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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 27, 2023 • Issue 23:03:02

Street SmartsSM

A fond farewell

By Natasa Cvijanovic
Tesla Payments

Editor's Note: Throughout the past year Natasa Cvijanovic has brought excellent information and insights to Street SmartsSM in a conversational, approachable way. It's easy to imagine sitting down with her to have a fireside chat during which she tells of a life's journey that makes bravery seem easy. She doesn't toot her own horn, though; she tells it like it is in a firm but gentle way. Seeing what's on her mind from article to article has been a delight, and we'll miss the unique voice she has brought to the Street Smarts column. But like she says in this, her last article as the author of this column, "Often, the conclusion of one chapter—be it a business closing, the conclusion of a business venture or partnership, the end of a relationship, or something else—signals the beginning of the next." So it is that Natasa is embarking on her next adventure, and we wish her the best of luck. And we will begin a new adventure at The Green Sheet, too, with the inimitable Nick Cucci, co-founder and chief operating officer of Fluid Pay. He is stepping up to take over Street Smarts starting with our April 10 issue. We'll tell you more about him in our next issue.

I can't thank everyone enough—from the Street SmartsSM editor to industry colleagues and contributors—I've learned valuable lessons from all of them. Writing for Street Smarts not only helped me learn, but also made me a better writer and a better leader.

Although it was challenging, 2020 is now a few years behind us, and it taught us many unexpected lessons, such as the importance of not taking anything for granted and trying something new. This was one of the reasons I decided to embark on this journey with you all. However, as it is with everything else in life, all good things must come to an end.

This is my final Street Smarts article before I hand over the reins to someone else and ride off into the sunset to follow a new dream and start a new story.

I contemplated what may be an appropriate topic for the final issue and how I would like to leave you with a good ending. Endings are often viewed as something to mourn, yet they are not always negative. Often, the conclusion of one chapter—be it a business closing, the conclusion of a business venture or partnership, the end of a relationship, or something else—signals the beginning of the next.

What end are you working toward?

In one of my first articles, I discussed how, like many of my colleagues, I became an accidental entrepreneur, but I didn't discuss why we do what we do or our ultimate and business end goals. Have you thought about yours? What is your "why"? Yes, I will get philosophical with you, so bear with me. Have you put careful thought into what your business and life are working toward? Having career and financial goals is one thing, but life needs a deeper purpose.

Imagine having a life goal so well suited to your needs and skills that every experience you have feels purposeful and important. Internalizing the term "life goal" will change your perspective and why you do things.

A life goal is so powerful and important to you that you cannot fail to achieve it. It is what keeps you going when things are tough and what keeps you grounded when you win. It's the image you envision when you fast-forward to the end of your life and the reflection you crave when you look back. What do you want to be able to think about? The pursuit of a good ending, your good ending is the philosophy of life goals.

When will you have enough?

But what is a good ending? Is the good ending when you have enough? Enough merchants, enough money, enough assets, enough respect?

Some people worry that by being content with what we have, by being content with enough, we will no longer be able to advance in our careers or personal lives, but it's not that simple. As a young athlete, Tiger Woods referred to "enough" as the "e-word" as if it were an expletive. He feared a void would form if he no longer had or dominated the game. Compare that constant need to keep up with the peace that comes from being content with having enough. 

Currently, we live in a culture of more: more money, more merchants (for those of us in merchant services), more social media followers, more property, more, more, more. The search for more and better never ends, although external accomplishments like money or status won't make you happy, at least not long term. The desire for more often runs counter to contentment and frequently contradicts happiness. So instead of focusing on more, let's focus on enough.

Enough is both exhilarating and frightening for the same reason. Nobody can tell you what is enough. There is no formula or set of rules to follow to get there. That can be intimidating. But this means that the concept of enough is not just about money. Some have defined "riches" as the amount of free time they have, which explains why there are so many highly content individuals with few assets but an abundance of time.

Does enough feel elusive to you? The idea of enough and what it means to each person might differ. Some people think that enough is the bare minimum, while it can be a lot for others.

Ultimately, having enough comes from within. It comes from looking at yourself and your accomplishments differently and understanding that having more is not always the answer. If you can accept this, you will be wealthier than most.

I hope you've found something useful in my ramblings over the last year. I wish you enough! end of article

Natasa Cvijanovic, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Payments and member of the SEAA advisory committee, has a proven track record within the payment industry of cultivating successful relationships with ISOs, MLSs and strategic partners. In developing national sales channels, she provides training and coaching to sales partners to enable them to become better business partners and advocates for their merchants, and to assist them in building portfolios producing steady residual streams. She is also dedicated to consistently delivering high levels of professionalism, integrity, dependability and trustworthiness. Contact her at natasa@teslapayments.com.

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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