With Change There’s Opportunity

When I was the President and CEO of Te am ITG I thought I’d never work anywhere else. We raised venture capital, we were growing rapidly, we were profitable and I was having a lot of fun running the business. It was the type of organization that fit me perfectly. We pushed the edge of technology and there were new opportunities and challenges virtually every day. However, all of this changed when an offer to acquire the Company came in from one of our competitors. Timing was right and it was an offer I simply couldn’t refuse.

After the deal closed, the business assets were transferred and the check was in the bank reality set in. I could retire and live on a beach or start another business. Retirement is not in my vocabulary, so for the third time in my career I was faced with the intimidating chore of creating a new business from a blank sheet of paper. This time around, however, it would be a bit more difficult. The acquisition agreement put limitations on what I could do. I was not able to compete with my previous Company for three years.

I am fortunate that my change came by choice and money wasn’t an issue, but many people find themselves in the precarious situation where they are on the wrong side of a reduction in workforce (RIF), their company was acquired/downsized, and/or something happened in their lives that forced them to start over. What I told myself then and the people I meet that is going through a transition is simple…With Change There is Opportunity. If you do not change something then your life will basically be “More of the Same” as the political candidates often say. People going through or thinking about change need to STOP and make the decision right now to change their lives for the better. You, and only you, are in control of your destiny. You can either cry about it or do something about it, but the decision is yours.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We all fall into this at some point in our lives. We do the same thing every day while daydreaming about one day having the “good life.” In all seriousness, the good life should be every day. If you are relying on retirement, a pension, investments, selling your home, etc. to provide you with the money you need to live however you define the good life you are betting your future on things that are largely out of your control; whereas, you are in complete control of your life and what you do with it.

I know it is a lot easier to talk about change than actually doing it, but the power is in you to make it happen. You do not have to change everything in your life at once either. You can go to work and devise your future endeavors when you get home. The first step is to simply make the decision to change and focus on it every day. I have seen this happen time and time again. Getting serious about changing something in your life will start aligning the stars around you. Thoughts are extraordinarily powerful. Don’t take my word for it, give it a try for yourself. Decide to change something in your life and think about it every day. It blows me away when I hear back form people that try this. I bet it will surprise you as well.

Chicago CIO and Entrepreneur. Started @Orbitz, @AssureFlight, Team ITG, YourPrivateLine and others. I Love technology, startups and meeting interesting people.

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