Out of the adversity & disappointment of a bad night's sleep, you may prefer this message in the form of a true story.
It started nearly nine years ago, in the autumn of 2005, when I came to Cork on a ferry. From Bath in England via Swansea in Wales I sailed into Ringaskiddy harbour with a big van loaded full of our worldly possessions - plus stuff I couldn't face leaving behind. I was looking for a place we could call home.
Work-wise it was easy for me. All I needed was a local airport because I was helping to change the culture of the biggest people transport company in the UK. Loved that work & had plenty of it.
But I had no idea what I was really doing & how it would connect with my future work.
I wasn't alone.
With a tiny baby, it was great to be a stay-at- home dad & fly off to Scotland for a few days a month. My business was micro, you see.
But it became harder and harder to make those journeys. And I got more interested in working in Ireland. But I had few contacts. Consultants offering to change your business were ten a penny. It looked tough.
Thank goodness for that stranger I met at a workshop in Cork City. I asked him "Do you come here often?" He asked me "Would you like to come to a business networking meeting?"
Of course, I said I'd love to meet other people in any business. Then Brian Quinn asked me a difficult question: "What is it you do?"
I had my answer on the tip of my tongue: "I do five things" - and I started to list them. He stopped me. "What the one thing you do?" That's how I was introduced to Business Networking International (BNI) in Ireland.
They get you to make a one-minute presentation to about 40 people - each of whom comes from a different business sector: one solicitor, one carpenter, one banker, one documentary photographer... You get the idea - no one in competition with anyone else.
I was his guest. When it came to my turn to speak, I stood up, walked to a good position for eye contact with everyone & began (no slides):
"Thank you for inviting me. I write for businesses like yours..." I'll never forget that early morning gathering in the Ambassador Hotel.
You see I'd found a new way of changing the culture of businesses - by accident. By making a friendly clichéd remark to a stranger who happened to be sitting next to me - in a room full of strangers.
I didn't call myself a copywriter because I wasn't used to using that word.
But it was the same kind of work - changing the world so it could be better for others. I'd been doing that for as long as I could remember. The rest is history, as they say...
I've always been a change agent.
That's why I'm changing the feelings of disappointments into a source of inspiration, changing that lousy night into a better morning.
That's why I've written this for you. You can do the same for your tough times.