“Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure — do it well, enjoy it — and then, not now, think about what comes next.”
— Condoleezza Rice
Surprise! I'm back, thanks to my good friends John Ehlen and Tom Periæ, who asked if I would consider resurrecting my old column in this leading trade publication. I was ecstatic to say the least. Truthfully, my six-month hiatus from writing my article and consequently releasing the pressure on my pea brain from the insanity of our fellow man, and especially politicians and other welfare whiners, has not been pleasant. My wife even suggested I find a good bartender to talk to, just to relieve her of my pathetic moaning and groaning about the dolts that are using up the oxygen that we, the normal people, need to survive. But I'm not bitter.
To go back a few months, in December of last year, I retired from HARDI, a fantastic organization whose members are the “cream of the crop.” After all, we well know it's distribution that drives the economy and not oil, gas fracking, Wall Street, technology or the vacations and parties our elected first family must endure. But I digress. Nearing my retirement, I spent $125 and founded a company named Phase 3 Insights LLC mainly because it has always been a dream of mine to have my own company, even though I am the only employee. Besides that, the name reflects my vision of where I am at this point in my life/career. Phase 1 was my education, some 18 years of it; the 2nd Phase was my working career spanning some 50 years in HVACR; and Phase 3 is the time to give back for all the kindness and generosity I have received over the years in this fantastic industry. Although I am much too young to retire, it is still fun doing what I love, which undoubtedly is the greatest blessing of all.
Since retiring at the end of the year, I am serving as chairman of NATE (North American Technician Excellence) as we go through a transition, propelling the organization to greater industry influence and growth. Beyond that, I've been hired to head up the HVACR Workforce Development Foundation, which is leading an industry effort to develop and promote educational projects, programs and partnerships to attract committed and skilled employees to a career in HVACR. There are a couple of other ongoing projects, but the bottom line is that I hope that I can sincerely pay back for the blessings I have received from all of you.
You may be wondering where the “view of life from 30,000 feet” came from. Aside from being able to take a look at business and our industry from a new level figuratively, I am also going to have the opportunity to view life physically from new heights this year. Several years ago, I was able to attend the BMW Driving School and then last year the Porsche Driving School. Both were truly awesome adventures! Two weeks ago, I attended a charity auction and bid on a fighter pilot package including a one-hour dogfight, and to my amazement, I was the successful (and only) bidder. It could have been that the other bidders were too old, but nonetheless it proves life is always an adventure. I promise to report on that experience later, providing there is nothing bizarre or crazy in this world that I need to talk to you about.
Don Frendberg is the chairman of North American Technician Excellence and the president of Phase 3 Insights. Contact him at 614/208-6801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.