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Thane Marcus, Professional Athlete to Best-Selling Author!

Shepherds Of Healing highlights Thane Marcus for the “Dudes with Depth” series.

Written by: Mariska Sackey

This week, “Dudes with Depth” highlights Thane Marcus, an author, speaker, entrepreneur, collaborator and ex- professional golfer based in LA.

Read on to learn how Thane influences thousands to master their true potential!

What are some of your biggest accomplishments so far in your career? (Albums, Books, Sponsorships etc.)

I played professional golf for nearly four years and had the opportunity to compete against some of the best players in the world as well as travel to other parts of the world to play including Fiji, South Korea, Thailand, Portugal, and Australia.

Has it been a smooth journey getting into your industry? If not, what obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?

Life is never a smooth road, but I’ve come to realize that usually the bumpier the better. Why? Because the bumpier the road is, the more you will learn and the stronger you will grow! Difficulty, trials, and adversity are the fire that refines our true skills, so we must fight to view them as a blessing!

When I turned professional, the first six months of competing as a pro were a nightmare. I had very little confidence and I was constantly looking to others to know what was the “right thing to do.” The false assumption I carried was that there was something different about playing golf as a pro versus playing in college. The reality is, the game of golf doesn’t change, it’s just the environment that changes. In life, we must strive to be true to ourselves and our abilities regardless of the environment we find ourselves in.

What is the biggest misconception about your line of work?

The biggest misconception about my line of work is that it is the “dream” job. Yes, there are many awesome aspects of being your own boss and owning your own business and work. But, being an entrepreneur is incredibly hard work and it usually takes a much larger amount of effort than working for a larger organization or business. Along with it requiring more work, it also comes with a greater risk. I am fully dependent on my own ability to execute and perform, and that leaves me fully exposed for failure and losing it all. But again, risk can be a very good thing in bringing out our best work. It’s not the right path for everyone, but if you can do it - you should. Just don’t expect it to be all fairytales and roses.

How old were you when you discovered your gift? When did you get comfortable sharing that gift with other people and how did they react?

My whole life I played golf. It was always one of my favorite sports, if not #1, although I played any and every sport that I could. I was always a smart kid, but athletics was where my true passion lied. It wasn’t until a few years into high school that I really started getting serious about the game and developing my talent to become the golfer I knew I could be. With the motivation being getting a college scholarship, I began to dedicate myself to practicing and improving all facets of my game. I was always somewhat realistic/pessimistic when it came to my own ability. My dad’s dream was for me to play golf professionally. But, I didn’t want to get too far ahead of myself in dreaming about that, so I tried to really stay committed to focusing on one goal at a time. After I won the Kansas Junior Amateur tournament the summer before my Senior Year, I began to start to own my abilities and share them with others. Yet, it was a balance because I wanted to also display humility even during success.

What was your childhood like? Describe your environment from your house to your neighborhood to your school. How did these experiences shape you and your future success?

I was raised by God-fearing and Christ-loving parents who were heavily involved in the local church they helped found. I am forever grateful for their love, support, and godly-influence on my life. I grew up a mile away from the golf course I played and practiced at - Prairie Dunes CC. Prairie Dunes was my second home, as I spent countless hours out there perfecting my craft and, more importantly, just having a ton of fun with my dad and my golfing buddies. I went to a very small charter school for Kindergarten through 8th grade where there was a total of 110 students for all the grades (my graduating class had around 10 students). From this environment, I transitioned to Hutchinson High School, where there were 1600 students and I had over 400 in my class. This was a challenging transition, but it helped me grow in my ability to adapt and form new friendships even in a daunting environment.

Describe the moment when you knew you were on the right path. How did that affirmation encourage you to keep pursuing your dreams?

When I began collaborating with other entrepreneurs and business owners - helping them through the process of coaching, consulting, and creating - I finally got to see the benefit (in real-time) that I could provide to others who were traveling down the same path. This was incredibly encouraging and affirming in many ways. We simply need affirmation in any part of the journey of life. Affirmations help us know that we truly are on the right path and that we are making progress, even if we can’t see it. This should remind us to actively seek out affirmations from others (in a healthy way, not in a self-promoting way), and it should also motivate us to be more active in giving affirmations to others!

What have you had to do - mentally, physically, emotionally - to prepare yourself to pursue your career?

In playing golf, the biggest obstacle is your own mind. Being mentally strong means you can fight off bad thoughts with good thoughts. You are able to kill fears and doubts when they arise and replace them with positive thoughts/emotions and confidence in your ability. This is never easy, and it takes constant work to develop.

This is not only a mental battle but a spiritual battle. As a Christian, this means that I actively recognize who I am: both (1) created in the image of God - given eternal worth, and (2) a sinner deserving of hell - making me no better than anyone else. This helps me remain humble and helps me fight against the number one fear that we all face - the fear of man. This fear shows up anytime we are nervous in competition or performance. What I had to discover for myself was that those nerves came from a fear of what other people thought of me and my performance. Through recognizing this fear, I was able to start fighting off this fear with truth and preaching that actively to myself in those moments.

Tell us about your big break! What was it like? How did it feel? Did you see it coming? Did you know this was your moment?

In professional golf, the big break came when I had the chance to play in the Australian Open in 2015. This was the biggest tournament of my career and I was nervous. So many thoughts ran through my head and doubt/fear lurked in the shadows. Yet, because I had trained and practiced so hard, once I stepped on that first tee and hit the first shot, I was able to click into the zone and simply compete. This helped me understand that my golf game - my talent and ability - was no different than the best in the world. The main difference was experience - being comfortable in that environment on the biggest stage and having the mental strength and discipline to overcome the greatest amount of pressure possible and still play your best golf.

Tell us about your inner circle (close friends, family, mentors, relationship). How does their support impact your success?

The inner-circle is the most important group of people in your life. The famous saying goes: “you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” This is true because we are so often products of the environment we surround ourselves in. Culture is powerful, and we need to choose the people we spend time with based on the positive character traits they have. If you want to grow smarter, spend more time around people who are smarter than you. If you want to be healthier, spend more time around people who value health, wellness, and fitness, etc..

My inner circle is composed of people who are: 1) active followers of Jesus Christ, 2) intentional and thoughtful humans who are curious and open-minded, 3) family and friends who are striving to love each other well, and 4) ambitious, passionate, and learning-focused and health-conscious individuals! These people are MASSIVELY important to my individual success. We are designed for community. Without it, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself and others?

We are ALL humans with strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures. This should free us up to know to approach others with curiosity and empathy, all while living with confidence and humility in who we have been created, called, and equipped to be.

What do you see yourself accomplishing in the next 3 years? What are you currently doing to prepare for this outcome?

As I transitioned from professional golf into a new career path as a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, and collaborator, I have spent most of this year building into this new pursuit. But building anything takes time, and LOTS of it. The goal for the next three years is to develop as an effective communicator - both through speaking and writing more books - to help inspire, motivate, and challenge others to take ownership of their lives and never settle for anything less than what they are truly capable of doing. To prepare myself for this, I am DEDICATING myself to the daily goal of making “baby steps” forward toward my larger vision. Each day provides new opportunities to gain an inch of ground in progress. Some days, I may even take several steps forward, and maybe even run a mile or two ahead. But the typical progress looks like baby steps. Baby steps to greatness is the motto, and this mindset takes a combination of PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE.

Can you share a secret with us that you haven’t shared anywhere else?

I LOVE dancing! In another life I would totally be a dancer - specifically hip-hop or jazz-funk.

If you could talk to your 15-year-old self, what would you say?

I would tell my 15-year-old self that the years ahead (and the rest of your teens) are years that are meant to develop the character, integrity, and personality of the man you are going to become. Therefore, these years are so massively important - you can either set yourself up for failure or set yourself up for success. It’s less about making the right choices for your future and it’s more about living in line with the person you are striving to become. Ultimately, the sooner you can embrace the help of others, become teachable, and humbly posture yourself as an equal to every other human being, the more successful your teenage years will be.

Why is it important for the next generation of young men to see people like yourself? What message do you have for a Gen Z’er hoping to pursue a similar career?

Each part of the road is a journey, and "the process” is where most of life happens. We must not live our lives constantly waiting, hoping, and wishing for where we want to be. We must live our lives with those future goals in front of us, but with an active embrace of where God currently has us, so that we can maximize the opportunities that this stage of life presents us with and enjoy the challenge that learning provides… because it never goes away! They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence… I say: the grass is greener on the side of the fence that you’re watering. … So, why are you watering the other side?

Finally, which of Shepherds of Healing’s “Dudes with Depth” words resonates with you the most? (Dedicated, Empathetic, Polished, Trustworthy and Humble) To be honest, they all resonate with me. Being POLISHED is the easiest to start with. It means you are being responsible to be respectful and approachable to others by not acting or operating in a way that is offensive or repulsive to general societal norms. Then we must strive to always be TRUSTWORTHY, because without meaning what we say, and more importantly, doing what we say we will do, others will have no reason to trust us. We must strive to always be men of integrity, and trustworthiness is key for accomplishing that. DEDICATION is the next step in the process. It is being committed to the work at hand, the tasks that are set before you, the goals that will facilitate the dreams or vision you have for your life. This is a long-term dedication, not just a short-term day-by-day commitment. Real dedication is the kind that lasts for years on end. Being EMPATHETIC is the next rung on the ladder we are climbing. Having empathy means that you can actively put yourself in other people’s shoes, striving to understand what they are thinking, feeling, or living out in their lives or in a situation.

Empathy is something we get better at with practice, but what lies at the heart of it is putting others before yourself. Finally, being HUMBLE is the cornerstone to every other word a part of DEPTH. Humility means we know who we truly are. We actively recognize that we are no better than the person next to us. We understand that our self-worth comes from God alone, and that we must fight to keep self-righteousness from our hearts and minds. No one is the product of their own doing. We are all the products of the people who have poured their love, devotion, energy, skills, knowledge, and sacrificial effort to helping us grow into who we are today. Humility is essential.

Thane Marcus is a Dude with Depth!

Wanna keep up with Thane? Details below!

Instagram: @thanemarcus


Podcast at:

Check out Thane’s new book: From Here to There: A Quarter-Life Perspective on the Path to Mastery Available on my website or on Amazon — October 2018

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