Don’t Ever Say Never:

You want to know why you are losing sales? It’s because you don’t think that deal is possible.  Heck, we all do it. We have that conversation, look over the details, crunch the numbers, fail time and time again and we decide that whatever it is, is just impossible to get.

The real issue, it’s that we don’t have realistic expectations of what it will take to accomplish that goal / task / ambition.  Plus, we try and push too fast in the relationship and instead of finding out their actual needs and how we can help, we just make the offer… which falls on deaf and/or angry ears.

Please, take a moment to read to this quick story because I promise it will help, even if not right now.

I just closed a deal with someone who has become a great friend over the past few years. His name is Bo Cordell and he is a freaking champion, you should get to know him.  Around three years ago he stopped by Tip Top and it was a great meeting.  He left with no business in hand, BUT he had started some key relationships with our company.  As time went on, I became the traffic manager with sole responsibility of bringing on new carriers and the needs of our company started changing.  Beyond that, we spent about a year and a half getting coffee once a month just to shoot the shit, talk shop, and get to know each other even better.

About a year ago he received a fantastic promotion, just another reason that shows how much of a #boss that he is, and he moved back to his home town.  Since then, we have had fairly regular calls, one of which further cemented our professional relationship.

After three years, we just closed a deal with his company. It never felt forced, it always felt natural, and the whole time we talked biz we grew our friendship.  I can’t wait to see how it continues to grow, especially as we are potentially starting another exciting adventure together with a few others. More details on that to come at a later date. 

Helpful Hints

You’ve Got Time:  Why Living Forever Isn’t Such A Bad Thing

This is not a post about how I found the fountain of youth on one of my many adventures with my son, but this is a post on how you need to realize your have plenty of time to do all that you want to do. 

I personally believe I am going to live to see my teen years again.  To give a little bit more context to this, I am 31 years old which basically means I will leave three more lifetimes.  I know this may seem a little childish and farfetched, but after having breakfast with one of my good friends, I no longer think I am as crazy as I originally thought.

When I was having breakfast with Gary, he mentioned that his mentor had a similar way of thinking.  I was intrigued and he pressed on.  The reason why his mentor had this same long tail view of his life was because it literally shifted the way he thought about everything, especially as it related to his career.  Since he was planning on living so long, that meant he had plenty of time to do what he was setting out to accomplish.  He didn’t have to rush through activities or titles and positions because he had plenty of years left accomplish all he was setting his mind to.

It’s funny really, I have always thought about seeing my teen years again, but it took having a breakfast with a friend and hearing about a fellow crazy person to put my dream into perspective.  For so long I have thought that I needed to have it all figured out by my 30’s and start my own company, which I have and it is coming to a close at the end of the year.  Me closing down this business is a failure and it is all mine, but I don’t regret it.  I have learned quite a bit for the next round and I also have 92 years left to get it right.

We all need to stop rushing through life trying to get to the next phase.  What we need to do is find out how and where we can serve and gain as much experience as possible.  In becoming this practitioner, it sets us up for our next adventure, whether that is owning our own business or starting a new position.

Dad Life: Kids

Once Upon A Time

One of my favorite things to do as a dad at nighttime is to tell my little man a story. There was a brief season where he didn’t want me to tell him one, but now we are in full swing and every night we get to go on a different adventure to magical lands where anything is possible.

I think one of my favorite parts about telling these stories is that it seems he waits on every word I say with baited breath.  Even though my story telling skills lack a certain jenesequa, he makes me feel like a story telling champion.  I love that he laughs at my stories and helps me by throwing in his own little plot twists as the characters weave in and out of epic adventures, safety, and different lands.
I think what has helped bring these stories to life is using the same three characters: Ham = Sam, Memmet = Bennett (his best friend), and Lemma = Emma (his adorable sister). Ham and Memmet go on nightly adventures to far off lands. Every night I start off by saying, “There once was a boy named…” and I wait for Sam to fill in the pause and he says, “Ham.”  Then I go on and say “Who lived in a far off…” and Sam says, “Land.”  It’s just the cutest start to a story ever.  Every night is a new adventure with a different problem or we just keep it classy and make it a fun and magical journey.

I hope he never wants me to quit telling stories.  It brings me such joy to share something I love with him, and I hope that one day he gets to do this as well.
Whelp, here’s to hoping that we will always get lost in a good story.

Dad Life: Kids

The Reward of Patience.

One thing that may come as a shock is that sometimes I am not the most patient person, but who really is?  I realize that I am impatient about the silliest things as well.  I find myself wanting Sam to be more like how I envisioned myself as a kid, adventurous and willing to try anything, but I realize that is not who my little guy is.  Instead, he is more cautious like his mother.
At times this has been so frustrating.  When we go to birthdays or other social events with him, he likes to hang back and sometimes is too nervous to play with the kids, or jump on the big bouncy houses, or even ride his little motorized airplane, or be pushed in his red wagon.
As frustrating as all of this is, I have to take a moment to remember that my son isn’t me, but he is his own unique self.  I have to show patience and lovingly encourage my son to try new things, all while not forcing him to do what he doesn’t really want to do.
The crazy thing is, without fail, when I ask Sam about the birthday party, event, or playtime we just had, he always answers in such a positive way and talks about it for hours and maybe even days later.  Even though he didn’t do the things I would have done, he truly enjoyed the experience. As Lindsay and I have both shown patience and not forced him to play on his motorized airplane or any of the other adventurous things we would like him to do, like ride his rocking horse or to be pulled in his wagon, he ends up doing them all on his own.  He is now an expert pilot, loves rocking on the horse, and enjoys being pulled really fast in his wagon.
As tough as it is, I realize that my son isn’t me and that I need to be showing patience in all situations with him, because when I do, I see that he is really enjoying life and he becomes proud of the accomplishments that he has done all on his own.  Patience to let my son grow on his own really has been the most rewarding thing for me as a parent.

Dad Life: Adventure

3 Words To Live By

Just do it.  These words, besides being a part of one of the greatest slogans of all time, are life altering and hard to swallow.

I know for me that there have been countless times that I have been on the cusp of starting something possibly grand and epic, but instead of taking the last step, I stopped right where I was.  So instead of living in Alaska for a year, living in Guatemala doing missions with my wife, serving in the local community, missing conferences, or not taking my son outside on our next big adventure… I never got off the platform.
As we look back at our lives we can think of countless times when we shoulda woulda coulda done something but we chose to squash that burning desire and turn down the volume of three words screaming in our heads, Just do it.  I am not here to blog about regrets though, because in pondering all of these choices, I absolutely love where I am in life and I have had countless adventures like living in East Asia for 6 weeks, setting up mission trips in Alaska for 3 months, supported my wife in her dream of being a stay at home mom, and taken my son on his first hike a couple of weeks ago.  I mention all of this because I know that following these three words is one of the hardest things to do because it is so easy to just stay on the platform of safety and never take the next step.
What I am learning and hearing from those around me, like Allen Butts, is that the best way to start your next adventure, whatever that may be, is to just do it.  Just go outside.  Just start saving money toward that next mission opportunity or future college fund for your kids.  Just go on that trip.
Now I am not suggesting that we freely start doing whatever is right in front of us.  What I am saying is there is in all of us a story that we want to live out and we need to figure out what is going to make us pursue it?  I am fortunate, because I have a great counterbalance to my big dreamer self, my wife.  She is full of more wisdom then I could ever have and she helps me process through life and make sure that what we decide to do, is best for the family.  I know she thinks at times I just go and do things without fully thinking them through, which is made evidenced by the countless times I have forgotten to take my wallet to run an errand or left our luggage before we have gone to the famous Pops’ Cabin.  All of her concern and efforts are well received, because I know that a life thought through with her, is infinitely better than the one I would live on my own.

To be honest, I’m not sure what the next adventure is for me and my family, but I do know it starts with taking a step off the platform of safety. The winds of change are blowing, I just pray we are brave enough to listen to the three words starting to whisper in our ears…Just…Do…It.