by Halftime Fellows Alum, Griff Jones
It’s easy to keep moving forward, isn’t it? But I have learned that sometimes it’s best to stop, press the pause button, rethink, and get intentional about why we are here.
Entrepreneurship is in the fiber of my being. We started our company, Twin Eagle Resource Management, in 2010. Twin Eagle is a recognized leader in the wholesale marketing of energy-related commodities including natural gas, power, and liquids. I am grateful for the success we have enjoyed over the years.
I have always tried to be intentional about the businesses I run. I found the right partners, accountants, and lawyers, and then we went out and made it happen. It seemed so easy in many ways. Almost effortless. It was in my DNA to start my own business and work in it.
It has all been very satisfying, no doubt. But then in my forties, I started hearing the tiniest drumbeat – a rock in my shoe that I couldn’t shake.
Someone gave me a copy of Bob Buford’s book, Halftime, and I started wondering about a lot of things that I was doing and how I was spending my time, energy, and money. It spoke to me and uniquely defined the unsettling feeling I was experiencing. I realized that I was not alone – there were actually a whole host of people who were dealing with what my Halftime coach, Lloyd Reeb, calls “smoldering discontent.” Those words are an apt description of what I was feeling. I wanted to learn more.
Thankfully, I was invited to a weekend event in Colorado co-hosted by Jim Collins and Bob Buford where I sat in a room and had discussions with other people like me. I walked away with some specific tips and helpful questions, but my appetite wasn’t completely satisfied. I knew there was more.
Then, a couple of years later, my wife and I went to a Halftime couples’ retreat in Houston hosted by Lloyd Reeb. That was a pivotal weekend for both of us. I left there with this persistent and haunting question:
If I’m going to live the life I was intended to live, shouldn’t I be as intentional about figuring that out as I am about building and running a business?
Jesus talked about intentionality when he said in Luke 14:28-29, “If any of you wanted to build a tower, wouldn’t he first sit down and work out the cost of it, to see if he can afford to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and found himself unable to complete the building, everyone who sees it will begin to jeer at him, saying, ‘This is the man who started to build a tower but couldn’t finish it!’”
The more I learned about halftime and this whole idea of finishing well and finding my purpose the more I realized that I needed to be just as intentional about my life as I have been in my business.
So, I set out to do just that. I understood from the beginning that a thriving business and a thriving life have some common elements. For example, I needed a good team of advisers who had my best interest at heart and whom I trusted implicitly. I needed a coach who had been through the journey ahead of me. I needed information and I needed a process. This halftime season is a journey, and every journey requires adjustments, pauses, and rethinking.
With that understanding, I enrolled in the Halftime Fellows Program, a one-year journey through which a committed cohort of leaders meet to learn together, to pray together, and to engage in discerning our next season.
At my Fellows Launch Event, I didn’t know what to expect. Would I be able to relate? Would there be pressure to go down a certain path? There were ten people in that room, and I can tell you that there were ten different paths that each of us took after we went through the program. It’s unique for everybody. We all left with clarity around our passion and our purpose, better positioned to change the world in some form or fashion.
Me? I am more certain than ever that this entrepreneurial life is a calling for me. I am built and wired to do this. I have continued on at Twin Eagle, but now with an altogether different attitude. I am bringing a Kingdom mindset to the workplace as much as I am able.
I’ve found that sometimes changing the world is about finding ways to further shepherd the flock God has entrusted to you. It has been a journey, but I have seen some encouraging progress.
For example, we are four years into having a chaplain service available at our company. So, today we have a male and a female chaplain coming in once a week. We give them an office in our company where they have the privacy to meet and talk with any of our employees who may need prayer and a listening ear.
When Hurricane Harvey blew through Houston last year, our people wanted to help in some way. So, they raised money for fellow employees who really needed it to get back on their feet. The employees who received the care and the outpouring of support were overwhelmed. And the employees who were giving the support saw their hearts changed as well.
Now, we’re in the process of creating an employee fund so that we can help even when it isn’t a big tragedy, like Harvey or the flooding, but something as simple as running into financial hiccup, or having an air conditioner go out, or maybe your car breaks down. This way we can walk alongside those employees and offer some support for them. Our company has had a charitable giving program for several years, and as it grows, the contributions go wider and deeper, and we reach more organizations and more people each year.
In 2018, my wife and I started our own family foundation, The Engraved Pencil Foundation. We established it to provide and create partnerships with Christian faith-based and Kingdom-focused organizations. Our marriage is thriving and our children are successful college students.
There is still a lot more to do. I’ll keep working on it. And, while I do, I’ll be paying close attention to all of the signs along the way and acting accordingly. All in all, I think we are moving in the right direction, and I am grateful for that and my role in helping that to happen.
And that smoldering discontent? It has been replaced with a deep joy knowing that God is using me exactly how he made me – as an entrepreneur and a businessman. I am changing the way I see my business and my ability to impact it for Jesus and be the salt and light that I am supposed to be in this world.
What about you?
How has God wired you, and how are you investing your gifts in building the Kingdom?
Be encouraged: His calling on your life may be more familiar than you expect!
Griff Jones is a Halftime Fellows Alum and entrepreneur. Griff co-founded Twin Eagle Resource Management, LLC, and serves as its President and CEO. Twin Eagle currently has over 400 employees and is a leading energy marketing and infrastructure company. Griff is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where he now has the honor of serving as Entrepreneur in Residence and on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees. Griff is very active in charitable organizations and is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). Griff and his lovely wife, Mindi, have 2 children, who both attend OSU.