For our year in review blog, instead of listing all of our accomplishments, I just want to talk about four of the biggest lessons I learned this year.
1) BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
Begin with the end in mind. Simply put - think about where you want to go. This means start out in your head with a clear understanding of what you want your final destination to be. Think of where you want to end up, doing this helps you better understand where you are now, and helps you take steps in the right direction.
With everything in your life, If you don’t have an end in mind, it's so easy to get caught up in all of life's traps: the busyness of work, working harder and harder climbing the ladder of success – only to find out it's leaning against the wrong wall...
Believe me – it’s possible to be busy - insanely busy – without being at all effective.
I see people everyday achieving victories that are empty. The Conquistadors of Nothing. People strive for this success that ultimately comes at the expense of things they suddenly realized were far more valuable to them. People from all walks on life that I know from CEO’s, artists, doctors, musicians, models, athletes – often struggle to achieve a higher income, more fame, more recognition, more women, or cars, or shoes, only to find that their drive to achieve those goals blinded them to the things that mattered the most – and now those things are gone.
I left a job recently because the Owner of this company was so completely stuck in this trap. I feel sad for him, and all people who operate their entire lives based around fictional ideas, only to end up completely and truly, alone.
How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and we keep these things in mind. I find when that is the case, we manage to find ourselves making better decisions and managing ourselves around what really matters most.
Beginning with the end in mind has helped me understand exactly where I'm going and allows me to shape my decisions around that, and that alone.
2) TRUST YOUR GUT – BE COURAGEOUS
There’s an explanation why your gut has provoked you to take action. There’s wisdom within your gut’s response. And your wise gut — however irrational, out of character, or strange a behavior it’s provoked — needs to be listened to.
Trust your gut and Be Courageous!
One of the most common commands throughout Scripture is “Be courageous.” So I want to encourage you today to tap into the courage that comes when we trust the Gut that God gave us.
I’m talking about things like telling the truth… because that takes courage.
I’m talking about a single parent trying to raise a child… that takes courage.
I'm talking about simply walking away when you maybe should throw a punch... that takes courage.
I’m talking about a young lady who ends up with an unwanted pregnancy, who knows that abortion is the easier way, but instead gives birth to the child and puts them up for adoption… because that takes courage.
I’m talking about someone who finally has the guts to ask for help… because that takes courage.
I’m talking about loving someone that everyone else has characterized as unloving… because that takes courage.
I'm talking about a person who quits their job to follow the crazy dreams that no one believes in… because that takes courage.
I'm talking about the person who gives up their lunch period in school and instead eats lunch with the mentally handicapped class... because that takes courage.
I'm talking about the person in college that stands up for what they believe in and goes against the grain... because that takes courage.
Becoming the man or woman God has called us to be takes a tremendous amount of courage. I’m praying that this next year - you’ll find 20 seconds of insane courage.
The world needs it.
3# FORGET YOUR “REACH”.
This Summer was such a massive learning curve for me. You see, last summer we had partnered with InkMonstr and threw 3 of the largest pool parties Denver had ever seen. With over 6K in attendance over 3 events, national music acts, a 40ft slip&slide; the works. BUT – at the end of all that, I looked at my business partner, Rustin, and said “For What?”
Straight Up – Who cares about “logo impressions”? Who cares about “reach”? Let me tell you how much that shit matters – ZERO. Believe me – believe me because it used to be my job to lie to companies and say how important it was, how valuable it was. Its bullshit. Its not valuable at all. You want to know what’s valuable? Knowing your customers names. You want to know what’s Valuable? Actually solving their REAL problems. You want to know what’s valuable? Creating COMMUNITY where people can actually grow into deeper relationships with eachother.
So that’s what we set out to do. We said screw it – we don’t want to grow WIDE… we want to grow DEEP.
I reached out to the gnarliest 30 bosses under 30 I knew and somehow convinced over half of them to come to Colorado and go on a retreat with us. We had everyone from Mike Smith, to Davey Muise, to Jen & Brent Aragon, to JR Galardi, come and share, and grow, and learn from each other. And you know what – that weekend changed my life and I made some of my closest friends to date.
So what I am saying is this – as a business owner, stop trying to grow wide. Start growing deep.
4) YOU MATTER
The 4th biggest thing I re-learned this year is simply the overall importance of EVERYONE feeling empowered and knowing they matter.
Getting to work with Skate4Change is a constant reminder of how badly this broken world needs to hear that they matter.
So – if you're still reading, if you only take away one thing from this article – please please know that YOU MATTER. You are loved and so worthy and are capable of doing things in this world that you couldn’t even imagine.
Thank you 2014 for the laughs, adventures, hardships, confusion, friendships, and lessons. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Questions / Comments / Hate / Etc – Holler@ruckusapparel.com