Hedging My Bet

What exactly does the phrase, “hedging my bet” mean? The phrase is an idiom. It means to protect yourself against a loss or making the wrong choice. It gives one a path to keep from making a solid commitment.

Here’s an example with which you will all be familiar:

Forecasters were hedging their bets about the storm, saying that it could bring lots of snow, or it could head away from us.”

Yep. Every weather forecast.

How does this idiom apply to me? I’ve spent the past year hedging my bet. But, what bet?

At the start of 2016 I bet on myself.

For a couple of years I knew God was calling me to leave my sales job. During 2015 I finally figured out what it would look like. I understood God wanted me to write and speak. He wanted me to share my story, and the stories of others.

At the end of 2015 the decision was made. On Monday, January 4, 2016 I would leave my 18 year career in automotive sales and management. I would become a full-time writer and speaker. Plans were made in order to make a go of it. The bank account was properly funded.

And then I hedged my bet. I took the leap into self-employment with one foot in the wrong place.

God called me to write. God called me to speak.

I felt I needed something else. I put one foot solidly in the world of voice over/acting. For a good chunk of the year both feet were there at the same time. This is how I disobeyed God and hedged my bet.

Please don’t get me wrong. The world of voice over and voice acting is a very viable way to make a living. I have some great friends doing it daily. But I wasn’t supposed to be there.

If I had spent the hours upon hours and days upon days practicing the crafts of writing and speaking instead of voice over, I probably wouldn’t have needed to take a sales job in August.

I hedged my bet. I hedged the bet God placed on me.

I didn’t fully grasp the belief and confidence he had (has) in me.

A very good friend of mine told me there is one thing keeping me from succeeding in the space I wish to be. There’s one thing other people have, and it allows them to be successful. The great news is I can have that one thing too.

That one thing is belief.

I need to simply believe in myself. I need to believe in full the call God has placed on me.

My “Word of the Year” this year is, “BELIEVE.”

I’ll let nothing stand in my way this year. I won’t hedge my bet. I will believe.

Have you ever “hedged your bet?” 
Do you struggle to believe in the calling God has placed on you?

One Year Anniversary

Wow. One year. One full trip around the sun. One year ago this week I left an 18+ year career in automotive sales and management to begin a new adventure.

Someone asked me if I was happy with my decision. My answer? Exceedingly.

Has it been smooth sailing with no bumps in the road? Nope. Not even close. Some days it has been like driving on cobblestones. Other days it’s been like driving straight into a sink hole. For the most part, it has been a great adventure of turns, stops, yields, and pit stops.

Let’s take a look at what I thought the year would look like when it began.
(Here’s a link to the blog post I wrote when the year began if you want to read the details.)

The plan was to focus on three areas:
Voice over acting
Writing
Speaking

Let’s review each area.

Voice Over Acting
I entered the year excited about the opportunities in front of me in the world of voice over. I worked hard practicing, taking lessons, and learning about the equipment. I even created a small “quiet room” in my basement. It’s amazing how quiet you can make a space by simply hanging a couple of old bed comforters.

Over the course of the first 9 months of the year I sent auditions for hundreds of parts. Unfortunately I did not get picked for any. Does this mean I wasted my time? Absolutely not. I’ll talk more about this in a bit. For now, the voice over part of the plan is set aside.

Writing
Woohoo! Writing! I’m in love with writing. I was at the start of the year, and I’m even more so now. This has been another area of great growth and learning. The book still isn’t finished, and I’m okay with it. It’ll happen. Bit by bit it is coming together.

I’ve been working on blog posts and freelance writing opportunities. I continue to be amazed at the number of freelance jobs available. I took some great courses this year to help me learn more about the freelance market and how to make the best pitch possible when trying to win a job.

Speaking
This is the area I haven’t put much time into this year. I did speak at the Launch Out Conference in Atlanta in April, but I haven’t been on a stage since. This year I plan to be more intentional about seeking paid speaking opportunities.

All told, it has been a good year. I have taken a couple of sales jobs to bring in some extra income. I’m still able to work from home. The first company I worked for is based in Seattle. The one I currently work for is based in Denver. Similar to the number of freelance writing opportunities available, I’ve found there are quite a few online sales and marketing jobs that can be done from home.

This week someone else asked me what I’ve learned this year. While it has been a year of continual learning in each of the areas, one particular lesson stands out.

Not surprisingly, the most important lesson I learned involved my faith. God opened my eyes later in the year. I didn’t place all my trust in Him. I hedged my bet. I’ll share more about this in my next post.

 

Books of 2016

What I Read and What I Learned

It’s here! The 2016 Book List. I didn’t read as many books as I wanted this past year. For some reason I fell off the wagon sometime in August. I didn’t finish a single book during the last four months of the year. But, there are some outstanding books in this list. There is also one stinker.

I lean heavy on Presidential Biographies when I stray from traditional non-fiction/life improvement type of books. This year I read three such biographies and one more of a man who probably would have been President in MLK.

Scroll down to read my review/opinion on a few. Let me know your opinions in the comments. Let me know which of these you’ve read. And yes, those are affiliate links. (Affiliate earnings allow me to purchase more books!) The author links bring you to the Amazon Author Page for each author, if available.

  1. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
    Author: Jon Meacham

    Reading about the Founding Fathers is always a great time for me.
  2. Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
    Author: Jon Meacham

    Jon Meacham provides a great review of the incredible life of a great man who dedicated most of his life to the service of his country. George H.W. Bush is a national treasure.
  3. The Last of the President’s Men
    Author: Bob Woodward

    This book can be described with one word: Horrible.
    My copy is now serving a better purpose helping to hold up my wobbly desk. Mr. Woodward may have been a great journalist in the 70’s, but this effort is not worthy of any recommendation. Please avoid it.
  4. The Echo Factor: Living a Life That Resonates Freedom
    Author: Kinda Wilson

    I’m proud to say the author of this great book is a personal friend. Kinda creates a great read combining psychology, story telling, and travel to bring the reader on an adventure that will help you look at yourself and life in general in a different way.
  5. Quarter-Life Calling: Pursuing Your God-Given Purpose In Your Twenties
    Author: Paul Sohn

    If you click the link for this book, you’ll notice it isn’t available until April 4. How is that possible? In self-publishing such an incredible book at the start of 2016, Paul Sohn attracted the attention of agents and publishing houses. This great book will be revised and re-released this coming Spring. Don’t miss out on this one. Pre-order it now.
  6. I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers
    Author: Tim Madigan

    A great book about the incredible Mr. Rogers.
  7. Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life
    Author: James Cannon and Scott Cannon

    President Ford is a hometown boy for me. This biography is well done and worth the read for anyone interested in Presidential history.
  8. Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness
    Author: Eric Metaxas

    Another well written book by one of my favorite biographers.
  9. Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy
    Author: Alli Worthington

    I liked this book so much I included it in a blog post. Read more about it HERE.
  10. The Alchemist
    Author: Paulo Coelho

    The Alchemist has sold over 150 million copies world-wide. That alone makes it worth the time to put it on your “To Read” list. I read it for the first time this past year, and it will definitely be on my list again in the near future.
  11. Walking on Water: Reading, Writing, and Revolution
    Author: Derrick Jensen

    This book was not on my radar at all this year. My oldest son read it for one of his college classes and asked me to read it as well. Jensen provides an interesting perspective on the profession and practice of writing. While not at the top of my list for books to read on writing, I would still recommend it.
  12. More Than Rivals: A Championship Game and a Friendship That Moved a Town Beyond Black and White
    Author: Ken Abraham

    This is hands down the best book I read in 2016. Ken Abraham weaves an incredibly important story into a wonderful read. 5 Stars all around. Truly a great story, shared well. Special thanks to my friend, Anna Floit, for bringing this one to my attention.
  13. Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Author: Stephen B. Oates

    Widely considered the preeminent biography of one of the greatest men to ever live in this world. I learned a lot of new information reading this biography. It has also encouraged me to branch out from our Presidents in my search of biographies of great Americans.
  14. I’m Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies: Inside the Game We All Love
    Author: Tim Kurkjian

    It’s baseball. It’s Tim Kurkjian. What more could you want?

There you have it. The whole (short) list.
Later this week I’ll publish my “What I want to read in 2017” list.