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Fouled? Fight, Flight, or Focus. You Decide.

Posted by Wes Schaeffer | Sep 30, 2019 7:24:00 AM
In the movie, Seabiscuit, a true story about a great racehorse, Tom Cooper, the trainer, and Jeff Bridges, the owner, were asking Tobey Maguire, the jockey, about a race that Maguire just lost:
Tom Cooper: What the hell were you thinkin'?
Toby Maguire: He fouled me!
Tom: Aw, damn it.
Toby: He fouled me. What am l supposed to do, let him get away with that?
Tom: Well, yeah, when he's 40-to-1.
Toby: He almost put me in the rail!
Tom: Well, did he?
Toby: He fouled me, Tom! What am l supposed to do? He cut me off!
Tom: Look, we had a plan.
Toby: He fouled me, Tom! What am l supposed to do? He cut me off! He fouled me!
Jeff Bridges: Son? Son. What are you so mad at?

For a long time I expended a great amount of energy, focus, money, and madness in failed attempts to right the fouls done to me. (And I "won" most of them.)

When it came to "fight or flightI ALWAYS chose the fight.

Wear Your Entrepreneurial Scars With Pride

I've had classmates leave me high and dry in a far-away city left to fend for myself for lodging, travel and food on a 3-day trip when I was 21, with no money, before cell phones and no contacts in that city. (I broke my right index finger on his face—and on the faces of two of his buddies that tried to defend him—a month later when the opportunity presented itself. It cost me a leadership role at USAFA and the opportunity to skydive. He and I made our peace four months later at graduation and I am friends to this day with the other two.)

I've been kicked to the curb in a new city with a 10-month old son and a 7-month pregnant wife and no obvious job opportunities. (I took that employer to arbitration over a 3-year gauntlet that provided a moral victory and enough money to buy a TV after expenses and attorney contingency fees.)

I've had business partners:

  • Walk off with $10,000 via scam contract.
  • Take a $50,000 investment, a $436,000 profit and stick me with an $81,000 tax bill. (I dumped another $22,000 trying to sue him in federal court only to realize he was broke.)
  • Stick me with a three year audit from a failed franchise and over $100,000 in back taxes. (After five years it was reduced to zero, but what a waste of time, energy, focus and effort and a source of anger.)

Suffice it to say, I'm not a good judge of partnerships.

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Suffice it to say—again—I've been handed more than my share of dirt sandwiches (but around the average for entrepreneurs that are "in the game") and have had a "right" to be angry and seek vengeance.

But vengeance is not ours to be had. (Read Romans Chapter 1.)

Screaming at Facebook "friends" won't change anything.

Neither will commenting on news blogs.

And ignoring or mistreating your family surely won't change a damn thing.

As St. Francis of Assisi said

Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt."
Mother Teresa gave us advice to handle our discouraged feelings:
If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own power. Your self-sufficiency, your selfishness and your intellectual pride will inhibit His coming to live in your heart because God cannot fill what is already full. It is as simple as that.”

A few years ago I decided to stop being mad.

It was a long time coming.

Eventually, I got tired of being mad. (Better late than never.)

I got tired of being discouraged.

The Lord humbled me so often that I finally listened AND learned to the point I finally took action.

I'm still a work in progress but I decided it was time for me to be the change I seek so my seven children inherit a world that is better world than the one we live in today.

In light of our current state of affairs here politically, this effort is needed by you and me.

Please join me as I say...

May God Bless You and May God Bless America.

Now go sell something.

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Topics: Small Business Marketing, Religion, Faith, Professional Development, Celebrity, Entrepreneur

Written by Wes Schaeffer

Wes and his wife just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They have seven kids, which means Wes is motivated to find what works and help you apply it to grow your sales so he can buy diapers, groceries, braces...and bourbon.

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