Beta experiment with friends

I recently sent an email to a cross-section of about 50 friends asking them for feedback

What is the experiment?

I am sending a series of four emails over the next several months.  The focus of these messages is centered on the 3 P’s: People, Perspective and Purpose.  (plus some bonus tech tips that our family uses to “make every step count”)  The experiment will help determine the value of monthly emails from kevinheikes.com.   Depending on results, I may keep doing a monthly email in 2018.

If you know someone that you would recommend getting my updates:  Sign up here     Here is a 2 min video on why I am doing this experiment.

I would truly value your feedback.  If you have comments for me, drop them here  Thank you help as I continue on my side hustle project of making every step count!

What is my Purpose and how do I find my “why”

The importance of purpose in our lives

Like so many others, I have thought a lot about “what is my purpose in life?”  And like many, I have struggled with this.  In my 20’s, when I thought about my “why,” I associated my purpose to my career or a job title.  As I became a father and as I get older, purpose now becomes clearer,  but still not easy.  

Always seeking to gain purpose, I read:

Books and examples from others were helpful, but I still struggled with “am I doing what I am supposed to be doing?”  Recently, I started reading  Michael Hyatt’s “Living Forward” book https://livingforwardbook.com/.  It is a good practical tool for those of us wanting more control of life through planning.  These are all good resources and they have been helpful to me in different seasons of my life.  

There are different ways for us to gain clarity of purpose in life.  I have heard several times in my faith journey that there are “Crockpot Christians” and there are “Microwave Christians.”  “Crockpot Christians” are those who have been raised in a church community and don’t have one single epiphany moment of coming to faith, but continually learn more about their faith over a long period of time.  “Microwave Christians” are those people who have one or a handful of life experiences that completely change their perspective in an instant.  For me, my purpose has developed into more of a crockpot style than microwave fashion.  I seem to develop slowly and take a long time to get there!

How I found my Why?  

Like my perspective, my purpose continues to develop and evolve.  There was, however, a defining moment when my purpose took shape.  Here is a post on the life events that helped me find my why:  https://www.kevinheikes.com/journey-to-my-story/

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How my “Perspective” continues to evolve

Life experiences have the biggest impact on my perspective

For years, I have heard others talk about their life journey, or they will ask, “What is your story?” I have never felt like I had an answer, and to this day I feel like my story is evolving. In 2016, my wife, Danielle, and I were able to attend a weekend couples retreat in Colorado called “A Weekend to Remember” with facilitators Dan & Julie Brenton.

The Brenton’s teachings resonated deeply within me. Dan spoke about our past experiences and how they “mark us.” I think about that comment a lot — how do past experiences mark me? Past experiences then shape my future perspective.

Now, as I engage with others, I see how experiences can and DO shape our lives. The problem is, not every experience is one that we want to share our lives. We all have had horrible experiences that we never wish to share publicly. How many people have stories that we can’t, or wouldn’t want to imagine?

Unfortunately, too many!

It took awhile after heart surgery for me to be able to tell everyone about what I had just experienced. Not because I was ashamed that it happened to me but that I couldn’t believe that a 32-year-old could be having open heart surgery. It took TIME to process the event, TIME to get through the pain and rehab issues, and TIME to then realize how truly thankful and blessed I was to have been able to “fix” the problem after having four strokes.

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What hardship taught me about people, relationships and my faith.

This is a series discussing my three biggest lessons after having four strokes and open heart surgery in 2010.

The three P’s I reference are People, Purpose, and Perspective. This first post is related to People and the value of a relationship. In this section, I discuss family, friends, and mentors.

Family

What do you think about in a hospital room when you are all alone right before a major surgery?  Many things, but my most vivid memory was NEVER taking my family for granted again.  As time passes, I still tend to catch myself  “being hardest on the ones I love most”.  

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What would I tell my high school FFA self?

This April I was given the opportunity to go back to Colorado to my FFA chapter as their guest speaker for the annual FFA Banquet.  What memories it brought back as I both prepared for the talk and then as the opening ceremonies began.  I heard a young lady recite the Creed with such passion!  To hear the members’ talk of preparing to go to the state competitions reminded me of the hard work these students are going through and the “life lessons” they are about to encounter.

Because this invitation to speak was literally so close to “home”,  I decided I would take the time to write a series of blog posts as an alumnus, who now has a little different perspective on the value of FFA in my life.  When I attended that exact same banquet in 1993, I thought about trophies, awards, and elected offices.  

20 years later I now see how developing soft skills such as public speaking, making critical decisions and trying new things out of my comfort zone were so beneficial!  These life lessons are what I am so thankful for today even though it has taken so many years to fully appreciate.  

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What is it like to Start a Company?

Lessons learned in the 1st 100 days of launching IN10T

In the first 100  days of starting IN10T, I have learned more than at any other point in my 20+ year career.  Throughout daily conversations with customers and industry leaders, there are common themes related to building a business.   I admire other thought leaders who share their ups and downs along the way, so I plan to follow that example.  

We have no idea what our company will look like in the future, so sharing our lessons regarding what’s working and where we need to improve, allows us time to receive feedback and reflect on where we are today.  Here are some lessons from the first 100 days.  

Starting a business is hard

I have heard this a thousand times but living it is a whole new phenomenon; especially when bootstrapping the businesses.  There is a big difference between working at a startup and running a business with direct P/L responsibility. Over the last 20 years, I have worked in and around different startups. The experience was invaluable, and it helped to prepare for this step, but receiving a paycheck and having to create value is not the same.  

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