The number one question I have been asked over the past two years is, “Why, Daddy?”
The second most asked question: “Are you going to be an author or an insurance agent?”
Many of you know that I am an insurance agent with North Carolina Farm Bureau in Wilmington, North Carolina. For nearly seven years, I have been fortunate to work for a great company and I have been blessed with the responsibility of managing the insurance needs of many families.
My assistant and I manage the accounts of more than nine hundred existing customers and my daily responsibilities include selling home, auto, and life insurance to clients in and around my hometown.
However, when I started writing and speaking, an unspoken tension emerged. A tension that still exists to this day.
Which one am I going to choose?
This thought has lingered like an ominous, dark cloud and countless conversations have revolved around the concept of choosing This or That.
It has been an emotional wrestling match that has left me, at times, weary and confused.
In some ways, it feels irresponsible to chase a dream when you have a family that depends on your provision and clients that you have committed to serving. On the other hand, it feels disobedient to not follow what feels like a calling.
All the while, doubt whispers, Maybe you’re just afraid.
This is the place where I have been living for the past twelve months—resting between the responsibilities of today and the dreams of tomorrow.
I’m writing this for all of you who may be in that place as well.
This or That.
The Pressure to Choose
I have two good friends who have just left their jobs to pursue other passions. They’ve written awesome, inspiring articles about it and their words are as encouraging as their actions.
And I am cheering for them.
However, as I watch, I feel the pressure to do the same and I see this same tension within the response of others. Everyone begrudgingly says, “Congratulations.” All the while they’re thinking, “But what about me?”
Have you been there?
Here’s what I have learned the most over the past twelve months as I have been actively living in the midst of this dichotomy:
The biggest problem we face is our eagerness to polarize our life and our dreams. When we encounter something new, we always trend toward a This or That mentality. It’s inherently damaging because we constantly focus on what we don’t have and we dilute our effectiveness is both areas. In the end, it leads to stagnation and complacency.
Instead of picking This or That, we dabble in mediocrity.
The great business and thought leader, Jim Collins, co-authored a book called Built to Last where he addresses this issue in businesses. It is a concept he calls “the genius of the AND.”
“A truly visionary company embraces both ends of a continuum: continuity and change, conservatism and progressiveness, stability and revolution, predictability and chaos, heritage and renewal, fundamentals and craziness. And, and, and.” – Jim Collins
Instead of polarizing the issue–forcing an or mentality–a lasting company will embrace an and mentality. I think the same is true for us as individuals. I want to encourage you today, there’s great power in the and.
You can start a business from home and still be a good mother.
You can start a ministry and run a small business.
You can be an author and an insurance agent.
Rather than waiting on someday, embrace today. Instead of living with when, learn to live with while.
When you wait for when, you miss the while. There is great opportunity in today—a great opportunity in the while. It is in that place where we develop and become. It is in that place where we learn. Not to mention, it is in that place where we serve others rather than squabble over ourselves.
So in 2015, I’m an author and an insurance agent. What about you?
QUESTION: What is the and in your life? Are you enjoying the while?
Check out my friend, Paul Sohn, and his awesome writing here
For more information on insurance services, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Matt Ham is dedicated to guiding others toward rich living. His own experiences have led him to the understanding and freedom of a rich life, and through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover true richness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment.
You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com
To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking