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  From the very beginning I wanted to be surrounded by a huge community that made the other good ol’ boy clubs look outdated and weak, make an impact in legislation around logistics and supply chain, and have a large and well attended event.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.

Culture

The Gift Of Valentines Day:

Valentines Day… it’s just another corporate holiday that marketers have taken over so that men and woman can be forced into passionless nights of pressure filled “romance” and spend way to much money on crap you don’t need.  Can I get an amen.

Oh, and by the way, I don’t believe anything I just wrote.  If you don’t celebrate valentines day with your significant other, that is totally up to you, but as for me, I see this day as a brilliant reminder to love and pursue that special someone.  I know what your thinking, “Paul, I pursue him / her every day,” And to that I call bull shit.  Lets not kid ourselves, thats just not true.  For most of the folks who would agree with the above paragraph, I am willing to bet that your significant other only feels pursued three to four days out of the year: Your anniversary, their birthday, Christmas, and maybe one other day thrown in there for good measure.

Valentines day is a gift, and it doesn’t have to cost you much, or any, money depending on what you actually do.  This is a day that is forced into our society for sure, but it is one that I take as a blessing because it gives me an amazing excuse to direct my attention not only to my wife, but my kids as well.

I want my kids to know how to pursue their love.  I want my son to know how to woo a woman and I want my daughter to know what it is like to be wooed. I want to build up in her this understanding that if a man doesn’t woo her, he is not worth her time.  She is a beauty to be taken on an adventure, not just to be looked at and potentially admired.  By the time my kids are really ready to date, I want to have given them an amazing example for them to follow.

So to all those haters out there… take a second look at this potentially under-marketed holiday full of sugar, delicious meals, and lots of trees sacrificing their lives so you can express your love via a card.  Take a second look and realize the opportunity you have been given.

Happy Valentines Day 

P.S. Let me know what exciting plans you have for your love.

Helpful Hints

Don’t Let Opportunities Pass By

There are handful of different ways we can give.  We can give with our time, with our skills, and with our money.  There are also different seasons when we are able to give in some of these ways or in all of them.  For me and my family, right now we don’t have the ability to go above and beyond financially, but as we have been looking for ways to give of our time and skills, opportunities to do so have been popping up.

The strangest part about these recent opportunities is that I have not been actively seeking them out.  Now that is not to say that I am not prepared for them, but rather that I am not pestering my network to do more.  It is interesting… when I take a step back from what I feel I am “called to do,”  the opportunities that seemed so illusive keep coming my way.

Recently I was asked to be one of a handful of folks to help with the welcome and close of the service at my church.  This isn’t the gig that will set me up for a life of luxury, but I don’t care.  It is a tangible way that I can serve and give back, even if it only takes up 3 minutes of my time.  The other opportunity is that I have also been asked by my alma mater, Kennesaw State University, to speak at one of their Lunch-N-Learns.  

I feel confident that I can step into these opportunities because they not only fit right into my gifting, but I have been taking small steps towards moments like these for awhile.  It’s small steps and focusing on relationships that lead to these moments.  The real lightbulb moment for me though was when I was listening to the Elevate Experiences Higher Level Podcast and one of the hosts mentioned an idea.  That idea that he mentioned was to step out and take opportunities when they come your way, especially as they align with your skills.  

What opportunities have come your way that you need to say yes to?  Better yet, what do you need to be doing to prep yourself to fully use your skills to help others? 

Legacy

Do We Live In  A World Of Abundance?

Ever since I finished the book “Love Does” by Bob Goff, my interactions with others have shifted.  Folks who I normally wouldn’t have bothered to have a conversation with, I have a conversation with.  People I would have walked on by, I take a moment to say hello and get to know them.  This intro isn’t to toot my own horn, but it’s to let you know how much of a jerk I was/am and how wrong I was in my thinking until this book came into my life.

Every person, no matter their title, position or circumstance, has a story that needs to be heard, and the gentleman I met off of our city’s square was no different.  His name is Alfonzo and from all appearances he was homeless.  As I saw him out of the corner of my eye, I gave a polite nod and was walking towards my car.  As I was about to open the door he says something at me and all I could think was “Damnit!” I then quickly reminded myself that he’s a person that has a story and it needs to be heard.

I walked over and sat down next to him, we started to have a conversation.  Within moments I could tell that his mind wasn’t all together as he kept on saying Brad Pitt and other various celebrities owed him money.  At other moments he referred to himself as God, but the stories he would tell didn’t match up with the God that I know.  

We finished up our conversation with me letting him know for the tenth time that I wasn’t related to Brad Pitt and was not responsible for his “debt,” I said goodbye and drove away.  Not more then ten seconds after I started driving away I knew I had to go back and give him something.  I begrudgingly turned around and parked right back in the same spot I had left.  By the time I got back to Alfonzo someone had brought him some breakfast, so I asked if I could get him something to drink.  He wanted some apple juice, so I walked into the restaurant on the corner and popped back outside moments later with three bottles.  

As I walked back over to Alfonzo I said, “Here is a bottle for now, one for later, but this third one… I need you to promise me something.  I need you to promise that you will give this third bottle away.  Alfonzo, I want you to know, understand and experience that we really do live in a world of abundance.  I want you to have the ability to help someone out today.” 

After everything was said and done, I realized that this encounter was as much for me as it was for Alfonzo.  The reason I say this is because even though I truly believe we live in a world of abundance, most of the time I rarely act like it.  

Now whether Alfonzo kept his promise or not doesn’t truly matter.  What matters is that I got to put action towards this belief of abundance and share a little bit in Alfonzo’s story.

 

What is your belief?  Do we live in a world of abundance, or is there only so much to go around?