Survive, Alive, Thrive, Arrive


I think it's day 10 of a 16 day tour of the Southeast: I've busy being unplugged and thinking about my life, my son and my work. Some thoughts...

I'm not there yet and maybe you're not either. I don't yet know where there is.

Ten years ago I was trying to survive. Money was tight and I was newly divorced trying to figure out who I am, who I'm not and where I'm headed. I had a mentor and best friend and family to push and encourage me. I hope you do too.

After my survive stage, I reached an alive stage. I started getting silly little things that made me happy, like a BBQ, new furniture and more toys than Wyatt needed. I'm sure some of them were for me as much as him.

I don't wear much jewelry, but I had a steel spinner ring I'd wear on my right ring finger and Wyatt would often grab my hand and spin the outer part of the ring. I miss those tiny little fingers in my hand. Heck, his hands are nearly as big as mine now.

The simplicity of the alive stage makes me nostalgic for those little things. I bring that nostalgia in the road with me. When I'm on the road I wear a steel ring on my right ring finger. It's not a spinner, but my impulse us to try to spin it. When it doesn't spin, it reminds me that I'm without Wyatt, the reason I look forward to landing in Oregon.

Now I'm entering a new stage I call thrive. It presents me with a new set of decisions to make. If you're in this stage, maybe you've realized that you know how to make money and you're trying to figure out how to make time. As silly as it sounds, there is a way to make more time. It's by saying no.

When you say no to things, you're saying yes, again, to all your current priorities. The law of diminishing returns becomes a very real consideration and puts me solidly among late adopters for some trends. I'm OK with it, kids.

The folks I consider aspirational mentors are those who have arrived. They are marked with passive income streams and surround themselves with same. Some are ghosts; some entrepreneurs; some authors; all are Mensch.

Survive, alive, thrive, arrive. These stages apply to your business too, and you marketers might think about refining your target market in this way.