Fog of Discernment

Earlier this week, I took this photo of a spider web through a fogged up window. This image reminded me of the decision-making process over the past three years which brought me to this new season of my career.  Foggy, unclear, with a web of potential pitfalls.

This journey began with an overwhelming feeling of restlessness in the summer of 2012. It was at a networking event almost three years ago where I first had the vision of becoming a business owner. I wanted to own Upic.

Deep down, I believe that I have always been an entrepreneur.

As a kid, we lived on a gravel country road with four houses surrounded by farms. Seeing a need to give us something to do when school was out for summer, I collected all of the children’s books from the neighborhood kids.  I opened “Peace Library” (yes, I’m a child of the 60’s) out of our backyard shed,  charging a nickel to check out any book, including ones you had previously owned. I leveraged profits from the library to purchase 6.5 ounce Coca-Colas that may dad brought home from work, selling them with a 100% markup for a dime each.  And later I took those profits to purchase penny candy from the country store which I sold for a nickel each.  By the end of that summer, I had amassed $60 from the neighborhood kids and was the proud owner of a new digital clock with AM/FM radio—my very first technology purchase. I was in business!

That experience taught me to find a need, take action and use my powers of persuasion to provide unique value. Those experiences were mothballed until 15 years ago when I co-founded Upic with my friends from six United Ways.  And the last 15 years have literally been “on the job” training for starting and building an IT services business.

However, my initial desire three years ago to own Upic was driven by ego and a need to control my fate.  I’ve since learned that God never wastes an opportunity to impart valuable lessons, especially when I’m out of alignment with His Will.  During my quiet time today, I was reminded of His timing and goals versus mine: “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 TLB)

The intervening three years were a rollercoaster of emotions and motivations–with peaks of achievement followed by depths of despair.  Why wasn’t this dream coming to pass?  Time is a great ally and ultimately I discovered that my goals were not aligned with His.  Finally, I gave up the idea of purchasing Upic, especially for the wrong reasons.

In other words, this next season of my career is not about me. Discernment, or cutting through the fog of my own ego, reveals that life and business is most rewarding when serving others.

And while this business is no longer about me, the last three posts here have been largely autobiographical on purpose. My intent was to share my recent decision-making process as context for what is to come. In doing so, I’ve probably given you the impression that Winsightz is short for “Winston’s insights”.

In reality, Winsightz is a word combination of winning and insights. I love winning, whether it’s competing for the minds and hearts of donors or playing Words with Friends. And I love the thrill of discovery–gaining new experiences and insights. And combining those two ideas fuels our desire to serve a select group of clients–multipliers–who won’t settle for incremental results.

On the other side of this successful season of discernment is a new clarity, strong purpose with intentionality and passion. By leveraging the exponential capabilities of emerging technology, the potential for impact is limitless. I believe we will multiply the investments of our clients to great benefit to their mission.

The countdown to the launch of Winsightz has begun!  I can’t wait to share the inspiration for Winsightz in the very next post.