It was Fall 2000. It was Y2k. Lots of uncertainty in the air and I was about to enter a huge uncertain period in my life. I was about to make a MAJOR shift in my professional career from Risk Management to Ministry. I worked for a Risk Management firm in Chicago.
As a Risk Management professional, I saw (over the years) a correlation between the frequency/severity of employee injury and the Leadership’s commitment to safety. I developed a strong passion to change that mindset in leaders.
This shift to ministry was not voluntary, however.
In my first book, “Conversations on Faith, 2003” I wrote that my transition to ministry was neither a risk nor a loss, but an answer to a compelling charge. However, as time progressed I began to experience intrusive thoughts of fear, uncertainty and doubt Commonly known as FUD in the business world).
As I walked away from Risk Management, I found myself trying to negotiate with God saying, “is there a happy ending to this? …. what is my calling?” What I heard next shook me to the core. I heard:
“Ray, your ministry is right where you are. Your calling is to Risk Manage the heart of CEOs. You will be their Spiritual Coach. Show them how to lead from within, ….(from the inside out), show them that What, When, Where, Why, and How all stem from the Who space. You will transform the Inner-Structure (soul) of business one CEO’s heart at a time.”
And so with that, I left, cold turkey, into an inner-journey of uncertainty, [which I have now coined as my inventure.]
After several months of coaching different CEOs I noticed a pattern … some started to invest into the lives of their employees (advanced education, replaced their broken down cars, contributed to the down payment on their first home, etc.) and so I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was on the right path.
But this journey was not void of obstacles and struggles. It was far from linear. It was filled with Zigs and Zags. The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was the thought of loss, the thought of being a failure to myself, my spouse, my family. Having built my career, brick by brick ….. a Bachelors and Masters degree in Chemical Engineering; a journey in the Oil and Gas industry, the Financial Industry and (before my exodus,) the Risk Management industry, I now found myself walking into the fog of uncertainty, yet at the same time standing my ground on integrity, though blinded by guilt and regret, unable to see “the great work of my life” that lie ahead.
It took me years to finally break through from this fear, guilt, doubt, and regret.
It was crippling, it was depressing at times, forsaking the known path of professional career development and embracing the unknown, yet holding on tight to my conviction – Driven By a Cause.
Eight years from the beginning of my Inventure, (2008) the market crashed and so did my Spiritual Coaching Ministry (clients were more focused on saving their homes, business, investment, etc). It was The Perfect Storm….
On the surface things looked dim, and downright frustrating.
Not only did I risk it all, I was now (in my limited eye) losing it all.
Hindsight has taught me that to live the life as an Inventurer you have to be willing to risk it all to gain/give it all. All of Love, All of Life, All of Truth. Like my days in the Oil Refineries, you have to be willing to place yourself in the refiners firer to burn out all evidence of self, pride, and ego so that the only thing remaining to impart is LIFE.
Life is the bullseye in my upcoming book, “The Inventurer.” The Zigs and the Zags is the journey towards getting there
Do you have an inventurer story? Please share it in the comment section below. I plan on including several Inventurer stories in this book.