This year has been the biggest year of my life. My biggest dream of having a family with a baby boy came true.
There are many frustrations associated with being a disabled father. I probably can’t pick up my baby until he’s six months or older. Despite all my frustrations, I am really, really happy.
One way I deal with my frustrations is through my work. I have always found an escape in my work. It makes me feel more connected, less disabled, and even more human. My work is one big toy for me. It’s gratifying, exciting and I love it!
Where this attitude has created trouble for me in the past, is that there are aspects of my business that are down right not fun. Everything great in life has bad parts. Even if you want to go to a tropical paradise like Hawaii or the Bahamas, you probably have to get on a plane and go through TSA—unless you have money to take a private jet. In that case, can we be friends?
No matter how great something is, you have to accept the...
It’s been three years since I started a blog, and there is no way that I could have predicted how my life would be right now.
When I started, I had been wanting to start a blog for about a year, but never took the leap. I was afraid that I would run out of things to say, but committed to it. It really helped that my new manager Kristi was a writer and bugged me to write a blog. So, I started to write something every week until about a year ago, when I decided to change my commitment to writing a post every other week.
When I started this blog, I was living at my parents’ house wondering if I would ever have a family. Now I live with my wife Leslie and our son Andrew; the irony is, my parents are going to come stay with me for two months while they renovate their house. This blog has taught me about myself, challenging me to take even more responsibility for my life, and just two months ago, it taught me to publish another self-help book instead of my autobiography.
I am writing this on July 1st because I have no idea where I will be when this blog post goes up. I could be holding my newborn son, etc. I wanted to write this because I’m keeping my commitment to blog every other week.
Besides expecting my baby boy, I have been on a creative tear. I wrote a blog post at the end of May about creating fans. At the time, I was putting the final touches on my autobiography. I had also been working on a book called Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices. One day while working on it, I had an epiphany. If I want to really push the speaking and the writing, I need to create fans before I publish my autobiography, A Search for an Ordinary Life.
On the heels of a Dallas trip, I called my manager and told her that I was now thinking of publishing Big Dreams first. I ruminated over the idea for the weekend until I got back into the office on Tuesday. I was even asked at the conference what my new book was about, and without thinking, I said big dreams....
My life is about to change…in the best way possible. I often wondered if I would ever have a child, and now–on July 8th–baby Andrew is due to come into the world.
(By the way, that little boy already has more stuff than I do! This is a dream come true.)
Like any first time father, I always assumed that I would have a “freak out moment” when my wife became pregnant, but I’m calm.
Over the years, I thought about what it means to be a father. To me, part of being a father is picking up the baby, changing diapers, watching the baby when my wife goes out to dinner, and other things as the child grows older, like coaching his baseball team. I have friends who have children and I watch them interact, knowing that the interaction I have with my child(ren) will be different. It used to sadden me that I would never be able to go to a baseball game with my kid until he’s sixteen, so he can drive his pops.
Surprisingly, those emotions have not come up...
There are parts of my life that are completely upside down. I am a very outgoing person. I love interacting with people, I love going out with friends, and I’m always up for any new adventure. I’m not a homebody at all. I like to travel, would rather go to the movies than watch a movie at home, go out to dinner, stay up until two o’clock in the morning, and I’m very spontaneous.
But why do I have to be this way?
My life would be a lot easier if I was an introverted homebody. Someone who loved to be home in my sweats with a good book or go online for hours. Someone who does not feel isolated without constant face-to-face conversation.
Also, why do I love going to the airport and getting on a plane? Let me explain that for someone in an electric wheelchair like me, getting on an airplane is an ordeal, to say the least. It’s probably ten times the hassle that the average person has to deal with to get through TSA.
I wouldn’t change a thing about my...
As I embark into another leg of my professional career, I am taking into great consideration who I want to work with. I am looking at different business models including who I want to work and market with.
I came to the conclusion that I want to work with individuals I am a fan of, and not just people I happen to like on Facebook. I’m talking about people who blow me away and fascinate me.
On the other hand, I am trying to get my message out. Instead of forcing my message on people, my goal is to make them fans. Instead of ramming my message down their throats, I try to be more organic with my blog.
Great companies are trying to create fans. Perhaps the greatest example of this is Apple. Apple is one of the best in creating lifetime fans. They focus first on making really cool products. My sister Sanaz became a fan by first buying an iPad, then an iPhone, then when she needed to buy a computer, she bought a MacBook because she wanted everything to integrate. I have four Sony...
I have been working on my autobiography for a couple of years on and off, and plan to publish it later this year. As a writer, I want to tweak it over and over again and make it perfect. I learned that it will never be perfect and I will never be one hundred percent satisfied with it. That brings me to the next point: the publication date. I am excited to have a baby, and it will be easy for me to keep pushing it back, waiting for the baby to be three months, then six months, then a year, then—oh, I have to wait for his wedding. There is never going to be a perfect time.
I believe that perfection is the enemy of greatness.
I have been wanting to get back on the stage to speak and last year was a cathartic search of what I wanted my speaking career to look like. One issue that I had was making sure the people who would be my on-stage facilitators would be there for me. I’m talking to two great friends of mine who both said yeah, let’s do this. Despite this, I was...
I am in the middle of reading the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. He describes a meeting with a POW of the Vietnam War named Jim Stockdale. Stockdale described how only the optimists were defeated, because they would say to themselves, “We’re going to get out by Christmas!” Then nothing. Then they would say, “We’re going to get out by Easter!” Then nothing. Eventually, they would be defeated.
In my last post, I wrote how I’m going to get upset when I can’t interact with my child the way I want to. Despite this, I’m going to have a good time. I contend that this attitude is going to soften the blow when I cannot do something.
In every sense of the word, I’m a dreamer, and I was crazy enough to think my dreams could come true. After I have a dream, I have to bring my dream into reality. There are times when I think about walking, hopping in the car, or just taking a backpacking tour across Europe. I understand that there...