Please note: This is an AI transcription, with as much editing as I have time to complete. Grace for the imperfections😉.
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Kathy: [00:00:00] I’d like to explore a little bit about that journey to your truest self. You are in some ways quite different than the Aggie band member that I met in 1978. So I’d like to know a little bit about, how did you think about work when you were growing up? Like in the years before college?
Mark: [00:01:07] Um, you know, I, I thought about work. Mainly in terms, probably in a couple of areas. One was that I did, you know, I did construction work in high school and into college. Um, beyond that, I thought about it as ministry because that’s all I knew. I mean, that’s what dad had done and I just really hadn’t thought about it. Much beyond that. I didn’t have much of a framework to think about it beyond that, which I think is a part of what kind of led me down, you know, the path that I ended up on.
Um, so yeah, work to me was working for the church. I really did not have much sense of what was beyond that.
Kathy: [00:01:55] Hmm. So was that a fairly limited view?
Mark: [00:01:58] Very limited. Narrow, yeah.
Yeah. It was very limited.
Kathy: [00:02:03] And you were pretty young when you started, you weren’t even 18
Mark: [00:02:06] yeah, 17 when I started a and. M it was crazy.
Kathy: [00:02:11] What were your career goals when you started college?
Mark: [00:02:14] Uh, you know, I would have said at the time that my career goals were to work outside, you know, I’ll listen to John Denver. I love to hunt and fish. I wanted to be outside and so I chased forestry range science. Uh, wildlife science. Um, can’t remember what else it was.
Kathy: [00:02:39] right before you met me,
Mark: [00:02:40] right. That was before I met you. Yeah. Wildlife as in, out in nature, although, well, we don’t talk about that. Uh, so I, but then I realized at some point along the way that I didn’t have hardly any science aptitude. And so I was chasing this thing thinking I was going to work outdoors.
Really having no idea, no idea at all what that meant, or what that was going to be. Um, and then I kind of stumbled into sociology because it was. I dunno. It just worked. It made sense to me. It was about people, and it was about, um, it was about groups of people, which kind of finally made sense, but I still had no, no idea what I was going to do.
Um, I, you know, I mean, when we were, when we were dating, I was probably still thinking that I would actually just go into the Marine Corps for a while. I’d go be an officer and go do that with no other idea. Beyond that.
Kathy: [00:03:42] What was your interest in the military? Where did that come from?
Mark: [00:03:45] Well, you know, being at A&M, being in the Corps, I mean, all of my friends, most of my buddies were headed down that path, at least in the short run.
And I had always just been a real patriotic kid. And you know, dad was a Marine. And, um, so. I always had a great appreciation for that, but, um, I really didn’t have any much in the way of thoughts beyond that. I guess I take that back. So I guess at some point, you know, one of the summers I was there, um, I worked on a summer missions team out in California, and we worked at a Christian camp two different, maybe three different weeks, and I kind of fell in love with the idea. I think for me, that kind of combined some things and being able to be outdoors and be around people. Um, it was ministry, but it was outdoors. And so I kinda had forgotten about that, but I really gave a lot of thought to kind of some sort of camping ministry, something.
Kathy: [00:04:49] That’s how you were thinking about the range science and the outdoor topics as a way to actually have a job.
Mark: [00:04:57] Yeah, probably so. Yeah.
Kathy: [00:04:59] Did you talk with anyone about. Job possibilities or about, um, your coursework, how to prepare for life beyond college?
Mark: [00:05:12] You know, I, I remember talking to some different professors, um, and, and, you know, A&M had a career center, but I, I’m pretty sure that the assessments that I took were.
Really just were identifying interests, which just reinforced that, okay, I want to work outdoors. I want to do something interesting outside. It wasn’t all that helpful. I just don’t, I don’t remember getting much help at that point, and I think, I think a lot of my circle in terms of family and friends that were grownups, you know, at the time or.
They really probably tended to see me more in a ministry context. And so I never really had conversations with anyone about. What it could look like outside of that.
Kathy: [00:06:09] So were there some expectations that you go into ministry, like your dad or
Mark: [00:06:15] uh, yeah.
Kathy: [00:06:16] Or was that more of as self-perception?
Mark: [00:06:20] No, I think there was some, I think there was some expectations from my folks. I, and maybe that came from, you know, there was this little sense of leadership that kind of bubbled up along the way, and maybe cuz mom and dad. They didn’t really have another context either. And so I think there was some expectation that, well, this is you love Jesus. This is, you seem to be a leader. This is what you do. You’d go into ministry and. You know, so it was, that’s, that’s the direction I went.
Kathy: [00:06:53] uh, for our listeners, obviously I know the story, but, um, tell us a little bit about the first 10 years after college graduation. What did you learn about yourself in that time?
Mark: [00:07:06] I, you know, I would say that first 10 years were probably the most difficult of my entire life.
When we got married, we finished up at A&M, we went off to grad school. I went to seminary. You started there, then went to North Texas, but I also remember, so seminary, I didn’t, started out. Looking at a masters of divinity. Greek was Greek to me, made no sense.
Kathy: [00:07:40] How many times did you start Greek?
Mark: [00:07:42] At least twice, maybe three times.
Um, and, but I remember, I remember. Every semester wanting to quit, wanting to drop out, and I wasn’t a quitter. Um, I’d kinda proven that to myself at a and, M because going through my freshman year and all that stuff, that was just, if I was going to quit anything, that would’ve been it, but I just don’t quit.
So went through seminary, began to identify that, okay, well planting churches, planting new, because, going into something established did not make sense to me. Even then, you know, I just, I mean, I’d never kept a job very long. I always worked for myself. I would go paint houses, I would go more yards. I’d go.
Cut brush for friends. Um, so there was this path that I didn’t recognize then that was, you have a hard time holding a job down, you know, because you always think, well, I can do it better. I can do it different. I can make more doing this. And so there was always this path. So in seminary, what began to make sense to me was planting a new church.
Uh, so we went out to California. Really had no idea what we were doing. As you will know, and remember. That church didn’t make it, which was really difficult. Then went on staff with the church and again was trying to fit into somebody else’s system. Um, that didn’t work very well, you know, so it was about, it was at least 10 years, and we were in California for six plus.
We were in Fort Worth for five. So that. That 10 really probably to 12 years was, um, was really difficult. It was, I just, I, and I didn’t know what I was going to do, what I could do. I think that’s where I began to think there’s something wrong with me because I don’t seem to fit, you know,
Kathy: [00:09:49] And you said something a minute ago about. Beginning to realize even when you were in seminary, so that was early 90 no, not nineties early eighties and you said something about, uh, I can’t, I can’t, I don’t hold a job very long. So it sounds like even then you were beginning to internalize what, what was it that you internalized with that?
Mark: [00:10:11] Well, I don’t know that I. don’t know that I recognized it in a very positive sense, but I can look back and recognize that I, I just always worked for myself, but I had no business background, no framework, no understanding, so I wasn’t all that good at it most of the time. Yeah. Looking back, I just, I, what I. I think what I was aware is that I didn’t fit the normal systems at that point.
Kathy: [00:10:42] Square peg trying to fit in a round hole.
Mark: [00:10:44] Yeah. Yeah. And so, you know, for what made sense at the time was planting new churches and doing something new and doing something different. And I was always pushing those edges, but I. And then I just didn’t, you know, when we ended up at the second church in California, that was just such a tough situation, um, that it was not.
Again, I just, I just didn’t fit. I didn’t fit working under somebody else very well.
Kathy: [00:11:22] So then we transition from roughly 1990 to 2000 where did your work take you then?
Mark: [00:11:31] Yeah, when we, we moved back to Texas, ministry was just not something that I wanted to pursue. Um. At that point, although that remained an underlying theme for me.
Um, we came back here and again, I was painting houses and doing kind of whatever, but, um, I remember talking to our neighbor, you know, George, um, George Burke, who taught at Texas state, and he and I were running, and he was the one that said, Hey, we have this program where you can become a nursing home administrator.
And as you know, I mean, I literally said, “well, I’ve always liked old people.” And so, you know, took the courses, got the license. That was still a struggle getting started with that. But it was a first time I was able, I think, to . In, in a job context to step into something where I was. I was able to lead and I was recognized as a leader, um, the first time since I was at A&M.
And so that began down down this road of figuring out, well, this business stuff actually kind of makes sense to me. And so that’s just, you know, I started reading and I had one supervisor who was illiterate. Who was, I don’t know. She was, she was very difficult to work for, but then I had another guy that I worked for, for, um, I think almost three years I worked for Ed and he had owned his own business and he was a real encourager on that particular path. And he let me in on some of the planning that was going on in the early days of assisted living. And so I got to look at pro formas. I got to sit in on meetings and, and he kept saying, “it’s not that hard to raise money. You can go do that and, you know, open your own business.” And so I actually believed him and started pursuing that.
Crazy as it sounds.
Kathy: [00:13:40] So when did you start. Your business?
Mark: [00:13:45] Uh, the fall of 1998, so it’s been 20 years, um, started really looking at the, the small house concept for people with Alzheimer’s and our good friend, Luke Speckman, you know, was showing me houses. There was another guy that I was going to partner with, um, and Luke in the process of showing me houses, said, if y’all want another partner, I’d be interested in joining in.
Well, the other guy ended up dropping out.
Kathy: [00:14:17] I’d forgotten that piece.
Mark: [00:14:18] Yeah. Yeah. He was involved with Home Instead and had two or three franchises and would’ve been a good partner, I think. But Luke hung in there. And so we bought that house downtown, started converting it. Dad and I did a lot of the remodeling.
That was right after the flood of 98 so there was, we were having a hard time getting, you know, electricians and stuff, but we ended up getting, getting it done. And I think it was maybe April when we actually opened and were, had, you know, got our license and were able to start taking residenc so, um, yeah, so it was spring of 99 when we started taking our first residents, and then I was the manager, the salesperson.
Uh. I did payroll, which is really scary,
Kathy: [00:15:11] You bought groceries, did shifts at the, um, it’s an assisted living for Alzheimer’s patients. Did you call yourself an entrepreneur at that point? No. No. No. So you’re still learning about who you are and, um, yeah. And you’re. 40 at that point
Mark: [00:15:35] I was 41
Kathy: [00:15:36] yeah. Okay. We had teenage and grade school kids.
I had started my practice and um, we really didn’t know what we didn’t know when we look back. No. So what have you learned about yourself at that point when you knew that you liked working with older people? You were seeing some, um, leadership skills come back to the forefront. You had taken several nursing homes and turned them around, and I’ve heard you tell the story many times that you just, you got bored once they were
Mark: [00:16:15] up and running.
State was off our backs. I was like, I need something else to do.
Kathy: [00:16:22] Yeah. But entrepreneur was still not part of our language. I don’t think we even knew that word.
Mark: [00:16:28] No. And the interesting thing looking back is that every nursing home that I went into, including the very first one, they were all in trouble.
Um, so there was the challenge of turning them around and getting things straightened out, which required that was the leadership component. That I began to really recognize and, and I began to learn a lot about leadership in general, I think during that time. The other thing was that I, in almost all of those settings, I either, I mean, we started a home health company at one point, um, we opened Alzheimer’s units and all of them. We’ve started a hospice unit where we partnered with different hospice organizations to take care of AIDS patients.
Kathy: [00:17:22] When you say “we”, the nursing home?
Mark: [00:17:24] Yeah, really me. You know, I just, I’d dive in and they were good enough to let me. You know, try some of this stuff.
Kathy: [00:17:31] This is before you started,
Mark: [00:17:33] before I started my company. Yeah. So there was that starting piece. And even in that, you know, I kept wondering why I can’t just settle in and enjoy what’s happened. And. And I, I’m sure some of the people that I worked for asked the same thing, why don’t you just stay, just stay, get some more experience, do this.
And I was just too antsy, you know, to sit still in that. So, so getting into the company, um, I think I still, I would have described myself as. Uh, a late blooming business person, but I would not, I probably still would not have described myself for a few more years as an entrepreneur.
Kathy: [00:18:20] So what, when did you make that shift?
When did you begin to refer to yourself or think of yourself even as an entrepreneur? And how was that different than, as you said, what’d you say? A late stage business person.
Mark: [00:18:36] Well, I think, I think some of it may, you know, I was reading everything I could get my hands on at that time. I probably began to read more about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs, which was probably helpful.
I’d always loved Inc magazine. Loved those stories. I think probably. What really began to solidify it was when we started doing assessments. Um, you know, when you started doing assessments that we used in hiring, what assessments there was the DISC , the DISC profile, and when I took the DISC. That was probably the very first time that I actually, I actually stopped and said, it’s not that there’s something wrong with me, it’s that I’m wired in this way that I never actually understood before, and I actually am wired to do this stuff.
And that was like this huge burden, you know? That was. That was lifted at the time. It was, and I don’t, I don’t know how old it was. I was at least probably 45 46
Kathy: [00:19:49] yes. Yes. You were several years into the company because you had asked me if I would be interested in looking into some profiles that would help you with the hiring process.
Mark: [00:20:01] we were growing and there was all kinds of stuff going on and trying to find some tools.
Kathy: [00:20:08] And I remember getting your profile back and, and I didn’t fully understand the ramifications of it, either that you’re a high D on the DISC profile, the DISC being four dimensions, high and low, and we’re all a combination of all four.
But I remember what an “aha” moment it was for you. Like you said, I’m, this is how I’m wired. This is how I was created. This is, this is how I am. And yes, we can all, however we’re wired, we can still grow and take off some rough edges. But for you, it was more of an affirmation that I am someone who has ideas and energy for those ideas, and I want to create things and I want to build things and, and um, even being able to look back at the experience of being a church planter, you know, that we certainly didn’t have a context for that being an entrepreneurial adventure, but now, or venture, it was an adventure. It was an adventure. But now we would very much see that as a form of entrepreneurship that people, that couples that go into church planting are wired.
Um, if they’re going to be successful, they’re wired differently than someone that wants to pastor a church for 20 years. And nothing wrong with that. It’s just a different gifting, a different, different skillset. Yep. Yep. And so how did that, after you had that aha moment, how did that change how you viewed work and your role?
And. Your future?
Mark: [00:21:57] Yeah. Well, you know, I wish looking back, I mean it, it would’ve been great had I had some of this insight 15-20 years earlier, but having coming to that awareness, recognizing that that’s, that’s who I was, I think just actually freed me up to just . To really embrace, you know, being an entrepreneur and you know, over time that meant I was stepping out of the company because I wanted to focus more on entrepreneurship and helping entrepreneurs.
But it, it gave me, it gave me a focus even while I was still growing the company. Cause I began to understand that. All right, what I really love doing is creating and creating opportunities for other people. They’re not going to create for themselves. But I need those folks. You know, I need them to step into roles and help support and, and run, you know, this organization and the, ah, the biggest thing was just this finally having a sense of who I was, who I was made to be, and.
And you know, even now, the, the role I love to play is helping people start, you know, um, I just, I really enjoy that. There’s just, it is just fun. I remember doing some stuff at, uh. At one of the churches, I think there was this thing, it might’ve been a part of the purpose driven life. You know, when everybody was doing that and Rick Warren’s book and all that stuff that, uh, they talked about where your passion is and it’s the, they talked about it as kind of identifying those areas of passion as being the kind of thing that you could just lose yourself thinking about, talking about.
You could stay up till all hours. And for me it was, it was starting things. You know, that that’s so when I was able to finally recognize, embrace, I think a lot of the “oughts” finally fell away. There’s still. There’s still some hanging around as you know. Um, but a lot of the oughts fell away. And I think that was when I finally let go of, um, this underlying idea that, well, gosh, you know, at some point, maybe I can go back into ministry.
I can do. And I finally just let go of that. And I was like, no, this is it. This is what. I was created for to start things, to create opportunities for people, um, to help people start things. This is it. This is why I’m here on this planet. And, um, yeah, that was, that was really a game changer I think for me and for us.
Kathy: [00:25:03] There’s been a big focus in the last few years on, um the disconnect that is often in church about ministry, that ministry is something you go and do or you’re on paid staff, but as I’ve watched your journey to see an a and you’ve become very passionate about like Tim Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor and about how, um, work provides honor and dignity is the word I’m looking for.
Mark: [00:25:39] The dignity of work.
Kathy: [00:25:40] Yes. That work is ministry and we need to broaden how we look at work. How many jobs would you say you have created in the 20 years of starting Alzcare? And now, Sodalis?
Mark: [00:25:57] Uh, you know, the company employs about 250, and it’s more than that now. We’re probably pushing 300. And with the projects that we have going in the next two years, that’ll.
It’ll actually almost double. You know, with one of the things that I did with, uh, um, with C 12 when I was, it’s a Christian peer board for CEOs and entrepreneurs. They actually had us at the end of one of the years, look at our employees and then look at kind of an average number of people in those families and to think about the impact just on, you know, 250 employees, and if you just put three people in each family, that’s 750 people.
Then our vendors and then all of in our business, all of the families that we have cared for. I mean, we cared for my high school principal here in town. We cared for your mom. Um, you know, we have cared for so many people that I knew that grew up with and, and just, I mean, literally thousands of people over the last 20 years in here and the other locations that we have cared for.
The impact on all of those families, the impact on all of those employees and their families on the vendors that we work with on our partners. It’s a real interesting when, when you, when I have been able to shift my thinking and look at it like that, I sometimes think, you know, I, I probably have had greater impact than I ever would have had you know, pastor in a church somewhere.
Kathy: [00:27:40] And much of it, you’ll never know directly, but it’s, it’s been a business that has provided loving care for vulnerable people and the, the place that it has provided for their families as well.
Mark: [00:27:57] And has provided meaningful work no matter what level. Right. You know, it’s meaningful work for
Kathy: [00:28:03] important work.
Mark: [00:28:04] It’s important. Yeah. So that’s been, it’s been good.
Kathy: [00:28:08] What would you say to someone who is interested in starting something. Whether it’s a creative project or a business or,
Mark: [00:28:17] well, I would say just just start it. You can always fix it later.
Kathy: [00:28:25] As much preparation as we
Mark: [00:28:26] did. You know, if someone really wants to start something, there’s no, there’s no substitute.
I mean, you just have to, you just have to jump in and do it and . You know, I was listening to some this morning. Um, it, that reminded me. Um, I think one of the things I’ve learned over the years, there is a, there’s a mythology around entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs that has to do with entrepreneurs being big risk takers.
And this guy was talking about Richard Branson, and I’d never heard this story before, but when he started, um, the airline, Virgin Atlantic, he actually negotiated a deal with Boeing that if it didn’t work, they would take the planes back. Oh, really? And so. You know, he mitigated this huge risk. And I, I think that’s, that’s one of the things that it’s not about being this huge risk taker because really people that just jump in and take risks without the ability to mitigate at least a certain level of those, they, they generally are going to fail.
Now that’s educational, but really. The, figuring out what you want to do, mitigating all the risks you can, and then just diving in with the understanding that, okay, I’m going to give this everything I’ve got. If it doesn’t work, I’ll go do something else. I’ll fix it. I’ll shift gears, I’ll go a different direction.
I think that’s just a part of the entrepreneur process, but you don’t learn that if you don’t start something. And so that’s why I say . Start something. You know, and we’ve talked about, we’ve had conversations with people who kind of fall in love with, you know, entrepreneurship with wanting to have their own business and all that’s great.
You know, as Mike Tyson says everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the face. And that’s, that’s the way it is. You know, it’s. Great to have a plan, great to figure it out. At some point, you just got to get out there and do it. You gotta go sell something. You got to go make something. You got to go start something.
Um, and then, then you know, you’ll, you’ll learn pretty quickly whether you are an entrepreneur and you’ll learn what it takes to make that thing successful. Or you’ll figure out something that you can be successful out. That’s the process.
Kathy: [00:30:52] So coming back to the idea of knowing yourself and kind of the focus of today’s, um, episode in terms of, you know, where you started not knowing yourself very well, and most of us didn’t in college.
Um, I think there are some great tools that are available now, and certainly you and I both have been very passionate about trying to share that information with our kids, with other young people. Couples that are beginning their journey and, um, if nothing else being a sounding board for them. How important is it for entrepreneurs to know how they’re wired individually?
Not everybody’s wired like you are.
Mark: [00:31:36] Yeah. Thank goodness.
Kathy: [00:31:39] Well, it’s just different. It’s not good or bad, but how important is it, do you think, to know aspects of their personality, where their strengths are, where their weaknesses are? Is that important?
Mark: [00:31:53] Yeah. Oh, absolutely. I think, you know, we had a conversation with some friends of ours who, he is an entrepreneur.
They’re now in kind of the place where they’re able to help their, their kids do some things. And so driving back from having dinner with them one evening, we were talking about this and they said, and the, the conversation we had was, what difference would it have made had there been this pile of money to start with, and I think you asked that question and I said, I don’t, I don’t think it would have changed anything.
I wouldn’t have known what to do with it because I didn’t know who I was yet. I didn’t know myself, didn’t know my strengths, didn’t know I probably was aware of some weaknesses, but I didn’t know where my strengths were and I might’ve even recognized them as weaknesses at the time. And so I think, you know, one of the things I would say to someone who’s considering this is find some people that know you really well and have this conversation.
Have a conversation with people who can and will say to you what you might not want to hear. You know, be that. I don’t see that in you. I don’t see, I don’t see that initiative. I don’t see you being, having the grit to get out there and make that happen. Well, that’s important to know someone that can say to you, excuse me, I see you more as a second.
You know, I see you as a great support person on a team. You know, that’s really important to know, but also if you are a leader, if you are entrepreneurially oriented, if that’s your wiring, then it’s helpful to talk to some other men and women who have done it and to get their perspective to hear what they have to say.
If you just can’t let go of that, then yeah, that’s probably who you are. And the direction that that you know you need to pursue. And again. Get out there and try it.
Kathy: [00:34:03] how helpful do you think it is or is it helpful to utilize tools like the Enneagram or Myers-Briggs or DISC or ? I know I’m missing some others.
Yeah. I know some people are very hesitant, like, ah, I don’t, I don’t want to be put into a box or I don’t want to, or some people are like, I don’t even believe in those things. And your own experience, what would you say to that?
Mark: [00:34:31] They were, those tools have been very, very helpful to me. Um, they have helped me identify kind of where my strengths are, and like I said, that things that I thought maybe were weaknesses actually are strengths.
They’re actually the way that I’m wired. So I think that’s a really important component. That’s not all of it. You know, we have a good friend who he would probably not have called himself an entrepreneur either, and he was much, much more detail oriented. But as we talked, part of what he said about starting a business for him, he was able to do it.
And he’s done it a couple of times by really digging in, looking at the risks that he can manage and. And then he takes a step forward. And so he, I think he understood himself pretty well at that point, much younger than I did. And so I think that’s an important, that’s an important piece of it, is really knowing who you are, how you’re wired.
But it is not always, it’s not always the blow and go, you know, fired up person. That’s, that’s the successful entrepreneur. We’ve seen them be people that are much more cautious, much more detail oriented, but they also, there’s, there’s still something there. There’s still this dissatisfaction, this restlessness that that moves them forward.
And so they learn within their own personality and with their own strengths. They learn how to work around that and how to, how to get things started. And,
Kathy: [00:36:21] and knowing your strengths also informs where you need other people to, to be strong. Absolutely. And I think part of being a good leader is knowing where you need help.
Mark: [00:36:34] Yeah. Oh gosh. Yes.
Kathy: [00:36:35] But is that hard for an entrepreneur to say they need help?
Mark: [00:36:41] Um, yes, yes and no. I think one of the things I learned in the nursing home business was in fact, the very first job that I got, the supervisor and a guy named Michael Heath, um, he sat me down and said, everyone in this building knows how to do their jobs way better than you will ever. These nurses, the dieticians, the housekeepers, they’re all much better at their jobs than you are.
Your job here is to get everybody on the same page and moving in the same direction. He said, you’ll be successful if you hire people smarter than you are and let them do their jobs. So. I learned that I think from a leadership perspective, fairly early, um, now that still made it hard to let go at times, um, as the company grew and, Hm.
I, I don’t know how common, I think a lot of entrepreneurs do have trouble letting go. You know, a business that you start becomes like. It becomes this baby that you just, you don’t, you don’t want to ever let go of and you don’t trust anybody else to take care of. Um, but I think the smart ones figure it out.
Even if they make mistakes along the way, they figure out how to do that. Um, and how to bring in people. I don’t think I had trouble bringing people in. Yeah, I did actually. Um, part of it was finances though, just I didn’t think I could afford. And then I read a couple of things that said, okay, you gotta hire more than you can afford and more than what you currently need.
So that if you hire the person that you need a year from now, three years from now, then that person is going to help you grow and get there. And that, that took me a while to learn. Did I answer your question?
Kathy: [00:38:49] I think so. So what, what, what do you know now that you would like to say to your 20 something self.
Mark: [00:39:00] Gosh. Um, you know, I’ve said often that I wish when I, when I finished A&M I wish I would have gone and just worked somewhere. Just gotten a job even for a little while while you were in grad school. Cause I think I would have learned a lot more. I think it would’ve helped me to clarify things, I would say.
Yeah. By working for someone else and just learning. About business. I think that’s what I would say to my 20 year old self is, okay, you’re going to have to, you’re going to have to be patient, which was not, my strong suit still isn’t. No. And you’re going to have to take some time to learn some things, and I’ve advised.
You know, a number of young guys that want to be entrepreneurs that, okay, there’s, you know, if I wish someone had said, there’s two things you can do. One is you can take jobs in which you learn skills, which you can apply as you go down the road. The other is you can take jobs where you can build up some capital, you know, make money.
Just get, get a base started so that you can, you can move forward. Either direction is good and you’re probably going to do both things, either direction. Maybe they can become part of the same job. But I do, gosh, if I could go back, I would say to myself, settle down a little bit to go work. Let Kathy get her degree.
Um, learn about business, learn some more about leadership. Um, applying it in the business world. Cause I feel like I was at a place where I had learned. I’ve learned a lot of leadership lessons at A&M. I just hadn’t had the opportunity to apply them in a business context. Right. And I think some things would have begun to turn on a lot earlier had I done that cause once I was exposed and.
It it, it really did begin to turn on. And as we’ve talked, you know, when we were in California and I was in ministry, I was, I was really envious of the guys who were in business and always trying to figure out, I mean, they had something that I didn’t, and I didn’t know what it was at that point, but. So, yeah, that’s probably what I’d tell my 20 year old self.
I don’t know if he’d listen or not.
Kathy: [00:41:31] Therein lies the challenge, right? We, um, absolutely. And we have to be open and willing to receive information, feedback.
Mark: [00:41:41] Um, but you know, if I could have started it out and I, hopefully I do this with. Folks that I’m talking to now, if someone had said, look, this is what I see in you.
This is the potential that I see in you. I think you need to consider. Going down this path and you can get to this place. Um, and it’s gonna. There’s gonna be some twists and turns. You’re gonna, you know, you’re gonna stub your toe and you know, bang your nose against the wall. But this is where you can, you can get, I think, had it started that way, I might’ve, I might’ve listened, I didn’t.
I was still carrying a lot of oughts uh, and you know, it’s interesting as I think about it, I probably need therapy. There’s a
Kathy: [00:42:42] You’re married to a former therapist, but yeah. Can’t go there.
Mark: [00:42:47] Yeah. The, um, the, the oughts that I paid attention to weren’t. I, I ignored some things. You ought to just go get a job. You ought to go, because I wasn’t hearing them in the right context, but the oughts about ministry and all, if you really love Jesus, this is where you go.
I listened to, and so yeah, there’s something that could probably be uncovered in therapy about all that, but I didn’t. Yeah. I don’t think I listened to, well, when I was young.
Kathy: [00:43:22] Do any of us, you know, and I think much of our journey the last couple of years has been trying to take what we’ve learned, as we say in the school of hard knocks.
And you know, we can’t walk anyone else’s journey. We can’t, we can’t do it for our kids. But. I think we have tried to focus on, um, asking questions that help them to explore all of who they are, not just the limited perspective that, that anyone has at 20 or 25 or 30. Yeah. Um, and no one has a lot of life experience.
Then. Um, so, well, thank you so much for your insights and
Mark: [00:44:10] thanks for asking such good questions.
Kathy: [00:44:14] Tee it up!