Guest Post

The Nerve To Live The Life You Want

by Doug Davidoff

I remember the moments as though they just happened. The first occurred following a 25-mile bike ride with a friend.

I was enjoying a very successful career at Merrill Lynch and had reached the point where I could go on autopilot and my practice would take care of my family and me in an economic fashion that I could have only dreamt of. At the time I was in the midst of deciding if I should leave to start a new business. Could I take such a risk with a wife, a six year old son and a three year old daughter?

I turned to my friend and said, "You know why I have to leave? Because I'd rather raise my kids in economic mediocrity with a dad who had the guts to live the life he wanted to, rather than raise them in affluence with a dad who guided his life by fear."

Three years later, business was going great and we landed the "dream opportunity" I had been waiting for. Promising (actually signing a contract for) more revenue than our top 3 clients combined I was ready to invest in growth. The biggest investment, of course, was hiring someone capable of supporting the new client.

Three months after hiring my new employee I got word that the owner of this company (we worked with the President) had, "decided to go in another direction," and they would not follow through on their commitment.

What could I do? Should I sue them? After all, we had invested significant effort (and money) to build what we were going to be delivering to them. We'd developed new materials, designed a special look for them and, above all that, had hired people to serve the new business! Should I "lay off" the new person?

It was in these moments that I needed my nerve most. I stopped and surveyed the situation. No, I wasn't going to fire anyone. The people I had recruited were all valuable and important. They were difficult to find — I wasn't going to lose them. While I flirted with suing the client (and believe me there was a very strong desire on my part to "sue those ….'s"), I decided that resources that went towards suing were resources I needed for growth.

I realized that the work we did to be able to deliver such a powerful package would make us even stronger in the market. I realized the people I had put in place made us stronger as well. So, I followed my nerve and focused on the market and growth.

Today we are at twice the revenue, and we expect to double in 2010.

Doug Davidoff is the found & CEO of Imagine Business Development. He works with forward thinking companies that desire fast growth and want to hear the truth about achieving it.

  1. Great post Doug. It is in times like these when people need to “find their nerve” and make bold moves to kick start their business and this economy. That is what we are doing now in our company. I hope that there are many others that are doing the same.

    Comment by Joe Heidler — 12/21/2009 @ 9:53 AM

  2. […] more here and check out the other guest bloggers, as well! Filed Under Business Growth Strategy | […]

    Pingback by The Nerve to Risk Economic Mediocrity | The Fast Growth Blog — 12/21/2009 @ 9:56 AM

  3. …And the children no doubt are better for it all. I can relate to your decision, and attest that the outcome for the family is worth it.

    Comment by Darl Gleed — 12/21/2009 @ 4:18 PM

  4. I spent ten hours in a car driving from Boise, Idaho to Seattle this week. Boise got fogged in and rather than take chance we could not get out on overbooked flights the next day, three of us rented a car, drove five hours in fog, slept in a nondescript hotel, drove five more hours to SeaTac.

    Chris wanted to get home to her 5 and 10 year olds. Darren to his 5 and 8 year olds. My ‘kids’ are now 25 and 28 but I was happy to take part in the driving to get them home to theirs.

    Good decision putting the kids first, Doug.

    Comment by Linda Keith — 12/21/2009 @ 7:15 PM

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  6. Doug- It’s great that you viewed the new employees as long term assets and not short term liabilities to your company. A company is only as strong as the team the owner assembles.
    David Rhodes- Computer Explorers

    Comment by David Rhodes — 12/22/2009 @ 8:33 AM

  7. “I’d rather raise my kids in economic mediocrity with a dad who had the guts to live the life he wanted to, rather than raise them in affluence with a dad who guided his life by fear.”

    Doug, this is a powerful message. Fear is a legacy you do not want to pass on to your kids. The entrepreneurial life is no picnic, but I’ll take it over a life of false security and fear any day!

    Comment by Bob Corlett — 12/22/2009 @ 2:57 PM

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