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Community

It’s Going to Be a Minute: My Plan, Or Lack-There-Of, For This Next Stage In Life

One thing that I have come to realize as I have looked over these past 7 months is that before Covid-19, my life was incredibly full.  It was full of good intentions and a lot of meetings that didn’t seem to be for any other reason than to make me feel important.  I came to realize that I needed to say “no” to opportunities, meetings and activities of all kinds.  On the surface there was nothing wrong with what I was doing, but as I began evaluating my life, I saw that the people and places I was needing to invest my time in were getting overlooked and pushed aside.

As I began to say “no” and finish up commitments, I started to have more life and joy again.  I realized that I didn’t need to run myself ragged so that I could hopefully eventually “do what I want in the future”.  I began to understand that I needed to focus on the now and be present for those in my life.

It’s been a paradigm shifting 7 month journey, but it has been one that was needed. I believe that what would have taken me 2-3 years to learn and put into practice was sped up because I was faced with hard truths and made the needed changes.  I would never wish a pandemic on anyone or any community, but I am choosing to make the most of this situation.  I am choosing to slow down and dig into where I have been planted.  I have been focusing more on my family, coworkers, and neighbors, and as I have done this it has been life giving.  

In focusing on who is next to me and the opportunities I have today, I have been able to build stronger relationships and get opportunities that always seemed to elude me in the past.  I have learned that to have an impact on the community you are a part of, it is about more than voting, talking or marching, but taking consistent action over time.  I am far from perfect and don’t have many answers, but one thing I do know is that when we slow down and take root where we are, we start to have the impact we really long for.  My life… it’s pretty ordinary, and it’s just the way I want it. 

Business

Pie Bar: My mecca.

Yesterday, I found my mecca.

It is a place of heavenly treats and pies that seemed to have come straight from heaven.  I could continue on by talking about the perfect piece of Bourbon Chocolate Pecan pie, yes you read that correctly, but before I digress anymore… I came to my mecca and met one of the owners of, Lauren.  Her and her husband Cody have made a quaint and deliciously southern pie joint that most would consider an overnight success. 

In talking with Lauren you begin to understand that it was actually through long hours, tears and an unbelievable community that it has become the success that it is today.  The biggest take away from the conversation was that in business, everything happens in steps.  They didn’t just quit their jobs and open a pie shop, they ended up taking a  small step when Lauren started making pies on the side for coworkers and friends.  After they realized she couldn’t keep up with the demand of making and giving away pies for free, they started selling them.  Each step lead to the next until she and her husband decided to go all in and open the shop.

Once they opened the shop, it was all rainbows, unicorns and pies.  Actually… it wasn’t. It was 80+ hour weeks, tons of hard work, tears shed and many burritos consumed.  But, that isn’t where the story ends.  In fact, it is still continuing on and they have seen massive success and won a national competition put on by the Cooking Channel called “Sugar Showdown.”  None of this happened overnight and none of this was one giant leap.  

What got Lauren and Cody to the success they are experiencing today is small steps.  It’s the small steps of creating amazing customer experiences, creating an unbelievable culture, and loving your employees well that turn out to create a huge “overnight” success. 

Business

Why Should You Connect With Others?

The other day I was talking to a friend when he called me a networking machine.  This was after I mentioned to him that I was grabbing ice cream with a friend at work who was retiring after 43 years of working at the good ol’ Tip Top Poultry.  My initial response and the one that is screaming in my brain as I am thinking about this conversation is “I love people.”
I can’t help it, I have an insatiable urge to connect with others and share a little bit in their story.  I want to get to know them for who they are and to see how we can connect.
Over the years I have learned how to dial down the intensity with how I passionately pursue people. (Ahhh the alliteration is abundant.)  It has been tough, but dialing down the intensity has served me.  I have come to realize that not everyone is as social, and people may want different types of relationships for us then I may be thinking.  All of this is ok, it just allows me to use a little emotional intelligence as I get to know others.
I mention all of this because I want to challenge you to get out there and connect with others. I know that may not be your thing, but life is infinitely better together.  Connect with others how best works for you.  You have amazing insights and experiences to offer others and you are not done growing yourself.  Please, do us all a favor and love on people how best works for you because I can promise yo  u one thing if you actually do just that, this world will be a better place as you connect with others and show them that community is all around.
Business

A Dream That Took 2 Years To Accomplish

A couple of weeks ago on June 6th, 2019 a dream was accomplished.  Even though to the handful of folks who heard about the event or attended may have thought it appeared in happen within the matter of a month, it took over two years to come about.  During this two year period I failed multiple times, frustrated a few people, made a handful of amazing relationships, and learned a ton along the way.  Part of me hates that it took over two years to have this event come to fruition, and the other part of me wouldn’t have it any other way.
The real question is WHY on God’s green earth should you or anyone else stick with something for two years or more? I believe that can be best explained from what I learned over this time period.
The first thing I learned is that to accomplish anything of impact you have to surround yourself with an amazing community.  This event all started with someone who has become one of my best friends.  This man is a champion and crazily enough has been supportive of all my harebrained ideas.  Bo Cordell is a huge reason why this event even happened.  It was because of our monthly coffees that we started having over 3 years ago that an idea, to help the logistics and supply chain community, turned into this event .  A little over a year and a half ago we tried to start this community, but our relationships, time and capacity we had to offer were not enough.  Even though we had a little success in the beginning, the momentum, support and knowledge wasn’t there to keep it going full steam.
The second thing I learned is that you have to be mindful that you are not sprinting past your family and friends.  There were a handful of times when I could have pulled this off earlier, but I would have had no one around me to celebrate with.  I remember countless conversations and nights having tough and frustrating conversations with my wife.  I was leaving hear and my kids in the wake of my dreams and ambitions and that only would have ended in frustration and pain.  I am so thankful that  if I listened to hear and took a moment of rest.
The third thing I learned was that to accomplish anything of impact or importance it is all about taking small steps.  From the very beginning I wanted to be surrounded by a huge community that made the other good ol’ boy clubs look outdated and weak, make an impact in legislation around logistics and supply chain, and have a large and well attended event.  All of these things are great, but to do them all at once and right away is ridiculous.  The bigness of the idea was too much for us to handle, and over time it was whittled down to the carrier community event that happened on the 6th.  It’s this last idea of small steps that actually saved this ambition from falling away for another two years.
Why stick with something for two years… because you have no idea of the amazing places it will take you, the lessons you will learn, and the adventures you will have along the way.  Without this experience I wouldn’t have realized those three lessons:
  1. To accomplish anything of impact it takes surrounding yourself with community.
  2. Don’t sprint past your family and friends towards your goal. You don’t want to accomplish anything and realize you are at the end all alone.
  3. Don’t go for broke. Instead, start walking and figure out the next small step that will be a great foundation for the next step and the one after that.

Business

Why Personal Brand Is So Important: People Buy You, Not Your Company

I have a friend who works for a large carrier and has absolutely been crushing it. Recently, she got a promotion and has already been making waves and getting stuff done. Now why is all this important? You’re about to read why.
My friend has been in the supply chain and logistics world for a bit and has built up an amazing reputation which I can personally attest to. I was thrilled when she said she was moving into a new role, yet also a little sad because it meant that she would no longer be in charge of my account. Now that she has been in this new role for a couple of months, it seems my feelings of sadness are not exclusive to me.
As we recently connected over the phone, she mentioned a few customers had requested, on pain of losing their business, that she stay as their rep. This is huge! Why, because it clearly shows that people are buying her, not her company.
You need to realize that when you are selling something, that people are buying you and not your company. Oh… and by the way, no matter who you are and what your position is you are selling something. The company’s name and reputation may get you in the door, but it certainly won’t close any deals for you or keep customers.
People are buying you and the experience you are giving them. NEVER… forget that.

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