The decision to leave the U.S.A. for the U.K. three years ago wasn’t an easy one, especially because it meant leaving my younger sister (Ann) and father without my help. Last year at Christmas, me and Ann had a very emotional conversation in which she asked, “what are you even doing over there?”
When we meet new people, and get to know them, we often ask “what do you do?” Typically, they can very eloquently explain their profession and the work it entails.
I think what my sister really asked over Christmas was “why?” Why did you leave us and why are you still there? I told Ann that I wanted to inspire people. I recognize the stereotypical, utopian, millennial romanticism in giving her such an answer but it’s this idealism which drives me.
I see your eye-roll and I’m okay with that—I’m not ashamed to admit that I want to inspire people. While managing a figure skating blade company may not sound inspirational I can assure you that for me, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s not my end-goal. The end-goal is having those I’ve inspired show up to my funeral (hopefully more than a handful!). To me that seems like a pretty fair metric of living a purposeful life.
I moved to Sheffield on November 11th, 2014. This was a critical moment in my life because I went from someone with a job to someone with a purpose. I knew my purpose was to take two stagnating brands and reinvigorate them with energy. The motivation came from within—I wanted to prove to myself and to others I could do it. In talking with customers who had familiarity with the brands, I realized this would be a seismic undertaking. The previous management group had grown tired and taken their eye off the ball. There were and still are retailers who doubted a turnaround could be achieved. While leaving the comfort and familiarity of my family and the USA at 25 was a risk, it seems to be paying off. Since moving over, the company has grown 36%. The company’s previous average annual growth rate was 2%.
I had a conversation with friends the other night and we spoke at length about the concept of life favouring the bold. Taking chances opens us up to failure. Without taking chances, how can we hope to become high achievers and inspire others through action?
I’ll never forget seeing a commercial for the Navy I saw as a kid, where it begs us to ask ourselves, “if someone wrote a book about your life, would anyone want to read it?”
Why do you do what you do? What’s the purpose behind it? What gets you out of bed every day? I’d love to hear from you. Stay positive: