It is June 5, 2012. I can not believe how fast this year has gone by. When I left my job in December I had a plan to build my business so that I would never have to work for someone else again. It has always been in me to be a business owner. This was partially inspired by my parents. My mother owns a daycare. My father started and later sold both his towing company and vending services equipment. I've experimented with several ideas and finally decided that my virtual assistant company would be the one that would go all the way.
What have I done during the past six months to make it all reality? Not enough. I'm not being hard on myself but I know that nothing just happens. It takes discipline, direction, consistency, competency and knowing how to pray the promises of God's word. So today I begin a challenge to make the last half of 2012 a complete explosion in every area of my life. First the most important area - my relationship with Christ. I am including my readers on this part because so many people grow up in a 'Christian home' but have no clue what that means. I've been editing a book this week for a gentlemen who stated as a teenager he asked his parents about their faith and they could not answer the simple questions although they were in church every Sunday. I don't know if they were just Sunday Saints and it is not my place to judge anyone. I know my life is not currently a reflection that the same power in Jesus Christ, who gave his life on the cross and rose from the grave, is in me. I remember one of daddy's sayings - manners will take you ???? okay maybe I don't remember what he said but my point is one must go beyond having morals and being a good person. Morals will not get you into heaven - only accepting Jesus Christ in your heart will. But when I get to heaven and God says what did you do with what I gave you? I don't want to look back with a puzzled stare and ask but what did you give me besides eternal life? (See Matthew 25 for the parable of the talents).
In January 2010 my Pastor taught a five part sermon series titled 'New Thru 30'. The church read the New Testament in 30 days. Jason (my brother) has read the entire Bible at least twice while incarcerated. I agree with Pastor Steve that situations force us to remove limitations that we don't even know are holding us back. It's not the 40 hour/week job that holds entrepreneurs back. It's not that we don't have time to do something. We don't exercise discipline, follow God's direction, consistently apply ourselves and invest in ourselves so we can be the best at whatever is our life's purpose. My first act to get on track is to read the New Testament in the next 30 days. The sermon series is available for free download on ElevationChurch.org.
It doesn't matter if you read this on June 5, 2012 when it was written or if your reading this 20 years later. Changing your life begins the moment you decide to change. Here is my plan but you can make your own:
Step 1: Discipline and Direction
•Set up a daily schedule that includes exercise, family time, meditation, self improvement/reading time, work and 6 hours minimum sleep.
•Create a dream board. This is a visualization of everything you want to see in your life.
Step 2: Consistency, Competency
•Stick to the plan! Write down a short to do list on a index card every day. Short meaning 3-5 items, this way you will not be overwhelmed. Follow your daily schedule which should allow time to get those things done. Little by little you will start accomplishing the big stuff.
•As a business owner and speaker, I must continue to develop my skills. Learning never stops. You must be prepared for the opportunity when it comes Matthew 25 - The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. That is like owning a car but taking a taxi because I never learned how to pump gas.
Step 3: Praying the Promises
•Jesus taught us to pray &amp;amp;amp;quot;May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven&amp;amp;amp;quot;. If I were in heaven right now what would my life look like? I'm not talking about if I were dead and in heaven! I'm talking about if I were living on earth the way I would with Jesus. Which takes me right back to my earlier point - He gave us the power. &amp;amp;amp;quot;I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father&amp;amp;amp;quot; John 14:12
If you are interested in participating in the six month journey of Discipline, Direction, Consistency, Competency and Praying the Promise please email Rhonda@ExecutiveDreams.net by June 10, 2012. Together we will dig deeper into these steps. We will motivate and hold each other accountable to go beyond our past success and live until we have pulled down from heaven all the gifts God is trying to give us on earth.
Everyone has dreams and goals. The difference between those who fulfill their dreams or just dream about something is the ability to make every opportunity count. For example, we all have connections with people who can help us make it to the next level. If you never build up those relationships or tell those connections what you need how can they help you?
I’ve been to more networking events in the past six months than in my entire life. Each time I connect with someone even if I don’t need their service I try to think of someone I know who does. Guess what? When people see that you are sincerely trying to help them, they tend to return the favor.
My daughter has been focusing so much on her goals that I’ve gotten a phone call from teachers at least once a year for the past three years. The call is always the same - Sarah is drawing in class. Sometimes the teachers say how awesome and advanced is her drawing. I must punish her in an effort to re-direct her attention during class. But at the end of the day she is obsessed with her passion to draw. Her only thoughts are to make every moment count as she uses all of her time to build her dream. What if you and I had that same fire when it comes to our goals? Are you willing to spend all of your free time making it count. I know you must have balance in your life. I’m not saying if you want to be in a triathlon to train 7 days a week. Even a couch potato knows that type of training would lead to overexertion and perhaps physical exhaustion. But I am saying how many moments, days, weeks, months or years of your life will you make count toward your goal? Are you training one day out of the week or 5 days a week? Are you putting in the effort to make every connection count or did you just pass out business cards this week to look good?
Don’t just dream today, make it count! By the way, my daughter is preparing for her first art show.
William A. Ward said “Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn’t always have to be their top priority.”
Have you ever done business with someone who you know is only concerned about what they will get out of the deal? I understand everyone wants nice things; but at the end of the day you make a difference not the square footage of your home or the size of your bank account. It is wonderful to operate your business in a way that shows what you do, is also what you enjoy doing. Once you find a way to turn your passion into profit – Bingo!
I always explain how a virtual assistant can increase my client’s bottom line but I also find ways their business can make a positive impact on others. If you own a bakery, instead of discarding the excess cookies at the end of the day, donate it to children’s home. You would be surprised how something so small matters so much. I’ve seen businesses get free unsolicited publicity for caring.
The more you give, the more you receive. That is the real bottom line.
It was quite easy naming this blog post. My business website has been up and running for over a year but I have not been up and running during the past year. How many people are in business but not doing business? I know firsthand why so many businesses fail in the first few years. People give up. Well this is not about giving up but it is about giving your all. How far would you go if you gave it your all?
Are you a life hitch-hiker? Hitch means to connect with a source of motive power. To hike means to travel by any means. We have all seen a hitch-hiker standing on the side of the road, sticking out their thumb just waiting for someone to pick them up. Some carry luggage while others only have the clothes on their backs. Hitch-hikers are sometimes looked on with distain because most are asking for a free ride. Many hitch-hikers have a destination in mind while others are just there for the ride. Yet we are on the same road. Are you just here for the ride allowing your current location to dictate your life’s journey, or have you chosen to drive the right vehicle to your destination? To answer this question you only need to know where you are going.
Stephen Covey said “Live out of your imagination, not your history.” Too many people can’t move beyond their current situation because the past is all they see and they don’t know how to dream. When I say dream – I don’t mean sit around and look at the stars. I am referring to the WORK that you do in faith with the hope of a better tomorrow. Faith without works is dead. Dr. Myles Monroe is accurate when he said that there are so many dreams buried in the graveyard. Business’ someone like you never started, inventions someone like you never patented, books someone like you never wrote. We are so busy looking at what we face it hinders us from living out our dreams. We become so busy looking at our current circumstances that we lose hope and never imagine things being better. You and only you can imagine where you want to go. That’s not hard to do because God has already placed dreams in your heart.
I can remember when I was kid. My little sister and I would ride in the car pointing out the window at mansions and expensive cars saying “oh that’s my house” or “oh that’s my car”! I often get laughter when I remind people of that game either because they can relate or they are still playing that game! We didn’t grow up and have reality hit us – we grew older and stopped dreaming. As I grew older life seemed so hard. I became a single mom during my last year of college to baby born 2 months premature and a few years later I was involved in an abusive relationship. Life’s circumstances began to get to me and for so many years my dreams were dead. I didn’t know where I was going. I went to church on Sunday but didn’t read my Bible. The good thing is that people around me continued to pour into my spirit. Then finally I began to communicate with God and seek His face not just his handouts. That is what has allowed me to stop hitch hiking through life.
What dreams are buried inside of you? Are you so overwhelmed with life that you no longer imagine? I connected or ‘hitched’ up with a lot of people traveling but the destination was wrong and usually unknown. It is my belief that Jesus offers me so much more. The moment that you reconnect with the source, and turn your faith into action, good things will begin to happen.
On the roads of life there are many vehicles. Are you riding with people who have chosen the same destination? If not you can be on a journey in the wrong direction. If a college degree is your dream, but perhaps you cannot read or write you need to focus on where you are going and not your current situation. For example If you must start with a children’s DVD or book until you can read on the 1st grade level then the 2nd grade level, and then on a 3rd grade level just do it. All the while, keep your focus on where you are going not where you are. If your dream is to write a book, start with just one page a day. In one year you will have completed a 365 page novel. Where you start is not as important as where you’re going.
Hitchhiker will connect with anyone on the road. The hitchhiker’s goal is to get brief ride. A hitch hiker doesn’t ask the driver where is he/she headed; the driver pulls over and asks the hitchhiker where are you going? The driver may be headed the same direction but not necessarily going to that place. Instead of letting a job drive you to one point and then you find another job until it drives you to that same point. Instead of staying in a relationship that is driving you crazy, instead of spending time with people who gossip and want to drive you down with them, instead of wallowing in self pity driving yourself crazy why not start to imagine better. Regardless of your current circumstances or current location, current finances or current health, ask yourself “where am I going in 2010?”
Where do you want to go? Congratulations because if you know the answer to that question you are not just hitchhiking through life because you know where you want to go. Now just map the course, and drive until you arrive!
In today's economy more individuals have begun to realize the importance of owning a business. As a business owner, you control your income and your hours. You also can't be fired or denied a promotion you have worked so hard for. Starting a business is a great risk; however, the rewards outweigh the initial struggle.
Determine what you are passionate about and prepare yourself to be successful. What would you do if there were no financial reward? If you enjoy working with children, perhaps a childcare facility is a potential business you may be interested in owning. After you have the necessary credentials and experience, the sky is the limit. No matter how bad the economy the need for childcare never disappears. This is just one example. If you choose another industry, such as a product, be sure your product has value and is marketable. Everyone needs water. Water is a valuable product. Although most have free access to water, it has been marketed in such a way that people willingly buy it!
Turn your passion into profit. It will not happen overnight, but I promise if you don't give up you will one day agree that business ownership is very important!