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creativity column

Life lessons from the game of golf.

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The average American spends approximately 43 years of their life working before they retire. So, why would anybody work doing something in which they aren't passionate? Which is why it's important to spend your life doing something that matters to you. 

That's where Mary Lengle comes in. Mary grew up learning about the game of golf through a Grandfather who instilled in her that golf is a game that brings people together. Mary didn't realize at the time what the impact of those talks would mean to her until many years later. 

Early in her career, she worked at Rodale, Inc. in the book division working with the likes of Denise Austin, Gary Player, LL Cool J, Morgan Freeman, renowned chef, Jacques Pepin helping them promote their books. While she enjoyed the work, she knew deep down that if she were ever to find real satisfaction in her career, she would need to find a way to combine her love of golf and her story telling ability. 

"We spend so much of our lives our lives waiting for permission. In school, you need permission from teachers, in the work place you need permission from a boss before trying out a new idea, you just reach a point where you realize that you don't need anyone's permission anymore because it stifles your creativity and opportunities," said Lengle, of New Tripoli. 

In 2016, she was done asking for permission. 

She knew it was time to finally combine those passions by teaming up with PGA professional and local golf instructor Eric Cogorno to build his business beyond just individual coaching. "As I worked with Eric on my golf game, I was seeing how he collaborated with other students and what I saw was unique and special-especially in his instruction with the junior golfers. A level of expertise and passion on par with other talent and brands I've worked with in my PR and production career." Lengle observed. 

Mary is working to become an ambassador for the game of golf by producing content that she hopes golfers of any age will find compelling and useful. It's a simple premise, but it's one that for her provides meaning and impact to her life. They don't have a road map on how they're going to get there, and they're okay with that. "Eric and I believe in what we are doing, and we know that our initial concept may evolve, and that's okay because that's how you set the conditions for innovation to happen." Lengle added.

Lengle and Congorno are in the phase of their plan where most business leaders would start getting nervous because they want to see that quick return on the investment. Lengle is comfortable with being uncomfortable and golf provides all the motivation she needs. 

"Golf is a game where you must learn to detach from the outcome. You can't focus on the past; you must stay present in the moment, and deal with the constantly changing variables that exist every time you step up to the tee." Lengle said. Not only is that great advice for golf, but it's an excellent way to approach your life. Mary can accept that not everyone will understand her and Eric's mission. But what she does know is that it when it comes to your business or personal life, if you're going to take a risk where failure is possible, then you better be doing something you love, because that's how you'll ultimately succeed. ­

William ChildsComment