XO: Random 100

Sometimes you just need to unplug from the digital world.

For some of us that means more often than not. It’s crazy how fast, unpredictable, and dramatic the zeros and ones can be in the alternate world that we’ve managed to create.

In the recent week, aside from one random fit, I haven’t been much of anything over at FilingThePapers. Some of that has to do with the state of the Kansas City Shock, and ensuring that projects are being accomplished for this summer, and another aspect has to do with seeking out wisdom from people around me. Asking hard questions, learning more about business, and seeking God’s direction towards what His plan is…especially versus my own. So, in wake of these experiences, I’d like to highlight four groups of people that I’ve met with in recent days to discuss direction, prayer, and other random thoughts:

Blanc: It’s no secret that in the event of a good burger you can find me at Blanc Burgers + Bottles in the city. The man who runs it just moved one of his two locations to a new site deeper in the ‘downtown’ world of the city. He invited me over for lunch to take a look at the place, and talk about our businesses. The neat thing about this guy isn’t just the fact that he makes incredible burgers, it’s the fact that he is a family man, a hard worker, and has scars to show for each. We chatted about promotions, work, Mazda, and family topics. Then, by the time the burger checked in, we were on the topic of the Kansas City Shock. It’s a hard topic because it isn’t perfect, it has its defects, and several hard lessons to learn from them. However, the man looks at me, after inspecting the days special burger, and simply tells me,

My wife and I were looking at this business in the beginning, things weren’t working, and we were tempted to give up. However, instead of closing shop and working at places we’d regret for the rest of our lives; we made it work.

Several years later, it’s still one of the top burgers in the entire metro area, packed house, and great people. He knows about the warts, the experiments, and the mistakes, yet his words to me:

Never. Give. Up.

Rock & Run Brewery: Last week I had asked one of the operators of Rock & Run Brewery if I could stop by and chat. It was about business with the Kansas City Shock, and I was simply heading over to get a better grasp on direction, ideas, and insight. We met over a delicious stout, and just talked the facts. The nice thing about this guy is that there isn’t much fluff with him, he’s too the point, exact, and tells it as it is. He’s experiencing great success right now with the brewery; they’re currently selling their home brews versus other brews 5:1 in house. Incredible for a place that’s only been open for three going on four months. However, I known of this place before it opened. I knew of the delays, the stress, and the sleepless nights. Him, and the other owner never stopped though. They had the vision, knew they were unique, and made sure that the public enjoyed their experience. When talking about our financial shortfalls he looked at me and said,

That’s all? Here’s how much capital we had to raise for this thing. In your perspective that’s a lot of money to raise, but I assure you, once it starts it won’t stop. We respect your organization and want to help.

This Wednesday he wound up giving Darco and myself his tickets to Sporting Kansas City’s first game at home for the 2014 season. It was against a team from Mexico City, Mexico. We wound up sitting next to a man and his young daughter; huge fans of the team that Sporting Kansas City was playing against. She clung to her jersey as if it was her only security blanket of comfort and strength. We never knew a word that she said, but watching her leave the game with her father Darco and I quickly were reminded:

This little girl is exactly why we do what we do.

Complete Strength: At the end of last week I stopped in a gym to check out the new environment of a guy I knows new place. He’s expanded his gym, and it’s three times larger compared to what his original place was. He’s a crazy, crazy strong Christian. Incredibly motivating, inspirational, and a great role model. We talked business, soccer, and faith…how each one connects to the other. He had some words of advice for adjustments with the Kansas City Shock; something he’s learned from his first five years of being a business owner. I know he prays for this program, and he even went far enough to tell me that our original direction was the only reason he stayed on board at the beginning of 2013. His suggestion, through the words of a Christian, were pretty evident:

Don’t allow yourself to be consumed by the bitterness. Be the difference, and show the grace. Remember, nothing hurts a heart more than grace, because there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

I headed home to enjoy the weekend; knowing that in order to be humble, I must be able to establish grace and rebuke bitterness. Not an easy task.

All three of these business owners, all in their own worlds, only connected by our organization spoke truth, wisdom, and encouragement. They may or may not ever know it, but whether God put them in this place or not; they’re motivation is enough to keep the fire burning and the passion alive. Today, Darco even witnessed her own…

100: One of her regular customers went through the drive-thru this morning; nothing new. An hour or so later he wound up inside the store. He’s the first person to introduce Darco to food allergies, and the resulting gluten free life her and I are now living [along with MC & Jim partially]. He is a strong Christian, but never really chatted that much outside of food with her. She looked at him and was confused on why he was back so soon, he made mention that he’d like to speak with her about soccer. Now, Darco is still adjusting getting into the operations director of the Kansas City Shock, and is still absorbing direction, intent, and guidance. This means a lot of stress,  and a ton of prayer. After her shift was up she went out to the lobby and spoke with this man, and what took place following is…well…inspirational. He started talking to her, saying:

I want to give you and your husband $100.00. Dress up and have a nice date; you two are working yourselves to the bone, and this is something you’ve earned. No Applebee’s, that isn’t good enough; make him look nice and enjoy the evening. Also, this week I’m meeting with the rest of the board of the company I’m at; I’d like to propose the Kansas City Shock to our vice president as a grassroot program that we’d like to financially assist. Honestly, if we’re able to buy up a bunch of Royal’s tickets to give to people; we should help your program out. Why? Simple, it’s just the right thing to do.

I was given this story when I picked her up for our St. Patrick’s Day parade this afternoon; I think she’s still partially in shock, but in many instances that was God reminding her that He’s still in control. Additionally, similar to myself, it was her added motivation of knowing what the right direction looks like.

Busy week is ahead, but being in sync with God makes Monday look much bright.


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