Category: Life

Serially Unemployable

Today was the last day of the last job I will ever have.  I remain serially unemployable.  For the past four months, I’ve wrestled with whether or not I should attempt to stick it out for the entirety of my three-year employment agreement, or surrender to the freedom that comes with being, once again, an entrepreneur.  My decision to leave was illogical, unwise, risky, and perfectly liberating.

I’m thankful for the time I had the privilege to lead an incredible team of people who bled yellow and black.  You know who you are, and I sincerely thank you.  Keep doing the right thing!

Although I don’t have a definitive plan going forward, it should not surprise anyone that it will involve a big dream, a team of talented people, and a purpose and goal of doing something that can only be done together.  It’s not what you do, but who you are that matters most.

I’m a Shaft Inspector

The first thing most people will ask you after exchanging names is “what do you do?”  In most cases, it’s a way of sizing you up, which is especially true with men, including me at times.  Furthermore, when we talk about others, we typically are quick to point out what they do professionally, or what they’ve accomplished.  As for me, my identity is much more than what I do or have done as an entrepreneur.

Early in my entrepreneurial career, it was common for me to work 12-16 hours per day.  I thought that working long hours to the point of exhaustion demonstrated that I was a “man.”  I was wrong.  Last year, Mike Van Hoozer shared with me a simple way of deciphering between one’s identity and roles (see pic.)  This simple exercise was very helpful, because it allowed me to visually see that who I am, isn’t defined by what I do.

I circled twice what’s most important to me, and where failure isn’t an option.  It helps to have a partner to share the results of this exercise with, because everyone needs support, encouragement, and accountability.

My first challenge to you is to do this simple exercise, circle what’s most important to you, and then start taking the steps towards positive change.

The second challenge is the next time someone asks you what you do, make something up.  If you can’t think of anything, tell them you work for A&B Elevator, and you’re a shaft inspector.

Morale of the story…don’t be defined by your job, be defined by your character.

Acceptance is Beautiful

Acceptance

Acceptance is among the most basic human needs, yet it has managed to stay just out of grasp since its inception.  As a result, many of the World’s youth turn to drugs, gangs, and empty relationships to gain a sense of belonging.  And what’s worse; the youth of yesterday are the trustees of tomorrow, yet we sit silent in the prison of our present.  Your voice is in your choice to accept.

the Face

The artwork behind the movement, “the Face,” was conceptualized by Dan Henderson and commissioned to Sara Smith.  The face represents everyone and no one all the same.  It is nameless, faceless, genderless, and ageless.  The face is without race, sexual orientation, social class, or religion.  It represents you, me, a stranger, and a friend.

the Founder

Dan Henderson, husband, father, and serial-entrepreneur, is the founder of AcceptanceWear.com, which is a grassroots movement formed to promote Acceptance.  Dan is passionate about doing the right thing, and inspiring others to do the same, and above all feels that how you treat others is a true reflection of the character of a person.  Dan’s vision is that “the Face” becomes a universal symbol of Acceptance.

Support

Dan Henderson, AcceptanceWear, and its affiliates support local, national, and International organizations whose activities align with the primary goal of our movement and purpose for existence.

Coming soon — AcceptanceWear.com

Excuse me, do you have the time?

If time could be bought and sold, it would be the World’s most valuable commodity.  There’s never enough to go around, even though it’s distributed equally among every creature on earth simultaneously, and without prejudice.  Yet, so many people at the end of the day, week, month, year, or their lifetime feel like they have been cheated.  I don’t want to be one of those people.  Perhaps it’s my age, sense of urgency, fear of death, or a combination of many things that drive the desire to live a balanced and fulfilling life, but whatever the catalyst, I’m grateful for the awareness.

Yesterday, Mike Van Hoozer came and spoke to our EO group.  One of our members asked a great question about how it was possible to have balance as a high capacity, goal-oriented entrepreneur.  Mike’s response was immediate and impactful.  Paraphrasing a bit, Mike stated that goals should never compromise priorities.  My spin would be that if you don’t set and protect your priorities, your goals will set them for you.  Here’s a list of my priorities and partial list of my goals:

Priorities

  • Family – I want to be available to my wife and kids, be interested in them and their activities, and support them in their dreams and goals.
  • Faith – I want to live a life of inquiry, grow daily in my Faith, and learn to exercise discipline and self control more often than not.
  • Provision – I want to provide a comfortable lifestyle for my family and give generously.
  • Fit – I want to live a long healthy life, free of disease and pain.  I want to stay active.
  • Do the right thing – Part of my purpose.  Aspire to do the right thing and influence others to do the same.

Goals

  • Learn spanish
  • Play the piano well
  • Write a book
  • Live debt free
  • Give half of what I have away before I die
  • Be in a movie
  • Travel the world
  • Throw out the first pitch in a world series

This is only a partial goal list, but the point is that my growing goal list could easily serve as a detractor for my priorities, and at times does.  We have power over our where, with who, and how we spend our time.  It obeys our every command, but we must protect our priorities.  Today, I’m reminding myself that I don’t want to miss one of life’s Moments.

Purpose + Passion = Happiness

To date I have either started and sold or bought and sold nine companies including DOYLES. Not one of those companies was on purpose. In other words, I didn’t deliberately start the company because it was something I was passionate about. In every case it was opportunistic. I saw a problem and wanted to fix it, or I thought I could buy a business and fix it, revolutionize it, etc. Furthermore, no business I have built has been something I was passionate about, which has come as a recent revelation to me. Being driven is different than being passionate. I’ve always been driven, however only now am I beginning to think about what I’m passionate about and what my purpose is in life. In part I think my purpose is to promote transparency, acceptance, and do the right thing hoping to influence others to do the same. It’s an exciting time for me as I continue to reflect on my life and dream about what the next chapter will look like. For some “reason” I think it may include horses.

Good People Go to Hell

This is what I was taught as a child. In other words, it wasn’t good enough to be a good person, rather if one was unwilling to accept Christ as their own personal savior they would be damned to hell. Furthermore if you got “saved” and continued to live a “life of sin” you would go to hell as well. So I guess you were damned if you do or damned if you don’t, either way you end up in hell. Not my kind of ride.

Saving the argument about judgmental hearts and hypocrisy, the world needs more people who are like Jesus not who believe in him. He was kind, considerate, compassionate, humble, forgiving, and loving among many other qualities. According to the bible however, Jesus was God which would make the quest to be like Christ a bit futile.

If there is one God and he is just, it seems a bit cruel that he would create the world and all that’s in it, give man dominance over the world knowing they would fail even after he came to earth to save them, and then send them all to hell anyway.

I guess good people do go to hell and that’s a shame.

What I’ve Learned in 35 Years

I turned 35 in August, and as a result of the recent sale of DOYLES, I’ve had some time to reflect on my life as I prepare to pen a memoir.  My success has been mirrored by much failure, however, what I’ve learned in the process is invaluable.

Life has taught me that…

1.) We hurt the ones we love the most and vice versa

2.) You don’t know who you are married to until you divorce them

3.) Business partnerships are a bad idea and seldom work

4.) Religion is the most divisive topic known to all mankind

5.) A man with an ego is like a baby with a bomb – God help me

6.) We learn more from children than we teach them

7.) Life is too short and death too permanent

8.) Attitude is the key to happiness

9.) Love is an action not a feeling

10.) I love myself

Surprisingly this wasn’t a premeditated list.  I’m sure I could come up with many more of life’s lessons, but I like the flow of the first 10 that came to mind.  Life can be hard, and can deliver a crippling blow when you least expect it, or even when you most expect it.  Nevertheless, tomorrow brings the promise of hope and a future.

Enlightened in Egypt?

Just returned from a whirlwind trip to the Middle East and Europe.  I’m amazed every time by how true Mark Twain’s words are when he said that “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”  I sat in a hotel in Egypt a few days after our ambassador was killed and discussed religion with two Muslims.  Whatever your slant, my opinion remains that there is a large amount of ignorance all over the World to culture and religious convictions.  It’s been my experience that most Christians don’t really know what they believe or why, and most Muslims all the same.  We (the whole World) typically believe what we are taught to believe by those who have influence over us as children and young adults.  It’s very rare for a Jew to convert to Islam, or a Mormon to convert to Hinduism, etc.  Nevertheless, Christianity has approximately 2 billion followers, and Islam, 1.5 billion respectively, but what I find most interesting is that both Christianity and Islam were born of Judaism, which has only 14 million followers.  I don’t know if there is any significance to that fact, but it certainly has my attention.

You’re In My Office

After selling DOYLES, I have felt like a fish out of water.  I’m working a lot of hours, and don’t feel all that productive, however, I’m beginning to have some fun.  After waiting a few weeks waiting for an office space, I finally got one, and they even put my name on the door.  That was late last week.  I went in yesterday to find a laptop, docking station, office supplies, etc., neatly organized on the desk.  I was beginning to think that someone actually cared that I was there.  I then noticed a name and phone number on a single sheet of paper laying next to the keyboard.  It wasn’t my name.  I begin to think something was wrong, so I called the number on the sheet of paper, and was informed that the computer and other supplies were for someone else.  As I walked out, and back to my mobile office (my car,) I realized they had even replaced my name on the door.  Couldn’t help but laugh.  Good news is I’m not much for being in an office.

Calm Down

I met with a couple of bankers yesterday to discuss refinancing some real estate I own.  After a few minutes of pleasantries, I shared my experiences with lenders, which have been less than ideal.  The elder of the two gentlemen humbly said, “you need to calm down.”  He was right.