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Tina and Todd

People always ask how I met my husband. A small  girl from the Philippines with a 6 foot ex-Special Forces white man- the stereotypes can be hilarious! The most common of which is that we probably met at the Naval Base, with me doing what?  The truth is, Todd and I were set up as a blind date while he was visiting Manila for an international church conference (Nope, not one of those Korean ones where you all get mass married!). Singles mixer, everyone’s excited, his friends ask my friends to go out, and poor little me just watching it all happen. As if an afterthought, one of the guys said, “Don’t worry, we can set you up with Todd”. Todd? Who’s Todd? Todd was in the middle of the dance floor surrounded by more than a dozen starry eyed single ladies. So I casually parted the crowd and said, “Excuse me, you are my date tonight”. And the rest, as they say is history.

I left a very promising career in brand management working for global brands such as Levi’s and McDonalds to follow Todd and start a new life in the US. Before anyone can say “INS Work Permit”, I was offered a marketing job in a new product development company in San Francisco.  Not a year later and our CEO offered me a position that would’ve involved more traveling to pitch our products to fortune 500 companies. See, said CEO was young, successful, and not very bad looking, so you can imagine my then new husband’s reaction to that. (FormerCEO, if you are reading this, now you know why I really left ha-ha). In all seriousness, Todd and I wanted to start a family and knew we needed a lifestyle that would make that easy. So we started brainstorming and opening our eyes to opportunities and before we knew it, the idea for a fully custom team sportswear company, Allen Sportswear was born.

Cut to 10 years later, and what seemed like a fairy tale has had it’s share of ups and downs.  We have learned a lot about each other and from each other. Even though the experience has been incredibly rewarding, there have been a few occasions when I have threatened to resign and work at Disneyland if need be.  I personally think that working with or for your husband is a calling that only a few can embrace! Date nights can turn into strategic planning sessions and bedtime cuddling can include random financial analysis discussions and even weekends can turn into family field trips to paint the new office. The line between family and work gets blurred and heated discussions become the norm. For anyone who has ever worked for us and been completely bewildered by our dynamics, I want to take this opportunity to say I am sorry. And you are welcome- for the endless entertainment! But what can you do when you are the complete opposite of each other  in the workplace? Whereas he is the visionary, always dreaming of new products and spewing out new ideas, I am the analytical planner, SWOTing in my brain and spilling out a list of why it won’t work critical success factors long before he can finish his sentence. Whereas he can close a deal with his ability to build rapport and articulate his ideas in 10 seconds, I tend to ramble and go off tangent in my obsession with details. (Check out the awesome logo and simple layout of this blog site..oh wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Todd is from Mars and I am Venus!) Yet in spite of this stark contrast in personalities and skill sets, we are both very driven and passionate about what we do, and so with much prayer, perseverance and the guidance of inspiring leaders we have in our lives, we have both learned to use our differences to shape us into something more powerful together. Proverbs 27:17 shares this wisdom, long before we figured it out! “As iron sharpens iron, so one man (or woman) sharpens another.”

So what is the secret to being married and staying married to your boss? I honestly haven’t figured it out. But what little I know, I hope to share through this blog (along with other random managerial and technical how to’s that I so terribly enjoy but do not have enough airtime during meetings to share). I am excited to share my experiences and learn from yours, to continually sharpen each other and together, we can band as one to become the most effective leaders in our respective organizations.

By: Tina Marinshaw

Every year we promise ourselves next year will be a better year, but at the end of the year we look back and ask ourselves, did we really change everything we said we would or achieve anything we said we want to do? I think sometimes we think it was a better year, when it really wasn’t, and other times we think it wasn’t when in reality a lot of good things may have happened that we did not even realize. That’s why it is so important to write about what you want to accomplish at the beginning of the year and review it at the end. Here are some keys to making sure this is your most successful year yet.

1. Pick Achievable Goals
If you are a coach and your team only won 1 game this past year,  it is probably not too realistic to be dreaming of  winning a Championship this year. Instead set a goal of getting to .500 or if you are feeling really optimistic, make a goal of having a winning season. If you’re a player and you sat the bench next year, than saying your goal to be a starter is great but don’t stop there, go one further and add the kind of statistics you realistically want to achieve in the upcoming season. Of course it should be everyone’s goal to look better than they ever did on the court and to have the best uniforms but that goes without saying…

2. Define your Goals
Just saying you want to have a winning season does not mean anything. You need to set up how you’re going to have a winning season by developing a step by step plan to make it happen. If you are a player and you want to get better at a certain aspect of your game, then come up with drills and a schedule that will improve the parts of your game that need it the most. When I was playing football in high school I needed to work on my explosiveness, so I set a time 3 days a week to run bleachers in the off season and the next season I went from platoon player to full time starter. It wouldn’t have happened though if I didn’t define how I was going to be a starter the next year and follow through with the plan.

3. Set a Schedule
Your goal will only be attainable when you make the small changes needed to reach that goal. you need to set a realistic schedule for yourself each week or you will be setting yourself up to fail. The schedule should be written down, just like your goal and the steps you will take to reach each goal. When I played basketball I would go out each day and shoot for 2 hours from different spots on the floor so that when game time came I would get to those spots and it would be automatic. My confidence went up and FG% skyrocketed. If you are a point guard than you should schedule a few hours a day out for just dribbling and making passes. If you are a Center than you should be under a basket going over the same post up moves repeatedly so your mind doesn’t have to think when game time comes. For Coaches, maybe a different off season program will be what your players need to get motivated and develop the skill to win more games or even a championship.

4. Don’t Be Upset by Setbacks
Two steps forward and one step back is usually how it goes. When things go wrong or if you are not improving as fast as you think you should that’s when you need to toughen your resolve and keep going; if changing for the better was easy everyone would do it. If you are determined this year to hit the curve ball but it’s just not happening you may want to take a deep breath, talk to another baseball player or coach and start again. You will get there eventually if you don’t lose hope! Just think, when other people are quitting because of their setback and you push through yours then you will be that much better than your competition next year.

5. Get Additional Help or Support
No man or woman can do it alone; Tiger woods has a hitting instructor, Peyton Manning has a QB coach and Bill Belichick has mentors that he talks to. If you want to be great at whatever you are doing you need help from other people and you need to continue to educate yourself by reading books. Even though my competitive playing days are over I still enjoy playing softball and I still need to get help when things go wrong, but as long as I stay humble I will continue to grow and get better at whatever I do.

Happy new year and may this year be your best year!

By: Todd Marinshaw

New Year Calender

New Year Calender