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A VOICE FROM ABOVE My Buddy Travis Smith’s Inspiring Mid-Life Career Shift
He was amazed that I had called. Just 30 minutes before, he’d received an email from his wife, assuring him that, no matter what decision he made, they could
Back in ’07, in the middle of the Great Recession that hit Lee County so hard, I was driving back to my office from what had been a horrible, useless seminar. My business was in ruins in the wake of the housing crisis. I had hoped that this seminar would miraculously be the one to solve all my problems. It wasn’t. So there I was, driving down some side street alone in my truck, in a garbage mood, when a voice spoke to me, plain as day. “Call Travis and tell him everything is going to be okay,” it said, in my voice, as clearly as if it were spoken from the passenger’s seat. But, of course, nobody was there. My brother’s name is Travis, but in my heart I knew I was meant to call one of my best friends, Travis Smith. When that voice spoke, whatever it was, I listened: I called him right away. He answered the phone in his typical way, with a funny voice that I couldn’t help but laugh at. “Okay, Travis,” I said, “This is going to seem a little awkward, but a voice literally spoke to me and told me to tell you ‘everything is going to be okay.’” I paused a second. “So, here I am telling you: Everything is going to be okay.” The line went silent. For a solid thirty seconds, I just waited. “I don’t know what’s going on, man,” I finally managed to say, “but I ain’t hanging up.” It turned out that, like me, Travis had been going through one of the most difficult times of his life. I had known that he wasn’t passionate about the work he was doing in the construction industry, selling heavy equipment, but I didn’t realize how much he actually despised it. He hated chasing the commission money, but mostly, he just wasn’t happy in his career. What he wanted to do, he told me, was go back to school, finish out the rest of his degree, and coach high school football. It had been his dream for years, but smack dab in the middle of that brutal economic crisis, he was terrified he’d be leaving his job for a lower-income pipe dream.
make it work. She’d encouraged him to chase his dream. Not only that, but earlier that same day, his mom had called to check in on him, saying that “something seemed off.” All these signs were pointing him in one specific direction, giving him guidance. Travis made the decision to change his life, on the spot, that day. “I gotta do this.” He gradually quit his construction sales job and headed back to school. Right after securing his degree, he was out and coaching almost right away. Within just a few years, he was coaching at our alma mater, Mariner High. A couple years back, he was promoted to head coach. Travis’s dream came true, in the most incredible of ways. I always use him as an example of the possibility for change. If you hate your life or your job, don’t slug it out until you’re able to retire on a tiny amount of Social Security. Chase that part of you that strives for something better, something more in tune with who you are. You’ll hear more about Travis in this month’s Rates and Reels. You’ll see he’s the real deal, a great guy dedicated to making a positive impact on kids’ lives. He’s definitely an inspiration, but really, to me, he’s just a close, longtime buddy. I have to say, I’m proud of him, for everything he’s accomplished. It just goes to show that you should make sure you listen to that inner voice when it speaks to you. You never know what God has in store for any of us.
– Tim Hart NMLS #354676
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