As mentioned in our previous blog, my wife and I began going to a marriage retreat. We attended two years thus far, and it’s been phenomenal. Through that, I had the honor of meeting Jeff Woods. A brilliant entrepreneur who does everything with excellence… From his relationship with the Lord, to his beloved wife and children, I just look up to him in many ways! I love how he shares genuinely and authentically the good and the bad of everything that he’s been through professionally and personally. Well, I found out about a men’s mentoring retreat that he was beginning. I was hesitant at the beginning because we had just come back from the marriage retreat, so I didn’t want to burden our finances, so I didn’t even mention it. But, my wife found out on her own and really pushed me to go. Yes, I know… I really do have the greatest wife, a wife who supports me in all that I do and want the best for me. She always dreams bigger than I could have ever even hoped to for myself. Well, I registered that day. We just knew that this kind of an opportunity do not come often, and I wanted to do whatever I could to be there.
A few months passed and the day finally arrived. But, geez…. Things could not have gotten any worse that day. First, I missed my flight. And seriously, I am never late to my flights and even for this one, I wasn’t. They left early! There were 12-13 other guys who missed it with me and we literally begged for the plane to come back. It was INSANE! I have never experienced such bad service and situation from an airline. After this ordeal, I was completely exhausted. I called my wife saying that I think I just want to come back home. She said, “NO! IT’S THE ENEMY THAT IS TRYING REALLY HARD TO NOT ALLOW YOU TO BE WHERE YOU NEED TO BE, AND HE IS NOT GOING TO WIN! YOU DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO TO GET ON ANOTHER PLANE AND GET YOUR BUTT THERE!” Whoa… yes, I do have a sassy one. And, I love it. To make the long story short, I got a little credit from the flight I missed, I purchased another ticket and finally landed in San Fransisco. The bad news was that because I was so late, I missed my ride to the cabin I needed to be in (three hours from the airport). So, I had to rent a car and drive there by myself. By this point, I’ve been traveling for 24 hours, no sleep, and I’m completely done. But, I had to make it. I pushed myself and made it to the cabin to meet the team. Except, they were all already asleep (it was 2 am)… After getting settled in and sleeping on the couch for maybe two hours, all the guys got up early to see the sunrise at Lake Tahoe. Now, how many of you guys have been there? This was my first time and wow… it was breathtakingly beautiful. Do you think I would miss it just because I was tired? No way… I got my butt up and joined my team.
I brought back so much from this trip… Here are three main things:
DREAM. RISK. HUSTLE. REPEAT – This is one of the mottos that Jeff believes in. Simple, yet very difficult to execute. I don’t know of many who can do this. But, I do know of a few in my life and they are extraordinary people. I want to be like that! I want to be extraordinary. I want to dream, risk, hustle and repeat everyday! Doing that for my business can be accomplished with determination and hard work, but I want to be able to do that in my relationship with my God, my wife and my children. That’s the true test of life and who I really am. As long as I have that straight and in order, everything will follow as God’s Word says. Jeff gave each one of us a bumper sticker that says, “Dream. Risk. Hustle. Repeat”, and I immediately put in on the back of my car when I got home. I just love that! Every time I see it, it reminds me. Especially when difficult times hit, it inspires me! It makes me reminisce on the stories that I heard from my fellow brothers, and it gives me hope. As a creative person working in a creative world, it’s crucial that you continually get inspired. From others, from the world, from mistakes, from the triumphs, from every aspect of life and to remind yourself that YOU.CAN.DO.IT. And this trip did just that for me…
During those short three days, I got know these guys better, got to hear some of their stories and just bonded. It was great to disconnect with everything else and just connect and focus on this group of folks that God brought in my life. It was great to do things like snowmobiling, skiing… and just things that guys do when they get together. IT.WAS.AWESOME! When you run a business from your home and have a family, sometimes, it’s hard to just take care of yourself. Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely love working from home and my family of course! The flexibility is indescribably amazing, but there are things I miss working from an office as well. Like seeing people! If you know me, I need people to gain energy… I’m what you call an extrovert. Because my working environment no longer gives me that on a daily basis, I have to make the initiative and put extra effort in connecting more and maintaining and building my friendships even more. Because without it, I can’t survive.
Through this, I got to meet new faces and got to know more of the ones I knew. Many of these guys are in the same or similar industry as I am, so it was even easier for us to connect. Many of us work with our wives and have children as well, so we just have a lot in common. When you’re in a retreat like this, you’re in a safe place. You can open up and just share what’s going on in your heart and for a lack of a better term, just vent sometimes. We all understand each other and although everyone is far from me, I know that if I need any of these brothers, they will have my back and will be there for me. I hope they know that I will be there for them too. I appreciate how we communicate with one another as much as we can through social media and other apps. I love seeing these guys grow and thriving in their calling. We support one another… I’m so thankful for these brothers!
It was crazy getting there, but as you have read, it was totally worth it. I just can’t wait to see them all again next year. With all the creative minds that are in this group, I am anticipating next year’s location and activities. I better get fit by the next one. LOL To our readers, thank you once again and if you haven’t found a group like this, we strongly encourage you! To get out of your comfort zone and invest in your soul! It has a priceless return. You will feel renewed, refreshed, rejuvenated… Ask yourself, “What inspires me?” To my APEX brothers, thank you!