I’m not a really big golf guy, but golf teaches me some really important life lessons from time to time. When I was younger and stronger, I could drive the ball off the tee box a very long distance. You could never be sure just which fairway it would end up in, but it would go a long distance!
A few years back I had a tendon break in my arm, then the resulting surgery to repair it and then back to my three times annual golf outings. One thing I noticed was that I did not swing as hard, but the ball ended up in the fairway with a much higher percentage than before. Then I noticed, that by not swinging as hard and not thinking that I had to make a hole in one on every shot, I found that my short game improved, dramatically!
I found myself laying on the green in a reasonable location, without as many penalty strokes for lost balls in the wrong fairways, and my 4-putts were reduced to 2-3 putts (I’m still not good at the game……). But, interestingly, I was able to improve my game and ended up with a much improved result at the end of each round. Occasionally, I would even set a personal record for lowest score in my life!
These lessons I have learned in golf I have applied in life and been able to see similar results. At times in my life, I felt the need to work on a project from the moment I started and not stop until it was finished. (Think swinging for a hole in one.)
Whether it was building something on the farm, getting a customer bid completed, or driving from one place to the next. The more I could cram into this moment, the more I could get done in the next moment. While there are certainly times this is necessary, what life teaches you as you find your way through it is that sometimes, many times, focusing on this moment just for the sake of this moment is much more important and fruitful than trying to make more room for the moment that is yet to come. Sometimes, those moments never come. Other times, when those moments finally do arrive, your priorities have changed, or maybe you have changed, and you choose to fill them with different things. It is then that you realize all the preparations you made for those future moments came at the expense of moments that, when they do finally arrive, are no longer what you thought they would be.
A while back, my wife and I had been talking about this restaurant we were both craving. We had not eaten there in over a year! It was a Saturday, we worked hard all day but quit early, cleaned up and drove the 30 minutes to this restaurant we had been craving and talking about for the past several days………only to arrive and find they had been closed for months!
There is another side of this golf game analogy that has been positively teaching me great things. The short game! Now anyone who knows a long ball hitter knows that the idea of hitting a middle iron is not something you really consider doing, but they do make them for a reason. As I began swinging the club lighter, I found that my middle irons were valuable clubs that put me closer to the pin the more I used them. I planned my tee shot based upon where I wanted to hit my middle iron from and found myself consistently in a much better position.
This same thought process works for me in my work life. I have greatly reduced thinking I need to win all the “perfect freight” each time I bid, but rather try to position our rates and lanes for the greatest likelihood of success the greatest number of times. Now when the freight market is as good as it is these days, we are able to hit on more lanes at higher rates without feeling as though we might be in trouble if we don’t get every single lane we need.
We have developed enough “middle irons” and alternative plans that we can almost always land a truck in that weekly sweet spot for revenue. Some are longer plans, some are shorter plans, but they are developed to give drivers alternate plans to accomplish their weekly goals while Fortune’s weekly goals are accomplished, too. We are certainly in a very exciting freight time for Fortune Transportation!
California – I want to reiterate the growth plan I have. I want to grow by ADDING this to our existing lanes, not by REPLACING. This means adding drivers willing to haul this freight, run the big miles to CA and keep going week after week. We continue to build this program for success and more! As we grow the lanes, we are getting excellent assistance covering this freight from our expanding brokerage team, but I really want to see this freight on Fortune trucks!
Traffic and Maintenance Team – We have 5 new additions to the Greeley office, dispatch and shop staff so remember to introduce yourself to Chris, Brett, Karey, Mike and Zeke when you are in Greeley. The parking area on the north west corner of our building is nearing completion and the concrete is in on the west side of the office.
These are truly exciting times to be in the trucking business and to be apart of Fortune Transportation. Spring has sprung and things like camping, fishing, sunshine, vacation, etc. are on everyone’s mind. This also means kids are out playing, road construction workers are out on the roads and people are getting moving and in a hurry to get to wherever they are going.
Remember to take that extra time, look twice, slow down and enjoy the game! Get out of walk, run, hike, bike, fish, paddle or whatever you enjoy doing in the nice weather of spring and summer!
Have FUN & Take Care,