Raising An Executive by True Tamplin Sneak Peek:
Chapter 1: Sacrificing Your Journey
I was thirteen when I got the call. “Hey True, daddy and I have to share something with you when you get home from Dayton’s.”
Yes, as a 13-year-old I was still saying “Daddy.”
I got home and was presented with the following news: Daddy may become the lead singer for a very, very large rock band. The pros are, we would get money (which we desperately needed), and my dad who was a lifelong musician would get to fulfill his dreams.
There was just one problem. It was a 5-year contract requiring him to be on the road for 9 months out of the year, and ages 13 to 18 are quite the formative years.
Before I give you the name of that rock band, I need to color in some pertinent details which made this decision extra difficult.
The year was 2007. The housing market had crashed, my mom was a recruiter who gets paid to find talent for companies (not the best biz when unemployment is through the roof and budgets are tight), and my dad who placed music in Film & TV had no work due to the Writer’s Guild of America Strike in 2007-2008 (no more movies = no more music placed in those movies). My dad was so out of work that he was in the process of applying to become a census bureau counter for $12/hr.
Here’s the punchline, which you probably guessed from the chapter title – the band was Journey. Yes, Journey (we are talking Don’t Stop Believin’, Any Way You Want It, the whole nine yards).
So again, you have a man whose primary career goal is to be a successful musician. He works hard all of his life to hone his craft and support his family. Due to the Writer’s Strike, he’s completely out of work, unable to support his family, and is considering going door to door counting people for $12/hr. (the joke in our family was, my mom who was on virtually 100% commission was the steady income). Now he is presented with the opportunity to be the lead singer for Journey (Gah, I forgot about Faithfully), make millions, become famous (oh man, Wheel in the Sky!), feel the deep sensation of providing for his family (Stone in Love!), only if he is willing to sign a 5-year touring contract.
What would you do?
Well I’ll tell you what he did. He was a praying man, so he prayed. A lot. I don’t think I (nor my 15-year-old sister) could really conceptualize what 5 whole years meant, but we knew this was a big decision for him and our family. He may have had an advantage over you in making this decision because he already experienced some fame, had already made some heart commitments to be there for his kids instead of on tour, was in love with his wife and didn’t long for hot groupies, and had a God that he felt was convicting him to say “no” so He could bless my dad even more.
He turned the gig down. Leaving his kids for 5 years during some of the most formative years of their lives was simply too great a sacrifice.
Fate was decided that decision-day. I got a dad that pushed me to excellence, Journey got that Filipino guy Arnel Pineda as a lead vocalist, and my dad moved furniture around to record a video of him hitting a high note and offering to teach people how to sing. That video went absolutely viral, was featured on Jimmy Fallon and Tosh.0, and my dad jump-started his How To Sing Better Than Anyone Else singing course. Who would have thunk God knows video SEO?
If you have a second, just search “Ken Tamplin” on YouTube and have a laugh.
As a 13-year-old, I didn’t know the ramifications of that decision. But over the next 5 years I would find out. Here is a little bit about what happened over those years.
My dad was always NUTS about my soccer. He was the most stereotypical, 9-year-olds are little Olympians, we-must-murder-the-other-team (and my kid BETTER get game time) kind of Dad you have ever seen. What sucked was, he could out-scream EVERYONE because of his dang diaphragmatic support voice projection technique he knew from singing. Referees, coaches, it didn’t matter – if my dad wanted your opinion, he was going to give it to you.
This deep, chemical, literal inability to not care had its upside. We would drive from Newport Beach to Pasadena (50+ mile drive each way) 4 days a week, plus games on the weekend (not counting all of the other Hispanic leagues and indoor soccer he signed me up for) just so we could play on the best team as much as possible. This eventually turned into us moving to Argentina and Italy for several months at a time, and me getting to play for a few months in Brazil on my own. A very suitable saying developed in our household: “Oh the things we do for soccer.”
Fast forward to where I am today. I became the cover of the Daily Pilot for scoring the most goals in the league, I gave the graduation speech for Newport Harbor High School, garnered a full-ride scholarship for soccer and academics to my private school of choice, graduated Suma Cum Laude (4.0 GPA without a single A-), I started my own analytics and online marketing business, married the girl of my dreams, and now am a #1 International Best Seller and public speaker at the age of 22.
Let me ask you something.
Do you think any of this would have happened had my dad decided to go on tour with Journey?
Hell no. Not a chance.
I’d still be figuring myself out, dealing with the insecurity of being a “son of a Rockstar.” Top executives, politicians, and even pastors all want their sons to turn out well, but they aren’t willing to write the check. Am I blessed with genetic aptitude? Of course, but if you’re an executive, so is your son.
I do come from an intact family with an amazing mom. However, the game changer for me was my dad choosing his family over his business.
And that’s why I’m writing this book.
For more info about True being your next keynote speaker, visit the Keynote Speaker Los Angeles page.
P.S. A beautiful example of a father successfully following this principle was a mentor from my Raising An Executive mentorship program (we had our first program in July of 2018 and it was a smash hit!).
The mentor Robert was a Disney Imagineer for the Walt Disney Company. While he started merely reconstructing an intersection, he climbed the ranks of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) and began managing the designs and projects for parking lots, guest entry promenades, Back of House relocation, and tenant improvements for a retail, dining, and entertainment area. The job was stressful, yet he managed to protect his time with his wife and family. He recalls that 3 out of 4 mid-level executives experienced divorce during the 4-year duration of the project.
Then came his “lucky break.”
He was offered a position in the company to manage another project with several times the asset improvement compared to what he was currently managing (with a handsome compensation and promotion for the new responsibilities).
There was only one issue with the new offer – the budget was allocated for the new theme park in Hong Kong, and Robert was being asked to move his entire family across the globe. His wife Annett was not comfortable about the idea, and his 4 kids (ages 3, 6, 9, and 11, at that time) would have been uprooted from their schools, sports, and a community of friends and family. While this was a fantastic career growth opportunity, there would be immense strain on him and his family should he choose to take it.
Again, what would you do?
Many of his coworkers accepted the opportunities offered for this type of move. Some tried commuting by leaving families in the US and having several weeks stays to be on the job that was overseas. Others moved with their families for several years. For many, there was increased stress for uprooting families and marriages that were well rooted in the communities and families. For those commuting away from families, they weren’t present for many life events with their children and spouses. Robert would not accept the offer – the sacrifice on his family was too great. Some of Robert’s associates thought he was crazy for turning down such an offer.
Robert meets up for coffee every once in a while with some of his associates. Truth be told, Robert’s former associates are financially wealthier than Robert, but their family lives are mostly in shambles, with children showing deep resentments. Robert is by no means unsuccessful financially; between his property holdings in Hawaii and California, I’d guess he’s still part of the top 1%.
The most successful men that I know, in and out of the workplace, follow this one simple rule:
They have fixed family commitments. Nothing (and I mean nothing) can get in the way of it. They will miss a meeting with a million-dollar donor if they have to. If they are asked to sit on the board of a sister organization while managing their current one, they accept only as long as everyone understands that the new commitment will steal time from their current job’s responsibilities, not family time.
You need to have an immovable commitment to your family. If gaining financial success comes at the cost of an amazing family life, then you have failed. The only people who are successful in the truest sense of the word are those who can find financial success without sacrificing family time.
This is easier said than done, since money has a way of creeping in and taking over one’s priorities. Here’s a quick analogy.
We live in a world where the currency is octopi (plural of octopus). These octopi have two qualities: 1) They are necessary to deal with because it’s the only way you can buy, sell, and survive. 2) Octopi have these suction cups underneath their eight arms that have a way of grabbing onto you. You necessarily need to deal with octopi in order to feed your family. But if you’re not careful, these octopi will have their suction cup tentacles all around you. You may make commitments to not sacrifice your family, but as you work to make more octopi, each octopus subtly places a few more suction cups on you. Before you know it, you’ll be consumed by octopi, making decisions for your family that you never would have when you first thought about having kids. The only way to survive is by being willing to drive a knife through an octopus’s heart every so often to show that the octopi serve you, you don’t serve the octopi.
Again, if attaining financial success costs you an amazing family life, then you have failed. Period. You need to have it fixed in your mind and heart that you will gain as much financial success as you can without sacrificing your marriage and kids. It’s the only way to be successful.
When you’re in the thick of your career and daily life, having to look at your neighbor’s ostentatious palazzo across the street, I can understand why it’s tempting to sacrifice a little bit of family to keep up. I’d argue that when you’re in something (say a maze, chess game, or even life), it’s much harder to see the forest from the trees.
You need to take a step back before you make your commitments. Whenever you take a step back, you move from being a chess piece to a chess player (with a much better view). Once you’ve taken a step back and are thinking clearly, then think deeply on what you care about and what actually matters, and make some commitments. Go on a camping trip if you need – without really thinking about what matters, you may be leaning your life’s ladder against the wrong wall (imagine getting to the top of the corporate ladder, only to find that it wasn’t the thing that actually made you happy). Once you’ve made commitments, hold to those commitments – even if your daily-grind, chess-piece vision convinces you otherwise.
After zooming out and taking a look a Robert’s life, as well as his associates’, whose life would you rather have?
I’d choose Robert’s life. Every time.
For more info about True Tamplin, visit his Business Speaker Los Angeles page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.