Friday, November 15, 2019

Become an Asset in a World of Liabilities

I watched a video last night from Grant Cardone speaking about this idea of becoming an asset. Since viewing that video, I can't get this idea out of my head.

You're surrounded everyday by people that you would consider to be a liability, and so am I. Heck, if we're being honest, we know that many times we are in fact the liability - even though we don't like to admit that. For our purposes, let's say that a liability is someone who isn't pulling their weight, whether that be in a team, business, or relationship setting. In essence, they aren't doing as much as they should be.

To become an asset means to go above and beyond what is expected of you. It doesn't mean to suck up or be a kiss-ass, it just means to do more than others expect of you. With society seemingly lowering the bar each day, expectations aren't all that high to begin with. Yet many of us (myself included) don't perform beyond them on a consistent basis.

So whatever it is that you do, make sure you do it with excellence. That's how you become an asset. When I began coaching kids soccer at the Washington Local Soccer Club in 2007, one way I became an asset was to volunteer for everything. I had run my own league previously, and knew how important it is to have good volunteers around.

I helped run a week-long camp that the travel team was putting on when the rest of the volunteer coaches sat around and watched. I helped build goals when I saw Tom, the League President, doing it all by himself.

By the end of my first season in the Spring of 2007, I was the most well-known coach in the division. By the end of the Fall season, I was promoted to Head Coach of the travel organization (same one that I helped with the Spring camp 6 months earlier).

It doesn't always take a lot of hard work to become an asset. You just need to be willing to consistently show up and do what others won't.

To see the Grant Cardone video on Instagram that inspired today's post, click here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Don't Forget to Always Speak Your Truth

The Office is a favorite show of ours. Junell and I watch a few episodes almost everyday during dinner, because when you don't have kids, you can do that sort of thing. We're going to miss having our show on Netflix when the NBC app launches in 2021. (We might have to break down and buy that app.)

Anyway, there is an episode where Jim and Pam Halpert are going to couples counseling, and when they return to the office the next day, they constantly use the phrase "to speak my truth". It's a way for them to be honest without upsetting the other person.

So many times when we speak, or write, or do video - communication in general - we forget to speak our truth. We post in a way that will get more followers or likes - pandering to the crowd - and many times we don't even believe in what we're saying.

I've done this so many times, which is why I wanted to address it today. Your truth might not be glamorous or sexy, but it is uniquely you. You don't want to live your life with friends who only like you because you've conformed into a person you think they would like, do you?

This post is a reminder to be yourself. I know, it can many times be easier said than done. I struggle with it a lot too, and peer pressure doesn't end when you leave Junior High, does it? However, it's important to talk about your pains and struggles. In fact, I would argue that those are the areas most others would easily identify with, since we all have them.

I recently had my 41st birthday, and on that day, made a post about it, which is completely out of character for me. In that post, I mentioned that my parents haven't spoken to me in 2 years. That Instagram post got some 'real' comments, which is more than I can say for just about anything that I've posted this year!

Was it easy to post about? Definitely not. I was nervous about how it would be received, since it was the first time I had talked about that situation publicly. Here's the bottom line...your true, honest feeling and thoughts are what make you unique. If all you ever do is re-post someone else's viewpoints, you're not really contributing - you're just spreading their message.

Be yourself. Tell your truth and your story. It's harder than it sounds and lonelier than you might imagine. But in the end, it's totally worth it to have meaningful relationships instead of pretending to be someone you're not.

Monday, November 4, 2019

I'm back!!

I just re-read my previous posts. I said all sorts of things like "restarting for the 97th time" and "I'll be writing every day", but you can look at the dates of the posts and see that's not true. Well, here we go, the 98th time I'm restarting this blog! 😁

You know, I've talked with my wife Junell a lot about goals in our 15+ years of marriage. I feel like I've let her down honestly, because I talk it up and promise so much, then when push comes to shove, I don't follow through on what I say that I really want to do. This past weekend seemed different though, but I guess time will tell.

It was early Saturday morning, about 9:30 or so, and we were talking about hobbies. More specifically, about how I need one that can be a creative outlet for me. She is a world-class scrapbooker (at least I think she is), so Junell has an outlet to document life and be creative. We have many scrapbooks in our home that tell the story of our life year after year.

However, I don't have what you would call a creative hobby, and definitely don't have the patience for scrapbooking. On Saturday morning though, it hit me hard. I am going to be a writer, because truthfully, I already am. I always enjoyed writing in high school and college, and it's a great way to document the story of my life.

My hang-up has always been about saying something about people that they might get upset about, but if that happens, then I guess they should have treated me better. I specifically mean my parents when I say this. My mom hasn't spoken to me in over 2 years as of this writing.

So anyway, there you have it. I am a writer, and this blog will be used to document my journey in all areas of life. I look forward to telling my story and speaking the truth about what I'm actually living.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The 30 Day "Idea and Create" Challenge

I just came up with this literally 5 minutes ago, but it could save my life - or sanity at least. Maybe it could do the same for you. One of my great struggles in life is that I over-analyze everything.

  • Should I write this post?
  • What will happen if I choose this instead of that?
  • Is this the right strategy for me?
I could probably write 100 of those if I had the time. But you get the point.

Beginning today, I'm starting a 30 day "Idea and Create" challenge for myself. The thought process behind it is as simple as it sounds. Have an idea that I want to pursue? Start creating content around that idea. Go hard for 30 days. See what happens.

I'm going to take the same approach to social media. I overthink every word on every post I make. I guess I'm worried that my 76 followers on Instagram won't approve, and obviously I'm trying to create for the 'likes', which never works out anyway. I spend far too much time thinking about what my profile should say...but that doesn't really matter when I never post anyway, now does it.

For the next 30 days, just document my life on all platforms. That is going to be the goal. Make at least 1 post on Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, and LinkedIn. Maybe even Facebook too.

Have an idea and go to work creating. It's the only way I'm getting out of this rut. Can't wait to see how this process plays out.

Friday, August 9, 2019

How do you know when it's time to move on?

For the last several years, I've been debating 'retiring' from soccer, both refereeing and coaching. I began officiating soccer when I was 15 years old, and it was my first job. I loved going out to the park and refereeing the little kids. It was cool when they all looked up to me, but that was a long, long time ago. Twenty-five years to be exact. I am 40 years old now.

More recently, I found myself asking the question "What am I doing here?" during high school soccer matches. I particularly remember my last match in 2017. I was doing a girls game at Evergreen High School in Metamora, Ohio and we were in the middle of nowhere. It was a peaceful night in a low-level, end of the season contest. I had a lot of time to think, and the entire match I just kept asking myself the same question...

What am I doing here?

It didn't help that my marriage was at that time falling apart. Soccer season always seemed to put a strain on our home life, but this season there seemed to be something more to it. Weeks prior, while my wife was in New York City visiting her brother, a match that I had been working (because I stayed home to make that money) got so out of control that the Assistant Athletic Director escorted me and my partner to our cars.

I asked the question all weekend...What the hell am I doing here? Instead of having fun in New York City, I decided to stay home to get harassed on a soccer field for 7 matches. In hindsight, it was really stupid.

This past June, I decided to quit refereeing once and for all (with the exception of a few payday tournaments here and there). I remember the exact moment that it hit me that this would be my last match - that my referee career was finally coming to an end.

I stuck around after the match to take this picture for the ' the picture to read my caption from June 3rd. I haven't officiated a match since.

I was working a match at the Total Sports Rossford Dome, and as I'm in the center, I just had this overwhelming feeling that I can't do this anymore. Twenty minutes into the match, and I couldn't wait until it was over. I was losing focus during the match because all I could think about was...

This has to be it. I have to be done after this game.

So, how do you know when it's time to move on?

It's different for everyone, but I think it starts by getting inside your own head and coming up with an honest answer to the question "What am I doing here?". If your answer is "I don't know" or "I hate doing this", it's probably time to move on. Don't wait another 2-3 years like I did to make the decision. Life's too short to be miserable doing something you don't enjoy.