I was reminded of an incredibly important reality this week after receiving the following email from an attendee of a marketing conference I spoke at this past Tuesday:
I enjoyed your keynote in Raleigh this week very much. High energy, engaging, and full of nuggets I hadn’t thought of…you probably get that a lot. I have to tell you, though, the best part for me was at the very end when you started talking about getting back (home) to coach your girl’s (softball)team, and how your success has given you the freedom to enjoy the things that truly matter.
That hit home for me, got me a little choked up, and I could tell by the change in your speaking voice that it really was coming from your heart too. Thank you for that and best wishes on your continued success.
Family, Freedom, and Looking Back
Jim wasn’t the only one that mentioned this to me after the Raleigh event this week. In fact, almost everyone I spoke to after this particular speech wanted to talk about how content marketing (or blogging, or inbound marketing, or whatever you’d like to call it) had given me a life of freedom—one that involves more time with my family than I’ve ever been able to experience before.
You see, when I was a “pool guy” and the business was on the brink, although I may have slept in my bed each night, my wife and kids almost never saw me. I was working 60-75 hours a week (along w my partners) in an effort to keep the business afloat and the whole time my home-life was mediocre at best. Of course, at the time I didn’t even realize it was suffering, but today, with hindsight, there is more clarity—a clarity that has been known to leave me shaking my head in disappointment.
That being said, I’m not one to dwell on failures, and looking ahead with hope and optimism has always seemed like such a better choice, which is exactly where I find myself today.
And speaking of today, I’m truly humbled and happy to say that I’m spending more time with my wife and children than I ever have before. Yes, I travel a decent amount these days for speaking and consulting opportunities, but when I’m not flying in the air you can be assured I’m home, often times spending those precious moments with my family, and certainly looking to take advantage of every opportunity I get.
For example, right now I’m coaching my daughter Danielle’s softball team—The Lions 🙂 The idea of coaching any team a few years ago would have been ridiculous but today it’s a reality, a reality that means an incredible amount of quality time with a young lady who is growing up so fast I can hardly believe my eyes.
As for my next child, Joseph, he and I have already spent more time fishing together this summer than the previous 4 combined. Instead of planting myself in an office all day, I’ve literally handled consulting calls with clients in the middle of the Potomac River just to make sure we are spending time together.
I could literally go on and on about the blessings I’ve received since my first blog post in March of 2009 with River Pools and then in November of that same year with The Sales Lion, but I’ll just stop there with this one point:
Of all the benefits of content marketing (or better marketing) we read about each and every day, the one that far and away brings us the most joy is the blessing of time—time with those we care about, love, and cherish. Time with those that, before we know it, will be leading their own lives, a life in which we as parents are no longer the stewards.
I’ve had people tell me before that I get too excited about “marketing.” Well, if someone can’t get excited about a life that went from financial and family struggle to one of financial peace and family togetherness, then what the heck can they get excited about??
This is my inner “why” and it’s also the one gift I hope to give to my readers as well—Time.
A couple of thoughts folks…I’d love to know how better marketing has changed your life, be it business or family. I’d also invite you to share any goals you may have as you look forward into the future and assess where you are right now.
Your voice matters, so let it be heard.