Here I am, 2633 miles from my loved ones on Thursday night at 11:15pm PST, sitting on a delayed flight that I have no business being on. I hope this red-eye leaves soon. I started this week in Times Square at 9am EST and all I want to do is make it back to Virginia to see the smiling faces of my little guys at home. Life is unpredictable - just ask my family and friends. They struggle to keep up with me as I fly all over the place, helping my clients innovate the way they do business.
I grew up in what could be the slowest part of rural America: upstate New York, where the nearest traffic light was a 20-minute drive away. Our closest neighbor was a half-mile down the road. Life was slow, but it allowed me to live at my own pace. I learned from watching, from trying and from failing. Living slowly taught me that every moment should be cherished and learned from. I also learned the importance of helping others, and why being a leader behind the leader can be so rewarding. As an adult, I see how my small-town upbringing helped me understand that we should never take anything for granted (this is the secret to becoming a Chief Smiling Officer).
I have an amazing family at home and an amazing work family on the road. Together they allow me to deliver to my clients the best that I have every day. I probably interact with over 200 different people each week; from clients to co-workers, from flight attendants, to the wife of a sales exec snoring away next to me, it is a never-ending joy ride.
Is my life a challenge? Yes. Do I love it? YES.
What advice would I give someone who has a packed travel schedule, challenging client demands and family priorities to balance all at the same time? I’d say keep on smiling. I’d say maintain a perspective on what is really important. I’d say focus on people more than problems.
But that’s about all I’d have time for. Now you’ll have to #catchmeifyoucan.
Follow Colin: @Speakman_1