SecondIron's Blog

Sharpening Iron to Live Second

Why We Love Ships (And You Should, Too!)

The face that launched a thousand ships had nothing on those that love ships in Franklin. TN.

Everyone loves maritime themes right? Well besides those that get sea sick or are scared of the water perhaps.Ship wheel with a blank editable center area boat and ship steering wheel as a nautical control design element and symbol of direction and guidance by a boating captain or director on a yacht or ocean water vessel leading the vessel to safe waters., love ships

This past weekend I personally found out the difference between dipping your toe in the water and launching out into the wild blue yonder. Spending the weekend with around a hundred and fifty other dreamers and builders launching many dreams out to sea. There were authors, bloggers, pop makers and coloring book creators. From perfectly brewed Liquid Hustle to Moon-pies galore. So many entrepreneurs with dreams and aspirations and big hairy audacious goals.

Now I have been to many conferences in the past so I thought I knew what to expect. I mean how awkward could it be to shake hands, or better yet hug a hundred or so people you never met in person right?

What I should have done is tossed my presumptions out to sea with the empty barrels of coffee beans. Like a ship without a rudder I was welcomed into a fleet of skilled sailors.

What better way to open up the event with a picnic in the vineyards of the local winery. Over tables of food and Red and White wines galore. New friendships were made and bonds were formed. Having the opportunity to meet in real life the people who have poured into my spirit over the past eighteen months or so was overwhelming.

Over the next couple of days my world was rocked in ways never imagined. As a natural introvert at first all the hugs were uncomfortable, by hug number five or fifteen I think it became second nature. My eyes were opened and tears even ran like the Tennessee rains as each dreamer shared their story. So many opened their hearts and blessed everyone with their smiles as they shared their journeys. Moved by my own emotions I felt a change in the waters and a shift in the seas.

I learned about how to be sure I chose the right ship to launch my dreams. Even lost dreams can be found and launched on target again. Learning how to determine not what you do but what you were created to be is what matters. Everyone has a story buried inside of them, all of us should share it. Our story is what makes us who we are, and who we are to be. By using self-reflection and self-clarity we can create hope, hope is the antidote of fear and no one likes to live in fear.

We each have our own storm that we face, it is time to take a stand and face that storm. No matter how rough the seas may get if we listen to our inner circle and to what we are good at, we may find our dream. When we know our purpose we then have the control to press pause is we need to. God will grow us when we say ‘yes’ to our real purpose.

We are the music makers, we are the dreamer of dreams.

What do you do? This seemed to be the common theme and the first question many people asked when introduced. Reality began to set in, what do I do? I mean how do I define what I do, what is my dream? I had nothing.

Sure I fumbled over I umm am in IT as my job, I write, I blog.. I .. I ..

That all really answered nothing to anyone but me.

“The quickest path to mediocrity is being realistic” ~ This one hit me on target between the eyes, into my heart, my dreams wounded and cast out to sea. I may as well tie a cinder block to them and throw them overboard I thought. However the day was not over so I held onto the mast of my dream ship for dear life.

Get off your ask!


So many of us get consumed by chasing our dreams on our own that we fail to ask for help, therefore we fail to launch. Understanding that your fight is my fight and mine is yours builds community. It takes failure to succeed so write them down and learn from them and try again. When we learn how to use our one voice our transparency breeds freedom. With freedom within perspective we can obtain our dreams.

One mistake many dreamers make is that they think they can only dream while holding a job. This could not be further from the truth, your day job could actually pay for your dream job. It becomes a place that we can take risks and grow our personal brand.  Brands are not built overnight we must build them intentionally. Sometimes we also can find our dream when we are involuntarily launched from our job as well. Either way it is up to you how you will use the opportunities before you to grow your brand and your dream.

Many dreamers get stuck in their own heads, they get too busy standing on the shores or sidelines rather than casting out to sea or getting into the game. By using game plans, reading books and taking notes we can build a “Why not me” mentality. We can relearn how to regain our awesomeness, by reprogramming and taking the time to learn about ourselves we can prepare for whatever is next. In learning what we can not not do we can develop our road map of our dream. We are not in control of our next as we think so we must prepare and build momentum for our future.

“What God is doing in you is more important than what he is doing through you.”

Many of us live our lives by creating ‘to do’ lists rather than ‘to be’ lists. When the truth collides with us and in turn change us. In change we become grateful not only for where we are going but also grateful for where we are.

One of the best pieces of advise I heard the entire conference was not in a speech. It was actually some of the last words spoken to me and yet the words helped me re-chart my course. As I was telling my goodbyes to my new-found family of dreamers and launchers, one last person had these words of wisdom.

“Keep pressing into the Lord”… Boom nailed it, summed up the entire experience.

The next time I am invited to a conference of fellow dreamers, I will not hesitate and you should not either. My life has been forever changed by people I met on the internet. I will never be the same person, and yes this may seem a  bit cliché yet it is true. The men and women that love ships like I do shared their lives, welcomed me on board and I will be forever grateful.

Have you ever taken a leap of faith and met complete strangers only to have your world changed? Better yet, for those that launched their ships with me this past weekend. I would love to hear what is next, what did you take away, and how can I help?

A special thank you to all the volunteers, speakers, sponsors and host that made Launch Out 2015 possible. Too many to mention but you know who you are. You each are a blessing to those that attended, launched their dreams and started out on the journey of what they will be a year from now.

About Charles Johnston

Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.

22 Replies

  1. A whole lot of “Yes” here, Charles. So good!

    1. Thanks Matt, you are quite the inspiration brother.. keep pressing..

  2. Chills ran up and down my spine as I read this. Then the tears I wanted to cry during the conference ran down my face.

    You’ve nailed it here in this post!! You’re an amazing friend and I’m so grateful I got to meet you and your wonderful wife!

    Thank you for this!

    True story: I spent 20 years in the Navy and got seasick every day and I really don’t like the water. Ha! Ha!!

    1. Thanks Steve, the pleasure was all mine.. it was awesome meeting you in real life and your wife. Best decision I have made in a long time was to launch with a bunch of strangers that really are friends.

  3. Wow Charles that was awesome! So glad you wrote this, and I’m even more glad that I got to meet you and your wife in person.

    1. Thanks David, it was great meeting you in real life as well.. so many inspiring people still marinating on the experience.

  4. Wes Hammons

    Fantastic Charles! I loved Murr’s analogy of reaching a little higher and go one step further. I want to see what is one step further in your life and hustler. Great meeting you!

    1. It was a pleasure meeting you Wes, cannot wait to see how your hustle has grown next year.

  5. This is awesome! You did a great job with your recap. It was so nice to meet you and your wife and eat dinner with you. I’m glad to get to know you both better.

    1. Thanks Jill, it was nice getting to know you better as well. Look forward to following and encouraging your dreams.

  6. Wonderful post – I needed those reminders!

    1. Thanks Mike, it was great to get to know you. You are quite the inspiration and I thoroughly enjoyed our talks. Look forward to reading your book and learning from each other.

  7. John, this is a great post! I enjoyed meeting you and your wife! I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    1. Thanks Mike, enjoyed meeting you and your bride as well and being able to break bread together.

  8. Awesome recap, Charles! I was touched by many of the same quotes you have shared in your post. Have not stopped dreaming and visioning since the conference, and can scarcely wait until #LO2016!!! I hope that you choose the moon!

    1. Thanks Cheree, it was great to meet you. I chose the moon and who knows what may be beyond. 3 x’s the greatness in ’16. Look forward to seeing what the future holds for those that chase their dreams.

  9. Candace Crosby

    Charles ~ you are so positive and encouraging! Love that spirit and vitality as you encourage others. Let me know if I may ever be of further assistance on the “home” side. Love you! candy

    1. Thanks Candy, it is easy to inspire those that are inspiring as it is easy to change with those willing to change. Thanks for your ongoing support and encouragement.

  10. What an awesome synopsis of an overwhelming weekend. It’s like you took my notes and pulled the highlights into one document. I am forever changed & am now exploring what my REAL dreams are.

    1. Thanks Tami, and yes I took a lot of notes..there was such great content being shared I got frustrated a few times when I did not write fast enough. Now the next step into launching those dreams.

  11. I keep coming back and reading this. You have no idea how much you “hit home” with what you are saying. Glad I met you, but sad we didn’t have more time to talk. With three next year, Im sure we will catch up with each other again. (Im doing the #LOTour and hitting all 3) You are awesome, and your writing is great! Looking forward to more! Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. I am humbled that this one received such accolades when the content was curated by all of you. Thank you for your kind words, hope you have a awesome week!