- - Friday, August 28, 2015

Rarely do we have large blocks of time to reflect on or process information. Recently, my son Jack got an 8-hour block to do just that after he was given an in-school suspension at his middle school. What for you ask? For taking Advil. Yes, apparently we have decided that the mere act of taking medicine for a headache has become a crime punishable by isolation.

Going you own way, however, is about understanding how to use adversity to accelerate your growth and how you contributed to the adversity. And Jack did just that.

He came to me distraught that he received such a punishment and asked if I would call the school. I indicated that I wouldn’t and while I didn’t agree with the policy, he knew better and chose to take the medicine anyway.

Enter the teachable moment. I said, you will not simply sit in a room and accomplish nothing. You must decide how you will use this time to get better. And he walked off mumbling something like, “I don’t know what to do.”

But he did.

As he was rushing out the door the next morning, he said, “Dad, give me that book you are always telling me to read – the one on becoming an entrepreneur.” Seizing the moment, I presented him with my signed copy of “The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide To Success 2.0: 8 Lessons to Launch Your Big Idea by Sylvester Chisom.” That day, when Jack returned, the entire book was complete, including detailed notes and exercises. Chapter 4 is titled “Get Funded” and it speaks to how you will fund your business. Jack chose to start a business called “Jubenville’s Jubilee,” a restaurant with a Southern bend and a connection to our roots in Mobile, Alabama.

The chapter asked how he was going to fund his business and he decided it was going to be funded through bootstrapping and venture capitalists. Interestingly, the four venture capitalist he listed were me, Rick Stockstill, head football Coach at Middle Tennessee State University, MTSU’s president, Dr. Sidney McPhee, and John Floyd, one of my friends and one of the most successful home builders in the country.

I sent Jack’s workout to them and said while I appreciate what you do for the school and the community, it looks like you will be stepping up to make a commitment to help my son create a bigger future!

A wise pastor once said, “On the other side of struggle is greater opportunity.” We have to remind our children of that when they choose to go their own way.

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