I suppose it depends on how old you are. I grew up “pre” political correctness; I’ve been in business over 50 years. My grand kids think I’m “older than dirt” – (well I did work in the dirt on the family tomato farm in NJ.) My 1st business was a vegetable stand on Route 130 at the age of 12. I had a 2 acre garden and sold to the commuters in the afternoon (that allowed me to work during the day) I was able to buy all my clothes for school, gifts for Christmas, save for College, buy a car at 17 (a 1962 Chevy Impala in 1963), learn to fly, and have spending money during College beyond what my Football/Wrestling scholarship provided for.
My 1st Coach was my Grandfather – he taught me how to work; installed pride in my work; paid me .10 cents for each basket of tomatoes I’d pick (5/8 bushel baskets) and I picked side by side with my friends – migrant Puerto Ricans who became my 2nd Coaches. They taught me to pace myself, to drink water after every row, to start every day when they did at 5:00 a.m. (it was cooler before sunrise)
My neighbor was my 3rd Coach an Army Captain who was short ( 5’5” tall) He’d come over and play football with me in the afternoons (I really learned a lot from him) I was skeptical – the NFL players were Giants in my mind 6’ and taller (remember this was back in 1959) He asked me what position I played? I replied, “Full back – (Jim Brown was my hero) but I don’t really play any position because I’m not on any team now.” He replied, “You seem like a QB to me, you can pass and lead the receiver and you’re good at it.” I was now sure he, indeed, was a Coach – he told me something I wanted to hear, he saw things in me I didn’t see in myself and he believed in me.
I’ll pick up this train of thought in my next post, but for now, let’s recap:
• Grand Father
• Migrant Puerto Ricans
• A short neighbor
Coaches? I didn’t think so, to me they were ordinary people in my life at the right time, place and with good intentions for my development. They all had something I didn’t have at the time – experience. They had something else I didn’t figure out until much later in life … they had the willingness to open up, reach out, teach and mentor a kid who was arrogant, clumsy and had more energy than sense.
Business Coaches provide those same things to their clients. They bring experience, a different view of the circumstances, a willingness to open up, they believe in you and most importantly they are not here to judge you … they are here to open your mind to possibilities you don’t see and hold you accountable to your outcomes or results that you declare you want to have in your life.
We hear a modern day version of this called “paying it forward,” the old version was simply called “raising a boy/girl” or “developing a new hire,” grooming a new CEO … whichever you prefer. Today I’m a Business coach and I love what I do. Watch for my next post, I’ll pick up the journey from my High School years through College. Until then, Dream big, believe in yourself and “pay it forward.”