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  From the very beginning I wanted to be surrounded by a huge community that made the other good ol’ boy clubs look outdated and weak, make an impact in legislation around logistics and supply chain, and have a large and well attended event.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


Patience: A Party 30 Years In The Making

Impatience doesn’t care about gender, race, or age and it reeks havoc on individuals, companies, and relationships.  My wife and I have had countless conversations and even arguments because one of us, usually me, is being impatient.  
It wasn’t until recently that we came to a realization about the word patience and how it relates to our lives.  A few months back we, along with so many others from Lindsay’s old neighborhood, were invited to a party to celebrate the marriage of the brother of one of Lindsay’s best friends from childhood.  As the day arrived, we packed up the family and went on the five minute drive to the neighborhood where my wife grew up. The home where the party was held was perfection.  It had gorgeous hardwood floors throughout and each room was perfectly furnished.  There was beer, wine, snacks, and desserts set up throughout the house and a local BBQ company had catered the event.  The backyard was beautifully landscaped and had a relaxing water feature and a stunning lake view to cap it all off.
As I mingled with the other guests, every single conversation would always turn towards fond memories from years gone by.  The memories would usually include how my mother-in-law taught their kids piano and stories about Lindsay and her parents.  This party, in every aspect, was perfection.
As we packed up the kids and started the five minute trek home, we talked about how beautiful the house was, how unbelievable it was to have refreshments all over, and how great the conversations were.  That was the type of party I wanted to throw.  I wanted to have the perfectly manicured landscape, food and refreshments flowing from all corners of the house, and conversations of moments long gone by.  As our tires hit our driveway, a different thought popped into my head.  That party, as perfect as it was, took over 30 years to execute.  It may have been a day of actual planning and follow through, but it took over 30 years for the whole thing to come together.
When the house was first purchased it wasn’t fully furnished with updated features throughout.  It took years to fully furnish, make updates and additions, to get the perfectly manicured landscape with that calming water feature. The conversations weren’t trivial because everyone had the base of 20 plus years of background.  About the only thing that didn’t take 30 years was the food and refreshments, but even having the ability to purchase them without blinking an eye takes years of putting money away so that you can have celebrations like these and not have to focus on the cost. 
In the weeks that have passed since attending this party, I have come to realize how I need to have the patience to see the small steps through.  When we look at the small steps taken over time, we get to see a big improvement. But in the midst of the shuffle, they don’t seem to matter at all. We all need to learn to deploy patience because it’s what helps give us perspective to see the impact we are making, and the legacy we are leaving.

Authentic Manhood

The First Thing High School Wrestling Taught Me:

popewrestlinglogoFor my entire high school career, 2001 – 2005, I was a wrestler.  Yes, I realize that was over a decade ago and even thinking about that is still wild to me, but the lessons I learned back then are still impacting me today.
In 2001 my friend and I joined the wrestling team because we wanted to do something after school and wrestling sounded fun.  Not sure how we thought sweating and grappling with other hot sweaty men sounded like a good time, but we signed up for the team.  A week or two later my friend ends up quitting, and honestly I am surprised that I didn’t do that as well since I had already tried the sport out in middle school and I hated it. I had mild success the first year, if I can really even call it that, and as the first season came to a close, I thought I would hang up my wrestling shoes and and never return.
My coach, Jim Haskin, had a different thought running through his mind.  As I came up to him and told him my thoughts on quitting, he took me for a lap around the halls of the school and said something that has forever stuck with me.  “Stippich,  this choice is the start of the rest of your life.  This choice of quitting or staying with the team will set you up for how you view commitment the rest of your life.  This will set up your future relationships, and even the type of commitment you hold in marriage.”  He told me to think about it over the weekend, and let him know on Monday what I decided.
I wrestled with what he said all weekend, pun intended.  It consumed my thoughts, and even though I was on a church retreat that weekend, all I could think about was commitment, and how it all started with small decisions like the one I was having to make.  Come Monday, I let coach know that I would stay with the team.  That lesson on sticking with your commitments, no matter what, has shaped how I view my word and the bond it creates when I agree to do something.  I don’t go half way on anything.  I am all-in and fully committed to what I say I will do. 
I never thought high school wrestling and what I would learn through that sport could be so integral to my life.  I am grateful Jim Haskin pushed me to stick with my commitments, because it has forever changed my life.  

I am dead center just behind the first row.  My big bobblehead is blocking my team mate. Wow… What a picture.

Dad Life: Kids

Big Boy Ahead

My little man turned three this past weekend.  I mean, where has all of the time gone?  This past week has been full of such twists and turns of emotions it is leaving me a wreck. I am pumped that he is getting older and able to do more and go on adventures, but I am also sad that my little baby is now becoming a big boy.

This year has been full of a ton of transitions for him that he has handled very well.  We have a new house, which means a new room, and to throw him even more of a curve ball we gave him a big boy bed (thanks Weavers). He has also gone from a two day preschool class to a three day and they even added on a lunch hour.  Lindsay has started really molding our son into being the perfect husband as she lets him help her clean the house… you are welcome future Mrs. Stippich. He even has a brand new, fresh, out of the oven sister.
I can’t even handle his cuteness and I love all of his little quirks and the fact that he follows rules so well, but that isn’t what this post is really about.  I am here today to reflect on this past year with my son.  As I have done this in the past, I have walked away with a clear mind and conscious, but this year is just a little different.
As I look back over this past year I have loved that I have been more intentional about taking our little man on adventures and helped push him to do some things that he may not have wanted to initially do.  I have loved getting to witness how well he handles change and how much he already loves the biggest disruption to his life, his cute baby sister, Emma.  I stinkin love my son and couldn’t be more thrilled with how this past year went, because being his father has taught me patience, which I still have worlds more to learn about and actually put into practice.  The only thing that I want to change from this year to the next though is being more intentional with my time after I come home from work throughout the week.

This past year has been a whirlwind in many ways with my new position, which has meant many late nights and busy weekends.  There seems to always be a fire that I can put out at work.  For instance, when I took my lunch break to surprise my son and meet him for his birthday lunch at the good ol’ Chick-fil-A, I kept getting calls and texts about things going on at work.  It was something rather urgent, but in truth, it can wait because there is nothing more important than being present in the moment with my son at his surprise birthday lunch.  I am shipping chicken, not saving lives.  Yes, there are things that I can only do in this position, but the memories I want my son to have of me are not ones of saving the chicken world, but ones where I am present, focused, and in the moment.
The legacy that I want to leave and impart to my family is not one of always being busy and saving the world while they fade into the background.  Instead, I want a legacy where family is first and moments aren’t burnt up by the fires at work.

Dad Life: Family

A Taste Of The Future.

I never thought it would happen. Never in a million years did I think it would happen. What happened, you ask? I am slowly becoming my parents.
I remember growing up, and even now, that my parents would get my name wrong. Now it wasn’t that they ever called me the name of a person I wasn’t related to, but they missed my name a bit, and it hasn’t gotten better. Now they eventually land on my name, even if it takes them a few tries, but I never thought this would happen to me.
I find myself slurring my kids names together from time to time, but the worst was only two weeks after my little Georgia peach…whats her name…yes, Emma, was born.

I went to the vital records office to get her birth certificate only a couple weeks after she was born.  I filled out the form and as the kind lady was trying to retrieve the document for me, she couldn’t find anything on my daughter.  We looked in all sorts of ways and I even ended up calling the hospital’s records department to no avail.  Just when I was about to give up hope, the hospital’s records department calls back and lets me know that “Mr. Stippich, she wasn’t born on the 16th, but the 15th.”
UGGGGGGGHHHHH! I mean not even three weeks old and I am already forgetting the exact day she was born, and to top it off, the 16th was the day Sam was born.  So maybe my mind is already slipping and I am switching my kids’ birthday’s and names all willy nilly.
I never thought it would happen.  Never in a million years did I think it would happen. So let me give this warning to all you young whipper snappers starting their families and building your legacies… you too will eventually start becoming your parents.