Happy day tribe! I know I’ve been MIA here on the blog, but it’s because the team and I are hard at work on what feels like a million different projects. One of those projects is editing my next book, tentatively titled Unbeatable Leader. If you listen to the Unbeatable Mind Podcast, you may have heard me read Chapters 1 and 2 of the new book. Today on the blog, I’m sharing an excerpt from Chapter 2. It’s a look into my experience starting Coronado Brewing Company, and it’s not a story I’ve shared often up until now. Here you go, hope you like it!
“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” From Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
Awakening naturally causes greater self-awareness. And deeper awareness of what drives your behavior in the stories we live allow us to create a new vision and path that becomes our authentic destiny. Self-awareness unfolds in a progressive manner like peeling an onion. Ultimately showing you that vast 20X potential over time.
In your leadership roles, this expanding awareness also allows you to appreciate the desires, needs, and motivation of other teammates and stakeholders in your sphere of influence and control. Further, you become more attuned to the evolving systems and structures in your life so you can align with and transform them to meet your mission. But this process is not simple, nor immediate, as my first entrepreneurial experience taught me.
Though having had several awakening experiences earlier, my awareness level when I launched the Coronado Brewing Company was still somewhat limited in terms of the leadership capacity we are speaking of in this book. Being a hard-charging Navy SEAL gave me a lot of tools and insights to succeed, but it didn’t automatically propel me to the integrated leadership required to succeed in a complex business environment.
It still had work to do. Imagine that.
I watched the line form outside the new Coronado Brewing Company with anticipation. The year-long journey of financing and guiding this landmark Coronado Island location was coming to an end. But I knew it was also the beginning of the next phase of making it a successful, enduring business and also the next phase of my budding entrepreneurial career. The plan to launch the brewing company was hatched by my brother-in-law Rick and I after he approached me to open a bar with him. “Coronado is home to the West Coast SEAL teams, and a SEAL owned bar could be successful,” I thought. However, after some research, we decided to get into the fledgling brewing business instead. There were just two other breweries in San Diego at the time, which seemed to be doing well. And ours would be a destination for both Coronado residents–which included many of my Navy peers as well as the over-the-bridge folks from San Diego.
The line outside that opening night was a foreshadow of the success we would have. A week before opening and our beer was ready. But the permit hadn’t been issued, so we held an “open house” party. That party was a huge success, and the buzz–so to speak–got out quickly. We were off on a roller coaster ride of business building.
But cracks in our partnership began to show quickly, and it became clear that my vision was different than my partner’s. A large communication gap opened up, which I did not have the skills to solve. Everything I tried made things worse, until we were actively fighting for control of the business. Lawyers, proxies and all. Trust was destroyed and the emotional energy got stuck in quicksand, magnified by the family relationships. This energy pulled me down to an earlier, shadow version of myself which was reactive and negative. I had worked so hard to develop emotional control as a SEAL, and so I was frustrated. What the heck was going on?
That partnership didn’t survive. And after my wife Sandy begged me to get out, I sold my interests to my brothers-in-law and moved on. Licking my wounds.
That’s it folks! Hope you enjoyed that little snippet from my upcoming book. If you would like to hear even more from the new book, head over to the Unbeatable Mind Podcast (it’s available on iTunes and Google Play!) I’m going to try and Until next time, work hard and stay strong.
Looking to gain more leadership skills? Join me and an amazing group of leaders is the areas of nutrition, fitness, business and more at the Unbeatable Mind Summit December 1-3, 2017 in Carlsbad, CA! This 3-day event is an experience like no other. Learn more HERE.