My journey started when I came to London from Germany. It felt like quite an exciting time with lots of changes and I could see lots of new possibilities in a big city like London. I felt quite confident and had a good level of energy so I made the decision to start my own business. I thought I had this amazing technical idea which would definitely work out! I started to put all my energy into making it happen. Initially it was really good fun, it felt like I was building something new which would give me freedom and independence, it would allow me to make my own decisions and to make money while learning a lot about technology and business at the same time.
My plan was to make this happen relatively quickly and then I could focus more on my relationships, including my girlfriend (who’s now my wife) and building new friendships. That at least was the plan (if you could really call it a plan).
After months and months of effort I started to feel that something wasn’t right without fully understanding what it was. My initial levels of energy dropped and I wasn’t sure anymore if this was the right way forward and if I would ever make it happen.
It took me quite a while to realise that my approach, doing this all on my own, just wasn’t working! I also realised that not only was it not good for me, but it wasn’t good for the people around me.
The hardest part was to accept this, to detach myself from my approach, to admit to myself that I had screwed this up spectacularly, that it’s completely ok and to see it as a good lesson in how not to start a business venture.
Despite this experience there was still something in me that wanted to give it another try and to do something different with my life, to make something happen. A year later I received a flyer for an event and I thought I’d enquire to find out more.
This was the start of my journey with Lighthouse International, where I met other people who had also tried to start their own businesses. I realised that I was not the only person who was struggling to achieve this goal!
Through Lighthouse International I started to learn about personal development, personal growth, leadership, responsibility and relationships. What I was starting to learn was not just related to starting a business, it was also very relevant to my life as a whole! I started to read books on these topics and I ended up joining an awesome and intensive year-long leadership development program which helped me a lot. I was introduced to mentoring and how a Lighthouse mentor could help me to progress with my goals, to see things differently, to make new realisations and to move forward through slowly, but surely, overcoming my fears.
This support through mentoring helped me immensely to see things differently. I started to see my gaps in terms of what I needed to have in place before I could achieve my goals in life. This involved learning a lot about me, why I wanted to start a business, why it is so important to be balanced in life, why genuine, trust-filled relationships are so crucial and why it is so valuable to improve my listening skills.
I learnt as well that it really takes a lot of effort to develop my character, what principles and values are, how to become clearer about the values I live my life by and why this is so helpful and important. Through all of these experiences my energy levels recovered, I became a more balanced person and I started to see many more opportunities in my life. This all helped me to feel much more certain and grounded about life. The result is that I am in a much better place to not only add great value to myself, but to others as well.
I also learned to appreciate and enjoy this journey learning that there is no ‘quick fix’ when it comes to personal development.
Most importantly I can see much more clearly the impact of my own growth and development in other areas of my life. I can be a better husband to my wife and a better father to my daughter. There is a more solid foundation in place within myself now, from where I can genuinely build my life and make my dreams come true.
I’m also aware that this is a continuous journey and that I still have a lot to learn. I still screw things up and I know I can still do lots of things in a different and better way. It’s much easier for me to accept this, I know I will make mistakes, but I also see it more as an opportunity for further growth and that’s all part of life. Who said it’s easy to move ahead and to achieve your dreams?
I’m very grateful to be part of a great community at Lighthouse International, to know so many wonderful people who are dedicated to their own growth, to helping others and to making their dreams come true as well.
Thank you very much to everyone for the journey so far, I’m looking forward to everything else to come! – Daniel Schmitz
Defining Daniel’s Breakthrough Lessons
– by Chris Nash, Director, Mentor & Coach, Lighthouse International