Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Beginning of the Beginning

Working at Hewlett Packard included ‘offsites’ – gatherings that occurred somewhere other than the workplace where groups often combined some work with play.  At this particular 2-day offsite, our group participated in a questionnaire that evaluated key strengths and profiled each of us into one of 16 different categories such as “developer,” “implementer” and so on.

On day 2, I was the first to show up. The facilitator asked if he could use my ‘profile’ as an example when results were passed out. He said, “This is a profile we hardly ever see in a corporate setting…that of an entrepreneur.”  I shared with him that I was completely dissatisfied and bored in my current job – even though it paid well. He said “this shows it,” adding, “you have the potential to be a millionaire, to be successful at whatever you do. You have what it takes to run your own business.”

A couple of months later, I tell my manager “I’m giving HP two more years and then I want to do something on my own.” I just have no idea what it will be.

Two years go by, then two more…and two more. Too many…unless you subscribe to the idea that all things happen when they’re supposed to. 

Still at HP, neither my girlfriends L. and C. or I have been to a psychic before. We’re hesitantly open to adventure. We draw straws. I go first. The psychic introduces herself and talks about how she works. We shuffle cards, I cut, she lays them out. The very first thing she says to me is “Have you ever thought of running your own business? You’d be very good at it -- not that it wouldn’t be a lot of hard work -- but you’d be very good at it. You should think about this.” I stare, gobsmacked. “Who have you been talking to,” I think. “How on earth do you know this?”

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