Being There For People

Today is going to be a shortish post.  I’ve had a really rough 24 hours and I’m struggling to stay upright at the keyboard.

So what happened?

Last night, I went out for dinner with James Schramko’s community for his monthly meetup.  I hadn’t had lunch, so when I got to the pub, I quickly ordered a cheeseburger and fries and down with the group to catch up with a few of the regulars.

Normally, it’s a night where I’ll get home around 11pm, but my wife called me at 8:30pm and said my son needed something from the late night chemist – he’d been a bit under the weather for the last few days, so that call was not totally unexpected.

I got home around 9:30pm, settled in to watch some TV for an hour before bed and everything was fine.

Then around 10:15pm, I started feeling nauseous.

Really nauseous.

I’ll spare you the details, but from 10:15pm until 5:45am, I was praying to the porcelain god every half an hour like clockwork.

I might have snoozed here and there, but I couldn’t get comfortable so I was largely awake for the whole night.

After the 5:45am session, I felt a bit better so I managed to turn onto my side, put on my CPAP mask and go straight to sleep.

Then at 7am the alarm went off.

I had a HUGE meeting at work today starting at 9am and running all day through 5pm – more importantly, this is a deal we’ve been working on for six months solidly and have won, but today’s session was to walk through the contract terms.

Fun.  Fun.  Fun.

There was absolutely no way that I could not attend – I am the lead on the deal for our side and our client had people flying in from around the country for this all day workshop.

Cancellation was not an option – I was going to let too many people down.

So at 8:30am, I hopped in an Uber and made my way to the office.

It was a long and difficult day – the meetings went well, but going through a 400+ page contract, page by page, is arduous.  Throw in the fact that on two or three occasions, I had to leave the room because I was feeling sick.

By about 2pm, I was utterly broken.  I hadn’t eaten all day (still haven’t) and the only thing I could keep down was water.

I managed to push through to the end of the day and we made reasonable, albeit slow progress.

The best part was at 6pm when I got home, one of my colleagues sent me an email and said my effort today, when I was obviously really struggling, was heroic.  It was hard, but that kind of email makes it worthwhile.

I think having a rule like that where you do whatever you can not to let people down, is a pretty important part of being successful.

The easy answer today would have been to call in sick and pick through the consequences next week, but that would have inconvenienced so many people and put us under a ton of unnecessary pressure to close a $25m deal that didn’t need to be there.

And you also have to make sure you’re not letting yourself down.

Taking the easy way out would have been simple.  I could have sent an email, rolled over and went back to sleep.

Same with this post – in the 800+ days of doing this, without question, this is the closest day where I’ve been to just saying, “Sorry, not today” and skipping it.

But that would have been letting myself down, as well as some of you who look forward to these every day as well.

In my experience, the most successful people also have the broadest shoulders because they have built up a tolerance for carrying the weight of not letting other people down when it matters.

Something to think about.

Now, I’m going to bed.

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