Sunday, June 08, 2003

Teaching/Learning by Example

Back in 1999 I was published in Fast Company Magazine which was the vehicle to create many lasting relationships and choices which would eventually change my life. In '99 I was an associate of a large firm based out of Edmonton, Alberta....a collaborative of trainers in every field you could ever think of. An amazing group of people to be in company with and when the founder asked me to join I was on top of the world.

And then the article in Fast Company....a call from someone who I think is an extraordinary man, Paul Wieand who, after we brainstormed for a while asked me "Why are you with that firm? You need to be out on your own, because that's how you're going to put your mark on the world". And I did. The very next day I began the process of creating my own company and network of Coach/Trainers with whom to collaborate with.

From that point on, I never looked back.

A few days ago, I accompanied my son to the loan officer at the bank to apply for a loan for grad school and was amazed when he told her something to the effect that "most entrepreneurs start out and don't make it past the first year. My mother went out on her own and people are knocking down her door to work with her".

I never thought otherwise. I truly believe that if you start out thinking of all the reasons why your business or company might fail, it will....just as if you believe you'll make it happen it will.

More important to me was the validation that my son was learning by example. Even if I wasn't successful, I put myself out there and he too is beginning to follow the same path. I'm not telling him what to do, he's watching me, how I go about things, the people (as he says) I accumulate in my life which makes it so rich and full....and how there's always a way to make things happen.

When we stagnate, not only do we feel it but all those around us see it as well. It's not easy to go after our dreams, especially when many in our lives are experiencing some kind of difficulties. Human nature tells us we shouldn't be doing so well and talk about it if the important people in our lives are experiencing challenges. But when you stop to think you teach by example....what bigger gift can you give than that of the spark of possibilities in their minds and hearts so they too take that first step?


Donna Karlin

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