Keeping your eye on the prize in business and life

Read Time

3 minutes


Kevin Kehoe


Oct 10, 2017

Keeping your eye on the prize in business and life

Pictured above - Kevin Kehoe (center) runs a Tough Mudder obstacle course to fight cancer at U.S. Marine Corps Camp Pendleton near San Diego, Calif.

The Aspire Software Company is the primary sponsor of the NALP Friday Breakfast of Champions in Louisville this year. We are committed to this event for the next several years, as we believe it represents the best attributes of our industry: the commitments to (1) achieving success, and (2) sharing information that can assist others in achieving their own success.

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When I think of champions, I consider one of their sustaining attributes: the idea of keeping one’s eye on the prize.

Just four short years ago Mark Tipton – the other Managing Partner at the Aspire Software Company – and I shared a common vision. We saw the opportunity to deliver a software system for the snow and landscaping contractors that not only employed the power of mobile technology and smart devices, but provided an integrated operating platform that was easy to use, had simple real-time reporting, and perhaps most of all, was employed 100% as designed. Too many contractors were using less than 50% of their software. We thought we could change that.

The result today is Aspire business management software Version 4.0 for landscape, snow and construction business management.

A Bump in the Road

At the same time four years ago, I was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Why do I mention this? I mention it to illuminate lessons that might help any of us keep our eyes on the prize. I am here today after more than a half-dozen surgeries, more chemo than I like to recall, and so much radiation that my wife, Lorraine, swears I glow in the dark. Yet, I’m still here. And if you will allow me, I want to share a few simple lessons from these two experiences - one business and the other personal.

  1. It is cliché to say that successful people surround themselves with good people. I learned that you must let good people surround you – to the extent that you utterly rely on them. This was a new experience for the self-reliant person I once was.
  1. Bad news is inevitable, but your response to it is defining. I learned through what seemed like an unrelenting stream of bad news that I had hard choices to make every day: surrender or say to myself, “Bump in the road, Kevin.” And as many of you may know, this can be difficult some days.
  1. I learned to pray for the grace of God. The grace of God is a place where all things are possible. Grace will more than sustain you. It can lift you to a place where you believe.

These three things are essential to keeping your eye on the prize. But it is the prize that provides the purpose.

The Aspire Team at a St. Louis Cardinals GameNow, four years later, I still have Stage IV cancer, and The Aspire Software Company is going strong. This company is a place where (a) I utterly rely on a team of 25 (and growing - see right) professionals, (b) the inevitable bad days barely phase me, and (c) I believe – and I hope our team does, too – that anything is possible.

And as for the prize on which I keep my eyes these days? It’s simple – I want to grow old with my wife. This is my purpose; all the rest will come by the grace of God. Therefore, whatever the prize is for you –  having a great marriage, raising great kids, or building a great business – keep your eye on that prize.

I look forward to meeting those of you who can join us at the Breakfast of Champions and meet the team that is The Aspire Software Company. And maybe you can even learn a few things that can assist you in your Champion’s season.

Join us as we launch Version 4.0 at the GIE!

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