Almost three years ago my youngest daughter wrote these messages on the whiteboard in my home office. I was unemployed for the second time in less than two years and she sensed that I was out of sorts, to say the least. I blogged about it on April 17, 2017, 12 Surprising Leadership Lessons I Learned From a Sixth Grader. You can see it on my web site at www.karolsafety.com. That message is still on my board today and still provides the inspiration that helped me to face the fear of unemployment.
I have never been one to set career goals or even have career aspirations. What I have done is to take advantage of opportunities. In particular, seeing opportunities in situations where a door seems to close.
As a follow up to the April 17, 2017 blog, I am happy to say that since being unemployed I have accomplished three goals that I didn’t think I was capable of. These accomplishments were so far outside of my capabilities and comfort zone that they qualify as impossible goals for me. I have started my own safety consulting business, completed a Spartan obstacle course race (actually 12 races now) and today became a published author.
Publishing a book is one of the most exciting moments of my work career and life. It was certainly worth the effort, discomfort and suffering it took to achieve a goal I thought was impossible.
The name of the book, Selling Safety, Lessons From a Former Front-Line Supervisor. I tell stories from my work career and share the lessons I learned about safety leadership and safety culture.
Why did I decide to write a book? Because I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned about safety as an hourly employee, supervisor, and 25-year safety professional. I wanted to share those lessons because I see some of the same mistakes being made today that I made as a supervisor so many years ago. I wrote the book with front-line supervisors and junior safety professionals in mind.
Beyond the reasons for writing my book, I learned, or in some cases relearned, lessons about success, inspiration, fulfillment, and motivation (it comes from the heart, not the head).
Here are some of the lessons I learned while writing my book:
It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds or appears. I also found that if you break a big goal down into small pieces, you find that those small pieces are often things you have accomplished before.
It’s not linear. In other words, I didn’t start writing in chapter 1 and end with the conclusion. Most goals don’t work like that either. Just get to work and it will work out.
Inspiration and creativity do not come from our normal routines. I went to different places to write. Sometimes a local coffee shop, but often I traveled to a favorite location in Florida.
It’s true, to achieve a goal you've never achieved before, you must do things you've never done before. Find people who have done it and benchmark. Identify the barriers and how to overcome them. Get outside your comfort zone. Above all, have an abundance mentality. In other words, no matter where you are in your career or life, look for opportunities for yourself and others. They are there!
I’m not sure what the next decade will bring, but I don’t doubt that it will be an exciting one.
My best wishes to you for the new decade.
My book can be found by clicking here.