The Birth of LifeMAPP
When I started mentoring ten years ago, I had a business vision and a dream to built it. I invited some of my mentors to breakfast at Bob Evan’s restaurant one morning. Having spent the previous few days preparing, doodling out the vision, I set out to inspire them and Connect with their personal goals as they were all nearing retirement and thinking about their legacies.
As I broke it all down with the charisma and enthusiasm that defines my personality, the next steps in my mind were purely semantic. I had been recruited into a few startups in the “dot.com” era and I had endured my share of corporate executives and attorneys who for reasons unknown to me, had shown complete incompetence in our startups. My fundamental reason behind starting LifeMAPP mentoring was to recognize why otherwise amazing people can suddenly be so stuck, so confused and at a loss for direction…and then to help them.
In my grasp was a legacy for each of them as I drew out my “4M” vision and plan. In building the vision of LifeMAPP, I wanted to address 4 areas of needs we had all mentored in and I was capitalizing on recent luncheons with each of my mentors. While I was certainly growing from their lessons and insight, I was also watching them go through life changes and each of them was unsatisfied with the corporate grind and thinking more about their next steps. My main focus was in Marriage, to help build or rebuild marriages and help parents stop smothering their kids with noise to instead, create a launchpad of Support at home. One of my mentors was feeling drawn towards Missions or Ministry, helping others grow in their faith and community Support.
Another’s focus was in business mentoring (Marketplace) and the last one was more individual growth and leadership focused, I don’t recall the exact name, but it may have been “Mastermind” or something like that.
Having met with those three men many times over a year or so and being tired myself of mentoring lost and struggling businesses, this breakfast meeting of the minds was to be my next great success story.
I had fallen short in a bid to join Walt Disney earlier in the year. Standing in the Burbank headquarters of Walt Disney with a couple of CEO Michael Eisner’s top executives could have been and should have been my next great success story. I had consulted with executives from other Fortune 500 companies who had migrated to Disney plus I made a few strategic cold calls and ended up consulting and strategizing with Disney executives and had a great, bold reputation. But bad market timing and a hiring freeze on all newly created position, as mine was, dragged that Opportunity to a halt. They asked me to be patient and give it some time and maybe I should have. But I moved on, the economy wasn’t just affecting giant’s like Disney, it was crushing small businesses and consultants like me every day and I was feeling the pinch.
So that morning breakfast was my next move. And it fell on deaf ears.
One of the executives had made up his mind that he and his wife were ready for retirement. Another who was anxious to leave the corporate grind, was still more dependent on it than I realized and did not have the freedom he was dreaming about. And the last gentleman, well I don’t remember his response, after the first two gave their reasons, I had lost count and energy.
Picking Myself Up
Instead of being crushed that the synergy I was bringing together was not to be, I tucked my tail, paid for their meals and went home. And I re-grouped. I decided to strike out on my own without financial backing, funding and without a proven leadership team to Support the vision. I didn’t just walk away from consulting, it took years and years to ween from that financial need. Each project felt nothing more than a distraction however. When the 2008 economy collapsed, I had found myself once again consulting with desperate business owners who were impatient to follow my expertise and proven insights. But once again, I survived it and worked my way back to my mission to serve a larger, global audience.
And a little over three years ago, I started hiring our global team. At the end of the first year, we quickly found ourselves with 15 people. Our second year we trimmed back as we sorted out the desperados from the leaders. I’m sure a few of them felt as dejected and confused as I did that morning with my three mentors but that is life. It’s all about timing and sometimes, we’re in the right place at the wrong time, like I was with Disney.
Sometimes we need to be patient and grow with great mentors around us. And sometimes, we need to be pushed out to sort our lives, our goals, our needs out.
Can you relate?