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 From the very beginning I wanted to be surrounded by a huge community that made the other good ol’ boy clubs look outdated and weak, make an impact in legislation around logistics and supply chain, and have a large and well attended event.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:
To accomplish anything of impact it takes surrounding yourself with community.
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.
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.
Why does it even matter for us to empathize with others?
This past year I had hip surgery. I knew the recovery would take time and be difficult in some aspects, but until I was going through it, I didn’t realize how hard it would be. For two weeks I couldn’t drive and I never imagined how giving up that freedom could be so life altering. I hated having to rely on others for every move I wanted to make. There is so much freedom that comes with a car, and I now fully understand that.
Not only could I not drive for a couple weeks, but I also have a semi constant numbness and pain that I feel in the area around my surgery, and when I do certain movements there is a flash of searing pain. Now I have not taken pain meds since after the third day of surgery, but going through this experience has helped me understand how people could take those meds longer than they should. It would be so easy for someone to have this little bit of pain and want it solved through pills.
Since this experience, I can better empathize with others around me. What I have come to realize is that most of the time we only no a small part of someone’s story. Before we decide to judge or make a decision about someone, we really need to hear what is going on in their lives. Showing empathy will further endear you to those you are in a contact with and is a great way to build a foundation that could eventually lead to a great connection. If you want to build a strong relationship and show someone you really care, it starts with a massive dose of empathy and realizing that we are all in this together. If you truly want to succeed in business, this is one of those foundational things you need to work on.
These past 11 days have been rather unique. I recently had surgery on my hip… yes, I am 31 years old and had to get some work done on my right hip. Even though it was outpatient surgery it still shook things up quite a bit. I have been on crutches, unable to drive, limited in some of my functions and mobility, and have had to be far less active than I normally am. Through all of these changes and issues, my wife has been a freaking beast and has killed it.
“For better or worse, in sickness and in health.” Most of us whom are married have uttered these words, and over these past 11 days my wife has perfectly executed on them. I am blown away at her level of service and how she so deeply cared for me. She met my every need and then some. She was always there asking what I needed and offered up help and solutions to problems and wants I didn’t even know that I had
It’s in these inciting incidents, these moments of giant change, when we as people can really shine and make an impact, and that is what my wife did. It has encouraged me to take my game up to 11 and serve her not because of what she has done for me, but because she is more than worth it. When you are served and loved in this way, it only encourages you to do the same. So please let this blog not only honor my wife, but be an encouragement to you to honor those words, “For better or worse, in sickness and in health.” Let this blog be an encouragement to look around you and serve well those that are in your life.
Who is in your life that you need to serve well, and how can you live it out today?
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.
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.