Cleaning out my office to make room for the new CEO was a great visual journey of progress. In one way or another, every action and decision we made in the past has brought us to this moment in time. Handling and letting go of the myriad old versions of the business plan and my old notes that held long equations looking for the cost of goods brought back the active learning process that consumed me for weeks at a time at regular annual intervals. The business plan success we enjoyed at the Willamette Angel Conference in May did its job and our plan is now being re-invented by qualified people who speak the business planning language as a native tongue. As I sifted through the pages and pages of this work, I felt like I was holding real building blocks to a success story that I imagined.
The feeling blossomed when I come across the old drafts of manuscripts and book proposals that were the beginning of my new book, Love that Works, which is in its first print edition this month. I don’t know how far the book will go in spreading the message that is at the core of all my work, but I am excited to have this seed to scatter. It is the best of my best thinking about how to love people, keep promises, learn to communicate and show up for the people who make life meaningful.
I had forgotten where it all started, how small a pile of twigs I began with to ignite and sustain the fire that is Good Clean Love. We are always making progress, but often it is incremental and has a way of spiraling around so that forward motion sometimes looks like slipping backwards. I can testify by the underside of the mess in my office that forward motion is the truth of life and sometimes it may just be hiding under a huge stack of papers.
In addition to my clear progress in planning and writing that I had taken for granted, I also consolidated the thousands of personal contacts that I had made as I traveled the country learning about and teaching about loving people. I was never able to throw away most business cards people handed to me. Every conversation that each of those cards represented was how I testified to my progress. It was through the people that shared their stories of love and loss, faith and betrayal, trust and learning to trust again that I measured my progress.
We take things for granted because it is hard to get a long view of where you are headed and even harder to keep the starting point in perspective. The contacts that I have made on this winding path, many of whom, I count as friends, even more who make up my weekly family of subscribers are the foundation of what I do and why I do it. I never want to take that for granted. I was glad for the chance to recognize it and hold it in may hands today.