Time to Get in the Game

Last weekend Lynnda and I were at a conference. Joe Freedy from Pittsburgh was the keynote speaker. In college Joe was a quarterback and played against people like Ben Roethlisberger. As a freshman, he was 4th string. He wasn’t worried about playing. He was just happy to be there. Their starting quarterback got hurt in practice. Suddenly Joe was third string. The second string quarterback took a blindside hit in a game moving the third string guy up to starter. Joe’s team was behind and struggling when the third string quarterback got his shoulder hurt. Joe was looking for a place to hide. He hadn’t expected to play. Coach came over and only said 2 words, “You’re in!” They lost that game but Joe kept his job as starting quarterback for the next three years.

The reserve players on our high school soccer team have a challenging job because most have no idea when or if they are going into the game. We teach them to always be ready because you don’t know when your number will be called. In the 2021 State High School Championship game, I told our Ethan, our backup goalkeeper, “Keep your head in the game, you don’t know when your number will be called.” Early in the game John, our starting goalkeeper got hurt and had to come out for first aid. Ethan was in without time to even warm up. Ethan played only 5 minutes but made two incredible saves keeping the game scoreless. We went on to win the State Championship with a thrilling over-time win. That wouldn’t have happened if Ethan wasn’t ready when his number was called.

You have been blessed with God given talents. Do you know what yours are? Are you developing them? Most important are you using them to benefit others and make a positive difference in their lives. I thought I knew all my talents until members of my mastermind group some years ago saw talents I didn’t know I had. They encouraged me to write my first book in 2006. I made a commitment to them to write one chapter a week. I wouldn’t have made a commitment like that to my corporate boss at the time.

Thanks to that commitment I got the book written. In the mastermind group we all cared about each other. We all saw talents in others they weren’t aware of and encouraged them to develop them. Currently I’m working on book number five all because of a group of people who cared about me and encouraged me.

It takes time to develop some talents. At Shale Crescent USA it has taken 6 years for us to get to the point where companies are seeking us out. Some find us because of our network. We had talents we needed to understand and develop. This week we spent 3 days working with a European company who came to visit the Ohio Valley.

We met them at SelectUSA in Washington DC last month. Soon after they wanted to come to the Ohio Valley. We set up the visit and were their tour guide. We introduced them to people from the WVDO, Jobs Ohio and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. They looked at sites in all three states. Most important we introduced them to companies in our network who can help them to come here and succeed. They were looking at Texas and Louisiana. A European friend we met at SelectUSA 2022, suggested to them that they talk to Shale Crescent USA. We met at our booth on the last day of the event. We also made a new friend. I believe people around the world are more alike than different. We all want similar things for our families. I know much more now about Europe than I ever learned in school. We look forward to seeing it in person.

Our world is now more connected than ever. What happens in Asia, Europe or even Canada, like the wild fires can impact us here. Governments can separate us. People want to live in peace and prosperity. Governments may not work together but people can. Business can bring diverse people together with common goals. The project we are working on this week, if successful, will help people on 2 continents and improve the environment globally.

We have been approached by companies who want to bring their production back to the USA from China. This is good for jobs, creating shorter more secure supply chains, better availability for consumers and a cleaner planet. The most recent Shale Crescent USA study with Jobs Ohio shows the USA and our region in particular have a competitive advantage over China in manufacturing particularly in plastics products. We have presented this advantage at conferences. Most companies tell us they don’t know where to start.

We now know specific products a company we are working with wants to have made in the USA instead of China. This is an opportunity for companies here to increase sales, diversify, create good jobs, and a cleaner world by eliminating thousands of miles of transportation emissions by manufacturing in the Shale Crescent USA. They can use U.S. resources and sell to customers in the USA. If you are an interested processor or know one, contact me and I will be happy to share information and connect you. You can make a difference.

Joe Freedy’s message to us was to get in the game of life and not just be a spectator. It’s easier to watch but that’s not why we’re here. When we see something that needs to be done God may telling us, “You’re in.” Pope Francis said, “Do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!” I call that daring to dream high. All things are possible.

Greg Kozera, [email protected] is Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. www.shalecrescentusa.com (You can follow SCUSA on Facebook) He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert, high school soccer coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.

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