I used to sell missiles, now I sell books. Legit swords to plowshares.
Besides death, taxes, and human stupidity, the only other reliable constant is change. When my wife and I left Washington, DC for Ohio a few years ago, I was riding fairly high and feeling good about myself. I had just finished business school and left a good job in a leading aviation company to roll the dice on myself.
I’ll spare you the details.
I failed. Looking back I identified 3 “H’s” that helped assess how this happened. I wrote a few days ago about overconfidence and how it can prevent us from reaching our best. That was me. I thought I’d come to Ohio and basically walk into any company and be told to essentially take whichever office I wanted. This attitude of overconfidence led me to not prepare the way I needed to in order to outcompete folks who were just as talented, educated, experienced, and skilled. It also made me insufferable to my friends and family.
I fell victim to the first “H”, hubris.
“It’s only hubris if I fail.” Julius Caesar
After repeated disappointments, I tried to take stock of the situation. I was thoroughly down and out. I was thoroughly humiliated. Self-doubt didn’t just creep in, it kicked the door down and made itself at home.
The big bad wolf from the parable was knocking at my door.
Part 2 tomorrow…