Making Every Step Count: People and Relationship

This is part 1 of series discussing my three biggest lessons after having four strokes and open heart surgery in 2010. The three P’s 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.

Full blog post:

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   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!

Future of Ag Podcast

I had the chance to sit visit with Tim Hammerich and Kyle Morrow to talk about IN10T's platform called

Special thanks to Tim Hammerich for bringing me back on the Future of Agriculture Podcast to look at agricultural technology and entrepreneurship.  Our company,  IN10T, a digital agricultural company, recently announced  is a platform that connects people who have new ideas and want to test them on farms. Companies get to work with real farmers who have the skill and resources to assess whether these ideas solve real problems that farmers face.

Key lessons in the podcast:

  • Problems that existed on the farm before came along
  • Requirements farmers had to meet in the past if a company wanted to do farm trials
  • Tasks that Farmer Trials manage and facilitate for agribusinesses
  • Working in the business versus working on the business
  • Why the services offered by Farmer Trials are appealing to companies both big and small
  • How Farmer Trials plan to use the Jump Start grant awarded them by Kansas Department of Agriculture
  • Who determines the compensation for the projects


Click Here to Listen to Podcast

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  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:

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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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