I know the title sounds extreme, but it is true. I pulled into the gym parking lot for a late afternoon workout and checked my email one last time. There it was, the email from Brian Tome containing his foreword for my book, Win at Home First.
I immediately opened up the email and started to read his foreword. As I read it, I filled up with overwhelming positive emotion and started to cry.
I wanted to share the reasons I cried in case it can be encouraging to you and the journey you are on.
- Go Big – I swung for the fences when I asked Brian Tome to write the foreword. Brian is the senior pastor of a mega church, Crossroads, that my family and I attend in Cincinnati. There are 25,000 people in the church now, so many people demanding his time. In addition, he recently re-released Five Marks of a Man, an incredible book about the difference of a boy and a man. The book’s success is creating more demands on his time such as speaking opportunities, being a guest on podcasts, plus his own podcast. So, I knew he was in demand. However, we all know the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’. I am grateful I took the shot.
- What shot do you need to take? What is the big ask or idea you are timid to proceed with? Is it professional? Personal? Take the shot. What is the worse that will happen? They will say no? Who cares. Go for it. Do not let fear hold you back.
- Relationships are key – Brian and I know each other, but we are not great friends. I have never been to his house, nor has he ever been to mine. However, we are both great friends with some of the same people. Those people fought for me. I am confident they were promoting me behind the scenes. My friends did not have too, yet they did.
- Who do you need to thank for helping you along the way? Who has opened doors for you? These people don’t do it for the attention, but they deserve your thanks.
- Who do you need to fight for? Which of your friends do you need to promote to somebody else? How can you go out of your way to help a friend? This is hard for a lot of us since we often can be ‘takers’ instead of ‘givers’.
- Confirmation of the journey – Even though each of us are the main character in our story, without reading the summary of our journey, we can forget important parts that molded us. Reading Brian’s brief description of my journey was encouraging of how God has been there the whole time, even though I have felt lost and lonely at times.
- What is your story? Write out some of the highs and lows in the last five years of your journey. Notice the bold steps you have taken, yet of even more importance, take note of how God protected and provided for you along the way. With your story narrative, it will give you the confidence to be bold in the days, weeks, and years to come.
- Confirmation of the message – I believe with all my heart that winning at home first is critical. I have lost at home. I have seen others lose at home. Losing at home is not worth it, nor does it allow for the wins at work to even be worth it. When I read Brian’s foreword and knowing the number of inputs he receives, it fired me up to keep pushing to finish the book.
- What steps do you need to take to win at home? Yes, we all have work demands, but winning at home is critical. Take the coming weeks to try some new patterns and rhythms to win at home.
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Here is Brian’s foreword. I am confident you will enjoy…even if you don’t cry as I did.
Brian Tome’s foreword for Win at Home First:
We all want to win.
We want the joy of setting a goal and hitting it. We want the accolades of progress, the praise of those around us, and the rush of new opportunities and potential deals coming our way. We want to win—the question is “How?” Culture doesn’t help here—to look around at the headlines and our news feeds, it seems like success is everywhere. We all think we know winning when we see it. It’s the high-powered exec flying from meeting to speaking engagement to new business acquisition. It’s the athlete or entertainer launching a new product line. It’s that family down the street with a revolving door of new cars and flashy toys. We stand by and watch, assuming that they’ve got some advantage we don’t—smarter, more money, more connections, or just plain lucky. Regardless, they seem to have won, and they’re reaping the benefits. Yet all too often, those “success” stories crash and burn. Those people we envied end up having as much chaos and stress as we do.
We need a different path, because sacrificing everything we’ve got at the altar of corporate titles, personal brands, and body beautiful simply isn’t working.
This is why I’m thankful for Cory.
First, I’m thankful for his story. I’m thankful that he’s a guy who has done the hard work of following God through uncer- tainty, risk, and fear. I’m thankful that he’s been willing to walk through (and be honest about) the costs of honesty. I’m thankful that he’s seen the freedom and clarity that comes when you let God reorient your priorities and resources. And I’m thankful for his courage in living a completely countercultural journey.
Cory has been a part of the church I lead for the last eight years. He has been faithful in numerous roles with us. He has a gentle, uplifting demeanor that elevates the game of those around him. He has put his time and energy where his mouth and pen are. He is a man who practices what he preaches in this book.
Second, I’m thankful for his work. He has distilled years of personal experience and the collective wisdom and frameworks of some of the most impactful spiritual and professional orga- nizations in the world. What you hold in your hands are bat- tle-tested principles that have been proven time and time again. We live in a world that is constantly telling us to self-promote, to accumulate, to climb the ladder. Our culture says that if you want to win, get out there and make a name for yourself. In the face of that message, Cory challenges us to look in a different di- rection—to put God at the center. To focus on your personal life and your home long before you think about work. To think less about success and more about significance.
Put simply, I’m thankful for the message Cory is proclaim- ing—both with his writing and his life. The pathway to truly win- ning in life is exactly opposite of the way we’ve all been taught, and I’m thankful for the reminder.
Just like you, I want to win. Cory is pointing the way.
Brian Tome – Founder and senior pastor of Crossroads Church and author of The Five Marks of a Man
Thank you for reading,