A Tale of a HUGE Setback

Honey, I’m home! 

“For how long?”, Cindy asked.  

I said… Forever.

July 7 & 8, 2016 — Two days I will never forget.

We live at Eureka Lake in the Flint Hills of Kansas in the middle of the USA. 

We made the decision to move from Wichita, KS, the city we had lived and worked in for 30 years to live a calmer life at the lake for a few years. 

I (Charlie) worked for a major cable company in Wichita, but didn’t mind commuting back and forth for a year or so.

Our plan was for me to continue working for the next year and basically “bank” my sales income as part of our “retirement” nest egg. 

That said, we both are of the mindset that we will never retire. 

You see, we are both Life and Leadership Coaches, but my coaching was just a side hustle.

But, once I retired from Corporate America, I planned to build my Life and Leadership Coaching practice and have more freedom to work and play. 

Listen carefully…do you hear idylic music playing? 

You know, that happy background music that plays in a movie when everything ends “happily ever after”? 

Ahhh….yes, we heard it too, at least we did until the evening of July 7th. 

That evening, we were sitting at home trying to watch the Kansas City Royals baseball team when our satellite dish got knocked out by some heavy rain.

When everything was back up, it was still raining, but suddenly every channel was broadcasting tornado warnings for South Central Kanas. 

That’s not unusual for there to be tornados on occasion, so we weren’t concerned until we heard “Eureka”, “multiple cells” and “take cover in the next 30 minutes”.  

Fortunately, we have friends who have an above-the-ground storm shelter, so we loaded ourselves and our 14 year old chocolate lab in the car and headed that way. 

We were getting multiple texts from family and friends to definitely “take cover”. So we waited in a small storm shelter with ten others. 

Yes, two tornados hit this area. 

Fortunately, they were up in the air when they went over Eureka Lake, but unfortunately, much of the town was hit. 

The town literally looked like a war zone. 

I had to navigate through closed roads, barricades, Red Cross vans, and law enforcement to get to the office that day…only to be hit by a third and different type of tornado. 

Once I was in the office, my boss — who is only a little older than our sons — came by and asked me to meet with him in his office. 

I walked into the office, was told the company was making some changes and my services were no longer needed. 


Are you kidding?  


Is there severance? 


Should I call my clients? 


Get my personal belongings? 


So after ten years, I’m just to leave? 


Shortly after 10:30 that morning, I called Cindy saying I was coming home. 

No job. 

No severance. 

No health coverage (except for expensive, expensive COBRA). 

AND….NOT ON THE TIMETABLE we had carefully constructed. 

It was a huge setback for us. 

Everything should have felt out of control, but it simply did not. 

We both felt an incredible peace. As people of faith, for us, it truly was a peace that passes understanding. 

We knew, without a doubt, that although this door had been slammed shut - really one of those “don’t let the door hit you in the rear” times, another door would open. 

And, if history repeated itself, the door that opened next would be even better than the one that was just shut. 

We were excited, full of anticipation. 

Were we scared? 


But, we knew - just that gut feeling - that whatever was to come was going to be worth the risk of not having a clear picture of the future. 

We had a choice to panic and to jump into something that wasn’t a good fit immediately or take a risk and wait for the storm clouds to part so we could see the rainbow. 

For us —  after we had a bottle of wine (or two) and ice cream —- we chose the rainbow. 

So what about your life?

Think back to the last major setback you faced,

What choices did you make to navigate the setback?

In hindsight, what choice, if any, do you wish you would have made?

If you want to learn more about how to handle setbacks you might like our short webinar. Just click the link to watch it now. LINK


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