by Mom in the Arena
Wow. Friends, my first post was pretty intense. I felt a little like Tom Cruise’s character in Jerry Maguire writing my Manifest at 2am. At least I cannot be fired, that is a plus. I can be foreclosed, impounded, berated, forced into a bankruptcy hearing, but no sir, you cannot fire me.
After making my own way for a year in a competitive and lucrative industry, I was invited to join forces with a competitor. Not just any competitor. THE competitor — the one we respect, fear, and model our company after. We will continue to be our own brand, company, and separate entity, but we will align ourselves in a way that hopefully benefits us both. I am scared. The negotiation took months, and every time I would get slightly excited about it, I would feel my chest tighten, fingers tingle, and think…
“I should not do this. It is daunting. It is a risk. I huge risk. I could fail. Lose all my money. Worse, it could be a “trap” and I’ll be the laughing stock of the industry. Definitely a bad idea. I’ll just go back to my little space and keep chugging away in my small, safe(r) place with MY people.”
Then it hit me. I’m not really in the game. I’m not a true player. I am third-string. I am kind of here, on the roaster, but please don’t ask me to put my body, reputation, or pride on the line. I may not lose if I play it safe, but, I’ll never WIN.
Will winning mean millions and security for my family?
Will it mean respect and admiration from my peers?
Will it mean I escape the Arena by the skin of my teeth?
Or, will it just be a school-yard beat down and I escape with nothing but the knowledge that I played. I entered the ARENA.
What (I think) I know is that not only do I have to Enter the Arena but I have to enter with all the heart and confidence of a True Competitor.
Yesterday was an intense day. I spent my first day in the Arena. This ‘relationship’ was publically announced. With sweaty palms and armed with my husband’s deodorant because, damn it, Tom’s All Natural, was not going to cut it today…I put my skin (more of my skin) in the Game.
Now, all I have to do, is prevent an old school beat down…or at least protect my face and stomach in the Battle.