237. A Career-Ending Injury Spawns an Unexpected Decision
Sidelined by a serious injury in his 20s, Duane Cummings’ promising professional soccer career suddenly looked bleak. But sage advice by a mentor and coach dramatically transformed the setback into an unexpected career decision….
Today, Duane Cummings lives life with a single purpose, “To aid others, act on ideas, and achieve sensational results.” He is a trusted advisor to organizations and individuals around the world in the areas of professional and personal development. Duane is an author, entrepreneur, coach, and consultant who speaks regularly on a range of topics, including entrepreneurship, leadership, communication, sales, and finding your purpose.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
An athlete growing up, Duane played five sports, but really zoned in on soccer. “I got to play collegiately, in the military and became a professional player. But I had a career-ending injury. A coach who was a mentor of mine pulled me aside and said, ‘You’ll be a far better coach than you’d ever have been a player. So this is a blessing for you. You can add to the world by being a coach. You make other people better.’ So, I actually got to turn that injury into a big win.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
After his injury and transition to coaching, Duane’s rise was meteoric. “I coached youth, high school, college, and professionals. I was the youngest professional general manager and head coach in sports-franchise history. Probably one of the biggest shifts in my life was when my oldest son was about to turn ten. I had not made it to even one of his birthdays, because of coaching. As I was getting ready to go on the road again, he said, ‘Dad, when are you going to love me and my brother as much as you love your players?’ Duane’s son got his attention and led him to re-evaluate his life purpose and focus on his young family.
The Most Powerful Lesson Learned?
“In 2011, I really got busy again. Our youngest son and I were having one of those conversations like the one I’d had with my older son, like, ‘Hey, when are you going to be around more? You’re traveling all the time. I want us to spend some time together.’ So, I called one of my mentors, and he said, ‘You didn’t learn the lesson the first time. You’ve gotten busy again, instead of living life on-purpose.’ My wife and I took a sabbatical, and decided we would never do anything again that wasn’t on-purpose and a by-our-own-rules kind of thing.”
Steps to Success from Duane Cummings
1. Devote time and attention to discovering your life’s purpose.
2. Identify your unique talents, gifts and skills. There are many tools available to help you.
3. Develop actionable items that are incremental steps that steadily move you. Allow yourself continuous course-correction in the direction you’ve chosen.
On His Bookshelf
The One Philosophy: The Little Message with a BIG Impact, by Nancy Matthews
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen
Connecting With Duane Cummings
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