I have traveled a lot of places, but for the last three years, my favorite place has been my rocking chair on the porch in Live Oak, at dawn on a Saturday, with hot coffee and a pair of bird watching binoculars.
An hour after the sun comes up, I feel at peace, yet energized. I do a lot of reflecting in that hour.
For some reason lately I have been reflecting on the fact that my business is about to enter its fourth year. In some ways it feels like I just started, and in others, it feels like I have been doing this for a long time. As part of my reflection, I recently remembered a humorous speech I gave in 2007 about the culture shock I experienced switching from corporate life to the life of a small business owner.
I am not Catholic, but I used Confession to provide a framework for my speech. I hope my Catholic friends will not be offended – no disrespect is intended. This is about reflection and, I hope, is in the spirit of a confession. It went something like this:
“Father, I have sinned. This is my first confession. It has been said that the devil’s in the details. Well, I have seen that devil, and it is me. Father, three months ago, I had no worries about technology, and assistance with minutiae. I had a human for voicemail, mobile Starbucks outside my window, subsidized health insurance, a salary, and expensive art in my office.
“But Father, I saw the shiny apple of entrepreneurship and I had to take a bite. The Siren’s song of personal freedom beckoned to me and I went hither. Father, I have done strange and terrible things ever since. I have foolishly believed I have secretarial talents. I attempted to create my own filing system and now cannot find things. A mound of paper scraps of ideas cries out for my scatterbrained attention.
“Like squirrels in my yard, I dash to a different duty every 4 ½ minutes. In fact, after I have climbed the tallest tree, I remember that I left an acorn at the bottom. Once I’m back on the ground, I can’t remember why I went there. Just as I find what I was looking for, the phone rings. It’s Joe with another acorn for me. Do I go get the nut or (winter’s coming), make a safe place for it first? I know, I’ll do both at the same time. I’ll be Super MultiTasker Squirrel! But Father, could I just end up Super Skinny Squirrel, exerting all of my energy and never enjoying my acorns? Is this good for my humility?
“Father, should I also be confessing how I don’t miss my bosses? Or mind-numbing meetings that go nowhere? That I now hit the Send button without further review by a five-person committee?”
Now, three and a half years after that speech, I would add, “Should I confess that I sleep so much better?”
Off and on for the first three months that I was “in business,” I wondered if I had made the right choice. Since then, though, I realize the choice was one of the most challenging, but one of the best decisions I ever made.
I’ve heard that confession is good for the soul. And I guess it must be true.