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Passing the Baton + Awesome = Awesome Sauce: Reflections Based on ‘Start’ Chapter 6

      “A dream you don’t have to fight for isn’t a dream–it’s a nap”


When I read the sentence above in this book…if I didn’t already love the book I would have fallen in love in that moment. Interestingly enough, as a Christian there is plenty in the Bible that encompasses the same thing(s) as the sentence above but… it was something about reading it in a different way an unexpected way that made it stand out. I was comforted because I confirmed, again — repetition is key :), that the frustrations I have felt in graduate school and with other areas of my life is okay. Wanting to do something different something hard and having a hard time doing so is okay. These past five years I really have been earning this PhD… And I know I earned my Bachelors. Two words: Constitutional Law.

Another really cool point in this chapter is that – while you are a master its okay to be led. An extension of this point is that you don’t have to jump head first into your dream job, business, career etc. It’s okay to take your time. Its okay to learn from someone who is doing what you are doing. Its okay to wait. And in typing, “its okay to be led,” I was reminded of church service from two Sundays ago.

That Sunday my church had their annual Family Life Conference. Most years on the last day, the pastor of the church my pastor came from (sounds a bit Soap Opera plotish but stay with me) comes and gives the sermon. Well this year was no different; He gave a great message. But his message isn’t what I want to focus on here. Before the start of the message, Bishop Hilliard started complimenting my pastor, Bishop George Searight. He was also making jokes about “the good ole days” when they were at the same church. But one thing that Hilliard always touches upon when he comes to speak is about the time when my pastor came to him sharing that he wanted to pastor his own church.

Basically, when my pastor came to him about God calling him to start his own church, Bishop Hilliard said, “ok son but wait a year and then I’ll let you go.” My pastor waited. Now I’ve never heard my pastor say anything specifically about what happened in that year but I’m assuming that he learned something in that year that he wouldn’t have if he just left when he told his pastor that he was called to start his own church. More importantly, I can assume that by waiting my Bishop assured the support from his former pastor in starting our church (support that probably continues to this day). My Bishop also had the blessing of his pastor (something über important in the “church world”) and, well… twenty something years later my Bishop goes to visit his old church and Bishop Hilliard comes to visit our church. In short, the respect my pastor had/has had of the Mastering process has allowed him to become a better more successful master.

But their is more to the story…so next month my pastor’s son is leaving to pastor his own church. So my pastor’s pastor also took time to say encouraging words and bless my pastor’s son and his new ministry (Bishop Hilliard is like that patriarch that can do and say whatever he wants when he wants for as long as he wants…). Now, my pastor’s son, Pastor George, also waited. In short, due to the respect of the Mastering process my pastor and his son had, Pastor George not only has the support of his dad, the Bishop, but of the Bishop’s Bishop. I can only imagine what the support occurring in these Mastering relationships has done, is doing and will do for Pastor George as he follows in his father’s footsteps and for all of them really.

I share all this to say that if you do things “right” with respect and honesty to those around you than you can expand and improve your dream. Learn more about your dream under someone who is doing what you want to do. Doing so allows both parties to have success. Additionally, in this system, like outlined in my story above, everyone becomes a better Master because everyone is learning — whether they are passing down information and support or receiving information and support. Contrary to what US culture tries to dictate, there is enough room for all of us to do well.

To close out my discussion/review of Start Chapter 6, I want to share the last two major points discussed in this chapter – 1) there will be haters and 2) don’t be afraid to take a break. I loved this part because in a microwave world in the information age, people feel like they should always be moving and always doing something productive…oh…maybe that’s just me…my bad :(…but doing doing doing all the time isn’t good for you in the long run. In college, we always said that we work hard and we play hard. I had some HARD classes! The classes that make you feel like you don’t know anything and the classes that make people change their major (I’m still talking about you Constitutional Law!). But we also had fun!

What Acuff does in this chapter goes beyond saying, “people are gonna hate but do you boo! (well he probably doesn’t say that but I digress).” Acuff takes the time to talk about the difference between hate and constructive criticism; not everyone that tells you something to make your dream (or even your non-dream) better is trying to make you look bad or feel bad. Some people are trying to help you be better. Some people are looking out for you. And some people even want to keep you from making a mistake(s) that they made — and it all doesn’t equal “being a hater.”

I would say more but I’ll leave you here to read the book to read how he outlines out the difference…don’t hate ;).


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