Leadership

How to chase your dream, chasing a dream

My alma mater recently included me in a feature in their alumni magazine on adventurous life styles.  I’m especially flattered because my “success story” if you can call it that, has been anything but typical.  The theme of my story is that I left a “normal” job working in bank to pursue a dream in California of riding ATVs professionally.  While that adventure is far from over, it certainly looks a lot different know days than it did 5 years ago when I packed that truck and hit the road for So Cal.

I’m no expert at chasing dreams but I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to do and see a lot of the things that I spent most of my life wishing I could do.  Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way that helped or that could have made the process a little bit smoother and a little less painful.  ...continue reading

First of all, congratulations.  You are nearing the end of a journey that has consumed the better part of life as you have known it.  Since kindergarten the bulk of your life has revolved around academics and graduation is the closing of a chapter and the beginning of a new one.

It’s cause for celebration no doubt.  But before you get too wrapped up in graduation festivities, commencement addresses and heart-warming speeches about the future I want to share something with you.  I want to be honest with you.  These days, culture has a way of telling you what you want to hear and not necessarily being truthful.  Before you walk across that stage and take on the world, I want to warn you that everything on the outside isn’t always as “pretty” as you’ve been lead to believe. ...continue reading

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FATI know what you’re thinking and while it might not be the most politically correct title for a blog, I promise it’s STUFFED with value.  (Sorry couldn’t resist!)

F.A.T. is an acronym my football coach in college taught us that he used when recruiting new players.  I’ve found the acronym to be appropriate for many walks of life and absolutely relevant in the workplace.

Today, employers are lucky to find workers who will show up on time, let alone do their job, do it well and heaven forbid, go above and beyond. ...continue reading

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I’m as cheap as the day is long.  Seriously.  If Southwest Airlines would replace their seats with wooden benches and drop the cost of a ticket, I’d buy stock in the company.  Call me crazy but I will endure a fairly high level of discomfort if it means saving money.  I’m very independent, I trust my intuition and I want the rock bottom, beat all price no matter where I go.

That said, as I get older, I’m starting to see my propensity to find the “best deal” slip.  I find myself more appreciative of things like good customer service or something as simple as a live, English speaking voice on the other end of the phone and I’m actually willing to pay a little extra for it.  Why?  Because I want to be taken care of.  I want to feel like I matter.  I don’t want to be just a number in a file or a dollar sign that walked through the door. ...continue reading

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According to the SBA, more than half of small businesses fail in the first 5 years.  Unfortunately, an even greater number of small businesses don’t even hit that magical one year mark.  Businesses are forced to close their doors for a number of reasons ranging from insufficient capital to poor business strategy.  One of the most helpful things you can do to ensure the success of your business is to develop a complete and thorough business model.

Below are a few things to consider when putting together your business model.  Yes, some of them may seem elementary but it’s amazing how many people go into business without even considering things like location or how they’ll reach potential customers. ...continue reading

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This past fathers day, Tim Tebow gave a fathers day address at Qualcomm stadium to the members of Shadow Mountain Community Church.  In the weeks leading up to it, Tim took a great deal of criticism for giving a Fathers day address when he’s not even married…let alone a father.  Despite the criticism, Tim gave a moving presentation on being the son of two incredibly loving and supportive parents.

Like Tim, I’m not yet a parent but I can say that I was raised by two of the best.  My parents are divorced and I can still say with confidence that they are two of the greatest parents this world has ever seen.

Not because they lavished me with the newest gadget from Apple or bought me every Madden video Game ever release.  Not because they sent me to the coolest summer camps, bought me the nicest clothing or a fancy car when I turned 16.  I wasn’t even allowed video games growing up (however when my brother traded a skateboard for a Nintendo 64 a few years after its release we managed to talk mom and dad into letting us keep it.)

No my parents didn’t buy us a lot or splurge for lavish vacations to fun places around the world…but they were present. ...continue reading

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Humility is hard.  I’m a pretty logical person and my strong conscience doesn’t let me get away with much. I typically know pretty quickly when I’ve said or done something I wrong.

That said, admitting my fault and asking forgiveness is a whole lot harder.  I don’t like being wrong.  Probably the only thing I dislike more than being wrong is admitting I was wrong to the person who was right, or even worse, the person that I hurt.

Humility is a funny thing.  It can be incredibly hard to admit our shortcomings to the person or people who are the quickest to extend grace. ...continue reading

I don’t operate well when people order me around or tell me what to do.  As much as I’m a team player and I love being the go to guy that comes through when we need it most, there is a tactful and much more effective means of getting me to do something than telling me what, where and when I’m going to do something.

At one of my former jobs I was informed by a superior that I was going to spend my Saturday delivering a vehicle to a shop in a town about 6 hours away.  Because of my rather flexible place in life I typically don’t have weekend plans so doing it wasn’t the problem, being told I was going to give up my Saturday after a full week of work was what rubbed me the wrong way.  ...continue reading