Trace3’s CEO Tyler Beecher reminds us to always remember where you came from.
In the autumn of my senior year of high school, I found myself a middleweight scrapper on a very good wrestling team. We challenged or won the state title every year in the large (5A) division and drew dramatically larger crowds than our basketball team. Our home events were a real scene – standing room only, roaring crowd, blacked-out arena, dome light flooding just the wrestling mat. And they cranked your favorite music as you entered the circle. I was an AC/DC guy – Thunderstruck or Back in Black (classy, right?). Anyone remember the movie Vision Quest? Well, you get the picture. Yeah, we thought we were cool.
Due to some injuries and a late intro to the sport, I was essentially an unknown as a senior – which meant no one saw me coming. I worked hard. Had the bruises to prove it. In the first half of that season I went on a spree of massacres. By winter holiday break, I had mowed down several states’ champs, including one who had never tasted defeat. I mangled two on my way to winning the most prestigious tournament of the year. I was riding high with my face on the front page of the sports page – plus a new nickname courtesy of my coaches – The Giant Killer.” And you thought I was cool before!
Following the Christmas break, our coaches ratcheted up the intensity to prepare for a large, out of state tournament. We’d be up against the best kids from five to six states. A big deal. I was told repeatedly about a superstar in my weight class who was likely headed to the Olympics and would be ranked #1. Me, #2. My favorite coach was constantly in my ear – “hear comes the giant killer. He won’t know what hit him!” I was excited, on a tear, with another bull’s-eye in my sights.
The tournament started and I blew through the first day of challengers. Piece of cake. Now just two fights left – semi-final Saturday morning and the big finish Saturday night. Morning comes and as I walked past our crowd in the stands (again, AC/DC cranked in my headphones), I noticed our fan base had grown. Aunts, uncles, cousins, estranged friends, guys from Dad’s office. I think even my grandmother who hated wrestling was there. All came to watch me shatter the dream of a future Olympian. I was pumped. The Giant Killer was ready to destroy another opponent with a perfect prep school pedigree.
I soon heard my name over the PA system. Time to get the semis out of the way. Some kid I’d never heard of. Get it over quick, clean, gear up for the night. Except nobody gave the other guy the memo. The whistle blew and he was all over me. It was like my face met a wood chipper – finger gouges to the eye, head butt to the nose, and then I’m locked like a cobra and a mongoose, tumbling end over end across the mat. What the? Who was this clown? Didn’t he know I had to fight that night?
And…you get the point. He didn’t just beat me; he crushed me in less than 30 seconds. He pinned previously unpinned me with a move called a “spladle”. Look it up, it’s not pretty. All I could see was my own crotch and hear the muffled cries of my weeping grandmother.
So what’s my point? Never overlook an opponent? Take nothing for granted? Always wear clean underwear? Probably all of the above. But my big epiphany was simply, never forget where you came from and don’t believe the hype. I believed my own hype and was surrounded by people who did as well. I lost perspective on who I was – an unknown underdog who had to work for every inch he got. And I, as well those close to me, got embarrassed (mugged) because of it. So what matters now? What’s our W-I-N with this knowledge in hand?
- We must remember where we came from. We are close to a $500M company that aspires to reach $1B in the next few years, but we can never forget this company was started with one hundred dollars. I know guys like Linder, MacInnes, and Hayes haven’t. We cannot take what has been achieved for granted and we cannot lose sight of who and how we got here.
- We must remember we have more opportunity, freedom, and earning potential at Trace3 than any other time in our lives.
- We must look out for each other and keep each other grounded. As Ruben often says, “success breeds bad habits.” The road behind and ahead is littered with human tragedy, where financial success can be as difficult as financial struggle. Hard work and dedication definitely underpins success for many of us, but none of us can afford to lose sight of the good fortune in our equation.
- We must maintain a maniacal focus on the client. Attack each day with a servant’s heart, focused on driving outcomes that bless the lives of the clients who bet on us. I joined Trace3 because I was enamored with your ability to be the best “new technology scouts” for clients, while never losing sight of delivering tried and true practices to them. We have to be elite at both.