Letting Go — Watching Your "Baby" Grow

Feb 5, 2014 9:35:43 AM / by David Einstein

Sometimes the road takes you in a direction you didn't expect. Sometimes the road takes you in a direction you didn't expect.
H. Ambrose Kiehl and his daughter, Laura Kiehl, on a bicycle, Washington, 1896. University of Washington LIbraries.

I’ll never forget when my daughter Ava was born. She was perfect in every way, and I was the luckiest and proudest dad in the world. My wife and I had high hopes for her future and formulated plans as to what direction she might go with her education, music appreciation, wanderlust for travel, interest in new foods, cultures and so much more.

Of course, we knew she would find her own way, but we thought we might be able to lead her down the path we knew would be best for her. After all, (we justified), we were both college educated and successful professionals. We were well traveled and experienced in many ways (music, food, the arts, etc.) and we dabbled in multiple languages.

Anyway, we thought we had our plans for our daughter well thought out and down pat. When she was two years old we were taking her out for sushi, Indian food, Mexican and Mediterranean food, and she was sucking it all down. Complex flavors, spicy, curry, falafel, wasabi — no matter, she loved it all. She could eat an entire bowl of ginger at the sushi restaurant we frequented. The staff and owners were dumbfounded to see her order and promptly consume two bowls of pickled ginger. She was knocking it back like candy! Frankly, I couldn't have been more proud.

Then, something amazing and unexpected took place right around 2 or 3 years old. She started talking and developing a personality of her own. She had her own sense of style and we learned quickly that no one was going to make her wear matching socks, no, not for anything in the world. We couldn’t get her to eat cheese or peanut butter and jelly to save our lives. How do you make a kid lunch for school if she won’t eat cheese or peanut butter and jelly, I ask you? Even when we put some parmesan into homemade spaghetti sauce, she’d sniff it out and flatly refuse it.

She was taking her own life in hand and re-inventing the picture we had for her. She had friends and outside influences (damn the internet) that were making an impression on her personality, sense of style and preferences for how she wanted to live. We were losing control day by day and there was nothing we could do about it! “What the hell is going on here?” I would ask her mother. “This wasn’t part of our plan!” or, “Geez, I didn’t see that one coming! Why can't we get her to eat cheese?”

So right before my eyes, I realized the true meaning of “the best laid plans ...” And though I was helpless to stop it, I realized that my daughter was finding her own way. She was becoming more beautiful and successful every day because she insisted on expressing her own style, being her own person and shaping herself into an impactful, radiant and happy kid.

With all of those outside influences (even with the little bit she took from her mother and me), she was transforming a little more each day into the best of who she could be. My wife looked at me and said, “More change is coming. It’s going to make her better, smarter, more successful and happy. You’d better embrace it.” I listened and today, I'm excited, content and really proud of what Ava is becoming.

Upon reflecting about my daughter's evolution and growth, I’m amazed at how this relates to my business and the re-engineering and improvements through the many years of Efficio. When we started, I thought that I had it all planned out, and that we had the right direction and the best tools that made the most intuitive sense to media sellers and managers around the country.

I had been in media sales for more than 20 years and had always been fascinated with thinking of ways that would make me and my sales team more efficient and productive so we could sell more and make more money. I had worked in media sales in numerous markets, from New York to Knoxville in both TV and radio and thought that I really had a handle on how things could be better.

Yet, over the 14 years that Efficio Solutions has been in business, we’ve made an enormous number of changes, improvements and innovations to our system. None were as exciting as those planned for our upcoming release of Efficio 5.0. The changes going into this system have deviated from some basic premises that I've held onto for years. Believe me when I say that Efficio’s leadership had many difficult (sometimes heated) conversations about our new direction. We toiled over it for more than a year and picked at every detail to make sure that our users would benefit, have the best possible experience and be provided the greatest chance of productivity with the next generation Efficio 5.0 system.

We scoured feedback from our clients over and over again to ensure that we accounted for the most vocal input from them, so we could marry it with very best of technology available today. Not just technology that was “hot” today, but advancements that would take us into the future. We wanted to deliver a game changer to our clients.

And here I am, ready to release Efficio 5.0, a dramatic change in our original direction. It’s not easy to watch my “Efficio baby” change like this. The evolution caused me some personal turbulence because I was familiar and comfortable with the “old” way and believed in it with conviction. It was what I knew and what I have always thought to be the right way. But I had to make a conscious effort to open myself up to new ways of looking at old challenges.

I realize now that these changes are for the better and they will make Efficio the very best that it can be for our customers. So I’ll leave you with this thought: More change is coming. It’s going to make you better, smarter, more successful and happy. I hope you breathe it in, get excited about it, and that you will be proud of what you’ll become when you embrace it.

By David Einstein, Co-president, Efficio Solutions

Tags: Media Sales

David Einstein

Written by David Einstein


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