Letters from Carey: Life Challenges

Happy September.  I am truly amazed at how quickly this summer has gone by.  As I thought about what to write about this month, I kept going back to something I shared on Facebook about the “first day of school.”  I will share a summary below, but the essence of my message was simple: every smile has a story, and that story is not always pretty or glamorous. 

At the end of August, I posted a photo on the first day of school, like so many proud parents do, and received a ton of likes and comments about how cute it was.  As the day progressed, I began to feel a little guilty because the photo portrayed a perfectly little happy family, when in actuality the day was full of bumps, screams, tears, and traffic jams!  My guilt turned to a desire for complete honesty, so I posted a second “confession” that night. 

In short, my confession explained a day that started with tears of fear about a new school and change.  It continued with one of our dogs running away during the photo shoot, only to be returned covered in mud. Then it proceeded to a New York-style traffic jam in the pick-up line, which even included some not-so-kind one-finger gestures by a few disgruntled drivers. In the end, we all survived day one, and we repeated the steps, albeit much more smoothly, the next day and beyond!

Why do I share this with you?  It’s simple: managing people, departments, or even a company is not easy.  We might receive accolades for great performance, growth, or a job well done, but I would bet that every single one of you reading this has felt that tinge of guilt before when hiding fear, frustration, and uncertainty with a smile.  ProRecruiters has received some great publicity, which might give the perception that we are large and beyond struggle, but in reality we are still working really hard to make it.  A CEO whom I admire shared with me recently that one common characteristic that successful people possess is their willingness to take risks. They research and evaluate, but they take action.  Owning a company or managing a team is not easy.  It requires taking risks even when we are not certain of the outcome: “Do I get that line of credit increase so I can accept this order?”, “Do I hire this person and increase my budget by X$?”, “Do I expand our services and run the risk of failing?”

We have all faced these challenges. We must make the decision to celebrate our successes, learn from our failures, and face our fears head on.  Just like in our personal lives, nothing works perfectly every time.  So this month I want to remind each and every one of you who runs your own company, are looking for work or managing people of this simple thing: you are not alone.  The challenges you face and the fears you deal with are not unique to you.  Someone else has dealt with this as well.  I hope that knowing you are not alone and knowing this is a normal struggle for leaders and people in general gives you peace of mind to keep fighting the good fight.  Happy September!