Pay Now, Play Later

May 22, 2011

This is the final blog post in my series of sharing chapter four of my book, A Day of Hope: Leading Volunteers to Make a Difference in Your Community. I hope you have learned and grown from reading sections from my book.

And, the best part is you have been able to read it here on the Learning Leadership Blog for free.


One of the principles I’ve followed for many years is, pay now, play later

I learned this as a young man playing golf 6 days a week with dreams to eventually play professional golf.  I learned that if I worked hard and prepared myself well for a golf tournament, I would often do much better than if I didn’t work hard and prepare well.  And when I did well in a tournament, I was able to play and celebrate afterwards.  I learned to work hard on the front end of things so I could play at the end.

Remember the quote I shared with you at the beginning of this chapter by Karen Lamb when she stated, “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”  It’s a great quote that basically means get your bum in gear and make sure you’re doing what you need to do.  It means starting today even though you don’t want to.

There is no room for procrastinators when it comes to leading A Day of Hope. 

You’ve got to start today and get the ball rolling.  The more time you spend thinking about it and deciding if you do or don’t want to the do project, the more people who will go hungry at Thanksgiving.  However, it’s never too late to start.  It was Mother Teresa who said, “If you can’t feed a thousand people, just feed one.”  If you’re just reading this book and it’s now October, then it’s ok to do what you can with the time you have.  It’s never too late to start and decide you want to do A Day of Hope in your community because doing something is much better than doing nothing.

The point I want to emphasize is that you can’t wait and choose to not act on what you know.  If you know you want to do A Day of Hope, then you have to put in the work and do it today.  Not tomorrow, not next week, not next month.  Now.

One of the questions my personal coach, Mike Savage, loves to ask me is, “When would now be a good time to start?”  It’s a great question to ask someone who is thinking about a decision but hasn’t taken action yet.  I can’t emphasize enough that once you decide you want to do A Day of Hope, start planning.  Start the steps to do all this work and get the ball rolling early, the earlier the better.  For me, the first step in planning is to get alone with a pad of paper and a pen to write out ideas.  How it looks for you to get started might be different.  Whatever the first step is for you, start it as soon as you can.  I hope I’ve nailed this point home for you because I know from five years of experience that if you pay early enough, you’ll be able to play lots when you know you’ve successfully fed people in need for Thanksgiving.

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I also may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."