Last night, I almost died.

No, really. I was walking the dog. It was raining. We began to cross East 57th Street on the west side of 1st Avenue, in the crosswalk, with “go ahead and walk” right-of-way in our favor. And then a very stupid, very careless driver broke several laws, speeding up 1st Avenue in the third lane from the left … a lane designated for going straight. But instead he cut across the two left-turn-only lanes, ignored the red left-turn light, and … slammed on his brakes. His car stopped inches from me, and because of where she was positioned had I not yanked the dog off the ground by her leash she would have been done.

People have died here before, by the way.

East 57th Street at First Avenue, NYC

I was shaken, but big. It’s not “my way”, but I found myself standing in the street screaming and swearing at this imbecile until cars began backing up once the light changed and it became legal to make that left turn. I had several drinks when I got home—also not my way.

I actually tweeted about the incident. Not my way, either; you don’t care what I had for breakfast.

When I walked the dog this morning I found myself afraid to cross streets. Small incident, big impact.

I presume I’ll be a fearless New York City street navigator again, soon. I’m happy to report that the dog is OK. So why am I telling you about this?

A few weeks ago, I used a Mental Health Day to do some work on this web site that might otherwise have never gotten done. The work I did that day wasn’t “important” enough to devote resources to that I could use for other things. Today, genuinely shaken by this near-death experience, I find myself having a hard time concentrating, which might impact the two meeting I have scheduled today about SEO Consulting and Search Engine Optimization with potential new clients. In short, I’m having a bad day and need to turn it into a good one, quickly.

Today’s business change lesson is this: if you look hard enough you can find good stuff even when it all feels bad. I’m writing about a bad experience, tweaking our SEO results, and passing time until my heart stops thumping away in my chest, all at the same time. I’m turning otherwise wasted time into something.

I know, I know; too new-age. La-la-la … life is what you make of it. Tony Robbins would be proud. So would Chris Brogan, and even my old pal Ken Rutkowski.

But that’s what business change is. There are things that impact the way your business works, and they aren’t all within your control. Your job is to take control back.

And remember: there’s not really such a thing as having right-of-way. There’s only NOT having it.

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