreciating women. The smart, insightful, non-weird ones that is (cuz girls can be weird, mostly by not saying what they think. Boys can be weird too, actually usually for the same reason!!).
I am so happy for Hes that she’s getting married to someone who is definitely the right person for her. Well, they are perfect for each other. You know sometimes people get married and you just think: ‘This is probably not going to work’ but no one wants to be the messenger of the truth. Of course just because the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes doesn’t mean being the messenger is a fun task! But then people like Hes & Ryan get engaged, or my friends from Ask Jeeves days, Dave & AJ. You see those people and you just think: yes.
I’m especially appreciative of the women because of all the men I have in my life. Mostly the competitive CrossFitters are men, mostly the people in my industry are men, even most of the people in my company are men and I am definitely not making gender-based hiring. Not that I don’t love men, because I do, and even a lot of aspects of my own personality are very male-oriented, but you need balance in your life, and finding balance through your girlfriends is an excellent way.
This musing has nothing to do with National Women’s Day. Just randoms.
Jozi flu aside, I did have a pretty productive week. Getting to the bottom of things is always … interesting. But it was a great week! Got to see Henk briefly, who I love to catch up with because I can explain things to him in five minutes and he just gets it. Quite a few other business development meetings, some internal tactical stuff, and, the beginnings of some coaching. I need someone to keep me honest. Also, asking the right questions is key. I realised that to make what I want to have happen, happen, I only need to have one domino fall, and the rest will fall into place. I also learned that I need to stop talking and start making a plan to focus on what is really important.
Unrelated but also true: I am loving my new CrossFit programming. I can see not only that it works, but how it works, and also it’s FUN. And if it’s not fun, why do it? But if I want to get better I need to control the one thing that is now out of control, and that is my stress level. Even good stress is stress on the body, and stress takes its toll.
This weekend was a public holiday weekend. I pretty much took a holiday as well. Resting, changing light bulbs (!), lunch on a wine farm with my wonderful, inspiring, amazing friend Riaan, braai with Hes & some of the rest of the Ballistix crew. Going out to the winelands and Somerset West just makes me happy. There’s something magic in the air in Stellenbosch, especially with snow on those mountains, and the view of the Strand from the Somerset West hills. Magic, I say. Saturday, I went out of my way to see a dear friend of mine, Jo, who lives relatively far from me but I always love seeing her. Plus I love the drive down the peninsula where she lives.
Sunday, today, back to work.
My cat is fine, by the way. I think the cleaner accidentally locked her out. It was so hard for me, feeling like I’d just gotten a message from a dead cat in my dream to be more appreciative, to come home and have my cat be missing on a stormy Tuesday night. I just knew she was outside (as opposed to dead) but it was dark, and raining, and she can’t hear very well anyway, and you can’t just go climbing about across people’s backyards at night, it’s not safe. So all I could do was go to sleep.
That’s another thing. Sleep. When I go to Joburg I don’t sleep well. Altitude affects different people differently. Up there, I wake up after five hours, on the dot, and can’t get back to sleep. It’s the electricity in the air.
It may be a South African version of Los Angeles, and I can understand why on the surface Cape Town is far superior in terms of majestic beauty, lifestyle, wine farms 45 minutes away …. Well, I’ve decided what I want. I want it all.
And when I really want something, I do try to make a plan.
- “I know more about telecoms than roads; promise!” – Peter
- “I’m going to meet with them.” “Ooh. You like to live dangerously.” – Ellie & Jeff
- “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that and just go back to my email.” “Ooh. Denial. I like it.” – Ellie & Anita
- “They make routers that just aren’t very good at all.” – Jeff (I’ve taught him well!)
- “The company that drinks together stays together.” “As long as no one takes pictures.” – just two Skyrove employees
- “I could answer those questions if you ask them one at a time.” “That was only one question.” – Jeff & Ellie
- “I don’t compete at drinking unless you challenge me.” – Ellie
- “I need to prep for dinner.” “Who are you having dinner with?” “This guy.” “Are you cooking?” – Ellie & Adam
- “I trust people until they give me a reason not to. But this is making me start not to trust people as much.” “That’s not a good thing.” “Or maybe it’s a very good thing.” – Ellie & Jeff
- “They are crazy!” – my secret date
- “They’ll lose two years.” – my date again
- “That’s peacocks.” “Oh…. I thought it was people.” – Riaan & Ellie
- “Either we will break Ellie, or Ellie will break our device” – Riaan (or both!)
- “It’s the most fun game there is.” – Riaan
- “Too late.” – Neil
- “They have an axle?” “They have two.” – Neil & Ellie
- “Not just a pretty face.” – Samantha
- “You lose 100% of the deals you don’t know about.” – Ellie