The Value of Adversity: Learning to Connect & Create Community | with Sam Baddoo

Sam Baddoo is just a kid from Accra, Ghana, who ended up in Columbus, Ohio. Sam’s upbringing was one of strict authority, beatings and lashings — but he never thought of them as abuse. These were the normal circumstances of his surroundings, and in a way, shaped him into the person he is today.

Life for Sam was great. His parents weren’t rich, but they had a very full childhood. Every year, his father hosted a group of students from a few universities coming together to discover Accra and Ghana. Sam was always looking at the people who are changing the world, and he felt a deep connection to the philosophy of doing things differently, but being exposed to this created a yearning to move beyond Sam’s immediate surroundings.

Sam created [re]start as a workforce development company that is reinventing the way people find and grow their careers. They don’t just try to place people in jobs like a typical recruiting firm would. They are truly motivated by how they can make a difference in somebody’s life and a difference in the community — and they use a unique set of tools, expertise, and networks to help people navigate that.


What Brett asks:

  • [5:43] What did your parents do for work?
  • [9:44] What was it like as a child hearing your father threaten you?
  • [15:17] What happened from the point of your father telling you to grow up or leave?
  • [38:34] How do you take all of that learning and decide what’s really important and what’s not in alignment with you?
  • [45:52] How far are you willing to push the limits?
  • [48:14] What else happens prior to you making the leap to Columbus and how did you get there?
  • [56:05] What is the experience of translating this rock-star history and applying it to today?
  • [1:01:54] Did you need to find a job or get married in order to stay here legally?
  • [1:05:58] What was it like moving to the Midwest, which was unlike anywhere else you’ve ever experienced?
  • [1:07:04] What is it that you chose you wanted your life to be?
  • [1:09:07] What is [re]start?

Lessons for intentional living:

  • Being ambitious and driven can serve you in some ways, and hurt you in others. We need to have that drive to accomplish great things, and if we have the right motivation it can push us forward. But if we spend too much time moving from one accomplishment to the next, we become dissatisfied with what we have around us. Nothing is ever enough because we are always in the process of working towards something better.