Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 55 - Should I?

If you've read my first post, you realize that I started this blog adventure unemployed. The situation hasn't changed much since then. I've sent out dozens and dozens of resumes, hounded hot leads, and have been on an emotional roller coaster hoping that a prospect might pan out. So far, despite my education and experience, nothing has come about this effort. It's a little disheartening to say the least (especially since the student loans are about ready to kick in).

Monday, while in the shower shampooing my hair, an inkling of an idea crept into my brain. I don't know why these ideas occur when in the shower, but they do for me (and I'm sure for some of you too). This small glimmer of an idea held a minute ounce of hope for my future. What if... what if there was an after school program that instilled traditional values in middle schoolers through the use of the outdoor sports?

My brain started to chew on this idea throughout the day. Thoughts percolated around how this would be done, how to differentiate it from Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts, how do you show life lessons through fly fishing? Other notions asked: What would you call this program? Where would you hold it? How would you support yourself in this role? How much would it cost to develop? My has raced around these questions trying to form answers.

I've always thought that my life experiences came about through some divine plan. I'd hate to believe that I was just bouncing around aimlessly (of course maybe that is the truth that I'm not willing to admit). My undergraduate degree from Colorado Christian University was in Biblical Studies. More specifically Youth Ministry and Youth Counseling. I also received a minor in Outdoor Leadership, which should more aptly be named the Administration of Outdoor Educational Programs. This last spring I received my Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas (that would be in St. Paul, MN not the cool island in the Bahamas).

When I explain my background, many people scratch their heads in confusion (much like I do). How does one go from Youth Ministry to Business? Somehow they seem to be fundamentally at odds with each other. To be honest, I've always hovered around the two ideas and for the most part I've made it work, sort of. Going through grad school, I definitely brought about a different perspective when we talked about business ethics.

And so now you know my educational background. For the most part, my professional experience has revolved around purchasing goods and inventory analysis. I don't know if I was ever really great at what I did, but I did approach the work with a hard Midwestern work ethic and managed to do some very profitable things. More details about my work experience can be found at in case you're interested.

I've often felt this pressure to do something great with my life. That I am here to somehow make a difference. I look around this world and have met many people from different nations, communities, faith backgrounds, and lifestyles. I've thought on numerous instances if they're going through the same things that I am. Does the street beggar in Bamako, Mali ask himself how can I impact the world? Does the teenage football player in a small Midwest town think how life is short and how to make the most of it? Does the middle aged woman in Dubai ponder what difference she will have made in the world before she dies?

Going back to this outdoor educational program, I ask should I do this? Should I take the risk to move forward into the unknown? An inordinate amount of time, money, and effort will be required to make this happen. Have I come to the point in my life where the road of my past experiences is meeting up with the road of what I am meant to do? I'm scared.

I'm scared that I might fail, that I might not be able to have the gumption to make this happen. I'm scared that I will have to struggle each and every day of my life, and that when I look back on my deathbed (hopefully many decades from now) I will find that it was all for nothing. I'm paralyzed with fear of the unknown, of how to support this passion (if it actually is a passion and not a passing notion). Ultimately, I'm very scared to fail for my family's sake. As a husband, I have a sense of duty to my wife (and eventual children). Will this idea require too much of me and damage my family?

Yesterday my wife and I had dinner with a couple who will be celebrating 59 years of marriage in March. The husband and I had a few minutes of conversation while our wives were in the other room. He asked me if I've had any luck on the job front, and I explained to him not really. I then shared with him some of my thoughts on what I have just shared here. He mentioned that if I was serious with this idea, he might have a couple of individuals that might be interested in helping me out. And so I ask, should I?

Should I go forward this notion? Should I devote more time to this idea to make it happen? Am I being gently coaxed by the Divine to move towards this direction? I mean to be honest, my past kind of lines me up towards this position. Please comment and tell me what you think. I'd be really curious to hear what anyone has to say on this. I am giving YOU carte blanche to comment on my life, no strings attached.


  1. Follow your heart. I think you should gear it toward at risk youth, inner city kids who may never have had a chance to fish, sleep in a tent or had a positive mentor. I worked with them for 10 years and even though very trying, very rewarding. I had another friend with a similar situation, he started small, stayed focused and became very successful heck, he even ended up on the Jenny Jones I remember him thinking the way you are now and yes he hit some speed bumps but we both know if he didn't try, he would still be ... well just going to work.

    Go for it..

  2. I think you absolutely should pursue this, Austin. Especially if you're as passionate about it as you sound. Follow your bliss!