I never envisioned myself cleaning toilets in the pool houses of million dollar estates. As much as I love golf, I didn’t see myself struggling to make ends meet by selling $1200 irons so I could make the $15 commission.
When new leadership came in, and my position was downsized that’s exactly what happened. There were not a lot of job opportunities so I worked as many as I could. I worked full time at a golf shop making $9.50 and hour plus commission, but only on golf hard goods. I cleaned bath houses and I served as a chaplain for a hospice company.
It was when I was serving with hospice that I recognized my financial struggles, though real, were nothing compared to the hospice patients and their families wrestling with death. My perspective took a much needed change.
I knew God had a plan for me. I didn’t lose hope, but I did change my focus. God’s timing would be right, so I decided to use my time to love, encourage, and bring joy to my hospice families. I held the hands of my patients. I laughed with them. I cried with them. We faced death together. Often, talking about the opportunities for their loved ones brought an ease and peace for them.
I used the same focus in the golf shop. Rather than trying to close the “big sale” I help my customers make better choices. Sometimes telling novice players they could spend $145 for a name brand wedge, but the $70 one would serve the same purpose and the savings could go towards lessons. “Improve the game before you improve the gear.”
God’s plan came and I accepted a new career. What’s interesting is my new career continues the focus I adopted during my transition. I help people discover how to live. How to make better choices and create good habits. I help leaders move past bossing and mature their thinking to investing in those around them.
The skills I focused on by the bedside of a dying lady, and the skills I applied helping novice golfers make better choices, are the same skills I use today to help C-level leaders and their teams discover a better way in business and life.
Jacob Brown is a former professional athlete turned businessman, entrepreneur, and inspirational speaker.