A 6 Year Plan
I tell clients often that the road to entrepreneurship isn’t a straight line. It is a jagged, sharp, up and down climb with scrapes and bruises, victories and defeat. It is not for the faint of heart and statistically, only 3% of people even realize its successes.
I had no idea the path that was being paved in front of me. In fact, when it was happening, I would have told you it was more like a shit storm that I hoped no one else ever experienced and at the same time, I wished someone would have had the ability to come alongside me and said, “I’ve been here, and you need to do this to survive.” Except there was no manual. I knew 2 things. One: My Dad had given me a piece of advice through my divorce “Life’s about experiences, the good ones and the bad ones. You have to experience them in a certain order even if you don’t know why when it’s happening.” Two: I had the ability to stand, present-day, at his grave and hear him say to me, “You need a six-year plan”. Now neither of those items are very tactical, actionable items so this makes it a little difficult when things get tough and the person doling out advice is no longer living.
A Little Back Story
I got my dad when I was a sophomore in high school. Ironically, I had met him when I was much younger, as he had known my family in other capacities throughout my life, but he entered my life as a parent figure when I was in high school. My biological parents had finally chosen to get a divorce and the life that I had known as a younger child had come to a screeching, much-needed halt. While I was graced with the internal knowing’s that the verbal rhetoric and prejudice that was a part of my younger years were not normal, my dad was the saving grace that gave me permission to see things through a safe, cleaner window to the world. He challenged my thoughts, pushed me out of my box, and didn’t judge me for my characteristics, he taught me risk and stretch. He judged me for my decisions and my ethics; a complete 180 from where I had come from.
An Elite Club
So fast forward through life where we all do our best to learn from the school of hard knocks, I lost my dad very unexpectedly over 10 days. He had been not feeling well, gotten sick through another family funeral and by the time things had escalated, we lost my dad the day before my birthday after a long 10 days in ICU. A healthy, happy, successful, working man who was invincible to me, went into the hospital one day, I stood at his bedside and talked him through fear and anger that he was sick and the commotion that was being caused over him and when I got back to the hospital that night, he was intubated, and I never heard his voice again. It rocked my world. It did more than take me to my knees. Losing a parent, especially one that chose you and you chose them, is a part of a club that no one chooses and is an elite club that no one can fake membership to. It has a knowing that only your soul recognizes.
Many years removed from losing my dad here is what I know right now. I miss him every day. I still long to hear stories about him or see photos of him. I wish I knew what he would think of current events or things going on with my kids. I also think I am so glad he doesn’t see the chaos that the world has turned into. That he saw the world for what it was in his time. It is a double-edged sword for sure. Regarding my own life, I know that I learned lessons from him that no one else learned. I watched from afar as others grieved and memorialized him in ways that weren’t of importance to him. It made me sad that they didn’t know him for the real man that he was. They knew a surface part of him. It makes me cherish what I knew of him on a much deeper level. I learned lessons that can’t be taught in a book and that are my obligation to teach others. He taught lessons to my kids that they didn’t know at the time, but they love to hear about now and I get to remind them about at important moments in their own lives as they grow up and miss their Papa.
I am a fierce negotiator because of him. I watched him in pivotal times in my life negotiate with and for me, I heard him talk about deals of his own that he was working through or coaching mentees in his own life. His perspective was always so different than those around him and it wasn’t irony that that perspective is what seemed to be reflective of a winning stand.
So, let’s talk about these 2 nonactionable items he left me with. “Life’s about experiences,” happens to be something that I wear on my wrist every day to remind me that no matter how crazy an event or how ironic a meeting may be, it happened for a reason. Take in the experience and know it happened for a reason.
I stood at his graveside about 2 years after he had been gone and the “experiences” life had thrown at me were a little excessive and I remember saying to him, “I give. This isn’t funny anymore. You aren’t here to help, and I’m lost, how do I even know where to go from here?” His answer to me was simple. Make a plan and commit to it for 6 years. It was that very simple. After all, how intricate can the conversation get when you are talking to a wall in a military cemetery, right?
In 6 years, my youngest would be graduated from high school by the calculations, if I didn’t have life figured out by then, I suppose big changes could be in store, right? Well that first piece of advice was 6 years ago and many, many times I have stood at that wall over many different topics and his advice, solicited or not has continued to be, “6 years” or “where are you at in the 6-year plan?”
Original video of Oxygen Equestrian intro
Most businesses are lucky to break 3 years or 5 years. There are fairly significant milestones in those markers, add a global pandemic, a few other crazy moments of motherhood, teenagers, and just life in general, 6 years was make or break for sure! But still, even in his passing, I get his steadiness, I get his encouragement to stretch further than is comfortable, I get his reminder to risk when others may pull back and lack vision.
So here Oxygen Coaching Group is, a national training company with a podcast, blog, custom app for optimal pay rate, exclusive curriculum, and a team of amazing individuals that are doing exactly what my dad did for me…. He mentored me with a love, not only for business but for the individuals that we work with.
Follow our Spotify channel here: https://open.spotify.com/show/05WHcO8zA17ApJTtZhPdAR?si=5b700a971b9f4406
To learn more about how Kat and her team can help you and your team achieve better sales results, hiring practices, improve your culture, and other business struggles such as goals, internal conflict, and management tactics visit www.oxygencoachinggroup.com and apply for coaching! You can follow her team on social media at any of the following links:
FB: Kat Frey & the Oxygen Coaching Team @breatheoxygenin
LinkedIn: KAT FREY & The Coaches at Oxygen Coaching Group
Kat founded a business coaching firm in 2017, Oxygen Equestrian (d.b.a. Oxygen Coaching Group) that originally focused on body language and life skills and has transformed to include executive coaching, sales training, and accountability coaching. Programs are designed to make anyone from the professional to the side hustler, more productive, more aware, and a better employer. Kat is a guest blogger and has been published on the e-publication Publish along with her first co-authored book being released Feb, 2022. Learn more about her animals, kids, and philanthropy at oxygencoachingroup.com and sign up for a free coaching session.