I was an ambitious, smart, and successful businessman with an immaculate wardrobe!
Although I had a BSc in Computer Science and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, I must confess that I didn’t achieve my real MBA. Of course, I graduated with a piece of paper that proved I had my Master’s in Business Administration – but it took me 20 years of running a business before I realized that I lacked an MBA in life!
I had no peace of mind. I kept chasing after the next shiny object. I blamed all my problems on external factors: the economy, the product, the customer, family, community, and yes, sometimes even God or the universe. What I lacked was what the real MBA I needed to succeed in every aspect of life, especially business. In other words, I lacked Mind–Body–Alignment. For the last 20-plus years of my life, I was in the furniture industry. I carried this mindset of working in your business rather than on your business with me when I moved from Edmonton to Toronto to expand the family business empire.
I call it an empire because it was nothing less than that. The family had established itself very well in Africa, but due to political unrest, we sunk roots in Canada. The seeds of our African business flourished and helped us establish multiple businesses in Canada. Our family was blessed with the golden touch. Everything that we invested in turned to gold. But then, something happened. Our golden touch vanished. And everything started to change. It was nothing less than a domino effect that produced one challenge after another. Everything I did in the furniture business was a battle. I felt stuck. I felt there was no way out. My situation at the time still reminds me of the movie with Michael Douglas where he’s stuck in traffic on a hot day. He has to be somewhere soon, but he is caught in a dilemma where the distance he’s travelled is further than the distance to his destination. I felt the same way. I’d put my heart, love, and sweat into this business for over two decades.
I was convinced that fixing everything that was going wrong was my destiny, my problem. No matter how much it impacted my life, my health, and my family, I had to keep grinding and bearing most of the pain until I found a solution. I was digging my own grave, just spinning my wheels. No matter what I did, it was never the right thing or the right time. I turned to doing the only thing I’d learned: working hard to make change. Little did I know at that time that other forces were at play. I saw everyone in the industry around me growing and enjoying life. Why wasn’t the same happening to me?
I knew in my heart I was capable of much more, but my results didn’t reflect it. I was frustrated, angry and dejected. The more I focused on my challenges, the harsher they became. I seemed to attract that outcome from everywhere! It got to the point that I started to criticize everything to make myself feel better. As a result, everyone around me started walking on eggshells. It affected not only the business, but also my relationships with my employees, my family, and the community. What had changed? What was once an enjoyable ride, like riding a bike freely downhill, had become an uphill grind with the wind against me.
I now understand what had changed. I can now look back and see that during this time there were multiple factors at play that were creating these huge roadblocks, challenges, and walls. At the same time there were numerous signs telling me to walk away from all this conflict, challenge and blockage and do something different. But I ignored them. Today, in addition to my B.Sc. and MBA, I’m a certified Energy Practitioner. I’ve totally redirected my energies and built a totally different and successful business that allows me to attract and manifest a life of love, joy, equanimity, and abundance. My certification and newfound direction led me to launch my Consulting, Coaching and Energy Healing business.
Today, I help family-owned business owners and professionals who feel stuck in their business and personal lives to make massive breakthroughs to unleash their potential, clarify their goals, gain self-awareness, and exceed their development objectives. What I’ve realized is that being smart, ambitious, and having an immaculate wardrobe is important – but it doesn’t guarantee success, especially in a family-owned business. I understand the challenges at the intersection of family and business and how they can either tear the family apart or build a legacy. Let’s keep your family business intact – and build a legacy together!