Episode 11- Play The Game A Little Longer

Here is the transcription for Episode 11- Play The Game A Little Longer-

So yesterday was a little bit of a busy day. I had two mastermind calls to run. I had a podcast interview to do and I had a bunch of networking to do, a bunch of connections to make earlier in the day. So when I was done and I came downstairs- and it’s hard, you know when you run your business from home and we have three kids, and we homeschool. So literally you open the door and you’ve got to switch from business mode to dad and parent mode. And that’s hard for me sometimes because I’m wound up, I’m excited, I’m involved in the conversation, I’m exhausted. Like a lot of those calls I’m exhausted because we dive in to people’s issues and you’re emotionally invested into it. And then you open the door and you’ve got an eight year old waiting there for you. Literally like waiting outside the door. 

And the first thing he says to me as I opened the door and start to head downstairs for dinner is, “Hey Dad, can we go outside and play baseball in the backyard?” And I was tired. I mean I was, I was tired. I was just mentally spent, felt physically spent and I’m hungry. And we are going to eat dinner, but you have this adorable little face looking at you wanting to play baseball. I delayed and I said, “Yeah, why don’t we play after dinner and then we’ll go outside in the backyard and play.” And I was tired. I was like, I really quite honestly did not want to go play baseball, but Dylan is a lot like his dad. He’s very persistent. He knows what he wants, he pushes forward, even if it’s pushing a little too hard sometimes. But as soon as dinner was over, he was like, “Dad, can we go play baseball?” 

And I was like, sure, let’s go. And I kind of took a deep breath. My eyes were tired, I was ready. You know, the sun was starting to come down. It was later in the evening and generally we’re winding the kids down at that point, you know, you guys go get showered and let’s get ready for bed. Read a book to settle it down so we can get to sleep at a good time. So, okay, let’s go play baseball, let’s go in the backyard. We went in the backyard and immediately I was, I was happy I made the decision. And this isn’t about playing with the kids in the backyard. Like that’s something that we all want to do, but there’s a, there’s a lesson to this deeper than that. So we’re in the backyard and the sun is setting and it’s one of those nights, I don’t know if you remember as a kid, but to me those memories of those summer nights when the sun is setting and it’s, it’s almost back lit. 

It’s dusk and it’s just, that’s how I remember summer time as my childhood. And those were those, those were the most memorable moments for me. I loved that time, late in the evening, the fireflies are starting to come out, the sun is down, but you still have that dusk feeling to it. I love, I have so many memories of that from my childhood. So that’s where we are. We’re in that moment and I’m looking at his face as I’m pitching the ball and I’m like, there is no place I’d rather be than right here. So I’m so glad I made that decision. But what happened was it was a lesson that came out of it beyond that, and we’re pitching the wiffle ball and he’s hitting it and then he’s missing a couple. And then he wanted to play with the real bat. So we grabbed the baseball bat and I grabbed the baseball. 

Now he’s hitting some nice shots, but he’s missing a bunch too. He’s eight and he’s going after. He’s getting, he’s getting better. And then he wanted to go back to wiffle ball. So we went back to wiffle ball. And what happened was he hit one out of every three balls, and then Nolan came out to play with us. So he’s, he’s fielding the fly balls. And at this point I’m really tired. And this is, I’m like, okay, we’ve, we’ve done a bunch and I’m, I’m kinda ready to wind this down at this point. So I said to him, I said, instead of saying, oh, we’ve got five more balls to hit. I said, “Okay, if you miss one, we’re done.” So he said, “So if I miss another one, we go inside?” I said, “Exactly. If you miss another one, the next one that you miss is when we go inside.” And then an amazing thing happened. 

He hit eleven balls in a row. Some of them were hard shots, some of them were popups. A couple of them were foul tips that barely hit the bat, but as he tipped it, he looked at me with a wide grin and a face. He says, “I hit that one! I hit it.” I said, you did. Let’s keep going. And what happened was he went eleven balls in a row and I don’t think he had ever hit eleven balls in a row, So we collected the balls and got ready to head on side, closed the garage and get inside, it struck me what just happened, because he did not want that game to end. And by not wanting the game to end, he focused intently on what he had to do. It was not so much about like lazy failure, let me hit this one or let me take a bad swing. 

He made sure every swing was spot on. It was the best that he possibly could do. And even as foul tips were stretching him, trying and getting a little bit farther, the intensity and the focus elevated tremendously just by saying the next one you miss, we’re going inside. So he prolonged the game, probably another five minutes with his focus. And it was a great time. We came inside and he told Mom, he said, “I hit eleven balls in a row and I hit one onto the deck” and he was all excited about it. He came upstairs, got a shower, got ready for bed and everything was wonderful. And I, and as we’re winding the night down, I thought, you know, I kind of almost bring every, every lesson into an entrepreneurial lesson because I think they’re really tied in. But I thought about that like he got to play the game longer because of his focus. 

And I think that is something that gets missed so often in this world of freelancing and entrepreneurship, the people that are afraid it’s going to fail them. I have to go get a job. The fear that comes with that, like I want to, this is what I want to do. But they fail to see that by staying focused on what it is that you need to do. The main task allows you to play the game longer. And that is the key. My focus quite often, especially as we were building this, as time goes on, it becomes less and less of a worry. But my focus was I don’t want to go back and get another job. I don’t want to go back to that world. So I need to stay focused on what needs to get done and nothing else and what’s most important to get done. 

So I can play this game just a little bit longer. And what that allows you to do is not get caught off guard by the distractions. Because if Dylan noticed that squirrel running along the top of the fence or if he was distracted by Nolan making a silly face out in the outfield or if he just really didn’t pay attention, that game would’ve ended. The game would be over and we’d have to be inside and he’d be done and he knew he wanted the game to go on longer. This is the lesson for the freelancers and the entrepreneurs is to keep your eye on the ball so that you get to play the game longer and when you get to play the game longer, you get better. And what Dylan did last night was in a short period of time, he got better and the turnaround from that is as you get better, you now get to play the game longer and the more you can do that, less you say, is this going to work? 

Is this business gonna last? Am I going to have to go back and and get another job? Is My spouse going to think I’m a failure? All that stuff starts to dissipate because as you get better, the game goes longer. You keep getting better, the game goes even longer and before you know it, there is no way you’re not going to play this game anymore. So as freelancers and entrepreneurs, we need to make sure that the most important thing is the most important thing so we can keep going. And Dylan knew the most important thing was to not miss a ball, otherwise he had to go inside and he wound up doing something that he had never done before. Now I want to translate that to you. What do you need to do to focus on so that you can keep the game going so that you could do stuff so that you can do stuff that you’ve never done before? Thank you so much for listening. If you are new to the show, just know that if you want a free audio copy of my book, freelance to freedom, you can go to our website totallifefreedom.com/f2fbook. You can download the audio book for free and I’d love for you to just get that, consume it and hopefully that will help you out. And I will be back with you tomorrow.

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