Everyone gets knocked down in life… The real test — getting up

Bam! She got hit in the mouth and went down…

That’s what it felt like earlier this year when we found out our daughter, Ireland, made the “C” team for traveling softball. She worked so hard in the offseason to get better on her throwing, hitting and catching knowing tryouts were a big deal this season. We all kept rooting her on. Then, we got the news. This was the first time we had really been vested in sports and the process of tryouts and making a softball team. I’ll never forget those times when I was a kid. As a parent, it’s 10x more intense. You just want to get out there and do it for them.

Ireland was devastated, tears started rolling down her cheek, she lost her breath as she started to gasp for air; then she started crying. As a parent this is the most helpless feeling you will ever have when it comes to parenting. The reality of competition just hit home. That’s when your fight or flight instinct kicks in.

“Ireland, you don’t deserve this. You are better than this. There has to be some kind of mistake.” I said. Mom, coach and long time collegiate softball player herself, starts running through all of the players out loud. Trying to determine why Ireland landed on the “C” team. After hours of talking it through we both said to each other, “This is a mistake!”

Then I thought to myself, Wow! this is so real. I am pissed and hurt all at the same time. I am frustrated because I have no control. I am determined because I want to protect the little girl who depends on me. That’s when my training kicked in. You see, I have been dealing with disappointment like this my whole life. Growing up playing sports, like Ireland, I had my ups and my downs. I made teams and I got cut from teams ever since I was 9 years old…until I graduated college and even today as I build my businesses.

Being an entrepreneur I have faced these same struggles. I have built successful businesses, I have had businesses fail and disappear. I have had countless at bats in an attempt to work with client’s when looking to sell or build their home. I work hard to show prospective clients my skills, what I have learned and the knowledge I’ve acquired. All in an attempt to prove I can help their team. They, just looked the other way. It’s these life lessons that make up my training. Like a navy seal I needed to trust my training.

I gathered myself, then I looked at Sarah and said, “Sarah, she is going to be fine. I agree this is not right and a mistake was made. In the game of life mistakes are made every day. You and I both know this as we run our businesses.” Sarah replied, “You’re right! but I just can’t handle the fact they screwed up. It’s not fair to Ireland!” “Life is never fair.” I said to Sarah. Knowing in the back of my mind, based on my training, if they really did screw up everyone will know and somehow — someway it will all work itself out.

You see at this very moment Sarah and I both knew the life lesson being taught to Ireland. We both knew something bigger was happening. A life lesson Ireland will grow to learn from as it becomes one of the foundation blocks in building her character. If and only if, we as parents treat it as a learning lesson.

Like Ireland, I have had similar times where life taught me a lesson. One of the biggest lessons I learned was in my real estate business when building Metropolitan Home Team. Several years ago I was running a team of 7 while selling 165 homes a year. For that moment I was on top of the world. In the top 10% at my brokerage with over 1,000 agents, some of the best in Minnesota.

Making good money & feeling like I had everything figured out. What seemed like the top of the world… soon came crashing down as I learned the number of deals and money were not a strong foundation for culture and purpose.

Bam! I got hit in the mouth and went down…

After 3 years of amazing success I was committed to growing Metropolitan Home Team by strengthening relationships with our past, present and future clients. While at the same time building an audience for whom we could introduce the “Documented Approach.” The daunting question was HOW? One example, this newsletter you’re holding in your hands. With its original content. Published on behalf of each agent on our team… We would be able to connect on a human level. Based on my extensive research, capital was needed to invest in building our story based platforms. Like with any challenge in life, this was going to take sacrifice by the whole team… not just me. Well, let’s just say… they didn’t see it that way.

One after another, team members started coming to me… telling me about how I am taking money out of their pocket by spending time & resources on this. “This was not part of the deal” they said —  “I can figure that out myself.”

After 2 years, I went from 7 agents on my team down to 2 full-time licensed real estate agents on my team today. As I think about it… I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Like Ireland, I have been down this path before. I have gotten knocked down and I know to get right back up. “Keep fighting for what you believe in.” I told myself. Those words, “Fight for what you believe” have been the single biggest lesson which has gotten me to where I am today.

Because, today Tim Murphy and the Metropolitan Home Team are doing amazing things. Today, we are changing lives for the better. Building relationships with good people and showing them we care. Not just about them as “Deals” or “A Paycheck” but as real people. Humans, with families, stress and responsibilities.

Like her Dad, Ireland got back up. She got back up and was a leader on the “C” team. She knew all the other girls looked up to her because she could run faster than them, throw farther than them and hit the ball better than them. She knew, deep down in her heart if she just worked hard and did the best she could… Good things would happen.

Well, just this past weekend Ireland played on the “A” team in the national tournament. As “Dad” sat in the stands and “Mom” was on the bench helping coach. I watched Ireland scoop the ball up at second base and throw out a runner. Moments later, she stood in the batter’s box with her arms back, chin down, focused on the pitcher’s release… Bam! she ripped the ball off an “A” level pitcher. She was playing amazing and I couldn’t help but reflect on the life lesson once again taught to the Murphy family. Then came the moment of character only a father who has played sports and been in battle could truly acknowledge…

Ireland is up, runners on 2nd & 3rd. We need another run to increase the lead by two as time is running off the clock. Coach looks at Ireland… He gives her the sign… she squares up and “What!!” she lays down a perfect bunt! (I have been watching all year and have not seen one kid lay down a bunt like this. On top of that, it was an intense moment in the game.) She dropped the bat and ran her butt off to first… In this very moment everything fell into place. As a father I could not be more proud of my little girl. I could not have imagined her becoming more of a team leader than she has been this 2017 softball season.

Like Ireland, we all get knocked down. Question is… do we jump back up! When she wanted to quit. Mom & Dad reminded her about moments of victory. All year we told her, “So long as you keep getting knocked down and keep getting up. Good things will happen if you believe.”

In business and in life, you will always be knocked down. Jump up! and run at your challenges. Because the real lessons in business and life come on the other side of failure. Believe in you and everything will fall into place.

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