The Company Next Door
I used to be a professor at the University of Kansas. It was an awesome experience that I will never forget. However, 12 years into it I felt the Lord leading us to give up tenure and to take a step of faith by starting a consulting firm—becoming an entrepreneur. My colleagues thought I was crazy. I had built one of the top graduate school sport psychology programs in the country. But God had other plans.
As this was all percolating, I noticed an empty office building right in the middle of our golf course in Lawrence. I think a company had moved out and no one replaced them. It looked like a ski chalet. It was a cool building but sat empty for months.
I decided to step out and test the waters while still teaching—sort of a part-time consultant. I inquired about the building and they offered to let me start my company in one of the offices there. I was trained as an academician and didn’t know much about starting a company. I needed a business plan and wisdom as for how to go about this.
I moved into this large building. For several days I sat there alone, thinking, praying, dreaming. I needed help and guidance to move forward. About two weeks into this, another small company showed up. They were also going to rent a small space in the building. I introduced myself and asked about their business.
I was stopped in my tracks when this kind gentleman said, “We are Kansas Innovation Inc. Our sole purpose, completely funded by the state, is to come alongside new small businesses and support them by helping create business plans, branding, and structuring their businesses. We are here to make sure small businesses succeed and thrive. Can we support you in any way?”
I was in awe as God once again provided an avenue as we took the step of faith. The rest is history. I became their first customer. Once up and going, I resigned from KU, and we moved to Texas where I have served as a peak performance coach and speaker for athletic teams, performers, and corporations now for 23 years. It has been an amazing sacred journey that could not have happened without us stepping away from KU. I needed guidance and God moved them in next door. And did you catch that they were funded by the state? It was free!