Hole-in-One on a Horrible Day

September 27th, 2012 by Rich Christiansen

The last three weeks have been a misery-fest on earth. Everything that could wrong has indeed gone wrong. I had to lay one of my teams off. There’s another team that’s been pressing very hard, but they’re on life support and despite doing EVERYTHING right they just cannot get a break. I mean CANNOT get a break in any shape, form, or fashion. We have a third team that’s actually having some good success but we’re not reaching our potential.
Today I reached a breaking point. You see I started out the morning in a board meeting where we had to determine to close one of the businesses that I’d invested in so the entire month has been one difficult conversation after another. I’ve also had multiple individuals the last couple of days coming to me with just completely brain-dead, insane requests and demands upon me and my resources.
I handled these maturely but I knew at the end of the day that if I had even one more slightly delicate conversation I would erupt and would have cleaned all of China in the process. So I checked out ten minutes early and I snuck out by myself, grabbed my new Callaway golf clubs, and went to the golf course. I didn’t care how I played. I was so steamed up all I wanted to do was squish that golf ball.
I got onto Hole 1 of Gladstan, pulled out my driver, and ripped it, and of course I drew it a little bit left, but on the fairway still. The next hit took the ball smack down on the second shot on the green where I overshot the green a little bit but managed to chip back and get my card. I didn’t care about my score at this point quite frankly. It just felt good to squish that ball and get a little frustration out in a positive way.
Got onto the second hole, a par three across the water, one hundred and seventy-eight yards with the pin just a little bit forward. That’s a 7-iron for me. I pull out my 8-iron thinking I am just gonna get after it. I normally hit my 8-iron a hundred and fifty-five yards. I come down on the ball and hit it perfectly. I saw the ball flying directly towards the pin and saw it land right next to the pin. It looked like it came just a little behind and I thought, “Wow. That was a great shot.” But I was frankly still just so ripped at the day that I didn’t give any credibility to it until I pulled up to the green.
My perspective on life and the day changed dramatically when I pulled up and I saw no ball and I knew at that moment it had gone in the hole because I knew I had hit it really close.
Sure enough, some guys came up and said, “You just hit a hole-in-one.” I walked up to the hole. The ball had landed three feet and one foot to the right behind the pin, spun back, and dropped directly into the hole. I’ve been golfing since I was fourteen years old. I’ve hit a lot of great shots but never a hole-in-one.
Indeed, I got my first hole-in-one when I was on the verge of killing half the universe and quite frankly felt like throwing in the towel and giving it all up. This was a glorious opportunity for me individually and it gave me a great life lesson. My hole-in-one was was a turning point for me, my golf game, and I can guarantee that my business life will also flip around and be positive now because I’m going after it to win rather than playing not to lose and not being a victim. Indeed I’ve fallen into victimhood a little bit. Sometimes we all do. I think there are some great life lessons to learn here and in business.
Keep hitting the ball. Try taking the pressure off a little bit. Sometimes we amp it too hard, but you know what? You’ve got to keep striking the ball because the brakes will come and the tide will eventually turn. Then at the very last second when you least expect it to happen is typically when it happens.
The last thing that I had on my mind quite frankly was playing a good golf game. If you want to get a good chuckle watch my righteous indignation in the video below. I was pretty delighted about the hole-in-one but you can see a little bit of the steam coming off in the process.
So stick with it, keep with it, crazy economy and all. All us entrepreneurs are the glue that will hold this economy together and let’s keep after it. Let’s keep the faith and remember that the universe gives us a hand every once in a while.

 

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