top of page

The Four Things We Need To Grow (Part 1 of 4)

This is the first of a four part series. Click here to read the rest of the series.

We all have things we want in life. A school we want to get into, a date with a certain someone, a place we want to travel, or even a set of values we want to live by. Often, we focus so much effort on changing the "what's" in our life we fail to realize it is the "who" that has to change.

Why is personal growth so important? Because a little bit of growth may be the difference between the life you have and the life you want.

How do we grow? While there isn't a one-size-fits-all formula for growth, we do know that there are four things all human beings have in common when experiencing growth.

I experienced the first one when I was nine years old at the Mid-Columbia Jr. Livestock Show in Tygh Valley, OR. As a kid who grew up on a farm, it might surprise you to hear that I was terrified of cattle. I had a bad experience when I was five getting absolutely trucked by a mean Hereford heifer and since then I wanted nothing to do with them.

So you can imagine the dread I felt when my mom tells me that because I won pig showmanship I now had to show a cow in what was called Round Robin. Round Robin was like the decathlon of livestock shows. The winner of each species faced off against one another, each showing the others species.

The worst part is that I found out about this fear circus mere hours before it started. I told Mom that I wasn't ready, I hadn't even haltered a steer before, I couldn't get in a show ring with one. Mom gave me a choice: quit and let the reserve champion pig showman take my place or grab the bull by the horns and see what happens.

Hours later I'm walking from the sheep ring to the cattle barn, heart racing, incessantly wiping my sweaty hands on my jeans knowing they'll be the only thing controlling a 1400 pound beast on the other end of a piece of twine mere moments from now.

I wish I could tell you that I overcame my fears, bested the beast, won Round Robin and walked out of that showring a hero, but I can't.

As soon as I grabbed ahold of the steers halter I started crying so aggressively and so dramatically that one of my mom's high school students had to help me walk it around the ring. I was crying so hard I didn't even know the judge had told us to move and while the other showmen walked their steers around, I stood in the same spot, sobbing.

I left the ring dejected and embarrassed. When I got back to my pig pen I was greeted by the last person I expected to see, the reserve champion pig showman. I can't remember her name, but I remember what she said.

"I've never gotten to show a cow, but you have now. That means I'm going to have to work extra hard next year just to catch up. Anyways, just wanted to say good job."

The first thing we know about growth is that we develop best when we are in the game. This often times requires us to start long before we are ready.

No money? No experience? No resources? No network? No excuses. If we want to grow we must simply start. It is impossible to experience growth while sitting on the bench.

A miserable experience holding a tear soaked halter still provided more growth than those received that didn't enter the show ring at all.

The reality is we may never feel ready, but our goal isn't to feel ready, it's to grow. So get in the game.


One third of small business owners in America only have a high school diploma/GED.


What have you been waiting to start because you don't feel ready?


Tell someone close to you what you want to start. Create personal accountability.


"If you set your bar at 'amazing,' it’s awfully difficult to start." - Seth Godin

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page