Colin Holba: How to Take the Leap and Use your Platform
Colin Holba loved baseball. His whole young life was dedicated to becoming the best master of his craft he could be. When he got to high school, he set his mind on playing baseball in college. He put in his best effort, but baseball did not quite work out for him.
And now he is four years into a career with the NFL.
Colin’s life took a turn that he did not expect in any way. Honestly, he would be the first to tell you that the trajectory of his life is all askew from what he anticipated.
He would also be quick to tell you that he is so grateful for the turns it has taken. He did not expect to not be drafted for baseball but then walk on to a football team. Never in his wildest teams would he have expected to be drafted for the NFL and released and re-signed six times in his four year career. And, he definitely did not think that he would publish a book so that the whole world could read his story, but he is so thankful for taking the leap.
When Colin was in college, he was part of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a ministry designed to reach collegiate athletes. The campus director, Chris Morgan, had been vulnerable and shared his story and other devotionals with the athletes many times, but one week he asked Colin if he would be willing to share.
Colin had a story worth telling, so he had a platform.
All his life, he had prided himself on his athleticism, but his experience sharing his story encouraged and bolstered him, and ultimately led him to writing Leap!. In his book, he shares that he felt unworthy to stand before people he knew to be much better athletes than he was and encourage and challenge them.
His speaking platform ultimately evolved into a desire to share his story with the world at large, but this time, as a book.
Colin Holba never thought that he would write a book– but he is so, so glad that he did.
His book is to challenge people to not let their identity get wrapped up in what they do. As an athlete, he easily began to equate his worth and personhood with his skill in his sport. In the midst of a tumultuous career in the NFL, Holba reflects on the weight of the platform:
“Part of my depression was feeling like I had peaked at 26… That the rest of my life I would be hidden in the shadow of my past, and that was devastating tome. I know through conversations with other high level athletes, they have felt similar ways. I wanted to share that your platform was specific for you, and God created you to serve His purpose.”
As he navigated the reconciliation of his future with his career, he continually ran back to God, who he has seen be faithful and kind to him time and again. He reflected on the way God has worked in his story, and his writing became cathartic and helped him create perspective.
He had never imagined venturing onto such a creative journey, and the new avenue was a little daunting. As a high-level athlete, he is a perfectionist because he has to be. Each week in his career is focused on strategy and, ultimately, winning.
He is, by nature, a competitor.
Therefore, stepping into an arena in which he had no experience and no training seemed impossible. How could he genuinely tap into his creativity and not be bogged down by the pressure of bestseller lists or nationally recognized book club picks?
And then he remembered that he had only originally been willing to share his story because he had heard others do it. He reflects,
“Writing a book is not only a way to share your story, but it is an invitation to all the people around you to share theirs with you!”
Writing a book is not just for the audience, it’s about them, too. It allows them space to wrestle with their own thoughts and experiences. Colin’s willingness to be vulnerable and share his story has allowed him the gift to hear others’ testimonies as well.
Because he invited other people into his story, they invited him into theirs. Your most powerful tool for building a platform and building connections is your own personal voice and story, and Colin knew that. The fear of something new did not stop him from starting, and his life has enriched others.
Holba attributes his big leap to his God, and he would be the first to say that he would do it all over again. Navigating a new space can be very difficult and daunting, but Streamline is here to help make the challenge doable. Colin Holba’s story is influencing so many people, and yours can, too.