Speaker. Entrepreneur. Author.

The Most Important Choice

Added on by Sam Davidson.

Let's say you're faced with two choices and have to select between Option A and Option B. You're going to ask some close friends or a mentor what you should do. You're maybe going to make a list of potential outcomes. You might want to sleep on it or even flip a coin. And then you'll make that all-important choice. 

I've got a secret for you. In the above scenario, the most important decision isn't whether you go with A or B. The most important decision is who you'll listen to.

Before I make a tough choice, I first choose who to listen to when it comes to input and advice. This choice is far more important as it helps shape the choice I'll make later. If I choose the wrong person to listen to, every subsequent decision could be a disaster. And if I pick the right person, it's smooth sailing the rest of the way.

Many times, we turn to a best friend for every career or life decision when they may not be skilled or experienced in the area we're struggling with. Why ask a person parenting advice when they have no children? Why take car buying advice from a sibling who's never visited a car lot? Or entrepreneurship advice from the co-worker who would never start her own business? 

Proximity is not a qualifier for wisdom. 

So do the hard work and find the person best suited to offer prudent guidance. All other decisions become easier after that. 

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Almost Doesn't Count

Added on by Sam Davidson.

I think we use the word "almost" as an unfortunate crutch, something that makes us feel better while distancing us from the reality of the work yet to be done. 

This week, try to cut "almost" from your vocabulary.

"I'm almost there!" means you're still not where you're supposed to be. 

"This is almost healthy," means it's not healthy. Eat something else.

"I can almost afford it," still means it costs too much.

"I almost got the job," means you need to keep applying and interviewing.

Almost alive means dead, almost together means broken up, and almost funded means you still need to keep asking for money.

Don't waste time with almost. Just keep moving. 

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The Best Guide to Turn Your Passion Into Your Profession

Added on by Sam Davidson.

If you're not reading Kontrary, then you're late to the party. But don't fret. There's still time to hop on board and kickstart your career.

Case in point: this fantastic guide that Rebecca Healy has put together to help you take your dream and turn it (officially) into a career. Give it a look.

And, don't forget to sign up at the end for her download of practical, concrete ideas to generate some cash. Seriously.

And once you're done with all that, be sure to check out (if you're in Nashville or a select city) what CO.STARTERS is all about. It's an extra step - a hands-on approach for those of you needing some input on structure and strategy to launch your idea. 

It's easier and more fun than ever to launch a business, if you do it right. Thankfully, there are some solid resources out there to make it that much better.

But you've got to jump in. 

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Dream Jobs Take Weekends

Added on by Sam Davidson.

Here's the truth that a lot of folks don't usually share when talking about entrepreneurship, passion, success, and freedom:

Dream jobs take weekends.

If all you really want is a 9-to-5 (and there are lots of great reasons to want this), then I bet you can find it. But if you need to create your dream job, then I've got some honest news for you: dream jobs take weekends.

Maybe it's staffing a booth at the expo on a Saturday, being there to open the store on a Sunday morning, working on a business plan while SNL plays in the background, or balancing your numbers one weekend afternoon. Whatever the work needing to be done, you'll be doing it some weekends.

And if that upsets you or isn't in your plan, then you may not quite be ready for your dream job. 

But if you're willing to trade some Saturdays for the work you've always wanted, then belly up to the table. You're in for the deal of a lifetime.

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The Year the NFL Became Unwatchable

Added on by Sam Davidson.

I wanted to write this post a few weeks ago, saying how this was the year I'd stop watching football. But I knew that deep down, I'd want to check out opening weekend, at least to see if my team was even going to be worth watching.

And then a football player hit a woman and it was on camera and it was a big deal. 

Add that to the fact that this is a league whose players - workers - retire with debilitating mental and physical injuries with very little compensation or care. 

And that this sport's violence reverberate throughout society.

Even in a year where the first openly gay player was drafted, the league still seems to be anti-gay.

Oh, and the "company" is a nonprofit entity that usually makes bad deals with cities and skirts taxes oh so cleverly. 

With so much violence, negligence, anger, phobia, and ruthlessness, why watch? Why support? Why give money and attention to something so unworthy of either?

The NFL has become large, taking over as America's pastime, whether that's an official nickname or not. It's hard to ignore. The company puts a great product out there, trying to attract attention and dollars with the best of them. 

But I can't watch it anymore. I can't watch something whose players are disciplined only when there's video tape. I can't watch something that neglects people who serve in its trenches with no safety net once they're done while teasing college players that if they're good (and incredibly lucky), they, too, can be millionaires. 

When I was dating my wife, she read a book, The Stronger Women Get, the More Men Love Football. This was more than a decade ago, and I'm sure the eye-opening stats are only stronger. Still, I wasn't deterred. After all, my Titans were really good back then.

I'll miss it, for sure. But I'll get 20+ Sunday afternoons back, parts of the week that I don't have to plan around, plunked in front of a TV while I ignore what else is going on. Fewer commercials that perpetuate a multitude of stereotypes. 

Then, I'm reminded (courtesy of Lena Dunham), that there really isn't all that much to miss:

I'm sure the NFL won't miss me. In a few week's time, there will be another scandal, not just for the NFL, but for our collective attention. The game will march on and probably not be any worse for wear.

And if the NFL were to disappear, domestic violence doesn't go away overnight. Neither does homophobia, workers' rights, or any of the other blights on this gridiron landscape. But at least we don't have one of our most viewed and funded institutions continuing to pile negatives upon negatives. 

Enough is enough. It's unwatchable. When I became a dad, I could no longer stomach scenes in movies or news reports where a child is harmed. I'd changed and needed to make a change because of it. So it goes with football.

I'm at a place in my life where time seems more precious than ever, and where what we trade our time for seems to say so much about our values. So why spend it this way?

Just so that the end of a season, I've watched copious amounts of football provided to me by a brand that seems to get it wrong on so many things? There's nothing for me to do here but to hang it up and walk off the field, spending time, money, passion, and attention on things that give life rather than warp it and provide support rather than dodge it. 

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