It’s All in the Timing
If you are waiting for ” the right time” to take a risk, well, there never is a “right time.” But I suppose you can wait till most of the time is right. Risk, it’s been a big part of our pillow talk for the last five years now. My husband was the C.O.O. of a very successful used car dealership. He ran it as though it was his. In fact, when he began , sales were at 300 cars a month, when he left… 3,000. He was successful by the measure that society places on us through the emphasis of salary. We were invited to Superbowls, Espys, Finals games, you name it. But with all that came a price. There was very little down time, and family time. Our marriage and honeymoon was all of two days. No time, that was a constant haunt. Were we going to grow old and wonder where all of our time went? So even though we had everything, we had nothing. We came up with a “timing plan. ” When our last two kids graduate college , then we can open our dream lot and run it when we want. Until then we will put a whole lot of money away, so we can prepare for the big day. If we feel like closing to get to a function, or even a dinner date our ” Gone Boating” sign can be hung on the door. That was the plan.
But as the company my husband worked for grew and grew, it became less and less rewarding, as big corporate companies often miss the importance of appreciating its employees. Because when you own a company, you have to reward those that take you to the top. Give them Easter off so they can enjoy their time with their families. Be fair with pay plans. Help out with funeral costs if you are in position to do so, give back to your community so you can contribute to a positive future. No one should have to fight for those things to happen.
So the day came that he did it… He walked away from millions because he was just not finding the joy in what he did anymore. He walked away from security. It wasn’t easy but he took a risk. And it was perfectly ok with me. We started our little car lot, and made it fun. We enjoy interacting with each of our customers, something that gets lost in top corporate positions. We enjoy riding our classic cars to work. We enjoy inviting owners of classics to come by the lot and show us what they got. And the love we have for classics is what makes our car lot unique. Because while we love the classics , we mainly sell used traditional cars. We enjoy helping families out that may be on a tight budget. We give back to our local high school. And even though we are no where near where we were before, guess what? We are far beyond it. We have fun everyday because we get to hang out with each other, buy cars together, meet lovely people, and make positive contributions. He did not have to leave, and people have even said he was crazy to leave such a salary, but I say he would have been crazy to stay. You only live once. Taking risks is part of feeling alive. And when you have success as a result of risk it makes life worth living. If you ask me, my husband is as successful as he has ever been. I feel lucky to be part of this business and feel blessed for experiencing it with him.