John and Cristina got engaged this month after crossing the finish line of Grandma's Marathon.

John and Cristina got engaged this month after crossing the finish line of Grandma’s Marathon.

Two years ago co-founder of OrangeBall Creative, John Gamades, lived through significant upheaval: he got divorced, became a single dad, and was launching his own company. “I’m grateful today, because the Good Leadership philosophy played a huge role in rebuilding who I am as a business owner and a dad,” he explained with a humble smile.

Rebooting Life

A year before his divorce, John read my book What Really Works and thought he had the Seven Fs of faith, family, finance, fitness, friends, fun, and future in OK shape – or at least good enough. “My Seven Fs wheel was deflated and low. I recorded a lot of 5s and 6s, but I wasn’t working to change that.” He took his Seven Fs for granted and assumed his marriage, kids, and work would always be there. “Without knowing it, you get to a spot where you’re comfortable and you coast. I didn’t live in the moment or slow down to reflect and appreciate what I had,” he admits.

John Gamades turned to The Seven Fs Wheel to help him refocus on being a better father.

John Gamades turned to The Seven Fs Wheel to help him refocus on being a better father.

The divorce forced a reboot. “For a long time, I said my priorities were family, kids, and faith. But in reality, my priority was work.” He heard the message of goodness ringing in his ears as he searched for a deeper purpose as a single dad. “I kept asking myself, am I going to make decisions out of love or fear?”

Tied to Technology

“I used to spend every moment on my phone – a typical stuck-in-technology business owner.” John knew that in order to find himself again, he needed to control his technology. “I disabled notifications so I didn’t hear a ding every time I got a new email. Now, when I’m with my kids, I hate to be distracted.”

Faith was one of the Fs that John had taken for granted before his divorce. For years, his routine was to roll out of bed and immediately check emails – a busy day on email meant he was checked-out with his family. “Now, the first thing I do in the morning is dive into the Bible. I take time to stop and pray.” Instead of just hoping he’ll get to it, John schedules that time into his day to keep him centered and accountable for the mood and tone he creates.

Long-Range Planning

John and one of his business partners, Beau Norby, are building their firm Orange Ball Creative around the generosity theme at the Good Leadership Breakfast.

John and one of his business partners, Beau Nordby, are building their firm OrangeBall Creative around the generosity theme at the Good Leadership Breakfast.

John has been focusing more on what matters long term; both personally and professionally. “Nobody wakes up and thinks, ‘I hope I get divorced.’ But when something like this happens, it’s an opportunity to write the next chapter of your life with intention.”

Since connecting with Good Leadership Enterprises and using the planning tools, John and his team have reevaluated their short-term and long-term goals for OrangeBall Creative. The plans are grounded in generosity, one of the Cornerstones of Goodness, and include robust pro bono work. He mirrors this priority in his personal life by volunteering at Loaves & Fishes, serving meals to people in need.

As a former Scoutmaster, John taught navigation basics. “I know how to use a compass in the woods to figure out where I’m going. Now, instead of the woods, I’m navigating my life and am excited about the new direction it has taken and my Future. It’s not where I expected to go, but it’s the best it’s ever been!”

The Next Chapter

Grandma's Marathon was a Seven Fs clean sweep of faith, family, finances, fitness, friends, fun and future for Cristina and John.

Grandma’s Marathon was a Seven Fs clean sweep of faith, family, finances, fitness, friends, fun and future for Cristina and John.

The new John did the hard work and made the time to find a love interest again. Earlier in June, he and his girlfriend Cristina Stryker crossed the finish line together at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota – and he proposed. She accepted, and they are working on writing the next chapter together.

Good leaders accept life challenges as learning opportunities. And they spend time reflecting on how to live a good life building on a foundation of love instead of fear.

Please share with me: what challenge forced you to reboot your life?