By the time I was in 4th grade, I was a head taller than most of my classmates. So, it was inevitable that I would be asked to play basketball, which started in 4th grade in New Brighton. To be honest, I was not a natural. However, by using my height advantage, I did OK.
I kept growing and was 6’3” when 12 years old. So, I kept playing basketball. While I liked soccer better, everyone thought I was born for basketball. Sports like basketball, baseball and football were very important where I grew up, even if it was not in my immediate family.
When soccer season came around, I created a training course in the backyard, where I could improve my dribbling skills and spent hours training. During basketball season, I hoped that practices would not last too long.
Because of my height and a shortage of tall players, I was moved from the 9th grade team to the junior varsity team. It felt good to be moved up, but I often felt I was out of my league playing with kids 2-3 years older than me and a lot more into basketball. Practices were tough: typically 3-3.5 hours. We actually had a good varsity team and made it a long way towards state finals my freshman year. That was certainly exciting and got me more engaged.
However, by the middle of 10th grade, something clicked. I could not take it anymore. I realized that I HATED basketball. While my parents never pressured me to play basketball, they insisted that I finish the season since I had committed. I was happy to hang up my high tops at the end of that season and I did not touch a basketball for at least 5 years after that.
Upon reflection, it was clear to me that I never really liked basketball. I felt pressured to play because I was tall. I accepted what other people thought I should do (although my parents never pressured me). I was accepting what I thought was inevitable, but it wasn’t. It was just in my head.
When we pursue things that make our hearts sing, rather than what we feel are our obligations, we can be a lot more authentic. And we make a lot more progress when we are being authentic, because what we need to do is a good fit with what we want to do.
That is how we help business owners. We let them do what makes their heart sing while we help them generate a consistent flow of new leads.
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