Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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Capital Gaines: Smart Things I learned Doing Stupid Stuff, Chip Gaines - Excerpts


Capital Gaines: Smart Things I learned Doing Stupid Stuff, Chip Gaines

 1. Some of the greatest success stories of all time come from people who were misunderstood or even miscategorized. Maybe their strengths weren’t noticed or valued. Perhaps they got a slow start or went about things in an unusual manner. They somehow didn’t fit into the world’s narrow definition of what constitutes achievement or success. Here are just a few of them.

2. When baseball was going well, my life was going well. But as soon as one thing went wrong, it seemed as though other areas of my life started to fall apart at the seams. It was a snowball effect, a chain reaction. So I pushed hard to make sure that every aspect of the game was perfect. There was literally no room for error.

3. Getting cut from baseball was something I never saw coming. And looking back, I can see that it could’ve played out one of several ways. First possibility: I could have dropped out of college and spent my days lying around the house with my five lazy roommates, eating a sick amount of pizza and getting really good at the video game RBI Baseball.
My backup plan of moving back in with my parents and having my mom wash my tighty-whities didn’t sound so bad either. The passion had been knocked out of me, and there was seemingly nothing good that could fill its place. Another possibility would’ve been to suck it up and get a part-time job to occupy my time—just a random job that I didn’t care too much about but that paid the bills. Sure, it would have meant giving up on my dreams, but at this point I would’ve resigned myself to barely getting by.
This option involved zero risk, and there’s something really appealing about not rising again after being hurt so profoundly. And although it didn’t sound as good as playing Nintendo all day, at least it would get me out of the house. Another possibility would’ve been to use every instinct and skill I’d developed over the years, find a new passion, and then go for it. I’d get off of the couch and be okay with hanging up my cleats so that I could pursue something different. And even if this new direction was different from what I’d always dreamed about, I would refuse to quit. Sure, it took me a few months to get my head on straight, but I was resolved to figure this all out. I’m smart enough to know that when you put in the effort and find a new passion and get back on track, good things are bound to happen.
This last scenario is just about the way it turned out. I may have dipped my toes in options one and two, but option three was what all of those years prior had equipped me for. So instead of becoming chronically despondent or detached, I chose a different approach. It took everything inside of me to step up to the plate again, but I did it. And then I gave it all I had.

4. I believed the baseball field was the perfect place to train me as a baseball player, but it turned out to be the perfect training ground for life as an entrepreneur. That can be true for you too, no matter what your passion is. Every ounce of energy you invest in pursuing your goals will help you grow toward God’s plan for you . . . even if you end up somewhere you hadn’t counted on. I can’t promise you there won’t be any curveballs in your life. But I’m positive that if you do the hard work and never quit—and pick yourself up when things go sideways—good things will be waiting on the other side.

5. It’s just human nature for couples to turn their insecurities and animosities against each other during life’s more challenging seasons.

 6. Juggling being co-workers along with being a married couple can feel like walking a tightrope at times. The hardest part for us is turning off the work side of things and focusing on us. We have to be really intentional to not talk about business all the time. For example, we have to choose not to discuss project lists, payroll, or an upcoming client on date night. When we get home at the end of the day, the business truly needs to be out of sight and out of mind; our babies and our marriage must be the only things in the world that matter. This has proven to be one of our biggest challenges and is definitely easier said than done.

 7. It starts with being willing to be seen and known and loved for who you are, as you are. Then you have to be willing to turn around and do the same, loving your spouse in their totality: flaws, blemishes, and quirks included. It’s from there that you can begin to forge a trust where creativity and compassion can grow strong. Taking on the world as a unified, fortified duo is not just a romantic notion; it’s a powder keg. Together you can set the world on fire.

 8. I’m still a huge advocate for trusting your instincts and taking leaps of faith when it matters. There are plenty of things worth rushing into the unknown for. But don’t be dumb. Save your courage for when it counts.

9. If I ever run for public office one day, there’s a good chance my stump speech will be about making it illegal to live in fear. The reason I’m so passionate about this topic is that fear will literally ruin every single facet of your life; it cripples everything. You know how hurt people hurt people? Well, scared people scare people. And thus, the cycle of fear continues on. Fact: life isn’t safe. You could do A, B, and C all perfectly right, and then BAM! All of a sudden D will show up and D wasn’t even on the guest list.

 10. A lot of people spend their days walking in fear of failure, pain or even death. But things like disease or war still find their way past triple-locked doors. No alarm system can keep these things away. And I just don’t see the point in putting energy into doing what isn’t possible in the first place.

11. For the rest of your days, you can live in fear of what could happen. You can walk instead of run, drive instead of fly, or leave the big city and move out to the suburbs. But you simply cannot protect yourself from the things beyond your control. I don’t want to make this too depressing or anything, but right now, at this very minute…
There are nuclear weapons being tested and chemical weapons being further developed while a quarter of humanity lives without electricity There are more than a hundred different varieties of cancer, with many different causes, but no dependable cure. There are more than one hundred fifty million orphans in the world, and nearly eight million children die of preventable diseases every year because they are too poor to afford treatment. Twenty-nine thousand kids under five years old die because of poverty every day.
 You see where I’m going? If we let every potential threat out there dictate how we feel, there’s a decent chance we’ll all curl up into the fetal position and never leave the house. Sometimes too much information is immobilizing.

 12. I vote that instead of fretting about the problems in this world, we all become part of the solutions. This happens through our willingness to make small, brave decisions. No one is born a hero. It takes a lifetime of courageous choices to get there. So quit dodging hard things. When you make the choice to duck left to avoid something scary, you could miss a beautiful opportunity on the right.

13. If you don’t ask out the girl (or guy), you risk ending up alone, too scared to pursue a relationship. If the thought of traveling to a foreign country terrifies you and you bow to that, you miss out on experiencing the big, exciting world that’s out there just waiting on you to discover it. Say you never apply for (or accept) a job that feels beyond your capabilities, but instead choose to stay in an easy, safe position that never requires you to grow, change, or build something that matters. That’s not just sad for you; it’s sad for the rest of us, because we need what you have to give.

14. The other thing about the presence of fear in the process of decision making is that it can severely cloud your judgment. Fear dressed up as wisdom provides poor counsel. It lures you into thinking that if you will just trust it, it will afford you some level of control. But guess what? You’re not in control. So I’m calling bull on that illusion. It’s time for a wake-up call. Maybe a little cold water in the face couldn’t hurt. Life isn’t safe, remember. But life can be wonderful if you choose adventure rather than fear.

15. There’s a scene in this movie that I watched with the kids, We Bought a Zoo, where the dad gives his son an amazing piece of advice. This is the direct quote. I know because I made Ella get up and pause the movie so I could write it down. Then I played it back a second time: “Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage.
Just, literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” That’s it. That’s the stuff. Each time you muster up what it takes and go for it, the next go-round becomes that much easier. Real and important changes begin with small, courageous acts. It’s never too late in your story to take a step away from fear. And the good news is that both optimism and courage are contagious. No hand washing necessary. Simply catch and spread.

16. Nobody remembers if you cross the finish line bruised and bloody. They just remember that you stayed the course. Don’t get hung up on how ugly the race may have looked. In the end, all that matters is that you finish.

17. Listen to me here: if you’re going to make a bet, bet on yourself. Of course you won’t always win. Life doesn’t work that way. But if you don’t at least try, how could you ever know what’s on the other side?

18. I’m a firm believer that figuring things out on your own is more effective than being given something on a silver platter. And that belief is at the heart of my personal leadership strategy. I expect our team to dive in headfirst. They don’t have time to doggie-paddle. We pride ourselves in on-the-job training and solving problems. I like people who work first and ask questions later. As soon as I get a sense that they’re sitting back in their comfort zone, avoiding a challenge, I push them off the ledge. That may sound harsh, but people who know my heart understand my intentions behind this. I’ve got a different take on the whole concept of sink or swim. In my opinion, you win either way. If you swim, that means you’re capable. If you sink, that simply means you need more practice. It’s less of an ‘if you don’t make it, you aren’t good enough’ mindset and more of an opportunity to truly assess where you are and what you still need to work on.

 19. (...) if you want to do well in your work, don’t get caught up in the job-title mentality. Let your work speak for itself rather than relying on some title that someone else gave you or confining yourself to a simple job description. It’s just so easy to let that title box you in. If you’re low man on the totem pole and your title hints at that, then you may put yourself in that box rather than think of ways to go above and beyond, exceeding every expectation. On the other hand, if you’re a head honcho with a big title, then you’re likely to rest on it. You may settle in and get comfortable. And that’s exactly what you don’t want if you really want to grow professionally.

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