Last Friday marked the end of nearly four years as a professional clothier with Tom James Company. It was a bittersweet moment. As I leave, I not only look forward with excitement but also back with deep gratitude.
It’s a blessing to leave somewhere and not feel like you’re running from something. The opportunity and the people I’m leaving are among the best I know, and they will always have a special place in my heart.
Working at Tom James, especially in the first year, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. All aspects of who I am were challenged in ways I didn’t know possible as I dealt with uncertainty, rejection, and the daily grind of building a business from scratch.
It forced growth. It made me a better person in all areas of my life. It was the context for me to sharpen the saw daily. And it taught me a handful of lessons I’ll never forget:
The pain of discipline is better than the pain of regret.
“Do what’s hard now and make your life easier; do what’s easy now and make your life harder.” Many people fail at sales, not because they’re bad at it, but because they never worked a process consistently. Successful people aren’t necessarily geniuses, they just make it a habit of doing the things unsuccessful people don’t like to do. It simply boils down to discipline over time.
The circle of concern versus the circle of influence.
Everything falls into two categories: concern and influence. Things in the circle of concern we have no control over, yet so many people give most of their emotional real estate to these things. Focusing on controllables, the things you alone can be held accountable to, not only moves the ball forward but helps you stay sane in the process. If it’s to be, it’s up to me.
Gratitude changes everything.
I’ve always thought a thankful heart was a good thing, but as an intentional, daily practice I’d never been exposed. For years now, I’ve started most days by making a short list of what I’m grateful for. It primes the pump for the day and wipes the lens for how I view everything. Gratitude cures many ails of the heart, and I’m so thankful for being introduced to the daily habit of writing it down.
Appropriately, gratitude is a good note for me to end on. To my coworkers I’ve had the pleasure to spend each day with, to my clients who have made this possible, and to a company that’s been nothing but good to me, I sincerely appreciate you and wish you great success.