I came home. In the back of my mind, I sensed this was always a possibility; it was just a matter of timing. In the 28 years prior, I was adding keys to my experience ring and earning my stripes, as my father used to say. I got the confirmation to return sitting by my father's bedside hours before he immigrated to Heaven. As I sat quietly beside him in home hospice, I sensed a spiritual presence in the corner of the room, which let me know with triumphant certainty that everything my father embraced about eternity and God was as accurate as the physical realm.
Once this happened, the transition was automatic. I had grown up in the faith, but that experience by my father’s bed made it a certainty. When you make any transition in life, you should get a calling from and a calling to. That way, you pivot on purpose and not in pain. I was currently employed in the defense contracting realm and had yet to plan on coming home at that time. But then I got this brief, definitive, and confident calling, all I had to do was follow.
Because the transition was based on a calling, I never felt the pressure to be more than my father. A calling isn't a competition. Because the transition brought me home after 28 years, I got to experience my mother as a best friend and discover the true genius of my father, speaking with his contacts, combing through his writings, and listening to his recordings. A calling can bring you closer as a family, even when one is no longer physically with you. Because the transition was based on a calling, I knew I was entrusted with something much bigger than running a business; its power lay far beyond anything in my responsibility. A calling isn't an outcome; it's a faith walk.
I can’t believe it’s been fourteen years! In one sense, it seems like a month; in another, it seems like a lifetime. I am here by God's grace and favor as well as your continued support, encouragement, prayer, and friendship.
The most important lesson these years has taught me is found in one of the Laws of Leadership in Life is Tremendous, Give to Get. In typical Charlie Tremendous fashion, these words are not what we’ve been taught. When we give to get something, we give with a motive. That's not giving; that's trading, and the problem with this perspective is that too often, 'it' gets you, not you get ‘it .' It's so easy in the economy of the world to make decisions based on ROI, the up-side, or future earnings. And I know as a business person, the importance of watching your resources. Stewardship is a Biblical principle. But the real leadership lesson behind Give to Get, according to Tremendous, is that we give regardless of whether we get anything back or not.
When you lead with this truth at your core, you gain a greater capacity to give. What I’ve grown the past 14 years isn't measured in book sales or speaking fees; it's measured in a capacity to give beyond what I thought possible. My father had a global reputation as a giver. He set up the company to exist solely to continue blessing others. He was generous in spirit and resources. I remember one time during a challenging year in the business when I was pretty downhearted and embarrassed. My mother took my hand and said, "Tracey, no one would have stayed at this as long as you did and worked this hard as you.”
And at that moment, I knew she was trying to console me, but she inspired me. Yes, things were down; but my giving was going to be up! If nothing else, I would continue to give and give until I had nothing else to give. If I hadn't given a speech to five people, I would never have been able to speak to 500 people. If I hadn't given thousands of books away for free, I never would have been able to sell ten-thousands of books. And I thank God I'm not business savvy or successful enough to know any other way. Whatever we give, we give to gain a great capacity to give.
Your support has enabled me to give to grow over the past 14 years, and I thank you for that because giving is my greatest joy! And as long as you keep reading tremendous books, hearing tremendous speeches, and sharing tremendous truths, you are giving me the most incredible anniversary gift of all. Thank you for being on this journey with me. I could not have done it without you!