This business coach post explains why you must know what you want.
Business Coach Lesson & Leadership Training Online: Decide who you want to be and what you want in life.
Let me share this business coach life lesson via flashback: Having discovered my passion for DJ-ing, I hastily chased after this hobby all the way through the remainder of high school. I never lost my passion for the ladies, and I also gained a passion for weightlifting; but DJ-ing was definitely my thing. Like most high school students, I did pursue other hobbies and interests, but I sincerely believe that those who knew me best back in high school would have described me as “focused” or “driven” or “always joking” and “artistic.” Around the ninth grade (it might have been the tenth grade . . . so we will call it grade 9.5), I started dating this beautiful blonde girl by the name of Katie. Katie was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, student council, the student paper, the debate team, and anything else that involved using your brain and displaying publicly that you had a soul. Meanwhile, my buddies and I were busy attempting to do things like hi-jack our choir teacher’s piano before his class so that we could insert a dead fish into it and wait for a few days until the smell would arrive (Mr. Anderson, I am sorry). If we weren’t doing this, we were toilet-papering people’s houses and using spray paint to write, “BRETT FAVRE SUCKS” in the lawns of Green Bay Packer fans. Essentially, like most young high school men, we were rebels without a cause and humans living without a purpose; but when I met Katie, that all changed.
By and large Katie seemed to have a purpose for everything. She wore certain things because they matched. She joined certain clubs because they would help her get a scholarship. She was respectful of teachers because God wanted her to be. She did not do dumb things on a consistent basis because she did not want to get in trouble with her teachers. Katie essentially viewed her time in high school as a prerequisite to college and her time on earth as a prerequisite to heaven. This got my attention (plus the fact that she was cute). As I dated Katie, I started noticing that her force field was sucking me into her world of respect, conformity, and purpose. I started to focus during class, and I started to not carry myself like Tom Green (the expert in pranks and practical jokes). I started to actually apply myself to my studies, and I noticed that my teachers started to like me as well. You see, up to this point, I was always getting in trouble for trivial and random acts of insubordinations. For a time there, the uninformed observer might have thought I was interning at the principal’s office. I was not the kind of guy who would smoke in the bathroom or pull the fire bell, but I was the kind of dude who would organize all the guys to engage in non-stop coughing fits at 2:25 P.M. on the dot. I was the kind of guy who would convince all of my buddies that the purpose of school was to mess with teachers. But after I began dating Katie, this all went away. Katie seemed to really grasp the concept that what she did today affected the potential of her opportunities in the future. Where I was attempting to eat an entire pizza in one sitting to set some sort of personal record, Katie would eat one piece of pizza because it was the healthy thing to do. As my relationship with Katie grew, I really did change dramatically as a person. For the first time in my life, I actually made some long-term goals and daily plans to begin achieving them. The workouts that I had always engaged in with my best friend Joe were now approached with never-before-seen ferocity and tenacity. My diet almost completely changed overnight to accommodate my vigorous workouts. I started attending church on a regular basis to get my head on straight. In my classes at school, getting a 4.0 was now my new goal. Previously my academic goals involved just showing up every day.
I felt good about life. I was getting up at 6:00 A.M. to hit the weight room, which was upstairs in our high school varsity basketball gymnasium. After working out, I always drank four milks each morning to meet my rigorous protein requirements. I joined choir because I liked singing. I stayed after class to get help from teachers when I sincerely did not understand something that they were saying. During class, I actually contributed to the discussion and to the teaching process with more than just my one-liners that I still enjoyed delivering so much. I started noticing that my teachers were beginning to respect me because I was respecting myself. I walked to class with a purpose, and I got my assignments done with renewed passion.
I really do believe that the only class my new focus could not overcome was Algebra. Ms. Gau (pronounced like cow) was my teacher, and she was fresh out of college where she had attended St. Cloud State. She was the favorite teacher of every high school male who enjoyed the company of attractive females. No matter what I did, I could not overcome the demons and the spiritual hurdles that algebra class presented. I hated those Texas Instruments graphing calculators about as much as Rosie O’Donnell hates conservatives. I just could not make myself care about the Pythagorean Theorem. I tried to care. But I could not care. I had not yet read Thomas Edison’s quote that “knowledge without application is meaningless,” but I unintentionally embraced it in advance. I hated those word problems. They were so bogus. I remember routinely reading those word problems and thinking to myself, If Sally has thirty books, and she acquired them equally over a six-week period, how many books did Sally acquire per week? . . . The answer is five, and the person who wrote this question obviously does not know high school students because we don’t buy books in bulk and none of us are named Sally. What is wrong with this class?! I would routinely go on misguided and angry yet humorous rants about the complete idiocy of algebra. I always pondered aloud what scenarios could ever possibly arrive that would make that funk relevant. Even today as an adult, I believe that we learn by doing; thus, learning a concept that we are not directly applying to life seems meaningless. I always had the feeling that what I was doing had no meaning during that class. I thought graphing a sloping plane and plotting points were demonic in the way that Benny Hinn thinks cancer is demonic. I hated that class, and so as part of God’s odd plan for my life, I had to take the class three times. I still do not understand truth tables. I can distinctly remember watching Ms. Gau talk. I remember watching her mouth move as I attempted to pay attention. I remember doing this for the entire length of the lecture before it would occur to me that I had been watching Ms. Gau speak, but I had never actually listened to one word she said. Then that sinking feeling would hit me, Oh man, I have no idea what she just said. This happened every day. To make a long story less long, I ended up testing my pride and hiring an eighth grader to tutor me while I was a junior in high school. He was a young, athletic-looking, blonde-haired dude who stood about 5 foot 7 and went by the name of Leif. Leif had attended the middle school dances that I DJ-ed; thus, he had a rather high opinion of my skills. So when I told him that he could DJ with me if he helped me learn algebra, he thought this was a great deal. I have always had a high opinion of myself, but in this compartment of my life, I felt like an idiot. If you are reading this and you are bad at math, have faith you can succeed in business coach and in life—even if an eighth grader has to be your mathematical guru, savior, and teacher while you are in high school.
Eventually, I found my way to my senior year. At this point, Katie and I had broken up because she left me for a dude (Greg) who had become “friendly” with her on a mission’s trip. I felt crushed inside. I felt betrayed. I felt sad. I felt like I had just consumed a gallon of authentic brown Mexican water. I felt sick to my stomach. I wanted to crush Greg’s skull or dislocate his face. I had played basketball with Greg, and I never really did like him too much. His dad was a pastor, and he had this aura of self-righteousness that made me want to beat him savagely whenever I played basketball against him. I remember his hair had that look like it had been cut by a Flowbee (one of those devices that sucks and cuts the hair evenly everywhere). Looking back on it, I am sure that Greg was a decent human, but for the sake of storytelling, I would like to hold on to the belief that he was a dirty woman stealer with no respect for his fellow man or the man-law code that clearly implies that one should not date a fellow man’s lady friend unless one wants to get his skull crushed. This rage to beat up Greg quickly transformed into a burning desire to beat the testosterone and good looks out of the next dude that Katie dated. Eventually, I got over it and regained my focus. It just took time because Katie and I had been friends since eighth grade. I pressed on with a reinvigorated and untempered passion to achieve greatness in the world so that someday I could show her that I was the man, and that she was weak at best.
Now with Katie out of the picture, I began to see high school as a boring and weak place populated by people who had no idea where they were going, what they should eat, what they believed in, or why they were alive. I began viewing socializing on weekends as a waste of time, and I began generally not caring about what anyone thought. I just kept hitting the weights, drawing my cartoons, and DJ-ing events. This focus reached a crescendo when I decided to attend St. Cloud State University early as a high school senior, rather than to stick around and wait until after graduation as part of Minnesota’s post-secondary program. This program allowed high school seniors to enroll early in college if they had the grades and enough of their prerequisite college courses out of the way. Once I learned that I was eligible for this program, I never looked back. I never felt like I was missing out on the end of high school, and I never believed that college or high school was going to be the best years of my life. I hold true to the success philosophy that “the best is yet to come.” I believed it then, and I believe it now.
After I enrolled at St. Cloud State, it became apparent that I would need a car to commute. My parents teamed up with me to help pay cash for a 1989 Ford Escort hatchback. At the time, I was working as a home health aid for a boy by the name of Chris, who is now deceased. (Chris, I can’t wait to see you in heaven.) Chris was born with cerebral palsy, so he needed a personal care attendant. For a two or three year window of time, I was that guy. Basically, every day I would get up at 6:00 A.M. to work out, and then I would drive forty minutes to attend the ultra-morally-relative and completely non-practical education-filled classes at St. Cloud State University. After listening to some of these professors (former hippies who I felt would not be able to hack it in the world of commerce) pontificate to our class about their socialistic views, their complete disregard for morals, and their firm belief that knowledge was the only thing worth pursuing, I would then drive forty-five minutes back to Dassel, Minnesota, to Chris’ small farmhouse to help assist him with his needs. Virtually every day his mom would make hamburger meat and various potato creations for dinner. The food was good, and I always enjoyed plundering their supply of homemade applesauce. During the course of the time that I spent with Chris, I would always leave feeling so grateful for what I had and so inspired by how much God had given me. I also felt completely unworthy of the blessings bestowed upon me, and I felt guilty for my perfect health in comparison to the painful and grueling existence that Chris endured on a daily basis. Chris yearned to be “normal”—just like everybody else—as I was passionately fighting to be different from everyone else. He longed to be centric while I strived for being positively eccentric. Chris always referred to me as Clark Man. He talked in the same cadence that Ernie talks to Bert on Sesame Street when he would say, “Hey, Bert.”
On one particular day, our dialogue went something like this: Chris said in his mumbled, cerebral palsy-impaired way, “Hey, Clark Man.” I responded enthusiastically, “What it is, player?” He said, “Hey, come here,” so I leaned over the table to hear what he was saying. “Clark Man, come here,” he whispered, so I leaned over the table some more so that he could talk right into my ear, and then he said eerily, but sincerely, “Clark Man, I want to die.” I instantly flipped to default Dr. Phil-style talk to encourage him that it was going to be okay, and someday it would get better. However, the more I tried to encourage him, the more the reality of his situation sunk into my soul like the finality of the loss of a loved one on the day of the funeral. As I talked to Chris, I realized that he was not going to get better; he was going to get worse. And I pathetically tried to empathize with him. I felt that I would want to off myself as well if I were in his condition. Sometimes feelings of guilt, empathy, and sympathy I felt for Chris while spending an evening with him nearly overwhelmed me emotionally. At those times, I would begin to question my faith in God and His role in my life, which often compounded to my acceptance of what my atheist professors at college were teaching as the “truth.” Despite the fact that many of these professors were divorced, pessimistic, socialism-advancing, and morally relevant behavior justifiers, their lectures now began to resonate with me as I actively looked for reasons not to believe in the religion passed down to me by my parents.
My time spent at St. Cloud State taught me that nearly every student on the campus was obsessed with the pursuit of beer. My time there taught me some incredibly innovative ways that students could use their parents’ money to finance five years of major switching and slacking. I was truly impressed by how many of my classmates viewed college as an indefinite time of self-discovery at their parents’ expense. I love St. Cloud State for helping show me with laser-like, precision what I did not want to become. The more time I spent at college, the more I felt this strange urge to continually overextend myself. I felt as though there was a small part of me that always wanted to be overextended. I had not yet discovered Warren Buffet’s belief of always taking something away when something is added to your life, and for some reason, no one had yet taught me Andrew Carnegie’s wisdom coaching belief that you should, “Put all of your eggs in one basket, and see to it that no one kicks over your basket.” I am confident that if I had learned and embraced a business coach life philosophy, I would have been on a full scholarship to college for sports, athletics, or academics; instead, I was “well rounded” (which, I believe, is code for “not great at anything”).
Thus, with a mindset completely lacking in a singular purpose, I decided to go out for the high school varsity football team—not minding the fact that I had never played high school football, and that I was still attending college forty-five minutes away from the high school practice facility. I was in tiptop physical shape, and I was confident in my abilities. I felt as though I could make an immediate impact on the football field. This was not at all true. In fact, it is safe to say that I made no discernable impact on the football team at all, other than the occasional outbursts of humor and resulting laughter I brought to the practice and playing field. As the gladiators got ready to do battle, I could not help but see the humor in the opposing linemen who growled and barked at me when we lined up at the line of scrimmage. To me football was a comical game, and I played it from a detached, observation-only view. Our team was awful, and I was awful in the way Carl Lewis is awful when he sings the national anthem at sporting events (check it out on youtube.com; it will make you laugh or cry). We had some great players: the super-fast Ryan, Ben—the hard-hitting Ivan Drago impersonator, the ultra-athletic and super handsome lady magnet Jake, who was so naturally toned that he had veins popping out of his calves, and the hard-hitting Rudy-esque Dallas, but overall we were horrible. I found that I did not enjoy getting hit or hitting, which is pretty much the cornerstone of football. Also, around this time, I was commissioned to paint the high school weight room by Mr. Benson, our athletic director. So I could usually be found lifting weights, driving to St. Cloud, working with Chris, painting the weight room, DJ-ing, making t-shirts (with the new t-shirt business I had set up), and not socializing. This was my life. I liked it this way. Every minute of my day was spent moving toward my goals in a militaristic sort of way. This regimen allowed me to accomplish tremendous amounts of things and to feel 100 percent in control of my life. The weight room painting project was daunting, and my workload was massive, but I felt deep down inside that I was climbing a mountain, and each day was just one more step up the mountain. The problem was that I was unsure of why I was climbing the mountain or which mountain I was climbing (neither of which did I discover until later on during my time spent at Oral Roberts University).
When I was not engaged in painting, football, weight lifting, studying, commuting, or working as a home health aid, I was tirelessly self-promoting “C & G: DJ Service” (my DJ company) to anyone who would listen. Slowly but surely, I was sharpening my sales skills. As graduation neared, I increased my focus on selling t-shirts and DJ-ing for anyone and everyone who would let me. As I dreamed up idea after idea, it was my dad who was always there to give me practical business coach and advice such as “Hey, you might want to give your clients an invoice,” or “Hey, you might not want to get in an argument with the principal of your only school dance account.” In all sincerity, without my dad’s advice, I would not have been able to stay in school because I was growing impatient to achieve my dreams. My dad has always been entrepreneurial-minded, but for whatever reason, he has not ever applied his knowledge and love for entrepreneurship into an actual full-blown entrepreneurial endeavor. I think that in the frontal lobe of his brain, he has always craved safety and financial security for his family, although, in the back of his mind, he has always wanted to be the next Wade Cook (a Christian, self-made millionaire of mail-order fame).
During this time of my life, I grew hyper judgmental of my dad and his lack of follow through on his entrepreneurial dreams. I almost completely overlooked his kind heart, his unquestioned integrity, and the sacrifices he made to keep our family fed by working the night shift to make extra needed income. To me, it was always frustrating knowing that he could do anything that I was doing and more if he had not played it so safe. I was always bitter that my dad did not pursue his career passions. My dad pitched in the Little League World Series, was a heck of a high school athlete in basketball and baseball, was a super-smart college student, and has a degree, but for whatever reason, he just never seemed to make pursuing his passions at the workplace a big priority. Dad, if you are reading this, I cannot convey to you how glad that I am that you moved down to Tulsa to help me restore some order and stability to the DJ Connection force. I realize, in this instance, you did pursue your passion (for your kids) when you decided to join the fellowship of the DJ Connection brethren. Maybe someday we can work together to rule the galaxy. But until then, I want you to know that your integrity, ethics, and love for your kids set the standard for me.
In high school, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to start my own business and work in music, art, and video editing. I wanted to custom design t-shirts and sell them at a profit. I wanted to DJ and to entertain the masses. According to my guidance counselor, that career did not exist. So after graduation from high school, I set off on a mission that was put in my brain by God. My mission took me to Oral Roberts University. After receiving several local scholarships for my numerous and never-ending over-extensions of myself, my endless application for all available scholarships, and my time, I headed off to ORU, the home of great people, great roommates, my future wife, the death of my best friend, and the allegedly liberal spending and now disgraced former school president, Richard Roberts. The final months before I actually moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, were great. That summer of 1999 was filled with many jobs in my preparation to make the move “down south.” I worked as a home health aid and as a fun director/room-cleaner/do-everything guy for an assisted living facility (not a nursing home). I also continued working with C & G: DJ Service, and I worked for my Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Jerry. As I worked hard, I learned many things about myself. I learned that I hated cleaning gymnasiums. I learned that I had no skills that could command more than a minimum wage. I learned that I didn’t want to work for hourly wages again. And I learned I wanted out of Minnesota more than anything.
Do you need help honing your business ideas or defining what you want more than anything? Contact us today at thrive15.com. We help people just like you achieve their business goals and dreams every single day. Come be a part of Thrive Nation! We can help you build a successful, profitable, and booming business.