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Pivotal Lessons: Low Fuel, Painful Guitar Strings, and AP Awards

Aside from the incorrect grammar (should be 1 Mile!)...I take a strange amount of pride in this. It made me recall lessons from a pivotal exercise that led to confidence in pursuing my entrepreneurial journey.

Stick with me, but it involves painful guitar lessons, falling dozens of times while trying to land a backflip on a wakeboard, hitting a game winning basket in 8th grade, and making $7/hour as a tv reporter.

In 2019 I left broadcast tv after a 17 year career that included stints in Omaha, Paducah, Charlotte, Dallas, St. Louis, and Seattle. I was searching for clarity on the right steps to what's next.

For 10+ years I wanted to transition out of tv, but I could only tell people what I DIDN'T WANT to do.

Thanks to learning directly from the Microsoft Chief Storyteller, Steve Clayton, I saw how my passion and skills could add value in the business world.

A friend and business mentor who I now have an ongoing business relationship with, Kyle Frederickson, helped light the spark of entrepreneurship.

In 2019 I was taking steps toward that, but I didn't want to have blinders on if a full-time job in a totally different industry was the right answer.

I lined up meetings with old friends who had successful business careers in various fields. One of those pivotal meetings was with John Kaserman and Trevor McNeill.

Trevor encouraged me to take the "Best Stuff Exercise" which he had gotten from the Hunt Family, owners of the KC Chiefs.

It's a simple but powerful exercise and I'm happy to share it with you. Shoot me an email if you'd like to try it,

The exercise has you list out the accomplishments in life you're most proud of. Here are a few from my list:

  • Leading men in an authentic weekly prayer group (that I desperately needed)

  • Winning Best-Reporter by the Kentucky Associated Press in my first year as a reporter

  • Learning to play guitar despite a slow, painful process. Embarrassingly I once asked a friend if my strings were okay because they hurt my fingers so much. He said, yep, they're normal!

  • Landing a back roll on a wakeboard after dozens of painful failed attempts.

  • Being named honorable mention for the Nebraska High School Baseball All-State Tournament team (yes, I was that marginal of a player!)

The exercise guides you to then analyze what you wrote. Here were my takeaways:

Common Threads Across My Accomplishments / Experiences:

  • Hard work and determination

  • Recognizing my talents and pursuing

  • Courage, to risk failure

  • Love of being in public eye

  • Relationships

  • Taking risks

  • Achieving a great accomplishment that didn’t come easy

  • Love of being used in God’s kingdom

  • Storytelling skills

  • Adventure

My Gifts Seem to Be:

  • Intensity- ability to focus

  • Courage to put myself out there

  • Relationship-building

  • Ability to learn and adapt

  • Leadership

  • Public speaking, capturing an audience

  • Planting seeds and harvesting the crop

This exercise helped me see that I had the fortitude to dive into the roller coaster world of entrepreneurship. I'm beyond grateful to everyone who's helped me on the journey!



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