Scott Fitz Blog


Trying again, and again

Why not? You’ve tried to lose weight or start a new habit a hundred times now right? But is it really bad to try again and again? Sure it gets embarrassing trying so many times, and you definitely ask yourself why is this time any different, but this time by definition, and in reality, is actually different. The biggest winners are usually the most frequent failures, because they try the most. That’s how they have gotten so good and inevitably get some wins. I’m tired, not of failing, but of the status quo. So I will try again and again, until it changes. There is no harm or shame in that, so here I go again.


Family Report to Members

So I was skimming USAA’s 2013 Report to Members a couple weeks ago, and it got me thinking… They clearly put a lot of time into producing it. I like how it really focuses on its members’ stories to show what the company is really doing. It also extends advice, acknowledges its financial accountability, and demonstrates its impact to the community. It made me think to myself… what would my family “report to members” look like? I am so, so thankful my wife has been blogging since we’ve been married about all that our family is doing. And each year she publishes the posts into a beautiful book for us. They are some of our most valued possessions for sure. Here’s what they look like. What I would like to do now is try incorporating some of this “report to members” concept by adding a few parts to our future 2014 book. I anticipate adding a few sections to make a “family report to members”. The new sections will be along these lines: Highlights of family member accomplishments Financial stewardship Living our family core values Becoming self-reliant Giving service Testimonies on family I know this concept will definitely help our family better focus...


What are your family core values?

Why are core values important? Core values are essential to building a strong culture and identity. Identity enables trust, creates unity, and motivates sacrifice for the greater good. Of course this is what we all ultimately want in our families. Jim Collins has a great article that I want to highlight a few things from. You cannot “set” [family] values, you can only discover them. This means, core values are not things that describe what you want your family to have. They are the values you are “predisposed” to have and that really shape your roots. So try to discover your core values. Don’t just list nice sounding values that you wish for your family to have. Your core values and purpose (family why), if properly conceived, remain fixed. Everything else—your practices, strategies, structures, systems, policies, and procedures—should be open for change. If you and your family understand this distinction, you can better work together to achieve your family purpose. One way this understanding helps is by making it easier to be more open to try new things concerning family policies, practices, strategies, etc., without the fear of losing your family identity and purpose. Unnecessary fretting over changing things will disappear, and by empowering the family...


Tried something new with your family lately?

This TED talk from Bruce Feiler is great. I am a software developer by day and use Agile for our work on a daily basis. There are a lot of scrum concepts that can be applied at home as suggested. The portion where his family meets to discuss what has been working well, what hasn’t, and what the family wants to experiment in the next week or so, really caught my attention. We call these meetings at work a “retrospective”. This really is a simple practice anyone can adopt at home. We had our first family retrospective last Monday night. There weren’t any earth-shattering discoveries, nor was I expecting any, but I was pleasantly surprised to see my 5-year-old boy really think about the questions and participate. It was fun to see the wheels in his brain turning and establish that his input in family matters counts. My wife really appreciated it as well. This is what we came up with: Our First Family Retrospective What is going well? Doing teamwork with family chores Having family dinner together at the table almost every night What is not going well? Lawn maintenance Ignoring people – we didn’t answer the door when someone...


Why did you start your family?

It almost sounds a little strange, “Why did you start your family?”… but the answer though, is more important than the answer to, “Why did you start your business?” Now, the question in a business context is far more common, and most would more quickly realize its great importance, but think about the question again in connection with your family. It is the why that keeps you motivated. It is the why that silences naysayers, that gets you up in the morning, that pushes you through obstacles instead of jumping ship. It is the why that keeps your head from turning to look at every shiny thing. The why is what says its worth getting up and trying again. It is only the worthy why that when achieved brings happiness, peace and satisfaction to your soul. Without the why, you will wander and, at best, be mediocre. When adversity comes, what will you hold onto? When you don’t know why you do what you do, you have no identity. That means you are missing the part of you that can be trusted, admired and… loved. “Start with Why” is a wonderful movement by Simon Sinek. Please take a moment and...


The Vision

What if all the leadership, entrepreneurship and “build a successful business” efforts shifted to building better homes and families? Now that is what I am talking about! Doesn’t that get you fired up? It sure does to me. There is so much amazing content out there about becoming a successful business leader and anything and everything related to it. I’ve attended several fantastic trainings and workshops, read many books, listened to hours of podcasts and simply ate this stuff up. I still do, and I still will. But now, I’m also going to apply what I’m learning into my home. Home is a serious business that I cannot afford to fail in, and the home is where the real measure of success and key to happiness resides. I will treat it that way. So I will be posting what I am learning on the business side, how it can be applied in the home, and the experiences I have as I experiment putting these principles and practices into action with my own family. I’m incredibly excited about how much I will learn and grow and how much improvement my family will be able to achieve. This can do nothing but...