Accidental CEO

I was the geek of my school year, and predictably did an MEng in Information Systems Engineering. Once I started in the world of work, after a few interesting diversions I ended up founding a software company.

I wouldn’t claim to have any great vision, really just following my nose and the opportunity came along. Right guy, right time, right problem, right people around me. At the time I thought it was an accident but looking back perhaps not!

I’d figured out that part of my CEO role was to read widely, and in the early days there was lots of travel, and hence lots of “dead” time. So I used to get through 4 – 5 books a trip, some on very CEO-like subjects like marketing strategy and sales, but I’d always pick one which was a bit “out there” just to keep me open minded. Audible was pretty cool for road trips, too.

Getting Curious

I’d never really done anything aside from read random books on my travels, plus lots and lots of reading on line. Steve Pavlina was a tech/lifestyle blogger I’d happened upon, and his wife Erin was one of the first really public Intuitives. Interesting blog to follow but I’d not really taken anything further.

Come my 40th birthday, why not get a proper reading? I was feeling at a bit of a transition point anyway, and it isn’t like it would hurt. I’ve never been so nervous – but the resulting reading was absolutely mind blowing! Very definitely resonated.

Professional Intuitives Course

Since then I’d kept an eye on Erin, who had started doing Professional Intuitive Courses where you’d go and train with her for 3 days in Las Vegas. Which was nice to see but not something I was particularly interested in. I was the busy road warrior executive who had an interesting Intuitive Reading once, but I’d never fit in with people who did “that kind of thing”.

In 2013 we reached the 10th anniversary of our company’s founding and I realised that for well over 10 years I’d done nothing but focus on the business and my young family – at some point I should do something for myself. The business was doing well so I could afford to spread my wings a bit, and the boys were older so I didn’t feel too guilty about an optional trip away. So I decided that if something interesting came along, I’d do it.

Then Erin announced another one of her courses, and on a whim I applied – figuring I’d probably be rejected. And if I did go, it would just be an interesting experience and insight into a different world, but not really anything other than an interesting thing to watch.

Turns out she accepted me – I’m told only 10% of applicants are accepted, which I can fully understand having done the course.

Fortunately the logistics worked out fine, we wrapped it with a couple of customer visits, and the plan was set. I figured it would do me good to be completely outside my comfort zone.

Before I left, I was stuck in a very long traffic jam with a colleague who was rather persistent in finding out exactly what I was going to Vegas for, as I hadn’t made it public. Eventually I told her and when I asked her if she thought I was mad, she said “Oh no, probably the most understandable thing about you”. Which was at the time probably the best thing she could have said, because it gave me the confidence to go through it.

Las Vegas

Erin had provided some talks to listen to before we started the course and I hadn’t really had the chance to listen to them before I left. So I did all the homework on the flight over which worked out fine although it did feel strange doing the normal road warrior thing whilst learning about the paranormal…

I stayed in the Bellagio when in Vegas (because of the film Ocean’s Eleven). Staying in a Casino hotel, with 8 hours jet lag, doing a Psychic Development course – that’s quite a trip.

Ohhh

I could say a lot about the course, aside from that it is both matter-of-fact, and profound.

There were three things that came out for me:

  1. We weren’t being taught a skill, as much as being shown how to allow ourselves to say what we really knew anyway.
  2. How I felt giving a “reading” (psychic consultation) was just how I felt when I was working at my best at work.
  3. We’d all look at the same person and get very similar stuff. Not exact, but all in the same direction.

Also – I was good. Given I was expecting to really be an observer there for entertainment value, this was quite a shock. I could actually do this.

’Fessing up

So it says a lot for the trust people have in me that it took until I was about to come home before anyone really asked what I was up to. A question which I of course dodged until I got home.

I didn’t tell my colleagues initially – frankly for fear they’d run, thinking the CEO had finally, completely lost his senses. An Apple iDevice addiction is tolerable, but listening to voices in your head…?

But it became clear that I had to, partly because we don’t really have secrets, and partly because we were in a process of scaling up the operation and it was clear people couldn’t do what I could do – and all the training, mentoring, process etc. we could throw at it wasn’t working.

Fortunately, emboldened by people’s kind words, I mustered the courage to tell everyone over a period of weeks. And everyone was OK – to the extent that the sales people ended up calling me over to do an impromptu read of a random prospect.

And that’s how I became an Intuitive CEO… thanks to a good number of very kind people.

The Future

I’ve got some hopes for intuition in business – read more here…