That day when $100 fell out of my pocket…
I had just arrived home and reached in my pocket for the $200 cash back I had gotten for my partner with his bank card at the grocery store.
Only $100 was there.
I looked in my purse, in the bags, on the floor…
In the car…
On the ground on the way from the car…
In my pockets… in my purse… in the bags…
On the floor…
I was already late with dinner and it was also Giuseppe’s birthday.
(I would later joke that in honor of him being half a century, I lost half his cash.)
The only thing left to do was go back to the store and retrace my steps.
So I did.
I looked in the parking lot, every step I had taken to the car, and even the bathroom I’d had to take my 4-year-old daughter in between transactions earlier. I asked the U-Scan attendant if she had seen anything.
And so I went to the customer service desk, where a young man was handing a woman’s lost keys back to her.
“I hope I can be as lucky,” I said to both of them.
I went on to explain to the attendant that somewhere in between the register and my car, some money had fallen out of my pocket.
“How much did you have?” he said with absolutely no look of recognition on his face (which didn’t give me much hope).
“Five twenties.” (I figured specificity would help conjure the money back up.)
Both instantly and in what seemed like an eternity, his poker face transformed into a wide grin.
“It’s your lucky day!”
And with that, he opened the cash register and pulled out five twenties and handed me a sheet to sign before returning them to me.
“Someone picked them up and turned them in,” he continued, “which is highly unusual.”
Yeah, no kidding.
So I went home dazed, triumphant, emotionally exhausted and delivered the $100 to a very relieved Giuseppe.
I am telling you this story because I also want to share with you what I did on the drive back to the store that made all the difference.
I consciously changed my emotional state.
Acknowledging my feelings of being out of control and anxious about the missing cash, I decided to think about ten things I was not stressed about, among them the fact that Giuseppe was super loving and supportive while I had been in panic mode.
I also remembered that many years ago, in Barcelona (a gorgeous city full of professional thieves), a whole holiday weekend after leaving my laptop in the back of a taxi, the driver showed up at my door to return it. I called on that feeling of relief, gratitude, amazement, and it felt like I was there, in the doorway of my flat, holding my laptop in disbelief.
If a laptop could make its way back to me in a city full of pickpockets, I would get this $100 back one way or another, no problem.
And I did.
So, my dear entrepreneurs, mompreneurs and solopreneurs, the next time you get stressed (especially about one of the many challenges of running a business), I invite you to shift your focus to something — anything — that you don’t feel stressed about, and then follow those feelings and see where they lead you.
Even if your problem is not immediately solved, at least you will feel better.
And on this roller coaster journey of entrepreneurship, feelings are everything.