Overcoming Obstacles

Words Are Powerful…They Can Change another Person’s Outlook

Jeff Snyder

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, don’t underestimate the power of your communication. People who know how and when to communicate are in high demand. 

I’m not talking about standing on a stage as a public speaker.  I’m referring to the day-to-day opportunities we all have to communicate in a way that just might make someone else’s day if we simply invest a moment to think about someone else.

Over the weekend, I shared a ski day with two of my best ski buddies. One of those buddies is a really good photographer.  He decided to exercise his photography skills on Saturday.  The photo at the top of this article shows his talent.

I shared this photo on Facebook because I thought John did an outstanding job with the camera.  Colorado provided the backdrop.  A number of people “Liked” the photo on Facebook. 

One person in particular whom I have skied with one time in the past wrote something that made my day. He knows what I’ve had to overcome and fight through in order to get back on my skis.  This is what Paul wrote.

“Jeff! Awesome pic brother! To go from where you were a couple years ago to this is nothing short of miraculous!”

When you go through experiences in life that cause you to have to find mental toughness in order to overcome the deck of cards you’ve been dealt, every day is a challenge and the road gets very lonely at times.

Sometimes a simple thought from someone who is paying attention to how hard you're working to overcome your setback can be just enough fuel in the mental gas tank to keep the engine running. To me, Paul’s words were like a shot of adrenaline that I deeply appreciate.

Getting back to the first sentence of this blog, know that your words can make a significant impact on another person at any time in any circumstance. You don’t have to be an eloquent writer or speaker.  You simply have to pay attention and invest a moment to care when you run into someone who could benefit from your support and encouragement. 

These opportunities exist all around us every day of life.

 You may not even know what you did but you might change someone’s outlook with a few carefully chosen words at the right time.

Jeff Snyder Coaching


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An Entrepreneurial Setback

Entrepreneur Coaching


If you’ve read my blogs for any length of time, you’ll know that one of my favorite personal Strengths is my Maximizer Strength.  This strength causes me to push for Great and to turn Good into Great all the time.  I love this Strength and I love pushing for great.

My Maximizer has been on overdrive as we’ve been working really hard to produce short videos for the first time.  I had to overcome a discomfort of sitting in front of a camera.  We had to do research to come up with the right lighting, the right sound options and the right video editing options.  The learning curve has been steep and has consumed many late nights and weekends. 

This is what entrepreneurs do.  If you’ve ever thought about how great it might be to be an entrepreneur, the lifestyle certainly does have advantages and positive moments.  Being an entrepreneur also means at times that you have to have the ability to be a Jack of Every Trade imaginable when nobody around you has the answer you need at the moment.

One afternoon, we shot video for several hours to get down to a half dozen 1 minute videos that I was comfortable putting on stage for the world to see.  I went from camera shy to feeling pretty good about this project until last night when someone I’m connected to on LinkedIn was kind enough to alert me to a problem.

Over the past 24 hours, I’ve been uploading videos to Vimeo and YouTube.  Everything has worked as planed when the videos are viewed on a desktop computer or on an iPad.  However, when these videos are viewed on any telephone, Android or IOS, the sound does not work. 

If you’re a video guru and you can tell me what isn’t set right in the video camera, I’ll be in debt to you.  The problem isn’t with Vimeo or YouTube.  The problem isn’t the video editing software. I’ve used two different video editing software tools and have come up with the same bad mobile phone sound result.

The problem has to be some setting that we’re unaware of in the video camera itself. 

Don’t let me dissuade you from testing your entrepreneurial urge.  May I suggest that you first learn about your unique strengths to find out if you have strengths that would benefit you as an entrepreneur?  Then, you need to determine if you’re just a little bit crazy.  If you have the strengths and you’re a bit crazy, you might qualify as an entrepreneur.

Jeff Snyder Coaching




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Set Achievable and Measurable Goals…Put Blinders On…Do It



In mid-April of 2014, I was informed by the heart surgeon that a genetic problem in my heart that he’d been monitoring for the previous 4 years had gotten worse.  It was time for me to have open heart surgery.  I was physically ready for this event. While the surgeon was monitoring my heart for 4 years, I had skated over 200 hockey games, I’d ridden more miles than I can remember on my bikes and I had skied hundreds of thousands of vertical feet over 4 ski seasons.  I was ready or so I thought.

I asked the surgeon when he thought I should go through the surgery.  His response offered a time “next week” or “two weeks from now”.  The idea of open heart surgery didn’t scare me as much as the reality of “next week” or “two weeks from now”. It was at that moment that I realized that recovering from open heart surgery would require more than just physical fitness.  This would be a mental and emotional battle that I did not yet understand.

I reluctantly agreed on a date “two weeks from now”.  I proceeded to ask the surgeon questions to give me an idea of how long it would be before I could live my life again.  For me, living life means doing a lot of physically demanding things.  I didn’t care much for the surgeon’s answers.  I call these types of answers good to know and bad to hear.  You need to know but you sure won’t like the way you feel once you know the truth.

What I did learn however was that the surgeon was all for me getting back on my feet as quickly as possible.  Like me, the surgeon was a mountain biker.  He was even more enthusiastic than I anticipated he would be about seeing me back on my bike and back on my skates to play hockey.

When I got home, I wrote everything the surgeon just said on my white board.  On my white board I established specific dates throughout the summer of 2014 when I would return to skates, when I would hike, when I would play hockey, when I would get back on the mountain bike and more.

The hockey stick pictured above played a part in my goal setting.  I bought the stick a week before my surgery date.  Hockey sticks are not inexpensive.  Conventional thinking would have suggested that I wait to buy the stick until I could actually use the stick.  I bought this stick just before my surgery as a way of forcing myself to stay focused on the written goal of getting back on the ice.  I knew how my wife would react if I spent money on the stick but never used it! I had no choice but to get back on the ice.

Because my goals for heart surgery recovery were written and known to a few people whom I knew would help me to stay accountable, I reached and crushed every goal I set related to my heart surgery recovery.  Nothing about this recovery was easy.  Nobody could have told me about all the unforeseen circumstances I would face during my recovery.  I put blinders on and stayed focused on the goals that were written on my white board.

Goals can be wrapped around just about anything.  They need to be realistically achievable and measurable.  You can keep your goals to yourself but you’ll be far more likely to achieve your goals if you share them with a few people who can keep you accountable and maybe even help you when you run into unforeseen obstacles. 

Create achievable and measurable goals.  Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed.  Put blinders on and DO IT!


Jeff Snyder’s Coaching Blog, at JeffSnyderCoaching.com, 719.686.8810

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