Tesla Test Drive
Yesterday, I sat in a Tesla for the first time. Of course, I'm sold, but not for the reasons you might think. Let me start by saying it's a supremely sexy ride. It's the world's fastest production car. I live in Natchitoches, LA, and let's just say we don't see electric vehicles everyday. I was meeting friends for lunch when I spied the Tesla (probably parallel parking itself ) in front of a local restaurant. I complimented the owners on their beautiful car and asked if I could just peek inside. Much to my amazement, the gentleman invited me to sit in the driver's seat.
Leather and Tears
I sat down and as I took in the incredible details, my eyes flooded with tears. I was moved by merely sitting in a Tesla. You see, Elon Musk is a hero of mine, and his life journey has affected mine in profound ways. About a year ago, I read Ashlee Vance's biography on Elon. I learned about a boy who was so brutally bullied he was put in the hospital, a college dropout who dreamed beyond the walls of an institution, and a man who willingly sacrificed every penny he had to fulfill his life purpose. I, like Musk, have the benefit of knowing my life purpose. My dream is to build an executive search firm that puts morality above all else, to grow leaders, to foster relationships, to change lives, to be a light in a dark place.
Since the inception of J Bennett Recruiting, I have faced challenge after challenge and made incredible sacrifices. I have given when there was nothing left to give and struggled with fear beyond my wildest imagination. I have had to lay off talented people in order to keep the doors open, made promises I couldn't keep to those that mattered most and even sold my car to make payroll.
Hard vs Challenging
I have also discovered a thing or two about myself. I'm stronger than I thought. I can be helpful to others even when my world is collapsing, and I can learn how to do anything. I have grasped the meaning of what is "hard" versus what is "challenging." Challenging is getting up early for work after a night of no sleep. Challenging is managing four lives with one vehicle. Challenging is budgeting for big costs with little revenue. I have observed that I have had very little, if any, experience with the "hard" things in life.
Hard is burying a child or a spouse. Hard is facing a terminal disease. Hard is detoxing off of heroin. The rest are just challenges, and I am always up for a good challenge. I am learning to master the routine things well and the true meaning behind, "Rome wasn't built in a day."
No More Despair
J Bennett Recruiting has been open for over a year, and I have so much more to learn, and many more challenges to face. When the pit of despair and fear of failure overtake me, I will remember the feel of the Tesla steering wheel beneath my fingers and the sacrifice that was made for its existence. I'll shift my focus from the mistakes I've made to the person I have become. I'll make more sacrifices if that's what is required. As Elon Musk races NASA to get to Mars, I will build the search firm of my dreams- one challenge at a time.
Hillary Bennett is the COO of J Bennett Recruiting, a boutique Retained Executive Search Firm that specializes in Commercial Construction. She is a mother of two and lover of shoes.