10 Reasons Why I’m Excited to Finally Be in Fargo, North Dakota

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(image credit: downtown Fargo)

We’re officially Fargo residents!

And even though we are sad to leave our home in the Twin Cities, we are excited to start the next leg of our life-journey.

Over the next few months, as a part of our adventure, I’d like to invite you to join my family and I as we experience life in tropical Fargo, North Dakota. (I promise you it is nothing like the movie)

You’ll be seeing daily blog pieces about the people we meet, the new experiences we enjoy, along with everything else that is new to our family about the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Why Fargo?

In case you missed the impetus to our move, click here for the whole story.

And when you finish reading that blog piece, take a look at the ten reasons why we already love Fargo and what we’ve discovered so far.

  1. Don’t have to pay a trash removal company.

My family and I are renting, temporarily. With that, we have no additional costs to pay for trash removal. And paying a company a monthly fee to collect my garbage, to me at least, is the most ridiculous idea in the world. When you own a home, it’s a requirement to have this service, in the Twin Cities. You cannot avoid it. It’s like paying $7 for a bottle of water at a ballgame. Totally insane. Glad I won’t be paying that fee for a while.

  1. No mowing the lawn.

This is my personal favorite. Not that I don’t mind what little exercise comes along with pushing my mower to trim the grass, it’s just I can think of a hundred other things to be doing that are way more productive uses of my time. It’s like driving versus flying. Driving = zero productivity, as your focus is on the road. Flying = ultimate efficiency as flight is fast and you’re not the one operating the vehicle, which means lots of time for reading, learning, or working.

  1. Automobile license tabs are half off.

Back in 1998, the state of Minnesota elected Jesse Ventura as its governor. One of the best things that Governor Ventura did was to change how taxes were collected on vehicle license plates. Gov. Ventura instituted a flat-fee payment model for any citizen who owned a vehicle and had to buy license plates, for said car, SUV or truck. Once Governor Ventura left office, the status quo of lousy Republican and Democrat rule took over and the license plate costs to Minnesota residents were jacked up. Not so in North Dakota. My license plate costs are literally half the cost in Fargo. #BringBackJesse

  1. Economic boom.

There is more economic development happening in Fargo than ever before. There are new high schools, growing businesses, tech companies that are hiring, and droves of young families thriving. There are tech sector jobs, healthcare careers, and construction companies all providing good wages to the citizens of Fargo.

  1. There are 9 Dairy Queen locations.

I love Dairy Queen and I am definitely addicted. That said, there are nine DQ locations between Fargo and Moorhead, with seven of them located in Fargo alone. You’ll never run out of ice cream or Dilly bars when residing in Fargo.

  1. The people are awesome.

We had breakfast our first morning in Fargo, at Perkins. The server there was amazing. She told us she’d been working at Perkins since the year 2000, because working there allows her to be with her two boys. She also noticed I was spending too much time on my iPhone, while not eating my pancakes, and swiftly shamed me.

  1. State income tax is lower.

I’m not one of those entrepreneurs or business-guys who believe all taxes are bad. I don’t. Taxes are a part of life and I support that notion. However, there are states in America that have a lower tax rate, versus other states that have a higher tax rate. North Dakota is one of those states that has a lower state income tax, than Minnesota. Living in MN is expensive. Then again, I don’t live in Minnesota anymore.

  1. Traffic is a breeze.

Ever fight to get home from Minneapolis to Lakeville, at six o’clock on a Friday afternoon? Ever try to efficiently navigate highway 494, Cedar Avenue south, or highway 169, in the Twin Cities, after the work day is done? How about trying to drive through road construction season, when traveling in the Twin Cities metro? It’s bad. I’d argue worse that attempting to drive in Los Angeles or Boston. How’s the traffic in Fargo, you ask? It’s splendid, absolutely splendid, as traffic is a non-issue for the most part.

  1. College football champions four years in a row.

If you enjoy college football as much as I do, then you’ll love the Bison. The Bison are Fargo’s resident mascot of North Dakota State University, who so happened to be four-time national champions. Read more here about the awesome tradition they’ve started.

  1. The housing market is on fire.

If you happen to own a home here, let me be the first to tell you that you made a great financial decision, as you undoubtedly have some sweet equity in your home. If you’re like us, and hoping to find a home to purchase, be prepared for a challenge. In my research, you can almost build a new home for the same cost as buying an existing home. Before you settle, do your homework, and research, in order to make a solid housing choice so you too can gain some equity with your next residence.

If you’re already a resident of Fargo, what else can you think of that you love about the Fargo-Moorhead area?

What can you share about what you love about the Red River region? Tell us in the comments below.

31 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

What would you tell your “younger-self” if you had the chance?

As an eight year old girl or eight year old boy, what wisdom would you tell yourself, that you learned later in life?

What pain would you want to avoid later in life, by sharing with your younger-self?

I Felt Inspired

My family and I attended a music festival in Minnesota this past weekend. The one musical act that inspired me the most was MercyMe.

Lead singer Bart Millard sang a song from their newest album, called Younger Me.

MercyMe leader, Millard, talks about painful memories, which he would share with a younger-self. stock-photo-15047572-sunset-silhouette-of-man-kneeling-and-head-bowed

The song also talks about being holy, righteous and redeemed and learning what that truth means later in life.

Listening to the song, I could not help but wonder, if I could talk to a younger me, what would I say?

31 Things Are Not Enough

There are SO many things I would share. If I could, these are some of the things I would tell my younger-self.

  1. Much of the pain you will go through is not your fault. Your parents divorce is not your fault. Enduring the cruel words of elementary & middle school kids, who hurt you with those words, after being diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, is not your fault.
  2. Feeling lonely during middle school and high school years is normal. There will be times during your teenage years that you will feel lonely and isolate yourself. This is normal, but do not seek comfort in the world. Seek the warm embrace of Christ. Only He can fill your lonliness.
  3. Develop an awesome relationship with your brother. Do not fight or quarrel with your younger brother. Love him. Become tight with him. Not having an awesome relationship is one thing you will regret later in life.
  4. Do not date girls. You are not mature enough to date in middle school and high school. Wait until later. This will save lots of pain, heartache and money.
  5. Invest while in high school. You will have two economics teachers when in high school named Mr. Kearney and Mr. Hentges. They are financially wise men. Pick their brains and invest wisely.
  6. Learn how to pray everyday. The best way to become close to your Abba Father is to talk with him. Spend time daily, doing this. He wants you. He wants to hear from you. Spend time with him everyday.
  7. Suicide is a struggle many teens go through. You will struggle with this as well. This is a lie that Satan tells you. Remember this when you struggle: you are wonderfully made by a Creator who loves you. You are holy, righteous and redeemed. Do not end it early. Give this burden to Jesus. He will gladly take it.
  8. Be bold, be fearless. You will struggle with fear. Fear of failing, fear of money, fear of everything. It will grip you. But be bold. Do not fear. Isaiah 41:10 says “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
  9. Avoid video games. They are a waste of time and will make you fat. Your body is a temple, so take care of it by being active. Do not spend time improving your hand-eye coordination with Sega, Atari and Nintendo.
  10. Learn goal setting. Learn how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. These will make you successful and driven. You can accomplish much, when you plan and set goals.
  11. Be transparent. Do not keep your emotions inside. You will struggle with stuffing your feelings and thoughts. Do not do this. Let it all out. Be transparent and vulnerable. Do not hold your thoughts and feelings back. Even if it offends others, speak the truth and do not stuff it inside.
  12. Listen to your grandparents. They will not be on earth forever. Spend time with them. Listen to them. They have wisdom you will never learn in schools or in books. Take advantage of the time you have with them.
  13. Listen to your parents. Your parents have much wisdom as well. Listen to them. The wisdom you learn will help you avoid pain later in the life.
  14. Do not look at porn. You will be tempted in your teen years. Other boys your age, including their dads, will encourage this nastiness. Do not listen to them. Avoid it. Run from it. Respect women and respect the purity of your eyes and heart.
  15. Do not drink. Nothing good comes from drinking alcohol. Your pastor will one day tell you “don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew and don’t date girls who do.” That is the best redneck wisdom on the planet. (Thx Pastor Wes) Believe it. Avoid alcohol.
  16. Avoid smoking. If you want to put poison in your body, there are less stinky ways of doing it. This habit is gross. It will only give your dog breath and it is expensive. Avoid smoking.
  17. Do not worry. Fundamentally, people worry too much. You are one of them. Stop it. Surrender this at the foot of the Cross of Christ. Let Him carry your burden.
  18. Spend as much time with your wife as possible. You like to work and you will be tempted to be a workaholic. Avoid being a workaholic and find balance. Your wife will be lonely if you choose work and other things over her. She is a princess and deserves your best. The best thing you can give is your time. Time is priceless and cannot be bought. Spend this time with her. Davecscott blog man wife sunset 2
  19. Spend time making memories with your kids. You will regret, later in life, not spending enough time with your daughters. Do not take part in things that take time away from them. Spending time away from your kids will be tempting. Things like coaching, golf, soccer and work will all want your time. Avoid them. Spend time with your kids, creating memories. Walks, bike rides, and travel are all things you can do with them.
  20. Be grateful. You will struggle with being grateful. You will want to keep up with the Jones’s. Avoid this lie. Be grateful for the things you have, otherwise you will be miserable chasing the things you do not.
  21. Be content. Be content with the things you have. Paul, the disciple of Christ, wrote from prison that he was “content in his circumstance.” He was content being in prison. Wow. Seek that kind of contentment. Be content in Christ, even when things are falling apart.
  22. Listen to encouraging music. Despite what Lars from Metallica tells you, music DOES influence your moods, thoughts and brain. What goes in will also come out. Avoid music that does not encourage and uplift.
  23. Business is not all about money. You will own and run businesses someday. When you do, do not focus only on making money and revenue. This is foolish and you will isolate good people and employee’s. Older business mentors will tell you to focus on a variety of things, including processes, revenue, human resources and technology. Use these wise words to impact business. Do not focus solely on revenue.
  24. Have empathy as everyone is struggling. Everyone has wounds and bruises. Some you will see and some you will not see. Have compassion for others, as they go through tough times.
  25. Grow up. You are an immature, young man. Be responsible and grow up. Seek the wisdom of older men who can challenge you and help you grow up and mature.
  26. Life is not fair. Your high school guidance counselor will tell you that life is fair when you get a job in a “secure, stable industry, like teaching, physical therapy or trade-labor.” Punch him in the face when he tells you this. This is a lie. Life is not fair. Become an entrepreneur. Work in a start-up environment. It will challenge and stretch you.
  27. Fight. Do not fight, just to fight. Rather, fight for the things that matter. Fight for your wife’s love, fight for your kids, fight for you home. Satan and the world will try and fight you harder, but you cannot give up the fight. Do not fight with another person because they took your parking spot at the Target parking lot. That is just stupid. Do not sweat the small stuff and fight for the important things. Fight with Christ’s strength, not your own.
  28. Cry. Learn that it is okay to cry. Real men cry. Do you want to have a heart attack, at age 40, due to hypertension and high blood-pressure, as a result of emotional stress, by not crying? What logic is there in this? Learn to be emotional and cry. It is how God wired you.
  29. Honor your sister-in-laws. Someday you will have sister-in-laws. These ladies are your little sisters. Honor them. Encourage them. Pray for them. They will need it being married to your brothers.
  30. Read the word of God. I Corinthians 3:2 says “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.” You will always drink child’s milk, unless you grow up spiritually. You need to grow from child’s food to solid food and mature. The only way you will do this is if you study God’s word. Memorize it, practice it, dive into it. It is invaluable.
  31. You are holy, righteous and redeemed. There is nothing you can do to earn you salvation or favor from God. He has already given it. Tell yourself this every day that you breath. You are holy. You are righteous. You are redeemed. You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross. You are set apart with a brand new heart and you are free indeed.

Leave a comment below. What would you tell your younger-self? I would love to hear your thoughts.

The Best Advice Ever Received From Mike Rowe

I recently watched a video, a TEDtalk to be exact. The TED was of Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel reality show called Dirty Jobs.

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In this TED, Mike Rowe describes, in detail, the aspects of working in hard environments.

About 2/3 through the talk, Mike begins equating his Dirty Jobs, into two Greek terms.

The one term is called Anagnorisis and the other is Peripeteia. Each have significant meaning to Mike and his TED.

I won’t define them here.

Mike then goes on to talk about how his personal circumstance and discovery (Anagnorisis) drives him to the conclusion that life is about hard work, not chasing your passion.

The advice he received about chasing your dreams and passions, albeit from supposed wise mentors, is the worst advice he’s ever received.

I tend to agree with him.

Mike Rowe is brilliant and he is also right.

Life on this earth can have incredible meaning. But that meaning and purpose is defined by sacrificing self and NOT following whatever I want, rather giving up dreams to serve others.

Joseph in the Old Testament went through this, as his brothers sold him into slavery. Joseph then became a prison inmate. Most importantly, Joseph vowed to be the best prison inmate he could possibly be. He didn’t chase his passion while in prison.

Job was one of the wealthiest men in the bible. God took it all, instantly. Job never once cursed God. Rather he praised God in his trial.

He didn’t do what he wanted to do, or chase his passion. He was obedient. (for Job’s obedience, God gave Job twice as much wealth in the end)

I am grateful I didn’t listen to my high school guidance counselor.

My high school guidance counselor told me to go into 2 fields: teaching or physical therapy.

I’m glad I didn’t listen to him. He also told me life is a big ocean. Again, I’m glad I didn’t listen to this ridiculous advice.

It’s okay to be a dreamer, just understand that sometimes in life it’s not about chasing your passion, and more about hard work, in the circumstance you’re in.

Work hard and give to others and serve them.

Mike Rowe’s advice is the opposite of what we hear everyday, but I guarantee by working hard and persevering, it’s the best advice you’ll ever receive.

Now get back to work.

4 Critical Things My Daughters Taught Me in 2013

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My daughters are nothing short of amazing. They have their own little personality traits, quirks and habits.

They make me laugh, they make me cry and even challenge me.

In 2013, I was challenged the most by my daughters.

It was a stressful time in our home as we moved, I had some professional stress and just a lot of personal growth in our family. And of course, with growth comes growing pains.

So how was I challenged and what did I learn?

1.Tea Cup.

Dads, you can’t raise girls like boys. They are like delicate tea cups. My daughters are constantly telling me to be delicate with their emotions and embrace compassion and empathy. Compassion, empathy and being delicate are all part of handling daughters like tea cups.

2. Just be present.

Daughters don’t need Mr. Perfect or Super-Dad. They do need you to put down your iPhone and just sit and interact with them. Tough to do for dads, yes, but it can be done.

3. They need to see me love their mother well.

Daughters are extremely aware of how their dads treat and love their mom. Daughters also formulate opinions and relational worldviews by what they see in that relationship. Daughters will form impressions of their future relationship with their husband and also learn behavioral norms from the actions of their moms and dad’s marriage. Daughters are EXTREMELY influenced by this relationship.

4. Take care of your wife and daughters or some other man will.

Word of caution for all dads: if you don’t take care of your wife and daughters, you open up the door for them to find value through someone else or something else. Most importantly, teach your daughters to trust in Jesus and embrace Him and run to Him, finding satisfaction in Him. And strive to be a part of their lives.

Be encouraged guys. Being the dad of daughters is hard, but these is a lot for dads of daughters to be grateful.

Please follow this blog and share comments below! I’d love to hear from you.

3 Ways My Life Changed After A Near-Death Experience (And The Most Important Lessons I Learned)

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On December 23rd, 1994, I almost bled to death as the result of a horrendous skiing accident.

I was skiing with my brothers on an icy winter day, and in my feeble attempt to keep up with them, had a nasty accident that landed me in the hospital.

It was awful. I remember lying in the snow after striking what felt like a Mack truck, thinking to myself ‘what just happened?’

Then everything got really scary when I tried to get up.

As I flexed and moved my body and legs to try and stand up, I realized something was very wrong. What I didn’t know at the time is that my pelvis, parts of my hip, and my tailbone were shattered. I was bleeding internally and hemorrhaging blood, but couldn’t feel it.

When I finally got to the hospital, two days before Christmas mind you, the doctors immediately prepped me for surgery and put me under.

While the orthopedic surgeon was operating on me, he noticed a sudden drop in my blood pressure.

Twice.

It dropped to the point where they had to medically resuscitate me. I almost died.

Life is incredibly fragile.

I don’t often think about death or the frailty of life.

There’s not a reason for me to think about it. For the most part, I’m healthy and have zero concerns for my well-being.

I live life like a guy who’s in his late 30’s, heading into his 40’s. I tend to live like I’m invincible and won’t ever die. Most days, I typically live like I’m promised one more day on this earth, working desperately to squeeze in a little bit more each day.

I don’t pop pills, don’t self-medicate, and don’t take any prescription medications. As a friend of mine once said, I don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t chew and don’t hang out with people who do.

But our existence is still vulnerable. You’ll die someday. I’ll die someday. Life is short and we’re not here for long.

Seeing life through a different set of lenses.

People I’ve met that have experienced a near-death experiences tend to look at life through a different set of lenses.

From their encounter, they’ve learned that life is indeed fragile and tend to live with a renewed vigor and freedom.

They are liberated. They dream. They are confident. They are grateful. Most, not all, tend to live life with a reckless abandon, where their focus is on letting go of things instead of on hanging onto them.

I envy people that live this way, don’t you?

What I learned.

I’d like to think I learned something profound from my accident.

I want to say I had an epiphany which caused me to become some all-knowing intellectual with a level of emotional intelligence that rivals that of Jesus,  Gandhi, and Tony Robbins.

But I didn’t.

I did discover some things. But it wasn’t the accident that taught me, rather the recovery afterward.

My recovery was rough. I got bad news from my orthopedist, after my surgery, and I had a choice to make. He told me I may not ever run again, and I’d have to learn how to walk. My doctor told me it would be hard. This news was pretty discouraging, considering I was an active, young guy.

But for me, it was all a matter of perspective. That’s the first thing I figured out.

My perspective changed. Perspective is a powerful thing. Perspective is the art of changing your attitude toward something. It’s choosing to make a conscious decision to live either in the negative, or live with a worldview that things could always be worse.

For me, perspective revealed that I needed to find joy in my trial and circumstance. Doing this wasn’t easy. Finding joy, and choosing to embrace this mindset, was the most gut-wrenching personal commitment I’ve ever had to make. But the alternative was way worse.

I also learned the power of goal setting. I’ve always been an intentional person who favors action over conversation, but living with purpose through goal setting is key to not wasting your life.

You can’t accomplish everything or be anything, despite what the commencement speaker told you at your college graduation ceremony. You can, however, set goals to help you achieve your passions in life.

Lastly, I learned not to give up. I could’ve thrown in the towel, early on, and ended up living in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. But I didn’t. Instead, I plowed through my physical therapy and found inspiration in accomplishing little victories.

Life is going to seem daunting at times, but there is always hope. You simply need to persevere and take action. Do not give up. Even when you fail, keep moving forward.

You need to learn to focus your energy on what you can control, get up earlier, learn to hustle, and embrace the things that make you wiser.

Change your perspective, set goals, and don’t quit.

Learn to be grateful.

Have you endured a scary situation in your own life?

Maybe you’ve had a life-threatening experience, as I did, that shocked your perspective, forcing you to be more grateful than ever before.

What was it and how did it make you more grateful for what you have?

Share in the comments below. I’d love to know how your trial made you more grateful, and if you learned the same things I did from a near-death experience.