The Possums and the Stick

The Possums and the Stick
By Travis Lane Jenkins
“I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but I was in my mid- twenties. I hadn’t found any real level of success, in fact, I was struggling in my first few years as a business owner.
I was spending time with my father at his house, on a large piece of property in Texas. On our way back from a walk, my father noticed that there was a small family of baby possums stuck inside a trash can that was standing straight up so the possums could not get out.

My dad hated possums, called them varmints and felt like they were nothing more than rats. We grew up on a farm and it was normal for him to shoot varmints on site. But when I called after my father, I noticed that he had found a stick and put it inside the trash can on an angle so that it stuck all the way out of the top.

My father and I never talked about why he did that for the family of small baby possums, I guess because I already knew the reason. The stick was their chance to get themselves out of that situation. He provided the opportunity and the rest was up to them.
All my life my dad’s had a hard time showing affection or even giving me a pat on the back for a job well done. This was the first time that I ever saw the depth of humanity in my father.

I thought about the stick and the possums over and over for the next several weeks. Over time I came to realize that my father gave me a stick as a younger man. He gave me strength, integrity, skills, taught me leadership and how to recognize opportunities.
It has taken me 20 years to see that he gave me all he could and, unfortunately, I’ve spent the majority of that time wanting things that he couldn’t give me. Now with age, wisdom, and understanding I am making peace with it.”

Dear Reader, This might seem like an odd story to tell on my blog. However, Travis is a friend of mine and gave me permission to tell his story. The moral is: In our lives we learn lessons…lots of them. We all want things and life and the truth is, we have to use “the stick” that has been given to us if we want a new result. My dear friend Travis became responsible for his life and the tools that is dad had given him, although it would have been easy to just be a victim of his circumstances and angry with his father.

Guess what? Travis Lane Jenkins has gone on using those skills to find opportunities and has now generated over 70 million dollars in his business!!! Now he keeps giving that stick to others. These days he’s giving free help to business owners on The Entrepreneur’s Radio show at – you can listen to past episodes via podcast)

So, in your life, what is it that you really want? Are you ready to take action and have a new result? I sure hope so. I promise I’ll do the same.  -Sandra Champlain

“The one thing worse than a quitter is a person who is afraid to begin.
~ Anonymous