I am a ‘make it happen’ kind of person. I sometimes leave patience and step-by-step planning behind in the process of just getting it done.
A year ago today, at a Mackey Advisors staff retreat, I cut a picture out of a National Geographic magazine showing the three stages of Stonehenge. (If you aren’t familiar with Stonehenge, here’s a link: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/geopedia/Stonehenge). The first stage drawing shows simply that the earth was moved to form a platform and a series of ditches. In the second stage there was an addition of wooden structures. In the third stage, the wooden structures are replaced by the stone you see today.
I selected this picture to remind me that enduring things take time, planning, patience and team work.
I am at a point in my life (age 55) when people often ask me when I plan to retire. I find it a funny question in some ways, as my idea of retirement is to go and do what you love to do, rather than having to go to work every day and earn income. In that sense I am already “retired.” I already get to do what I love every day.
So my first reaction to this new question into “where I was going” was to disregard it. However as it continued to happen, it made me stop and think. Retirement was not my goal, at least not in the context of the present culture. So what was my goal?
This is where the image of Stonehenge entered my life. I have been building Mackey Advisors in one form or another for 28 years. In small business terms, that is a long time when you consider that only 50% of small business make it past four years. But what was next? I probably was not going to be doing the same thing for the next 28 years. That would make me 83! While I still plan to be around, I think I will want a different schedule. J
Over the last year I have purposefully changed my point of attention to one of building enduring structures for Mackey Advisors (at least as enduring as any business model can be given as it resides in a world of constant change). Rather than growth for the sake of growth, I have focused on quality, consistent growth. My attention has been on honing our competitive advantage and systems to create consistent delivery results. I have added to our training and development budget to allow for coaching and mentoring to build a core professional team capable of running Mackey Advisors without my involvement.
At some point as a parent, you come to a time when you know you have done all you can, and that the time has come for your “young one” to make it on their own. Not that you are leaving them, just that you are changing your role in their life, from caretaker to one of friend, mentor and cheerleader. This is my path for the next five years; to foster the coming of age for Mackey Advisors.
I will keep the image of Stonehenge around to remind me that deep enduring structures take time, planning, patience and team work. This is my goal. Not retirement. I want to see my creation take flight and find its own enduring path.