Posts Tagged With: business

Out of Season


This journey to financial freedom is admittedly a marathon and not a sprint. So in the dry moment, I remind myself of this fact. But then comes those moments when I honestly can’t believe what I’m experiencing. This is one such moment. A moment that emphasizes the importance of being ready. In season, or out of season.

It started out like any other Saturday, except for the fact that in addition to regular BPM that morning, we were also hosting the Church Council meeting at our house, there was Advanced School at 8am (which I didn’t attend because – fatigue). We’d also been invited to a community networking event by a good friend of mine from High School, who was listed as the keynote speaker. But like most days, when it comes to figuring out the logistics of our sometimes chaotic, mostly comically overwhelming schedule – that must always include the whims of 4 little people with very different ideas of what it means to be bored – there was a lot of maneuvering and trying to coordinate with other people to make sure everything was accomplished.

What I’ve found though, is that in nearly every instance of logistical-work-outingness (yes, that’s a word), things just… work out. Profound. I know. I mean, it’s not just the “get by” kind of working out, but things really coming together in ways that we never would have imagined. So here’s the list of what was on our agenda for the day:

  • 8am – Advanced School
  • 9:30am – Church Council meeting
  • 10:00am – BPM at the Torrance Office
  • 11:30am – send Aaron over to his god-brother’s house for a sleepover
  • 12:00pm – attend a community event in Torrance as a vendor to promote our Financial Services business

And this is how, by what seems a miracle, everything worked out (with all its logisticismic beauty).

So my wife was to stay home and participate in the Council meeting (I mean, one of us had to be there since we were hosting it at our house). 😉 I was planning to go to the office for Advanced School at 8am and then BPM at 10am. My wife would finish up with the Council meeting, send Aaron on his merry way, drop the other 3 kids off at my parents’ place, and head over to the community event by noon. I planned to leave BPM a little early (like around 11:30am). This was a perfect plan.

Except it wasn’t. Or rather, it wasn’t destined to be.

Instead, I decided to skip out on Advanced School because like I said – fatigue and body aches that make you feel like you must be dying of some as-yet-undiscovered ailment only associated with people who have your name. Nevertheless, I did leave the house around 9:45am and got there in time for MoZone. Although we’d hoped to drop off the kids at my parents’ house, my mom wasn’t feeling well and no one else at the house was available to watch them. So we talked and decided I should go to the community event by myself. We figured I’d pass out a few flyers and hopefully book a few appointments.

However, when I arrived, I was told that my friend from high school was running late, and possibly not coming at all, because her daughter had collapsed and they rushed her to the ER! Hoping to save the day, the event organizer/host then asked me if I would be willing to step in and be the main guest speaker at the event.

I agreed. I just thought, wow… her’s an unexpected opportunity! Why wouldn’t I jump on it?

Meanwhile, I was also told that this event was kid-friendly. So the host told me to call my wife and have her come with the kids. And so, I did. They arrived just in time for the host to introduce me. I quickly spun through my off-the-cuff speech (that went extremely well, btw!). At the end of it all, we wound up having some great conversations with other attendees, and got four (4) numbers from people wanting to set up follow-up appointments. Considering the fact that there were perhaps just over a dozen people present, I’d say a 33% return is pretty good! 😀

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The Gentleman’s Curse?


There’s an old adage (or aphorism? I never get those right) that goes “nice guys finish last”. It’s the belief that being nice is a terrible liability when it comes to things like romance or business. We’re told that girls prefer bad boys over gentleman. Or that in order to have any success in business, you have to be aggressive and shark-like with a “take no prisoners” attitude.

Crazy thing is, for most of my life I believed that statement to be a load of crap. And by “crap” I mean “an often repeated untruth that slowly becomes accepted as truth simply by the sheer volume of people who choose restate and quote it as fact”. But come on, there couldn’t possibly be any drawbacks to being considerate and full of compassion, right?

Wrong.

Like I said (only a short two paragraphs ago), there was a time I believed that to be true. That is, until I better understood the reasoning and truth that underlies this oft-quoted saying. Which is to say that I watched as the truth of it manifest in my own life. I finally understood that there was more substance to this than I originally thought. Having been a participant (victim?) of this truth, I have since dubbed the phenomenon the “Gentleman’s Curse”. Let me explain…

I’m pretty sure I’m what some would call a gentleman. There are at least a handful (read: 2 or 3) who could attest to the fact that I am patient, generous, transparent, chivalrous, and emotionally supportive. These are all traits generally associated with being an overall “nice guy”, if you will. **DISCLAIMER: I don’t describe myself this way simply to toot my own horn, but to provide the basis for what follows next. What follows next is that I’ve come to whole-heartedly believe that sometimes (and only sometimes) being nice was the worst choice I could have made. My “nice guy” nature has contributed to some pretty awful outcomes and circumstances over my lifetime. I know that sounds terrible. But as I’ve also learned over the years, the truth isn’t always pretty.mr nice guy

See, the thing is, it’s not that I can really help being a “nice guy”. It’s in my nature to be this way. My overall personality, typical responses and individual inclinations are hard wired into the fiber of my being. The problem is that some people can often be perceived (and at times, accurately so) as a bit of a softy or even a pushover. People take advantage of the fact that they know you probably won’t behave in ways that would make them feel awkward, uncomfortable or afraid.

Still, I don’t want this post to come across as all “bah humbug” about being nice. I’m not saying people shouldn’t be nice or even that I need to change who I am. I’m saying that I am exactly who God created me to be. I am fashioned by His hands and He is a master craftsman! I am neither a mistake, nor am I a failed or aborted process. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And with that understanding and acceptance, comes freedom to not feel pressured to be anything other than who I am.

I am NOT the one to rail on Time Warner Cable over their gouging practices (6 month undisclosed customer retention pricing that tripled in cost and won’t go down unless I call and complain). However, I AM the one who understands that as I love my enemies, bless them that curse me, do good to them that hate me, and pray for them which despitefully use me, and persecute me, God will bring both vindication and justice. I find rest in that promise.

Potters-ClaySo I will continue in my “nice guy” ways with the power of the knowledge that what I originally thought was a curse, was actually… a blessing. 🙂

Categories: commentary, personal, religion, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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