black chess piece on white and black checkered textile



If you’re familiar with the ‘spiritual’ community, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Release things that no longer serve you.” If you’re somebody that finds a sense of purpose in serving others, this phrase might cause some initial offense to you – or, be a difficult pill for you to swallow.

Life is a complex game with many different facets and dimensions to it. For example, if you want a plant to grow, you need to give it water. That’s a physical motion. On the other hand, plants also require sunlight for their growth, which is a source entirely separate from anything you can do to control or direct, aside from where you place the plant.

When I look at certain parts of my life, such as the business I run, I realize there are also different aspects of maintaining it. Many of those things now are entirely separate from my direct involvement with the business. For example, no bill of mine gets paid when I go to the gym, because I’m not a professional bodybuilder. However, having a healthy body and mind has allowed me to think more clearly about the tasks I’m responsible for when I sit at my computer and show up for my responsibilities.

One of the things I’ve seen consistently in the Bible is the theme that God fights our battles for us. In some cases, we still have to step up to the plate and put the proverbial rock in our sling before it hits Goliath on the head. In other cases, there are a lot of things that happen in the background that result in a life fueled by faith and trust that the Almighty will save each day in the end.

A few years ago, I decided to volunteer for a Homeless organization in Los Angeles, offering pro bono web development services for their multi-million dollar organization. I know a lot of people that would say it would be foolish to give away work for free to a well-funded organization. Yet, I felt differently and decided to give them a lot of value that could have been compensated by a paying client.

During the first meeting, another volunteer on the team reached out to me and told me he had paid work for me. Since then, that individual has been responsible for nearly 80% of my business revenue, landing me deal after deal that I’ve had to do nearly no work in order to close, aside from taking the initial phone call and making an introduction.

I learned a lot from this relationship, and continue to. Not only has the direction of my life changed drastically, I’ve realized the value of investing yourself into others, as well as letting others invest into you.

As a business owner, I can’t tell you the value a ‘good client’ provides. Money is just one aspect. The main benefit is working with people who respect you, honor your time and don’t pigeonhole you into one role or title; using you to their advantage, rathe than mutual benefit for both parties.

The individual I mentioned earlier is a very successful Silicon Valley executive, and he’s shared recently with me that he was considering quitting his job in order to start his own company. Working in the corporate world for over a decade was something he wasn’t sure how to let go of. Yet, he felt it was calling him.

Ahead of his departure, I took the time to write him a letter, sharing some of the thoughts and experiences I’ve had as both an entrepreneur but also a single Dad, and the beauty I’ve found in marrying those roles together into one seamless thing I call ‘my life’.

As a single parent, you’re faced with a tremendous amount of responsibility. Not only are you doing a job that’s designed to take two people, all by yourself, but you are also responsible for maintaining every element of your household, personal life and income while also paying the bills for somebody else who took you to court to demand a portion of your earnings.

Is it fair? To quote a movie: “Life isn’t fair. Anybody who tells you differently is selling something.”

What I’ve learned in these circumstances is to look up and forward. There is far too much at stake in my life to be concerned about the little things that used to unsettle me, and nothing but a beautiful future ahead as both a parent, but also as a man. It’s my job to provide Atlas with a working model of what it means to be a human being, and I take that role extremely seriously.

When I started going back to the gym, I realized it was going to take a toll on my time. Turning my phone on DND for an hour at a time felt difficult at first. Yet, when I realized just how good it felt to be somewhere else, doing something that builds me up, and connecting with other regulars at the gym, I realized that a vacation isn’t a place you need to leave the country for; it can be found right in your backyard – or your mind.

In tennis, your only focus is hitting the ball when it’s your turn. In chess, your focus is thinking about a strategy that extends far beyond each move you make. In some cases, you give up a pawn in order to capture a rook. A skilled chess player understands the value of these short-term sacrifices.

Life is no different; you can choose to live one stroke at a time, or you can view your life as a game of chess that extends far beyond each individual move. At the end of the day, it isn’t whether or not you win or lose that matters the most; it’s how you play the game that dictates the outcome.

Your opponent is yourself.

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