Who are you?

blog post 8Building my business was hard. At times, it was overwhelming, discouraging, and frustrating. But it was worth every bit of work, energy, and sleepless night. Because if it weren’t for my business, I may not have ever learned who I really am.

Last week I wrote about Kenneth Blanchard’s stages of success. I mentioned that Lana and I really struggled to get through the Dissatisfaction stage. It took us quite awhile to develop the attitude that we needed to get through that phase, but we did it. And, oddly enough, I think one of my biggest motivators was a statistic that I heard on television one day. The show said that the person who stays home with his or her kids will spend more time with them by the time the child is three, than someone who has a nine-to-five job will over eighteen years. When I heard that data, I just sat there, stunned, thinking about the implications.

Later that day, I told Lana that I really felt like we had to make a change. I told her about the findings, and that I couldn’t stand the idea of missing out on so much of my children’s lives. In the end, we decided that the answer was to continue building my business. If we succeeded, it offered the best of both worlds—time with my family and the financial freedom to do many of the things we wanted to be able to do together.

So Lana and I decided to reapply ourselves and really go for it. We refocused and pushed through the Dissatisfaction stage. And it wasn’t easy. We didn’t see much success in the first couple of years, and throughout the third and fourth years, we were still constantly learning lessons.

But I’m grateful for those lessons, because they made me who I am. As I struggled to make important business decisions, I would often find myself asking, “who am I?”. And at times, that was a difficult question to answer. But eventually I figured it out. I knew that, in a perfect world, I would spend all day at home, with my wife and children. But I also knew that ultimately, I wanted to be a better man. I wanted to show my son how to take care of himself, to build character, and to be kind. I needed to set an example.

When I realized this, I knew I had hit on something important; I had discovered my life’s purpose. Once I figured that out, things began to happen for me. Because I had a goal that I could envision, I was able to keep my attitude focused and positive. I began to make decisions with that goal in mind, so every choice I made brought me closer to achieving it.

I mentioned earlier that building my business was often overwhelming, frustrating, and discouraging. But despite the challenges, the journey was also exciting and rewarding. Best of all, it helped me discover my life’s purpose. And I’m not sure that I would have figured that out if building my business had been easy.

16 thoughts on “Who are you?

  1. Hi Claude,

    Thanks for the insight. I think the dissatisfaction stage is one that also develop’s character, attitude and strength. I don’t know how long mine will be but with so many changes & challenges personally along this journey (and a journey is what it is) it will one day be a great victory. I look forward coming out the other side as I know the true reward is my own growth. God has granted the strength and great leaders like yourself have shown the possibilities. I can’t say made the path as for everyone their struggles will be different.
    May we help those understand it’s just a stage! As when you know there is an amazing light at the end the length doesn’t matter!

    God Bless
    Chad

  2. Hi Claude,
    Thanks for those early days and all since for it is in finding your life’s purpose that Many are and will find their purpose.
    I have found my life’s purpose and am so thankful for all you do Claude and Lana!!
    Thanks
    Barry
    About Changing Lives

  3. Thank you!
    I’ve found the something more… and will!
    The thin threads, those gifts from heaven that knit life together… I thank God for them.

    Steve

  4. Thanks Claude! This has been the best, most educational, satisfactory journey I have ever been on. Just in how our relationships have changed in our home as well as outside our home. It is amazing and I don’t know where we would be without it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the inspiration that you both are in our lives. Let the journey of growth and change continue!!
    Charlie and Lucy;)

  5. Claude,

    Thank you for your continued transparent teachings. Thank you for always letting us know that your journey wasn’t easy, as that helps us get through our own trying times. You and Lana are leading the way with such hope and inspiration. You have definitely found your purpose, and are showing thousands of others how to do the same.

    Thank you. God Bless.

    Tracey

  6. Great post Claude! My family and I are so grateful that you were willing to go through the struggles that you did so that today myself and so many others can benefit from the wisdom that you have today.
    One of the many things that you have taught me was to keep my eyes locked on our purpose. If we keep our focus on our goal, the price that we have to pay doesn’t seem so big.
    Thank you for your friendship, leadership, and mentoring!
    Jonathan

  7. Great article Claude!

    I appreciate your willingness to tell it like it is rather than painting a picture of ease and comfort. I too know that it has been the struggles in the business that has taught me the most. Yet, those same struggles have smoothed the rough edges and a path to my purpose as well.

    Thankful!
    AaaaaOooo

  8. Great blog Claude. I remember you saying ‘shouldn’t being all you can be, take all you’ve got’? That comment stuck with me – and I know, that all the long lasting worthy things in life take ‘all we’ve got’. Thats what makes them worthy. Thanks for leading the way.

  9. Awesome blog Claude. Very true what you say too, I often find myself wondering – who am i? And I know that the only reason that the answer is getting clearer for me is what I’ve discovered through this business. Thanks for your leadership!

  10. Yes, i understand that frustration with trying to move forward and taking steps back. Trying to keep the dream in the front of you to keep focused. Getting no’s, people avoiding you or not answering. but then i tell myself….NEXT because i know in my heart that the right thinking people will join and we can all go forward together. Thank you for everything you do for the Kaizen teams and I’m sending my sympathies also for Jackie which is your other family member.
    I’m with Nicole, Frank and JL and Nicole Pellerin in Moncton, Joce and Cynthia.
    My favorite saying from Lana was a cd that said, “Claude kept kicking and kicking and kicking”… take care all of you…

  11. Thanks for sharing your struggles on your blog . It makes sense that we cant help others until we help ourselves and you and Lana are powerful examples of change applied over time . I am thankful for you both not only for your struggles but for your many victory’s and in leading myself and others towards truth .

    God Bless
    Dave

  12. I have to agree with Scott Staley in that to be the best you can be should take all you have. If being a successful business owner was easy it wouldn’t present the problems you need to overcome in order to grow and develop into the person you need to be in order to be successful. You have to be willing to fail and struggle and change to deserve the victory.

    Great post Claude
    Lead on.

  13. Thank you for your great insight Claude!
    Sure is something people need to hear. I do agree that it definitely helps build character as you go through this stage.

    Thanks again for your amazing leadership and insights.

    Kathryn Kunkel

  14. Thank you Claude for this post. Its hard to come to terms with the fact that I am not living my life’s purpose. I am learning how important it is for me to adjust to the learning processs and growing daily to be able to overcome the obstacles. Thank you fro the reminder that this journey of struggle and overcoming is worth it every pain.

    Sharon

  15. “I began to make decisions with that goal in mind, so every choice I made brought me closer to achieving it.” This quote is so powerful and I believe is key! Thank you Claude for sharing. I needed to hear this again!

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