things I've learned

Things I’ve Learned … On Thursday night, December 12, I found out that an incredible friend, mentor, and business coach was killed in a freak hunting accident. I have experienced loss before, but this level of shock literally took my breath away.

I wanted to write out a few things I learned from Chris:

Face your fear.

Chris did things to stretch and push himself out of his comfort zone, in life and business – and encouraged me and others to do the same. He didn’t want himself or anyone else to limit their God-given potential due to fear. The risk of failure limits far too many of us from pushing forward and sharing our gifts with the world – and the world is worse for it.

Be a friend.

There are about 50 business owners in our coaching group from all over the country. Since Chris’ death, we all have shared stories and laughed at how each of us felt like we were his best friends. His ability to connect with others was truly unique. He deeply cared, listened well, shared in heartaches, and cheered for each of us in small and large wins. We all need that person in our lives- and we all need to BE that person as well. If we don’t have time to be that person, we are simply too busy and need to re-evaluate things.

Find community.

We need others to encourage us, challenge us, bring different perspectives, and cheer each other on. We need to have a safe place to share our hurts, struggles, and successes. Being a business owner and leader can be very lonely, and having a place to be our authentic selves is critical for success. Chris created that place, and since his death, our community has proven even more invaluable than any of us even realized.

Focus.

We need to “Do Less, Better” – that doesn’t mean being lazy or slowing down, but rather doing a few things – or one thing – really well. Business owners/leaders are talented people with many different abilities, so this is actually one of the most difficult lessons. But it is critical, and having that focus is critical for success.

Things I’ve Learned.

It seems trite in some ways, to sum-up what Chris taught me, with a few bullet points. And yet, I felt the need to share some of what I learned. More will come out in my life and business as I begin the new year. I will honor his legacy as I Do Less, Better. I will honor his legacy as I continue to move up and to the right. And I will strive to help others fulfill their dreams. Thank you, Chris. See you soon.

Carla Caldwell is the founder and CEO of Caldwell Consulting & Training. She strategically guides accounting teams to become a modern practice.