Are you influential where it matters… with the people you love?

Nellary and Chris Moody

Nellary and Chris Moody

This is not a social media post. Nor a marketing post. Not branding. Not design either.

I recently stopped what I was doing to take a few minutes to watch a video on YouTube. It was the lead-in that got me really. I’ve seen Scott Stratten speak twice and hung out with him a few times, but it was the “most emotional talk I’ve given” excerpt that made me click. I’ll embed the 15 minute video below and highly recommend that you take the time to watch it.

Are our priorities out of whack?

Define success. Define the inputs you think are required for success. Did you only picture business meetings, presentations, rockstar ideas or did you think of loved ones? Spouses, children, family members, friends. These days we measure everything. As you read this, I can tell you where you came from, what browser you are using. how many other folks use that browser, how long you read this, what you clicked next and so on. Are we measuring the right things?

I consider myself to be ambitious. Ambition is sexy. Driving to be great at anything is a quality that I highly admire and find myself gravitating towards others that feel the same. As I was chugging through the NC State MBA program (I wanted a better job), we had a very successful Founder and CEO visit our campus. I will never forget what he said:

Success takes time. Success takes hard work. Being a business leader requires you to put 99% of your focus on your work and the rest on your family. There will be late nights. There will be missed experiences. But to be a global business leader, you have to put in the time, put work first and be great at what you do.

I was young. I was impressionable. But I immediately said to myself “are you kidding?” If that is success… I’ll settle with mediocrity (which I despise). I’m not saying that I don’t work late some nights… I do. But my first priority is not my work. My work is not my life. That does not hinder me from being successful. I’ll only work somewhere that shares the same values and priorities.

Scott’s talk sparked a lot of those memories for me. We’re so hung up on being a big deal to whatever segment we’re in and trying to measure our influence that we may be missing the point.

25 years ago today, I was diagnosed with leukemia.

This is not a sob story and I don’t want sympathy… it is just funny how things are always timed like that (Scott’s video posted yesterday). I was a kid. I had no clue what leukemia was and didn’t know how to act.

My parents were devastated when the doctor at Duke gave us the news and a less than three year old boy looked at them and said “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be alright.” In retrospect, maybe I liked a challenge. Maybe I was destined to be a comforter like most folks in my family. Maybe I had no clue what I was even saying. Regardless, that was a quarter of a century ago.

I never lost my hair and although it did stunt my growth, I’m still 6’4″ tall. I’ve been in remission for almost 23 years and while it was nothing out of the ordinary for me… I’m guessing it had a rather large impact on the people that love me.

“Keep going until we stop.”

Wanting to provide for your family or make others proud does not trump the fact that they want you. Take the time to be the husband, wife, brother, sister, son, daughter, father, mother or friend you can be and measure that influence.

Is there a @Klout for personal relationships?

We work. We blog. We tweet. We network. We share. We comment. We try the best we can to be the best we can. We try to make an impact to move up to the next rung on the ladder. We strive for leadership. At times we even crave acknowledgement. But how important are any of these things once we get home? Thanks Scott for a good kick in the tail that I needed this week.

Invest 15 minutes and watch this video then go give someone a hug. That is all.

Thanks for reading this post.

Follow me on the rest of the webs.

Still not sure who wrote this post? I'm Chris Moody.


    • Thanks for the comment Greg.

      Sometimes I need to put myself in check, but Scott’s video did that for me. I think we all struggle with the work/life balance and it is something I’m trying to get better at.

      Looking forward to growing my MO! I’m in a trial run now for my sweet Kenny Powers Halloween costume.

  1. First, awesome about 23 years.

    “But how important are any of these things once we get home?”

    I totally agree. I could go to more meet-ups but I’d rather spend the time at home with my wife and kids. I coach hockey (my son’s team) and that takes up a ton of my time, but it is something that he and I do together.

    The thing is, I don’t think my career has suffered a bit. I get out when I need to. I built up a half-decent reputation in the area.

    • Thanks Richard. The video with Scott is awesome right?

      I’m looking forward to seeing you guys in November! Be prepared, I will have a beard and/or moustache thanks to Movember.

  2. wow very weird that was just the thing i needed to hear! It is hard being a motivated entrepreneurial type person. I have been home only about 4 weeks spread out between May and the end of last week. I LOVE what i am doing but the time away is a catch 22.
    You realize this when your 2 yr old says “Daddy I missed you last night” but I was here last night honey, “A lot your not so i just missed you”. I had been telling myself “Hey my Dad was never around and I ended up OK” (He was a Colonel in the Army) I keep telling myself “Hey i’m doing something new that needs me in the field to build it”…… Not sure what i’m going to do about it all of course but this was something i needed to hear today Thanks!

    Conrads on your 23 years of remission! Kenny Powers costume is gonna rock!

  3. I needed to hear this too, Joey! I wish I had some sage wisdom and advice to offer on this topic, but I don’t. I’m only 24 :)

    Several events this week have put things in perspective for me, so Scott’s video and this post really hit home for me.

    Early Monday morning one of my dad’s best friends passed away very unexpectedly due to complications from knee surgery he had last week. He was only 50 years old and he leaves behind a wife and two college aged children. He was well loved and respected by all those around him; he was the type that succeeded in everything he tried, and his passion for his work was contagious. But most importantly, he was a great husband and an excellent father who was actively engaged in his children’s lives. He was one of the rare people who seemed to have mastered the work/home life balance. Now he will be remembered not just for the “things” he accomplished in his 50 years of life, but for the genuine way he loved, encouraged, and supported those around him.

    Sometimes we all need to take a step back and look at the big picture. So thanks, Chris and Scott for reminding us all of that!

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  7. Chris, I’ve gotten to know you a bit between local Triangle social media and seeing you at Ignite Raleigh. But I have to say, this…this post right here, just put you on the map for me in a very real sense. My background is in public health and for the past few years I’ve been in the Health 2.0 circle, seeing stories around devastation, disease and loss but the parts that stick with me are those that highlight progress and victory. Which is why I am writing here.

    Your story was useful in highlighting a very important point that has been on my shoulder for the past year and a half — keeping the main thing…the main thing, as quoted by a good friend of mine. In my life’s work, I want to make meaningful things happen in my work (here at American Heart Assoc and other public health 2.0 ventures), family (becoming a great dad and being a great husband) and socially, with volunteering and giving back as priorities.

    It’s easy to get caught up in the flash and fleeting popularity that today’s environment lends itself to but at the end of the day (read: end of life), I want to look back and smile because I made a difference where it mattered.

    • Andre…

      First, thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      Second, I totally agree with you and couldn’t have said it better (else I would have). Setting priorities is extremely important to manage the strains of work / life balance and too often people put too heavy of a focus away from their family.

      The folks I admire most DO NOT do this.

      Jay Baer is a great example. He and his family had moved to a new state and he was scheduled to co-keynote at SoFresh Charlotte. He missed it to take his child to school for the first day in the new town. I immediately sent him a note because that made me respect him (and his work) that much more.

      Family first.

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  15. Awesome post, Chris! Mac Daddy and I have never been driven my money or power or recognition. We just do things that we love and realize that it’s all fleeting. I worked with pediatric bone marrow transplant patients for 10 years, and that’s what gave me the perspective that drives me every single day. Now that I’m a mom, I cannot begin to imagine how devastated your parents were 25 years ago. Thanks for sharing your story.

  16. Chris thanks for sharing your personal experience here. You’ve been a great friend and inspiration to me since we to to know each other the past few years. I’m proud to call you a friend and see you consistently do quality work for your company and other associations.

    That being said you’re so right that work is work and our family, friends and others are so important that we cannot lose focus of those relationships. I know that if you start a family of your own you will see it at even a deeper level. I know when I had my first child I could not believe the emotion that it created in me. Everyday when I come home and my kids yell “Daddy” and run up to hug me is the best part of my day. Sure we all have good and bad times but overall survival and love is what keeps us motivated.

    Great stuff here and thanks again for sharing!

    • Thanks Brian. You just earned a man-hug next time I see you. :)

      You always seem to have plenty of time with your family despite working with an insane amount of different groups… so kudos to you for that man.

      • It’s people like you that keep me motivated to do what I do. We’re all part of a community that’s great because so many people contribute their time and effort to make it better. I’m so proud to be a part of it and continue to see our community grow and watch others take notice.

  17. Thanks Chris. That was an important “stop & smell the roses”moment. 37 years ago this month I lost my little brother to Leukemia and I can tell you, Life comes first for me. Not just mine, but those around me. Probably why I manage 2 social clubs and a few other non-profits. Thanks for showing a more personal side of you. Come bowling with us sometime!

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment and I completely agree that putting those around you needs to be a very high priority.

      I’m a lousy bowler these days, but you should send me the details and maybe I can make it out one night!

      • We are ALL lousy bowlers, that’s what makes it fun. Just remember the 2nd Tuesday of every month at The Alley (formerly Western Lanes) on Hillsborough St across from NC State. $2 lane, $2 Beer (Big Boss, Blue Moon, -yum!) We bowl from 7-9pm. Cheers, Janet

  18. That’s a great video. Thanks for sharing that, Chris.

    It’s a great reminder that nothing really matters. Not your job, your car, the problems with your boss, nothing. The only thing that matters is those you love and those that love you. That’s it.

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  24. thanks chris! although I’m not in your industry, your posts and success are always motivational and always make me want to strive to do better! I haven’t commented before but I read them several of them!

    • Lili,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and for reading some of my ramblings. :) I hope you are doing great and I guess I’ll see you soon as we’re due for a high school reunion shortly.

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  35. Thanks Moody for an awesome post. I appreciate the shout out, but I rob more time from my family than I give back. Not a day goes by that I don’t realize it with chagrin. Occupational hazard? Sorta. Priorities problem? That too. I just hope that the other stuff i do for my family makes my frequent absences tolerable. I’ll let you know in about 10 years, when the therapy bills start rolling in.

    • Whatever man.

      From what I have seen and know (albeit limited), you seem to balance it very well despite your travel demands. I’d venture to say that your family knows that you put them first. :)

      Thanks for commenting Jay!

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  38. Awesomeness, bro.

    I left agency world for many reasons, but a big one was that I wasn’t allowed to stop. I wasn’t allowed to say “no.” Like Scott, I realized if I didn’t do something to establish some boundaries, I’d just keep going.

    So going out on my own was my way to say, “I’m sorry clients, but from 5:30-8 p.m., I’m having dinner with my family and putting my kids to bed. And I won’t return your call on the weekend.” Sure, there has to be some give and take from time to time, but I established my boundaries and am hundreds of times more happy now, as are my wife and kids.

    But like Jay mentioned, we steal time from our families a lot and don’t like doing it. I’ve been accused of “big-timing” some events by showing up the night before I talk, talking and leaving. 99% of the time it’s because I’ve got to get back for a little league game or my daughter’s birthday party. If that makes me “big-time” so be it.

    Because being “big-time” to Grant and Katie (and Nancy, too), is all I really care about at the end of the day.

    Thanks for reminding us all to be a big deal to the right people.

    • Thanks for the great comment dude. I really admire your stance on family and will make sure that my priorities are in line when those times come for me.

      I love your close… “Because being “big-time” to Grant and Katie (and Nancy, too), is all I really care about at the end of the day.”

      Thanks dude. Awesome stuff.

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  40. I know I’m joining the chorus, but that was incredibly powerful an aptly timed to my current circumstances. Trying to keep my family’s head above water financially has caused me to lose sight of maintaining closeness with my wife and kids. It’s easy to get so mired down in all the stress of it, when the irony of it is, keeping that closeness is what helps you get through it. Thanks for a great post.

  41. Good stuff my friend.

    Time is too valuable to not share the moments connecting with those we care about.

    Otherwise, what are we living for? At the end of the day, work, cars, iPhones, etc won’t be there to give back any real and long-term fulfillment. You can try to keep filling the void by working harder and buying more things. I think that’s a lonely and uphill battle. When you sit at home after a hard day at work, I can’t imagine not having someone to be with, talk to, or call that really cares about me.

    Invest in people and you get back. Invest in money and prestige and I imagine you will inevitably be the one sitting on the couch with nobody to share your moments with.

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  67. Hey Son. This is your mother and I just noticed this on my laptop. I can not put it into words how proud I am of you. I do not know what you do at your job but I do know after reading this I could not be Prouder of you. I know you did not get your smarts from me but I am so glad that I can take credit for giving birth to you. You have been through a lot in your life but you have always faced everything head on. I am so proud. Mom

  68. It’s amazing the things you find and when you find them. This popped up in my news feed just now at a time when I’m going through a severe need for a priority shift in life. Thank you sir, great read.

    • Paul,

      Thanks for the feedback man! I definitely know how you feel and it is always a good thing to find ways to kick yourself into gear. That’s what the video did for me and sparked this post.

      Happy New Year buddy. :)



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