Week 84 – Father/Daughter Father’s Day Edition


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Father’s Day Q&A with Karas Team

I trained as a gymnast from ages seven to seventeen, typically in the gym three hours a day, six days a week, for most of those years. Being a gymnast was the hardest and most impactful decision of my childhood. When I was on the USGA “elite” track, I had to deal with dedication, drive, goal orientation, and teamwork. I learned about success, failure, success, and failure, over and over again. Through these experiences, I gained an ability to manage fear, which has been a fundamental building block along my entrepreneurial journey, career, and life. 
The two hacks I learned as a gymnast are applicable to any aspect of life. They are certainly true when you are pivoting, whether you are a big company or a lone entrepreneur. As a gymnast, it is the first and most important thing you must learn to do: acknowledge your fear and move through it. The second lesson is about committing. In gymnastics, commitment is paramount. 
My good friend noted author and personal trainer Jim Karas recently wrote a book with his daughter Ovilia Karas on this very topic.  They have both been gracious enough to share some of the insights with us today.
AJR: Why did you decide to do a father-daughter book?
K&K: Years ago, I was writing for “Splash” magazine and wrote an article called, “Confessions of a Rio-Want-a- Be,” as Olivia was considering the Olympic path at that time. We had a blast doing it and have always talked about doing a book project together, as this is my seventh book and Olivia’s first. When Olivia graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2019, the timing just seemed right and that’s when we started writing the book. 
AJR: Why do you think, according to Inc Magazine, 94% of C-Suite women were former athletes?  
K&K: Being a woman in the athletic community is hard in and of itself. You are fighting for national media attention with sports such as football, basketball, hockey, and baseball, and with that comes a natural disadvantage. Sure, people tune into the WNBA and watch female athletes in their favorite sports in the Summer and Winter Olympics, but when you think of an athlete, you think LeBron James, Michael Jordan, or Tom Brady. So to succeed as a professional or student-athlete, you have to fight much more than the men and have more grit. That “grit” translates into work ethic, teamwork, and simply not giving up until you have succeeded. I’m not saying being a male athlete is easy by any means. We just have to try harder to get national attention. 
AJR: What are the life lessons you learned as a parent of a D-1 Athlete that you will carry with you for the rest of your life (Jim)?  
What are the lessons as a D-1 Athlete you will carry with you for the rest of your life (Olivia)?
K&K: Jim: Realize the sacrifices your child and your family are going to have to make if you are truly committed to doing everything possible to enable your athlete to succeed. And please, keep an eye on any siblings as I didn’t and a chapter in the book written by my son, Evan, really gives you a raw look at their struggles.
There is always room for improvement in everything that you do, even if something is deemed a “Perfect 10,” you can always find a place to grow in your mental, physical and emotional skills. Being part of a team means making personal sacrifices and never leaving a man, or woman, behind. I live by “The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” Trust me, it’s true. And FYI, we used to say that before every floor rotation for my four years at Michigan. 
AJR: Where can we buy your new book?
Check out Karasconfessions.com and hit us up via Instagram or Twitter as we love to talk, sometimes too much, and engage. Twitter: @JimKaras1 and @lil_livkay and Instagram: @Jim.Karas and @livkarass.
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WHAT: Talk & Taste Finance & Wine
WHEN: Wednesday, June 16th, 4:00 p.m. Cental / 5:00 p.m. Eastern
WHEREInstagram Live! @alyssajrapp

Missed the previous episode of #talkandtaste? 
Watch the May 26th episode celebrating Memorial Day!


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There will be no end to the curveballs that life throws. As soon as you feel comfortable, another setback or new challenge will arise. Alyssa Rapp is driven to help people like her—the doers, those who keep swinging—seek to succeed in both life and career. Every challenge is an opportunity, are you making the most of yours?

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