When I first joined Profit First Professionals, back in November 2014, co-founder Mike Michalowicz, also the author of Profit First, asked if I’d like to appear on his podcast with one of my clients that was implementing Profit First. I was thrilled and invited my first client, Brent Robinson of Modthink, to join me. I was excited and nervous. The hour leading up to the interview was a series of mishaps that I would rather forget. I’m going to share them here to help us all remember that not every day goes well, but life goes on.
Here’s how the day went. My daughter Alaina had tutoring with a college student at the University of Arkansas. We weren’t sure of the building and parking was a disaster. We parked in a public parking garage and walked across campus and got her settled. I planned to drive to Brent’s office near the other side of campus where we would join Mike on Skype to record the podcast. I had plenty of time and was thinking about the best route to take to get to Modthink as I walked back to the car.
As I mentioned I was nervous about the podcast, rattled from trying to find parking and the correct building in a sea of buildings, and finally then the correct room. This is my excuse and I’m justifying what came next. As I entered the parking deck and took the elevator to the first floor, where we parked, I noticed that the doors opened in the front for some floors and behind me for others. I hadn’t noticed this earlier. As I exited the elevators, I walked to the right towards the direction of the car and it was not there. I knew exactly how I was parked on an outside wall, but the car wasn’t there.
I assumed I got off at the wrong level, so I walked down a level and there was no car. I walked up two levels and there was no car. I was running out of time. I got to the elevator, took it to the street level, and then tried again to go back to the level where we had parked.
The car was not there.
I got the brilliant idea to beep the key fob. I could hear the car’s beeps echoing around me, but I couldn’t find it in any direction I walked. I was stumped and overwhelmed, but also a little relieved that the car wasn’t stolen. I’m a really practical person and am a little challenged with directions. But wherever the car was, I was out of ideas and out of time. I called Mike. He was very calm and said we could record the podcast over the phone. Brent joined us by phone, too. Down but not defeated, I sat in the grubby parking garage stairwell, took a deep breath of the car exhaust’s perfumed air, and did the interview right there. I was a wreck. This was important to me! How could something so silly happen and mess it up?
We recorded the show. It went well. Mike led us through the questions, and Brent and I tag-teamed with ease. I was able to get in a reference to one of my favorite teachers, Dr. Edwards Deming. It felt good to have something to contribute. My cell service would wane in the concrete walls and I would walk out to the noisy part of the parking garage and carry on. When the show was over, Brent, being such a great guy, picked me up and we drove around that silly parking lot until we found the car. As it turned out, the deck was built on a hillside and there were multiple elevators where the street levels were different because of the hillside and the side streets. I was parked several levels below where I expected the car to be. I was embarrassed and grateful to Brent for his help and to Mike for being so accommodating.
This memory came flooding back to me today as I was preparing to introduce Mike and interview him with my podcast partner Robyn Johnson on our new podcast, Process to Ecom Profits. Since my first book came out, I have been a guest on podcasts regularly, at least 2-3 a month. I used to get nervous wondering if I could answer all of the questions, but now I look forward to them. The hosts want the interview to succeed. You’re on the same team as them. It’s never a “60 Minutes” style inquisition.
But I was hosting and interviewing my mentor. Once again, I was anxious. My computer had been giving me fits during our recording. I continually got an ‘Out of Memory’ error message. My internet speed was so slow that our recordings weren’t uploading properly. So, this morning I left my home office and drove to a friend’s house in town with faster internet. I was armed with three computers, one that I knew connected to their Wi-Fi, my new computer with more memory, and the vintage standby. Surely one would work!
It all worked out well. I was able to reach my friend even though he was at work and got the Wi-Fi password and used it to connect to my new computer. I connected a few minutes early and was relieved that I was at the right place with equipment that worked. And I knew right where my car was parked.
I was cool as a cucumber as I greeted Mike when he joined the recording. It felt like a full-circle moment on so many levels. I took a moment to reflect on how my business has grown and how I’ve grown too, in these seven years. One constant has been relationships with so many great people, like Mike and Brent. Brent is still a great friend and client. Mike still coaches me on important business decisions. Both, along with Robyn, are part of my business support network which gets stronger as we learn and grow together.