I hope this email finds you well and filled with gratitude for where you are in your life.
I was out for a hike with my family on a cool fall day over two years ago. And we came upon this tree (pictured to the right) that was growing in between these two heavy boulders. I was astonished how a seed, grew into a tiny tree which overtime was able to overcome the challenges of where it was planted and rise to incredible heights.
In an effort to continue being vulnerable about my own life, I want to share that it is not easy running two companies and being emotionally and physically available for my family. It forces me to constantly attempt to re-balance my priorities, and we all know that I don’t believe in work/life balance.
A mantra that I have been using lately is “I am built for this.” It is a constant reminder that my ultimate goal is to learn and push myself to be a better version of myself while sharing what I’ve learned with others. However, I have to be a positive force at home before I can even hope to be impactful in the world. My friend Derek Coburn, inspired by his pastor, always says, “I want to be more famous in my own home than I am anywhere else.” It also reminds me of a Mother Teresa quote, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”
[Hi wife and kids! You know I write these for you too!]
Here are some quick examples of rejection in my own life just in the last month:
- Someone gave two weeks’ notice at Leverage Information Technologies (LIT).
- A dozen or so people have turned down opportunities to join LIT.
- I didn’t get a listing client for True North Realty.
- Half a dozen meeting requests were rejected whether overtly or by just not responding.
- Two attempts at buying investment properties failed.
- 60% of the people who receive this email each week don’t even open it.
Along my own journey as a father and a business owner, I’ve faced significant adversity and rejection. In fact, I would venture to say it’s a daily occurrence! As a result, I’ve had to realize that it is all part of the process to reach my goals. Avoiding adversity and rejection does no good, making it part of the process or journey gives it purpose.
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway and he hid to watch and see if anyone would remove the huge rock.
Some of the King’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but no one did anything to remove the stone out of the way.
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, he laid down his load and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he succeeded.
After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a reward lying in the road where the boulder had been. It contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.
The peasant learned what many of us struggle to grasp: Concealed within every obstacle is an opportunity, yet many are unwilling to explore it.
The story obviously depicts a sentimental view of overcoming adversity, but it does underscore the importance of pushing past our challenges. Maybe better yet, it illustrates that there is an even greater reward for those who remove obstacles for others, thereby providing that impact beyond just themselves.
How do we deal with these daily adversities and rejections? I think we have to remind ourselves to keep things in perspective, that the journey is long and that this is only a small part of the process to reach the destination. Cliche? Perhaps. I think when we look at an obstacle or rejection and we tend to assign a greater significance than we should to something so fleeting in light of the bigger picture.
Let this quote serve as a reminder not to let the challenge of the day or week ruin the journey…
A small trouble is like a pebble. Hold it too close to your eye and it fills the whole world and puts everything out of focus. Hold it at the proper viewing distance, and it can be examined and properly classified. Throw it at your feet, and it can be seen in its true setting, just one more tiny bump on the pathway to eternity.
– Celia Luce, author
- Reflect briefly on the story of the king’s boulder in the road. With which approach do you typically identify when it comes to obstacles you encounter: circumventing them? Complaining about them? Moving them to help others?
- Identify something that happened to you in your life (whether just recently or earlier in your life) that you are having trouble getting over. Put it in perspective of your greater story and realize its significance or lack thereof.
- Email me an issue you are dealing with right now. There is a saying, “a burden shared is a burden halved”. No judgement from me, just a place to park the rejection, obstacle, adversity and maybe even find encouragement.**