When you have to Drop Back and Punt

The following is a post that I published over on our BlackberryCreekFarm.org page.  This is an update on our Farm that relates to some initiatives that I launched earlier this year.  Sometimes things change in our lives and direction.  Hopefully my story will inspire you to honestly face direction changes in your own life.

  • Brian

Photo Credit - Paul Dineen

Photo Credit – Paul Dineen

Do you ever have those moments in life where you have to “Drop back and Punt”?  Times when you have to change direction, stop moving forward with something, or admit you were wrong?  Sometimes circumstance dictate it, other times, you realize that maybe you moved forward prematurely.
How does it make you feel?  If you are like me, it doesn’t usually feel very good.  However, from my experience, it is often necessary.  Since I am one who is always pressing forward into new territory, I may be more prone than others to this experience.  Even though I have been through this before, I still don’t like it.  It is easy to feel embarrassed or feel like I failed. Admitting it may be the hardest part of all.
For me, this is one of those times where I am finding I need to drop back and punt. Early this spring I pushed forward with an expanded “Vision” and plan for our family farm to become a “Farm on a Mission.”  I shared this through our website, video, Facebook page, emails, and conversations with friends and family.  However, after a few months of working in this direction it has become clear to me that now is not the time for this vision to become reality.
There are a lot of reasons I reached this decision.  One of the main reasons for this decision is that I realized some key things; I do not have the experience, time, support base, and financial resources to accomplish this vision in order for it to be successful and sustaining for my family.   I feel that to continue forward at this time would put undue strain on me personally and our family, a strain that I do not believe is healthy or God honoring.
I have also come to the realization that I need to bring some additional focus to my life, family and career.  I am by nature a visionary and creator and it is easy for me to get into many worthwhile and good things.  However, over the last year God has been calling me to make changes to my life and learn to live within the healthy limits He has set for me.
Therefore, for that reason, and for the sake and health of myself and my family, I know that I need to bring a more solid focus to my career and activities.  This focus will be critical to my continued health and direction for my family.
As I said above, over the last year, God has been calling me to examine my life.  In the last few months I have prayed, journaled and shared with my friends and family what God has been speaking to my heart.  During this time the goal has been to determine what is really important to me, how I want to live the next stage of my life and how God would want to see me walk that out.
During this process, I realized that my desire has always been to help people.  That was the root of the vision for Blackberry Creek Farm and while it is a good vision, I now realize I need to focus these efforts in an area where I have greater experience than I do with farming at this time.  In realizing these things, after continued discernment and prayer, I feel I am to direct my efforts to my Coaching and Consulting business for Small Business owners and individuals who are looking to make a career change.  My desire remains the same as it did with the farm, in that I want to help people, especially those who find themselves in a place of needing to start over after loss or significant changes.  My heart is to “help launch ordinary people into their destiny” by utilizing the talents and skills I have developed and obtained from being a business owner and leader over the years.
My hope is that sharing this will help someone who is at one of those crossroads of life and needs to make a change.  Sometimes, the best decision is to “drop back and punt,” preparing to go on the offense at another time.
Thank you to all of the people who supported us in the vision of the farm.  We appreciate your grace and understanding that sometimes life causes us to have to stop and change directions.  We hope that we can continue to count you as friends as we journey this life together.

Have you every had to change direction? How did you make that change?

Share your thoughts in the comments below

Staying Focused – Confessions of an Entrepreneur

Yesterday, one of my friends on Facebook posted a question.  “[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@brianmininger” suffix=””]What do you do to focus?[/inlinetweet]” It is a good question.  It is one that I have wrestled with.
With the focus of a magnifying glass, sunlight can start a fire rather than just warm a surface.  That is a significant difference.  What would happen if we could concentrate our energy, passions, talents, time, and abilities in the same way?  I believe we could “start a fire” and do something significant with our lives.

Photo Credit - Dave Gough

Photo Credit – Dave Gough

I understand this struggle to stay focused. Like right now. I started to write and then thought of a Text that I needed to send.  My continuous ideas, strategies, and tasks fill my mind and make it hard for me to focus.  How do I keep my eye on the goal and not get sidetracked?
Part of this is my creative ability.  I am always creating new businesses and ideas in my mind.  I come up with new things all the time, but I can only do so many of them.  The result is lack of focus.  I need to pick a direction and go with it.  One of those issues for me was my websites.  I kept trying to create a website about a specific theme or business.  Then I had ideas and interests in other areas.  Bringing everything together under this blog has helped.  It has allows me to focus on one website, business and blog.  I can still write and share about my varied interests.  I believe over time my focus will develop.
Seth Godin talked the other day about creating a business that does “new things” so that you don’t get bored.  For example “interviewing different people”  I love this concept.  It helps me envision how to structure things for my business.  For those of us who are “creative entrepreneurs” we need to develop lives and businesses that enable us to have a creative outlet.  This is part of focusing our energies.
So here is my number one strategy for keeping focused.  Take the time to clarify on paper what is really important to you.  Write down the passions, values and relationships that matter most.  Then describe what you want your life to look like.  Finally, take what you have written and keep it visibly in front of you, and each day evaluate your life based on this goal.  Anything, that doesn’t fit needs to go.
Now, there is one more problem.  Sometimes you have too many good things that fit into your life goal.  Then you still can’t focus.  In that situation, you just have to choose.  Pick something.  [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@BrianMininger” suffix=””]Something is better than everything[/inlinetweet].  Don’t worry about getting the “right one.”  You just need to pick.  This can be difficult, but with practice it gets easier.
May the world see the greatness that is possible when you “Focus.”

What steps do you take to stay focused?

Share your thoughts in the comments below


Tony Stewart Tragedy – Was it Intentional?

Photo by Associated Press

Photo by Associated Press

I awoke Sunday morning to the news of the tragic accident overnight involving superstar race car driver Tony Stewart.  After an on track collision, a young driver walked out on the track.  While attempting to confront Stewart, he was struck and killed as Stewart circled the track.  It is an awful tragedy.  A young life is snuffed out way to early, Stewart has to live with the memories of what happened, and a family has to deal with the loss.
The second thing I awoke to, was social media filled with people passing judgment of the video that they watched of the accident.  (I watched it too)  Some vehemently proclaimed that it was intentional and that Tony Stewart should be in jail.  Others, defended Stewart and claimed it was purely accidental.
What puzzled me is how quickly people were willing to make a judgment call about the motives of someone they don’t even know.  AND, these judgments were based on a dark, poor quality video of an accident at a chaotic sprint car race.  Do any of these people know what really happened, much less the motives of those involved?
This led me to a question…  What is it in human nature that has such a need to pass judgment on the motives of others based on the actions we observe? AND, why do we hold onto these judgments without ever feeling the need to check them with the individual involved?
I believe, somehow we feel that these judgments give us control over our situations.  We believe if we truly understand the motives behind actions then we can control others and what happens.  But, nothing could be further from the truth.  Instead what happens, is that the judgments (right or wrong) control our actions not the actions of anyone else.  Therefore, we find ourselves at the place of “others” running our lives.
If we are going to break free from our current ruts and move into our destiny we have to take responsibility for our own lives and the things we can actually control.  To do that, we have to check our judgments of others’ motives with them. Then we can live in the realm of truth rather than speculation.
This is not easy! It takes courage and hard work.  It is much easier to sit back as an “armchair quarterback” and pass judgment on others rather than have the difficult conversations that lead to freedom.
Finally, choose today to spend your best time and energy on the things your can control rather than on judging others who you can’t control.  You will accomplish more, make better decisions, and enjoy life.

What one action are you going to take to change your life today?

Share your thoughts in the comments below
  • Brian

What is Patience?

This is a big question for me.  It is one that is always a challenge for me.  In order to live a balanced, enjoyable healthy life, we must understand patience.  There is a season for everything.  A time to press forward, and a time to wait patiently.  If we are always pressing forward, we will miss opportunities that are right under our nose.  If we are always waiting, we will never take advantage of those opportunities.

As a recovering over driven perfectionist, I have a hard time knowing where the balance is between moving forward confidently and waiting patiently for doors to open.  I know there are times to wait and times to press forward… But how do I know the difference?
Somehow, in the depths of my heart I know that the difference is not so much my actions, but it is an attitude of the heart.  That is where we need to focus.  This attitude will then affect our actions.  But, it has to start with the heart.


What does patience look like? Here are some questions to ask yourself.
  • Peace & Calm – In difficult circumstances is my heart marked by restlessness or peace?
  • Confidence – Insecurity undermines patience.  It is impossible to wait if I don’t have confidence in a good outcome.
  • Trust – Ultimately I have to trust that things will work out for the best and there are opportunities for me.
  • Stillness – This is the opposite of striving… Am I able to practice stillness in my actions, heart and mind.
It takes effort discern the difference between impatience and patience in your life.  Life has seasons of difficulty and challenge.  To live with patience you must embrace the challenge and move forward at the right time.  Today, choose to have a heart filled with peace, calm, confidence, trust and stillness.

How have you come to understand patience in your life?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

– Brian