Coming Full Circle...
I will never forget my first European business trip. I was in my 20s and it was such a monumental trip for me for so many reasons. First, I was able to travel to London, England. I was in complete awe of the beauty, the historic architecture, the quaintness of the cobblestone walks, double decker buses and the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. It was love at first sight. It fueled my passion for traveling all over Europe even since!
I was in London alongside my managing director Peter Ward, my mentor and friend, to represent my company, the international brokerage firm, Fritz Companies. I was there to present a Supply Chain tracking technology to the NEXT retail company. I could not have been more nervous, but I remember feeling I was meant to do “this,” to help organizations understand how technology can enable their process and improve their business and enhance their employees’ performance.
It was also the first time that my 3-year-old Tiffany cried for me to come home while I traveled for business. Some of you may remember this story in my book. I was so devastated as a first-time mom that I shared my story with a complete stranger at the airport on my way home. He said to me words that have formed much of the way I live my life today. He said, “Listen….you seem like a bright young woman, but nobody ever said on their death bed, I wish I worked more, they say they wish they spent more time with the people they loved.” A month later I quit my job and sought out a career that didn’t take me away from my family so much.
That was almost 30 years ago. Today, as I walked down the street to our new Change 4 Growth office (with our partners Thought Provoking Consulting), I walked past a NEXT storefront. Right above the store was a sign that reads “THE WORD ON THE STREET IS CHANGE.” Seeing this was a very emotional moment for me. I mean it was the company where I first presented. A sign about “Change,” which is what we are all about. As I walked to our new office. WOW! I felt like I was meant to restart my European travels in London, a place I love, this time returning as a business owner ready to share the good work we have done in the US with my friends in the UK.
It’s been a fabulous week. David Lucas, our new MD in the UK, and I have been busy reviewing his Go to Market strategy, meeting with prospective new clients and partners, and collaborating with our UK partners, Thought Provoking Consulting. After spending a considerable amount of time with David over the last several months, I am more confident than ever there was a reason we met and that he is the absolute right person to head up our UK office.
Tonight, I am having dinner with Peter Ward, who I was with almost 30 years ago presenting to my first retail customer, NEXT. We are talking about how we can work together again, as he is the CEO of UKWA (UK Warehouse Association). How wonderful that would be!
This has been a week of gratitude and reflection of the 30-year journey that kicked off many life transforming moments for me. There is a reason we are here. We are here to help people. We are here to serve. We are here to make businesses and leaders better. I have come full circle and couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for us in the support of the UK and from our office in my beloved London!
Cheers for now!