There were many changes for the Simpson’s in 2016. At the beginning of the year I was the Regional Sales Manager for GM Financial; the finance arm for General Motors. I was responsible for 187 dealers across 5 states and 5 area reps. The job entailed a lot of travel and being in a different car dealership every day. When I accepted this position my strategy was to build relationships with my dealers that would result in an opportunity to eventually become a General Manager. With my territory being the Midwest, I anticipated my opportunity to be a GM to be somewhere in the Midwest as well.
At the end of the Summer last year both of my kids left to go to their perspective colleges, so Jan and I effectively became “empty-nesters”. Having raised our kids to this point in their lives ran parallel to Jan and I achieving this point in our lives where we could accept the right position at the right dealership regardless of where it was in the country.
I flew to several dealership interviews from one side of the country to the other, and once I had made up my mind of where we were going and who we were going to work for things moved pretty quickly. I packed everything I needed and left Jan in Dallas to get my kids off to their colleges and to pack up our apartment in preparation for a relocation. I arrived at my new store on a Friday morning, and by 11:00 I knew I had made the wrong choice.
A week later I got on an airplane and flew back to Dallas. Before I left the dealership parking lot I made a phone call and accepted another GM position in another part of the country. I called Jan from the airport with the news, “Don’t stop packing, but we’re going someplace else.” I spent the next week helping Jan pack and the next Sunday I was on another airplane headed to our new opportunity in Maryland. That Tuesday I started my next new career at my current store. Walking into the conference room to meet my new staff, I knew in an instant that I was home.
In the 4 months since I accepted my current position, the store I manage has made a 180 degree turn, Jan and I are closer than ever, my kids are learning how to be self-sufficient, and I am finding things out about myself that I could not have learned in any other context.
The first day of the new year is a great time for introspection and reflection, and looking back I am so proud of the way Jan and I have embraced this new road we are on. I am thinking this morning of the lessons that I learned along the way.
- Don’t lose focus on your goals, regardless of your circumstances or your geography
- The most important asset in any ones life is the quality of the relationships we make along the way
- We are capable of more than we think we are if we focus our efforts on our strengths and passions, and are willing to do the work and invest the time
- A person is never too old or too stuck to reinvent themselves into the person that they know that they can be
- Making a mistake is never fatal, staying in those circumstances becasue it’s easier than risking another mistake is the reason most people are dissatisfied with their lives
- Big Wave Dave
- David Simpson
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