Jeff, Frank, and I took a charter flight to Tennessee. We presented our beautiful marketing plan to the distributor, helping secure over $1 million dollars in inventory financing for our vodka company. Next, we entertained a local mortgage company to land $750K in equity financing.
Our only problem, we thought; we were low on cash. No problem. I was a big man. I used my personal money, without letting my wife know, to help keep the lights on until the big dollars came in. I was drinking the coolaid and maybe a few adult beverages. We had a great time chasing the dream and going for the big time.
After having delays with the Ukrainian producer and the mortgage company going out of business, cracks started forming in my idol. Thinking back, it was a little strange to have a mortgage company even entertain financing our struggling drunken enterprise.
God is present
So many years of work and money vanished. I blamed God for taking away my idol, MONEY! I cried. I yelled. The most surprising thing I’ve learned over the years; God is ever present when we are in the furnace. He has shown His presence and love more during the trials than any other time, regardless of my boorish behavior.
So, what’s next? My family is collateral damage and now I need a new job.
How do I model good behavior when I’m such a poor example?
Of course it seems easier to learn from others’ failures; however, sometimes we need to be refined in the furnace of our own failures before we understand the pain we’ve cause ourselves and others.
Change your focus
The same can be said of our bodies. Sometimes it takes a scare at the doctor’s office, ‘you have cancer’, or ‘you have diabetes’, before we are determined to make healthy choices.
We change our focus. Focusing on the right things over time will cause growth.
As a father, that focus is on investing more time in my children and wife and letting them know they are valued.
It can be overwhelming to make a radical change. However, radical results can occur by making small changes over time.
Challenge: Spend 10 quality minutes a day with your children. Ideas: a walk, fishing, basketball, take a drive to the store, take a seat in the backyard to talk. If you don’t see them, write them a letter or spend the same amount of time praying for them.
Extra Challenge: If you are already spending a lot of quality time with your children, write them a handwritten note. Let them know you value them.
P.S. Stay tuned next week when we feature a former Black Panther and his upbringing and how he made a radical change.
John (a student of fatherhood)