When Life Gives You Lemons…

Hidden Reserves

I’ve long believed that humans can source incredible creativity and resilience when life requires it. In good times, when true grit isn’t required, it often remains hidden from us. But sometimes life throws us the fiercest combination of curveball, knuckleball and slider. These are the times when an invisible power shows up – the times when we truly grow.

I’ve found these hidden reserves on a few rare occasions myself. In 2008, I faced near bankruptcy when I was “restructured out” of a well-paid leadership role. In 2010, I climbed Grouse Mountain in a time I never thought possible…for me! And in 2020, a virus with a silly name turned my world upside down.

Life – Predictably Unpredictable

I’m not special. I’m human. And for whatever reason, my life has featured more twists and turns than most. Asking why (something I spent far too much time pondering in my earlier days), is a path to depression. I know this from experience. I’ve been forced to embrace the complete unpredictability of life and even grow to love it…a bit like an arranged marriage. I will tell you this…Covid has reinforced a budding belief that control of our lives is a complete illusion. If we’re paying close attention, we can quickly steer around obstacles that suddenly appear, but we have almost zero ability to predict them.

If you’re a loyal reader (Thank You!), you know that I’ve been rather quiet of late. It’s not because I’ve lost the desire to write. Frankly, it’s because putting food on the table for my herd of children is infinitely more important.

An Unexpected Pivot

Being in a corporate role with a salary has never seemed like a better place to be. Job security is certainly questionable right now. That said, most companies are doing their best to hold onto as many people as possible. But the “words of wisdom” being spouted online by people with salaries are empty and completely devoid of perspective.

The reason I haven’t written is because I’ve been working 12-16 hour days, 7 days a week to build a pool service and supply business. Yes, I’ve pivoted from keynote speaker to pool boy! Would I have predicted that I’d be returning to the work I did 25 years ago in my mid-40’s?…umm…Nope! But circumstances required it. I had a $50K month booked in April. Take a guess what that turned out to be?…here’s a hint – you could multiply it by $10 Trilion and still get zero.


But here’s the thing – I’m loving the rush of creating something out of nothing. And business is booming. Turns out the same players from 25 years ago are still involved, and several of them are still assholes (go figure!). It’s been a lot of hard work but not terribly difficult to carve out an expanding piece of pool pie. And all of this is because I made the decision several years ago to never EVER take another job…and this funny beer virus thingy.

So I guess you could say this post is part “get back in the habit of writing you baboon!”, part “find your own resilience…yes it exists”, and part advertisement for discount pool supplies and meticulous pool service. Seriously, if you need anything for your pool…literally anything, I can get it and/or I can fix it.

Embrace The Drama

My quick advice and the moral of this post? Call me for anything pools…Ha!…couldn’t resist!..but here’s the number if you need a new pool liner 🙂 (416)779-0051. And STOP asking why. Rather, START embracing the drama that the game of life presents. It truly is stranger and more unpredictable than fiction…Aint nothin you’re gonna do to change it!

Tomorrow, my 15 year-old son and I have 4 pool openings and a liner measurement. It’s supposed to be 4 degrees and snowing…and I can’t wait.

Oh, one more thing. Expect sporadic posts for while! Be good!


30 Minutes

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Brent C. Wagner