This is the story of a drowning man.
As the man is drowning, he has no fear. Why? Well, this drowning man is very religious.
“God will save me!” he says.
A man in a canoe comes by and offers the drowning man a life jacket. He says, “No thanks. God will save me!”
Then, a helicopter comes overhead. The crew throws a ladder down to help save the drowning man, but again the man says, “No thanks. God will save me!”
Finally, a person swims out to the drowning man to save him and the man says, “Climb on my back. I will swim you to shore.”
Of course, the drowning man still refuses and says, “No thanks. God will save me!” And so, the man that had come to save the drowning man returned to shore.
Sadly, the drowning man did drown. He went to heaven where he sees God. He says to God, “I prayed every day and was a very religious man.
I did everything the prayer books told me to do, so I have to ask you, why did you let me drown?”
Then God replied, “I sent a canoe, a helicopter and a man to bring you to shore and you refused their help!”
I think we can all learn something from this story. I like it because it tells me that there is a “plan” for all of us, but that we should always be prepared for the unexpected. We may rarely have the benefit of hindsight to understand what our “plan” really is.
Back in 1989, I got a call from a friend who offered me a job as part of a small sports marketing agency he was starting. The company was going to host events for our clients where we brought in many current and former Mets and Yankees players to do meet-and-greets and autograph signings. It was going to be my job to handle all food service for the events.
Taking this job seemed like the next step in what I thought was my grand “plan.” I quit my previous job and when I walked into the office on my first day, my friend pulled me into his office. He told me he and his friends decided they didn’t need me as a partner in the company.
I rented space in their office for a short time while I tried to figure out my next step, but after just a few weeks they gave up the office and I was completely on my own.
Even though being blind-sided left me jobless and confused, with a kind of drowning feeling, I didn’t let it get to me. In fact, being forced to venture out on my own led to the formation of Steiner Associates. All it took was leaning on the connections and friends I had made over the years and a $4,000 investment to build the foundation of what eventually became the success of Steiner Sports today.
So, when a curve ball is thrown your way, always remember to expect the unexpected and you won’t end up like the drowning man.