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The David Chronicles: Knowing When To Move On

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by David Garland in David's Blog

The David Chronicles: Knowing When To Move OnNOTE: This is a new personal series I’m trying out to see if you like it, find it interesting, funny, helpful, whatever. It is no-punches-pulled, 100% ridiculously transparent. Based on the first few installments (linked up at the bottom if you want to check them out) you want more. So, here it comes…muhahaha.

In 2008, I faced a massive crossroads that many entrepreneurs face: stick with the current course or bury the ship, swim to shore, and build a better ship (maybe one with a pool and unlimited sushi bar).

Pro inline hockey had just finished its second season. It has been a two-year whirlwind and a “real life” entrepreneurial MBA filled with massive victories, crushing defeats, and life lessons that I’ll carry with me forever (I’m sure you can say the same about your entrepreneurial adventures).

In May 2008, I sat there with a massive decision on my plate that went way beyond what to order for dinner. Do I want to be involved in the third season of pro inline hockey or do I want to move on to “something else”?

Of course, I had NO IDEA what “something else” was at the time. It wasn’t like I came up with the idea of The Rise To The Top WHILE I was running pro inline hockey and then decided to jump ship. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do.

The key decision was to actually make a decision. I gave myself one month (and quick advice here: giving yourself a concrete timeline is critical) to make a decision. And I also arbitrarily decided that IF I decided to move on, I would give myself one month to figure that out as well.

The next logical step was to weigh the pros and cons (which are far more clear in retrospect):


  • Loved inline hockey (from a playing and watching perspective).
  • Sponsors were happy and revenue was way up from year one to year two.
  • Hosting the radio show on Team 1380 was a BLAST.
  • Back then, being young and single, the lifestyle was fun hanging out with the hockey guys.
  • For the next season, I was working on a TV contract for the league to get some games on local TV which would have been amazingly cool (“Look, Mom, I’m on TV!” would be ringing out throughout St. Louis.)
  • It was a fun creative outlet to try new things like booking crazy halftime shows, coming up with unique promotions, etc.
  • It was sort of my baby and I didn’t want to kill my baby.


  • Didn’t like working with jackasses. Some people involved (out of my control) were just (and putting this VERY nicely)….difficult. And this caused all kinds of personal stress.
  • Lack of control of my own destiny. While I owned the LLC and local league, there were numerous outside factors that affected it. There was an overall umbrella league located up east (sort of like big brother) that set a lot of the rules and regulations. So, in many cases it was more like a “franchise without any help” as opposed to a completely autonomous league. Meaning, big brother didn’t help with marketing, promotion, money or anything like that…but they set the rules. Sigh.
  • Politics. Similar to many industries, there is an “old boys network” in inline hockey. As opposed to accepting and helping someone that is young and passionate, the mentality was more of “this is the way it is has always been done and always will be” (insert evil laughter here).
  • Gut feeling. No big explanation. Just a feeling that it was time to move on…to something more meaningful and exciting.

I went with my gut. Life is way too short and there are way too many awesome people out there to waste your time working with jerks. Work with people you like and resonate with. Period. Plus, I wanted to control my own destiny (success or failure).

And that was that. I took the relationships I had built (with sponsors and other random people) and took my butt on down the road with zero regrets.

The big lesson? All the analysis in the world doesn’t compete with your gut feeling. Follow it.

What would you have done?

In the next installment: The Biggest Mistake.

In case you missed it:

Image Credit: olmed0

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8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

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