There are times I wonder if I’m really just an incompetent in disguise. I don’t know if any of you ever feel that way, but during times of exceptional business challenges I sometimes feel like everyone else is smarter than me, that I’ll never make it, and that I should probably brush up on my “How to Say Would You Like Fries With That in 40+ Languages.” Then something happens that makes it all better. Sometimes it’s an event, sometimes it’s a person … and very occasionally, it’s validation from a surprise source. This has been one of those weeks.
The past couple of weeks have been especially tough. A pre-arranged family matter had me up in Canada for a week, at exactly the same time we rolled out the Trust Sandwich™ package and email. Leaving town at the launch of a big new product is just never a good idea, and between email challenges, staff challenges and travel challenges, I was pretty fried when I finally got back into town on Sunday. Monday I came in to face a mountain of things undone plus problems with a few client files. I wasn’t getting much new stuff done – just putting out fires and cleaning up messes. By Wednesday the 10% problems were overwhelming the 90% happy client ratio, and I was feeling pretty bleak.
Thursday I got a call out of the blue from my former boss, no less. Seems his clients have been emailing him about the Freddie Mac changes, and forwarding Diane’s email. But he doesn’t know anything about it, and can’t find anything on their website. He’s at a loss on how to respond, and wants to know what’s going on.
We talk for a bit about the press release (which he didn’t know about). We also talk about possible reasons for the move, and I bring up the new legislation pending, that overhauls the OFHEO into a new governmental agency, provides some homeowner relief and tightens up the rules around refinancing and foreclosures. Again, this is all news to him. Finally he asks about the Trust Sandwich, how it works and how the pieces fit together. I give him some information (he’s very smart and would figure it out on his own in any event), and we end the call.
I’m left thinking … how ironic. My former boss – the one who laid me off and started me on this whole business journey – is coming to me for information. Ain’t that a kick in the pants!
Well, wherever it kicked me, it worked. I went to my next appointment feeling better. By Friday morning I had figured out two complete new angles to the Trust Sandwich that make it even more effective, applicable to a much wider audience, and could potentially save people thousands of dollars. My company just shot out an email to over 500 people telling them about the new plan, and the responses are coming fast.
I’m not sure my ex-boss realizes what a catalyst for change he is in my life. Heck, I’m not quite sure why he is, either. I suppose it could be me just trying to prove to him (myself, really) that I was good enough all along. Whatever the reason, I’m grateful. He helped me end the week on a high note, and with renewed faith in myself. I’ll take it.