by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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This is what I am trying to do.
For me, and
For you.
 
I am by no means a completed puzzle, but some people have told me I am a piece of work. :-) Seriously though, I do not try to position myself as an expert of any particular kind, but rather a conduit to other information that is there for the taking The more information one has, the better decisions you can make, more appropriate actions you can take, and the more often better outcomes will result.
When I share some story about my past, or write about something I feel strongly about, the intent is to share that particular piece of knowledge with others. I have had a lot of help to get to where I am today, and in some ways I feel like its my karmic duty to return those favors. When I recommend a book, or share thoughts about a movie that I really like, it is because there were takeaways that really helped me in some way, and I want others to reap those benefits as well. The cool thing about much of the knowledge that I try to share is that is very transferable to just about any other facet of life. Regardless of the medium in which I express a lesson, sports, fly fishing, whatever, these lessons can be applied elsewhere.
By some definitions, I have led a rich life. While I am not a millionaire, I have had a life rich in experience. I had the luxury and opportunity to be a professional athlete for close to a decade of my life; I traveled around the country and made a few stops in Canada and Mexico as well. I lived the life, and worked hard every day to get or stay there. I lived in hotels and flew from city to city, testing myself against the best in the world at my chosen discipline. I met famous athletes and a few celebrities along the way. It was the most formative thing in my life, at least until I became a coach later on. I learned a lot about life and specifically myself during this process. I had my ego dented on a regular basis, accrued a few great wins, some near misses, and suffered some gut wrenching losses as well. Looking back, I am grateful for every moment of it.
Because of this lifestyle, and being a fan of learning and growing in general, I have tried to amass a lot of knowledge and experience along the way. It took me a while to get where I was going, so if I can expedite someone else’s journey by sharing some of this, that makes me very happy. When I can make someone realize that they will “survive” a crushing defeat, because I have, maybe they recover a little sooner and a little quicker. I feel like many people stumble over knowledge, and gain experience the hard way. I did that too, so maybe if I can shorten the learning curve a little, they will go on to bigger and better things faster.
There is so much out there to learn from that it can be overwhelming at times. There are literally hundreds of books that SHOULD be read, and just as many podcasts that should be listened to. You could literally quit your day job and do this full time, and never scratch the surface it seems. So, I am trying to help point others in the direction of the things that helped me the most. When possible, I can deliver the message that I took away from a 300 page book, boiling it down to the essence of what I needed to learn from that vessel of information. While this “Cliff’s Notes” version isn’t always the best approach, it is certainly better than nothing. Ideally it will spark someone’s interest to read that same book and get their own set of takeaways out of it.
I did a talk recently to a group of people who found themselves in management roles for the first time, and they were struggling to get comfortable in these new roles. In my talk I shared four very different authors and speakers as my examples of who the attendees of the talk could mold themselves after. I gave an overview of the styles and personalities of the four examples, making sure not to favor one over another. The “homework” I assigned was to read all four books and listen to at least one podcast from each person, and then choose who they thought offered the best match to their desired management style. Once they honed in on that, now they can really focus on that particular person’s block of information and glean as much as possible. That is how I shorten the learning curve. I didn’t give all the answers, I facilitated a concise approach to the block of knowledge they were looking for, and pushed them in that direction. It is now up to them to do the rest. Or hire me to spoon-feed it to them. :-)
When I headed down the path of public speaking, I was not sure where it would lead. In some ways, I am laying the bricks for the path as I go. But I can definitely say that I have enjoyed every moment up on stage or in front of a group of people, seeing that moment when they make a connection in their own head, and “hear” another piece of the puzzle click into place. It is an exhilarating feeling, and one that is growing more and more addictive all the time. I don’t ever want to lose that feeling, as it is hard to get back. I learned that lesson in my racquetball career; taking something you love to do and making it a job is likely the death of your enthusiasm for it. I can easily see me in my day job role and doing the speaking on the side for a long time to come. If and when my side hustle as a speaker overtakes my day job in terms of time and income, I will evaluate at that time what adjustments I need to make. Until then, I will not “jobify my passion“.
I wish you luck in your endeavors.

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