An old friend/business acquaintance of mine shook my hand and said
"I hear you've got a new title."
Oh Yeah? What's that?
He said something to the effect of: "I'm glad it's you."
I've got a title.
"So what," you say?
I'll tell you what, after 25 years of working for myself, someone
finally gave me a title.
For years and years I've been unhappy with my work and I've tried
to change things for so long I can't even remember when I started
trying to "fix" it.
I've worked in a business that generates huge swings in my income,
and that in and of itself has created more than its share of stress.
For more years than I can count, I've worked on changing things
so that I could have a more stable income.
When I started in the financial services business 25 years ago
I was trained by a company that had/has a sales and consulting process
that is second to none. It's so good in fact, that I still use the
basic process today that I learned 25 years ago. Let's call those
folks Company X. While I was there I was the first person to purchase
a personal computer and I started working creating my own version
of the Company X planning process.
Frequently it happens that once you train someone in a "process"
they decide to break off on their own and "be their own boss."
Unless you've been there, few understand the frustrations that come
from working for that S.O.B, but sure enough, after 5 years at Company
X, he became my boss.
About 10 years ago a good friend of mine put together a group of
former employees of Company X and they put their money together
and had me hire a computer programmer so that I could "share"
the work that I had done with the group. It was a win win deal for
all of us, for I got improvements to the software that we all used,
and we created a private label version of the Company X process.
The "process" has served me well over the years working
with my existing and any new clients that came along my path. Somewhere
in that time frame I flew all over the United States trying to sell
that private label software and my knowledge, but until the middle
of 2001 I could find no takers. Then along came a great consulting
opportunity with a firm in Boston that repackaged some of that material
and for a while I was really cooking with gas. However, when that
party died earlier this year I became more than a bit anxious.
During the months of May-June I thought that I might have just
found a perfect opportunity to merge my business with another firm
located in Colorado. I needed the change, and I really thought that
this might be a great opportunity both on a business and personal
Well, the Colorado venture turned out to be a disaster. Truth be
told, even though I "knew" in my head that it was best,
I was still very disappointed, and disillusioned to boot.
In late September I ran completely out of gas, but as there was
really no choice but to step out and walk, I did.
Committed to staying in town while my son finishes his last 2 years
of High School I was happy to find an ad on Monster.com for a position
in town that needed all of my skills. In order to apply I had to
create a Monster resume since the firm with the position open was
not revealing their identity. As I finished the site asks if it
is OK for other employers to see your resume, so I clicked "OK."
I never heard from the local CPA firm that wanted a Regional Director
of Financial Planning, but I did hear from a couple of others that
I blew off within seconds. Everyone wants you to sell, no one really
wants you to "plan"
I went back into Monster and changed the objective on the resume
to read NO SELLING.
Then I got a call in October.
We played phone tag for a while and I agreed to meet for lunch,
just to "talk." I was very very suspicious, and very reserved.
Most of the time we talked cameras and agreed to meet again to discuss
just what it was that I "do," especially with the re-engineered
process from Company X.
I've not said a word about this in here, perhaps because I was
so disappointed about the way things turned out in Colorado. But
the long and short of it is that we have met 4 or 5 more times and
have ironed out a "position" and an offer that I really
I still shake my head when I think about it, not just because of
the magnitude of it all, becoming the "employee" rather
than the employer, but how this whole thing has happened. After
all these years of knocking on doors, someone knocked on mine. Instead
of telling me that I wasn't worth X, (Colorado) they agreed to start
me at X plus the potential of a bonus of up to another X. And in
addition, any income from my existing clients is mine to keep.
I've already attended my first "staff" meeting in the
new organization and it seems that the fit will work out quite nicely.
Lately every time I've thought about this whole process
I've been reminded of a section of scripture that I memorized in
Hebrew a long time ago:
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
Ecclesiastes 1: 5-7
After all those years of trying, the one company that saw the value
of my "reinvented wheel" turned out to be the place where
I started, 25 years ago.
So far I've been accepted back into the organization
with open arms, especially by some of my associates who have remained
there the entire time I have been gone. It was one of them who gave
me my "title" at the company Christmas party a couple
of weeks ago.
Regional Director In Charge of Fixing Everything
That Is Broken Around Here
Kinda long for a business card doncha think?