Rewarding Work, Progress and a Rock ConcertJune 8, 2014
It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m having a Bloody Mary as I sit here and finish replying to some emails and otherwise enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Broad Ripple after a long weekend working.
I spent Friday and Saturday out at the Indiana Special Olympic Summer Games in Terre Haute. It was our second year out there for Nine13sports and this year was even better than last. There are a million special moments and experiences that came out of this weekend and it’s always inspiring to work with the Special Olympic athletes and get them on the bikes. A buddy of mine summed it up well when he sent me a message saying “if we had half the heart that the athletes do, imagine what we could accomplish”, and it’s a perfect reflection. I got (and gave) more high-fives and hugs this weekend than in all our years combined at work–and it once again truly highlights how lucky I am to have found the career I’m in.
Not to say this weekend didn’t come without its issues. The biggest was receiving a phone call at 11AM Friday as we just started programs from a “Director in the Healthcare Industry” (leaving it at that for now), whom we’ve been working on a deal with to put Nine13 into 11 charter schools in the 2014-2015 school year. It’s part of a much bigger grant they’re doing, and was essentially a 1/3 of our annual operating budget with our originally agreed upon terms we had negotiated. Or, as I went to leave Terre Haute, the trailer had a flat and I had to beg, borrow, bribe and plead to get it fixed after store hours so I could get home last night.
Anyways, this voicemail said “Tom, call me back, ASAP. This grant is being submitted at 12PM and I need you to approve it for 16 schools versus 11, and we need new numbers related to the program cost for this–it’s going in at 12PM with or without you.”
Needless to say, when I heard the voicemail at 11:30, I did some quick math and called him back with a “yes–and here are the other details”.
It’s a deal that is bigger than anything else I’ve ever worked on (16 schools, you do the math), and we should have official confirmation (and a check) as we enter into July. Partner-in-Crime was laughing at my disbelief of this deal landing at my feet and reminded me that “this isn’t luck, this is a lot of hard work that has finally come together”. So, once we get this check, it’ll allow me to easily hire a second full-time person and make some other serious business decisions going forward. The best part is even though it will be the largest, it’s one of 5 major deals in the pipeline that I expect to have announced between now and August 1. Lots of work, lots of progress and lots of growth—and I’m so fortunate that persistence and patience has paved the way for all this greatness.
Before I cut out of town, I ran the Monumental Mile on Thursday evening with Team Better Ed, a group of us all involved in the education/non-profit sector who are going to do the Monumental Half Marathon in November. We had a blast, it was a great way to celebrate June 5th and be surrounded by friends. A beer and dinner after with PiC and some other friends really made the day memorable–definitely a different June 5th than previous years, but a celebration of what is possible.
And of course, since I like to have a crazy schedule, as soon as I got back in town last night I headed over to the Old897’s concert at The Vogue. I’ve seen them play a number of times before, but I think last night was the best show yet. And there’s truly nothing like going to a concert by yourself to enjoy the music and then running into other people you know there. Had a great time catching up with the guys I saw and enjoying the atmosphere.
I’ve got a sort of crazy week this week, but really do want to get some consistent writing going–so don’t be a stranger to the blog.