Are You Proud of Your Battle Scars Yet?

I had dinner with my brilliant friend and fellow Milwaukeean Phil Gerbyshak the other night and he showed me the largest scrape I’ve ever seen. It went from his hand up the entire length of his arm…biking accident in Portland. (Wouldn’t be surprised if my buddy Robert Caruso had something to do with it, he’s trouble.)

8pm Warrior - Proud of Scars

It made me think.

 

It’s amazing how people are so proud of their scars once the pain is gone. I know I am.

I immediately dove into the lake the other day after my phone fell out of my pocket and off the boat. I somehow managed to grab it in the depths of the lake before it sunk to the bottom.  The phone was ruined, but I was so proud of it when I came back to the surface.

Proud of my broken phone?

 

Someday will I be proud of my big failures?  Will I be proud of the many mistakes I’ve made?

I’m not sure.  Some of these events are still so painful.  However, I will be proud I kept going…kept fighting forward.  The scars will be proof.  They will remind me of where I’ve been, who I am, and how I got to where I am now.

Precious reminders.

 

If you’re still in pain over your failures, I wanted to drop you this note tonight and tell you that someday you’ll be proud of what you’ve gone through.

We are warriors.  These battles we fight are painful.  Most quit.  We get hurt.  We have scars.

Be proud of them tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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8 Thoughts for Graduating Warriors

Every year I write up a commencement address for new graduates.  This year my alma mater (Wisconsin Lutheran College) asked me to share some thoughts with the warriors graduating this weekend.

Someday I’ll actually give one of these speeches live.

1) Be the Best

You are competing with one billion people in China, another billion in India, and half a billion people in North America.  If you’re average, then you’ll also be poor, miserable, or replaced.  Pure and simple.

To be in demand with this economy, you must be the best at what you do.

It doesn’t matter how you get there. Experience, training, luck, internships, whatever…just be the best.

 

2) Be Yourself When You Grow Up

Role models are great. Teachers are wonderful. However, when it’s time to pick a path in life, the person you need to be is looking at you in the mirror.

There are a couple reasons why you should be you and not someone else.

1)  You’re the best in the world at it.  (see #1)
2)  Being someone else is hard work and you’ll never be good at it.
3)  It wastes a lot of time otherwise.  Everyone with half a brain knows you’re trying to be someone else.
4)  It makes you unique.  You have talents/skills/knowledge that nobody else has. When you be yourself, those unique qualities shine through.

While parents, friends, and others may challenge you to follow someone else’s path, you must resist. Follow your heart. Do what you love.

Be you.

 

3) People First

The world revolves around people.  You won’t be hired by your iPhone.  You won’t be promoted by the laptop you use.  Your car won’t be giving you a raise.

I always hear “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  That is wrong.

In a hyper-connected world, it’s not who you know, but who you’ve helped. Everyone “knows” everybody, but everybody remembers when someone helps them.

Help as many people as you can.

 

4) Mean It

If you don’t really care about people, they will know.  You’d be better off working with machines or basket weaving.

If you choose to work with people, you need to mean it.  No faking.

If you want to help someone, roll up your sleeves and do it.

 

5) Run or Stay

When you find yourself connected to bad people, run.  They will ruin you.

If you find yourself surrounded by great people, stay.  They will help you grow.

If you want to fail miserably in anything, walk.

Losers walk.

 

6) Don’t Spend Much Time Watching

It’s fashionable to dedicate large amounts of time to watching celebs and popular “experts” to see what they’re doing.  It’s also stupid.

Learning is a good thing, but watching isn’t doing.  Groupies are losers.

Winners do.  Leaders lead.

Followers just watch.

 

7) Don’t Waste Anyone’s Time

In the Attention Era, wasting someone’s time is not only rude, but ineffective as well.

Don’t ask if you don’t care.  Don’t talk if you don’t have anything valuable to say.

Don’t be boring.

 

8) Push Until It Hurts

When it hurts, you’ll know you’re doing it right.

If you care about people, they will hurt you.  If you dedicated yourself to something, it will fail you.  Get ready to cry.

The key is not to fear the pain you might feel, but to fear a path that doesn’t cost anything.  All great things cost something.

You get what you pay for.

 

Graduation isn’t the end.  It’s the beginning.

Let’s get it started tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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Why They Call Us Warriors

We’re in a war.

If you’ve ever tried to do something truly amazing, you know what I’m talking about.

Bad news. Sad news.

Back stabbing. Front stabbing.

Doubters. Pouters.

Liars.

Every time you try something truly special, you will find someone to doubt you.  Every time you make it to the top, someone’s ready to knock you down.

Your heart will get broken.  You will get tired.

It’s no wonder so many people choose to stick to their 9-5 job and forego the risk and pain of doing something special with their life.

But you are different.

You get up.   You want more.  You don’t settle.

You are a warrior.

Be proud of that tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Your Inner Warrior

I believe we have built in warrior instincts that were useful during a time when people had to defend their families, their businesses, and their homes.

Humans are still wired for war.

If you don’t agree, just watch sports fans on game day (or mothers shopping for exclusive Christmas gifts).  We still like to go head to head.  We like to conquer.  We like to crush the dreams of our competition (just ask Packers and Steelers fans today).

No one forces or pays us to get dressed up for the “battle”, engage in pregame “smack talk”, or tie our emotions to the success of people we’ve never met.

It’s just how we’re wired.

Leaders, how do we get our team members to put the same kind of enthusiasm and energy into battles we face every day as a team?  How do we get them to wear our logos, tell their friends about our victories, and feel personal emotions when we lose or win together?  How do we release the “Inner Warrior?”

Good question.

I don’t have the exact answer, but here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have employees or “team members”?  (I think it matters)
  • Do you share team stats (financial reports) and the game plan (strategy and vision), or do you keep them in the dark?
  • Do you help them feel like they own the project, or are you too busy reminding them who is boss?

I believe that the sky is the limit for 8pm Warriors who can release the inner warrior of their team members.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert