Coach Your Own

Following up on last week, I’ve shed enough stuff to feel like I’ve made progress. By the time the dust settles, it will have taken:

  • Seven dumpster loads
  • A pick-up truck full of gear to an eBay store
  • Two van loads of donated clothing
  • Sending one hundred pounds of papers to a shredding service

I’ve yet to tackle our kitchen, our garage or our kid-krap. These areas are emotionally charged so I’ll need to review the ZenHabits tips!

Clearing out highlights the money spent on items that I don’t use any more.


Last week, I alluded to making changes for the benefit of my family. I’m going to call bullsh*t on myself and point out that anything I do for them, I’m really doing for myself. I’ll explain further.

We might view it as more noble to teach our children, rather than knock out training camps in the tropics – but the reality is we’re making choices either way.

In my 30s, I fluked into combining unknown athletic talents with the time to exploit them. I decided to pursue triathlon for a year and it changed my life, quite by accident. There wasn’t any conscious choice to become a great athlete – the decision was to leave a polluted place (Hong Kong) and settle in a pristine place (New Zealand). Once there, I gave myself the luxury of doing what I wanted (traithlon training).

The change that I’m creating this time is more deliberate but similar in that I’m create space to do what I want to do right now (love, write, teach). There will be benefits for my family but the primary driver is being the person that I want to be. My choices are driven by my self-image.

My attraction to coaching flows from a desire to help others and a realization that continual accumulation is empty. The desire to help others and the emptiness of financial accumulation is what drove me to leave private equity. Elite finance is often about helping yourself.

A rarely discussed paradox of coaching is the best coaches spend far more time with other people’s kids than their own. It was a point made at the ASCA conference that I attended in 2001 – my Dick Jochums Notes are worth a read.

In my current line of work (coaching working athletes), many people spend far more time with other people’s spouses than their own. This choice carries material risks to the health of one’s marriage. Choose wisely.

As I’ve aged, my goals have become less inwardly directed. These days, my competitive spirit flashes more often than it burns. My missions:

  • Help people through my writing
  • Teach my kids how I experience the world
  • Experience love with my wife

I know that my kids will be in grade school when I’m 50 and this phase of my life will be done. Having an end date makes it easier to cope when three-year-olds are bouncing around the house when they should be sleeping!

Once again, I’m tempted to choose the road less travelled.