Semicolons, Misfits, And Influencers
In 1977 Steven Jobs returned to Apple, the company he founded and was then fired as its leader. He didn't feel sorry for himself but took his skills and built NeXT. Apple went into a tailspin, and Steven Jobs sold NeXT to Apple for 4429 million dollars. This purchase brought Jobs back to Apple.
An unknown investor sold 1.4 million shares of Apple stock, which dropped Apple stock's value a lot. The board fired the CEO and replaced him with Steven Jobs. Only later did Jobs admit it was he who sold the stock to get the former CEO fired so he could lead the company.
Steven Jobs launched his second career at Apple with these words:
"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes ... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. ... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. ... They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
I love this line, "the ones who are crazy enough to change the world are the ones that do." Stevens Jobs rebuilt a company after a bad situation into a world leader and influencer. He challenged everyone with Apple to "Think Differently."
That's the Apple story, but NU Breed has its own story and people who wrote it. Matthew and Jeanette Keel, Angel and Lorena Leon, and Amalia Johnson, who are still with us, came to the meeting. Some of the original crew no longer have athletes to play anymore due to age limits, but we always feel their impact.
Janá, Coach Hailey, and Coach Chan decided we would be transparent and say we had a dream and promised to work hard to build a club. No volleyball and equipment. We borrowed volleyballs to do our Tryouts. We had a team.
The coaches started handing out raw flyers in person and placing them on every car we passed. One lady sent me a picture with a message with a note that read, "I have received four of these at a different location each time. You guys are everywhere." Our brand was becoming known.
I was at a school passing out flyers and saw some nets in a trash bin. I redeemed the nets. They were torn and in need of repair. I was happy I had something that resembled volleyball nets. I found gold. Our research department was alive.
I remember my mom being a domestic worker and taking clothes from the trash at homes she cleaned to repair them so my brother and sisters could wear them for school. I stole this idea from my mom and took the nets to an auto upholstery shop. The man first said he worked on classic cars, not on volleyball nets. I persisted in telling him that I needed these nets to train athletes, and this is all I have. He told me he didn't have volleyball net material and only had leather and clothe in his stock. I settled for blue leather.
I found a rusty cart and torn volleyball cart hammock. I pieced the cart together, and one wheel had to be taped on to roll the cart. Coach Chan sewed the torn cart to stay on the cart frame. We had equipment; we were the real deal. Our design team was on point.
Janá made our first NU Breed sign from cardboard, paint, glue, and glitter. Our marketing department was open.
We began with two small teams, and we got better. We navigated through our first year. I remembered our routine was to arrive early to set up and inflate volleyball for practice. The parents brought their athletes faithfully, and we got better.
The next year we doubled in size and added a team. Some coaches and friends heard about our endeavors and gave us equipment and volleyballs. We opened our investment department.
Then the pandemic showed up. It suckered punched us and knocked us down, but we got back up.
Today we are near doubling our influence because of the current family who are making a dent in the world of junior volleyball. While others complained about the year 2020, we used it as fuel to build a better volleyball club.
To many, 2020 was a period, an end to their story. It was a semicolon for the NU Breed family (;), the story could've ended, but it didn't.