Have you ever had a time in your life when you said to yourself, “Wow, it can’t get any worse than this?” 

I had one such time about a year ago.  Those of you who know my family and me well, know exactly what I’m talking about.  One of the companies we owned and operated was in an uproar, due to circumstances outside our control.

For the past 12 years, we have been entrepreneurs, owning and running companies that supported our family very well…we had faced hard times before, but this time it seemed like it couldn’t have possibly gotten any worse.  Though we were giving our all to that company, there was a “thorn in our company’s side” that wouldn’t go away. 

It was at that time, my brother Gibran and I heard about a weekend retreat event in California where young professionals were gathering to enjoy some downtime.  Imagine, here we are in the midst of a really cold winter – both literally and in our business – and we’re presented with a choice of staying in our misery, or taking a couple days off to relax our bodies, minds and souls. 

For a prolonged period of time, we debated the choice of whether to go or not to go – in fact, the trip was up in the air until the time we physically boarded the plane.  Being responsible business owners, and fully recognizing the crisis we were in, we didn’t see the point of taking time off – even if it was a weekend (we were continuing daily to pour our very heart and soul into our company through the crisis it was in.)  At the same time, something inside us said that to take this time to regroup, refocus, and seek God for His direction would be exactly what we needed to take us to the next part of our life’s journey… And so…we went to beautiful, sunny California.

The first day, we spent walking oceanside on the beach with friends…what a beautiful walk; the ocean water was still cold as we walked through it (it was February after all,) but all of a sudden our perspective on our crisis started shifting a little bit. I remember the look in my brother’s eye as he said to me, “Our problems seemed so huge back at home, but coming out here makes me realize again how we are literally just a speck of sand in this great big world. We are truly part of something bigger than just us…” We proceeded to talk about the wonderful things that were happening with our company, even in the midst of the turmoil we were going through…so many great things were truly being accomplished through our family’s daily, focused efforts on the company.

After the walk on the beach, we drove from LA to out-in-the-middle-of nowhere, CA where the retreat was being held. Here’s where it gets interesting…my brother Gibran and I have two opposite personalities.  It’s said often that he was born thinking and I was born talking and neither of us has stopped doing our thing since that time.  🙂  Seems as though this rule of nature applies to a lot of things we do together…and being at this retreat was no different.  During the weekend, I went around meeting new people, participating in all the activities offered, and chilling with my good friend who’d joined us at the retreat…Gibran did some of that, but, mostly, he just sat and thought…

He was contemplating this mess our company was in back home…thinking about what he could do as the owner to turn things around…and, ultimately, praying that God would give him the wisdom to make the right choices.  He recognized that though he was releasing new initiatives for the company and pouring his very being into it, something more needed to be done in order to turn things around.

Then, one day that weekend, while sitting there thinking and praying, an idea came to Gibran and he jotted it down…then, the idea started to grow arms and legs…then, a face…one thing led to another and that night, as we were sitting in the on-site retreat café chilling, he looked up at me and said “Guess what?”  There was a light in Gibran’s eyes that was beautiful to see, so I smiled and said, “What?”  Gibran proceeded to share with me this great new business idea that had come to him earlier that day…we talked about it extensively and got more excited about it as each minute passed. 

An idea had just been conceived in the midst of some of “the worst days of our life”… Take a moment here and remember that, at this point, only our environment had changed – our circumstances hadn’t changed one bit.  We both knew we’d be slapped with reality after returning home from that weekend…but that was precisely the point.  For a couple of days, we decided to take a look at our reality from the “outside”…take a couple of days of enjoying God’s creation and see if we could re-focus our lives in such a way as to help us move forward…and, because we were open to connecting with an idea…it was created.

The next morning, Gibran was even more excited about this business idea and couldn’t stop talking about how glad he was that he’d taken himself out of the mess of his business for a couple of days to refresh himself and really seek a new path.  He thought that this new business idea could really be a source of inspiration and additional focus for our family…that if we went back home and started spending our energies simultaneously on this idea and the programs we’d already rolled out with the other company, we would be encouraged and motivated to continue our journey instead of worrying about the circumstances.

He was right; over the last year, we as a family, along with some of our team members, have spent countless hours building and shaping the new company while continuing to put our heart and soul into getting our other company back on its feet and making it even better than what it was before the turmoil had hit.  So many times over the course of the last year, those rough circumstances would grow dim when we thought about the positive steps we were taking to revamp our initial company and bring it up to the level that it needed to be, plus build this new dream together. 

As we carried this “baby” of ours to term, we had growth pains here and there…there were mornings we woke up with morning sickness… On the one hand, it hasn’t been an easy few months to say the least – we’ve put so much on the line in building this company – but on the other hand, there were always days of pure joy at the thought of what we were carrying inside us…this hope, this beautiful dream that would soon become a reality.

Last week, we “gave birth” to the new company, Published Daily, a customizable online magazine, newsletter, and marketing service that helps professionals build, maintain, and enhance their business relationships – www.PublishedDaily.com.  What was simply a pipe dream conceived clear across the country, is now a reality…it is now truly a dream conceived, developed, and birthed from turmoil.

Plus, the other company? Well, because of the refocus that started that day in CA, we’ve taken that company out of its turmoil and onto bigger and better things, rolling out several new major initiatives.

We have yet to “raise” this new baby of ours…day by day, we will watch it crawl, walk, and then run…but we thank God that we took the time a year ago to take a look at our reality, at the tumutuous circumstances we were facing, from a completely different perspective…I’m so glad we stepped away from it all, sought our God and found the dreams He wanted to create inside of us.

When you look at your circumstances today, in the midst of all the crazy things happening around you and your specific circumstances…stop…take time and really seek your heart, your innermost dreams and your God, and find a way to make your dreams come true, even in the midst of the turmoil you are staring in the face.

Until next time,