It Always Turns Out in the End
Wow! What a difference six months can make. This month, my aim is to express tremendous gratitude for where my family and I are today, and to give anyone reading this column who may not be in calm waters clear hope that those times are coming!
If you read my columns regularly, or are in my regular orbit, you know my family got sent through the spin cycle in the first half of 2021. Between losing my father and significant upheaval with my son and college, it was stormy. All the while, I was reminded of the phrase “if it all turns out in the end and it’s not alright, it must not be the end.” I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that the phrase came true!
Of course, I can’t bring my father back, but I can enjoy conversations with my mom that aren’t wrought with guilt about living three hours away and not pulling my weight to help a man whose mind and body were failing. It’s fantastic to hear the absence of utter exhaustion in her voice, with no end in sight. My mom misses my dad for sure, but they are both in a better place – so it turned out in the end.
My son transferred to a new school that just feels better for him, surrounded by friends from high school that were the good kids. My son has always been a contrary bear and I “ran the stop sign” when I helped him choose which college to attend for his first year. If I had listened more carefully and asked harder, and perhaps different questions, we may have made a different choice.
But that choice would have robbed him of some awesome life lessons that no amount of lecturing or modeling could have taught him. He learned and he endured, which will, down the road, yield huge dividends in the future. Here again, it turned out!
Reflecting on my own current situation is instructive on this front. When I tell my story to new acquaintances, I often share that I was fired from a company that I co-founded in 2006. This kind of thing happens all the time to founders of companies. When leaders change, the founders of those companies get shown the door because their vision no longer aligns with the people making decisions.
It was one of the hardest days of my professional career to be dismissed with a single sentence “Brian no longer works here.” But that change led me to Parker, through a colleague I had known for a long time. It freed me up to pursue opportunities that were more interesting and less like work. I found that my skills were, once again, valuable and that I could help others do what I had just done. In short, without being fired, I wouldn’t have found this great company. I also wouldn’t have found The Purdue Foundry, where there were awesome scientists and inventors with great ideas, but no clue how to start a company and deliver their inventions to the market.
I wouldn’t be the first person to say that “being fired was the best thing that ever happened to me.” It was embarrassing, humbling, challenging, and yet necessary to make things turn out – which I’m thankful to say they have!
All of this, of course, doesn’t mean more rough water isn’t just around the bend. In fact, I’m walking around looking for the shadow of the anvil about to drop on my head. But the last six months have confirmed for me that having faith that things will work out in the end can, and does, come true.
We’ve all been through trying times over the last 18 months, and as the delta variant sweeps across the U.S. and the world, we find ourselves again confronted with challenges and obstacles to a return to normalcy. However, like the experiences I shared above, we’re smarter than we were in those early days of the pandemic in 2020 and we’ve learned how to cope and manage the inconveniences, while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks (again!)
How do I know we’re going to get through all of this? Because history has shown us time and time again that we’re a resilient lot and that hard times don’t last, but good people do! If you’re going through a difficult time, let me know, and if there’s something I can do to help, I’ll do it. I wouldn’t have gotten through without the help of many people, and I’m ready to pay it forward because our best days are ahead of us. For you and for me. Let’s keep going!