Pursuing your calling is hard work and at times it can feel more like a cursing then a calling. We say things like, “chase your dreams, and don’t settle, and God has a plan for you.” These are all true, kind of. Yes there is a plan for you, but if you fall for myths about your calling you will get discouraged.  Often discouragement can lead to giving up and a heart that is jaded to the world. We can fall into the blame game and blame God for not coming through.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

When I started chasing my dreams I expected support from everyone and encouragement from everyone. It was unrealistic and it set up those in my life and I for failure. I felt more like the Psalms crying out to God. Asking through tears, why did you give me this dream! I fell for four myths which were what was causing so much pain. I constantly have to remind myself of these myths because each time I am frustrated I have bought into one of these lies.

4 myths to calling

Vocation is calling. I believed the lie that there would be the perfect job for me. Frankly a job where my identity would lie, but calling is way more than a job. If it were just a job it would be easy. Your calling in some way shape or form must do two things, love God, and love others. Your calling will include a vocation but it’s what’s under the vocation that really matters. For example, I feel my calling is to restore. I own pizza parlors I write, coach, and speak as well. All of these activities are from a place of restoration. Your calling is hidden in the very actions you do both at work and at home. What bring us to life? Pursue those things that energize and light you up. That is how you will pursue you’re calling.

Calling happens fast. I haven’t yet found a story in the Bible and I haven’t yet found a person that something just happened. Trust me I wish things happened as quickly as I wanted them too. We humans are terrible judges of time. Before you begin to see the dreams that are in your heart there will be a big span of time between now and then. God will be shaping you and molding you the whole way. Buckle up trust God and do what you can today. We may wait months or years longer to see some of the dreams for our lives that are wrapped in calling. We confuse calling as a destination but it’s a journey. God will use all journeys two chisel and shape us in His image, embrace the time.

 Our calling is about us. This can get confusing because are calling will fill us up energize us and use our skill, talent, and ability. In the end it’s not about us, it’s about Jesus. It’s easy to tangle the two and make it about you. I have done that more times than I can count. I have made my calling my identity. I have focused on myself and what I get. Refocus on God daily and serve others to avoid the myth of YOU. Your calling is to serve others and point the way to Jesus it always comes down to that.

 Our plan is perfect. We get these great grand visions of zero downside and that’s not reality. The reality is you’re calling will be difficult it will be hard, but it will be worth it. Make plans but hold them loosely. The main hindrance of this myth is that we are taking our eyes off God and putting our calling in our hands. There might be a left turn that you’re not expecting. If you hold tight and be rigid you may miss a course full of adventure. Trust God and have faith then when you get to the other side you look back at your life and see the reasons for the left turns. God is the one with the perfect plan not us.

God will use your calling both to shape you and affect others. The shaping is painful at times and other times its complete joy. Trust Him, make a plan, and do what you can today. Focus more on the Creator instead of a constant self-discovery and you will live a life of calling whether you see what you envision or not. Be blessed on your journey.

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As an entrepreneur, I desire my children to follow in the crazy footsteps of entrepreneurialism. Just like I learned from my parents, I want to teach and instill skills, heart attitude, and mindset that will serve my kids as they grow. Teaching your child to be an entrepreneur is not something that should happen haphazardly, but with intention.

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Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Not every child will or is wired to grow up to be an entrepreneur, but every child should be taught entrepreneur principles. Entrepreneur principles will help your kids no matter the career choice they choose as they get older. Here are 6 mindset and heart principles every child should be taught.

Giving. Giving is such a crucial part of both following Christ and owning a business. To properly lead and guide staff and to serve customers, instilling a heart of service is required. Any success in business or life without a giving heart will lead your children astray. It is in the giving that our heart aligns with God. Here are some tips by the Daily Parent on how to raise kids with a giving heart. Saying “no” to our desires and “yes” to putting others above ourselves needs to be encouraged and exhorted in our children.

Problem-solving (why). It is easy to give kids answers and not allow for creative imagination. We must allow struggle instead of jumping in and doing or fixing. Encouraging thought and innovation. When explaining things to our kids, put an emphasis on why. Why is harder to explain so it is tempting to throw out because I said so or because. I am guilty of that way too often. When you don’t know, be honest and find out together. It teaches our kids to look for solutions. Here is an excellent article by All Pro Dad on ways to teach your children to be problem solvers. All business is, is meeting a need or problem. Teach your kids to solve problems and they will thrive.

View of failure. What better time to allow your kids to fail and to keep them from fatal failure than when they are under our roof. My instincts as a dad are to rush in and save the day but in all reality, I need to allow failure and encourage my son and daughters to shoot again. Failure should just be merely a learning experience and not a defining point of loss. With the right perspective, children will learn not to fear failure and start to aim higher. Teach your kids not to settle by giving them a proper view of failing.

Romans 8:28 And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Training decision making. If you own a business you know the buck stops with you. You can’t put off or push decision making on to others. Still today I struggle to make the call in non-emergency settings. I am better than I use to be, but I have a long way to go. It is important to allow our kids to make age appropriate decisions. Decision making is a skill, and it must be treated that way. It takes practice and just like any skill there will be success and failure. Help your kids gain confidence by teaching them to lead and make the call.

Earn and spend money. Rachel Cruze talks about the difference between commissions and allowance in this short and great article. It is important for kids to connect work with money. Allow your kids to work with money and teach them how to use it. We have a simple three things they must do with the money they earn. They must give some; it all starts with giving. They must save some. My oldest daughter is saving for an American Girl doll. Lastly, they must spend some. We help them spend wisely and don’t allow them to buy whatever they want. Teach your kids how to earn money and how to spend money to help them become wise stewards in business.

Modeling. In anything we teach our kids it is always more important to model what we expect from them than mere words. Do as I say not as I do is the biggest bunch of bologna I have ever heard. Our actions will always speak louder than our words to our kids. Taking care, you model attributes you want your kids to have will make you a better spouse, parent, and business owner. Those little eyes are always watching and absorbing. Be proud of what they are soaking up by taking care to lead well. Model sound entrepreneurial traits so that your little sponges will soak it up.

Parenting is not formulaic because every child has a will and personality. We would like it to be a recipe book, but it is more art than science. Encourage and foster strengths that you see in your children. We will often fail, but we must never give up. We must learn and grow and always lean on Christ, which gives us what we need for the day. Be blessed as you plant seeds in the future leaders and foster their journey.

What traits are you teaching your kids?

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Goals and Your Success

Zechariah Newman —  January 24, 2016 — 3 Comments

Goals that you make say a lot about your success. Success as you perceive it at least. The things that you put down as goals are what you are using as the measuring stick of success. If you are like me, and I think most Americans and probably most people around the world, your success, and your focus are on two things: money and being physically fit.

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Photo by KCNewman Photography

Finances and fitness are what most of us are placing the highest value on because as a goal it is getting your attention and your time. I was looking at my goals and realizing that they were way too focused on money and staying fit. Though finances and fitness are important to me they are not as important as eternity, family, and helping others. Prominent in my heart that is, but not with my focus.

The value of finances and fitness is constantly shoved on us. Propagandized consistently to buy a bigger house, drive a nicer car, and fit in certain size clothes. Shouting and whispering softly into our ears what we need. These things begin to fill gaps and cry out that they will make us happy. Our idea of success can get lost in this noisy world. We can get caught in the rat race and lose our identity.

Our success needs to be redefined and shaped into what we want. For me, I want my kids to be close, and close to their mom and I. I wish to lead and influence a generation to follow after Jesus. I want to help so many people that I lose track. I want to be a difference maker. Money matters to me as well as health, however, not to the degree that these other things do. So shouldn’t my goals match that truth?

How about you? What do you want?

I have heard Michael Hyatt talk about this. He says that you should picture a room full of the people in your life that matter to you. There you are lying in the middle of a casket. They are attending your funeral now. What would you like each person to say about you? There are two takeaways for me.

Life is finite. Your life on earth is finite meaning that it will come to an end. Don’t live like you are going to live on this earth forever, but be fully aware that you are going to die. We are going to leave this world behind, and I would hope that our goal should be to leave it better. Live like you are dying to have the greatest impact.

Intentionality. We should be intentional with every relationship, cultivating what we desire in the end. When you imagine the end in mind and work your way back to the beginning, you have more clarity. Time spent with family starts to matter more. Health for a different reason other than looks. Intentional in the words we speak, the time we spend, and attention we give. Intentionality in all areas of your life will give you a better idea of true success.

After you have spent some time redefining what matters when you are gone, now you need to come up with some goals. Often I set big lofty goals that are outcomes I frankly give up on before I come close. However, now I am doing something a little differently. Now I am putting small, easy goals that lead to the bigger sustainable actions. So if your goal is to drop a particular weight and gain muscle, what if instead it was to walk through the gym doors five days a week? Goals that focus on small sustainable actions will help you to have the stamina to keep going when life gets hard instead of throwing in the towel like everyone else by February.

Goals and success strategy.

1. Remove others’ measure of success.

2. What does success look like for you?

3. Be intentional knowing that you don’t have eternity on earth.

4. Set small easy to hit goals that lead to the BIG win.

As you peel back the layers of your heart don’t be surprised if what you want moves. It is more than okay and is part of discovering what God has for you. Don’t stop. Keep pressing on and God will take you places. Be blessed on your journey.

Are you chasing true success?

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There is a saying that all ships rise with a rising tide. In your company that tide is culture. Your culture will either work for you raising everyone’s work, attitude, and enjoyment or bring you down. Company culture exists if you are a solopreneur or if you have thousands of employees. A business with distinctive culture will begin to self-audit weeding out those that don’t fit and attracting those that do. Making everything easier a healthy company culture will prosper your business.

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Photo by KCNewman Photography

Be Clear. You must know what you are shooting at to make culture excellent. Skills and work ethic that you are born with and have had nurtured and ingrained into you are easy to take for granted. A lot of areas in my life I assumed were common sense. When you make assumptions of common sense, we get vaguer, and your culture becomes confusing rising and falling on emotion. Be precise about terms like “hard work.” What does that mean exactly? Only with a proper map are you going to be able to get the best culture possible.

Hire Wisely. Getting the right people on the bus as Jim Collins says in his excellent book, Good to Great is the only way you are going to have high culture. Some skills you can teach and some skills need to be natural. It is a necessity to figure out the difference and hire for the skills that must be natural. In my food service business, we are looking for naturally smiling people, who get along well with others, care about other people, and go crazy standing around. I have tried to train all of these things and I can’t, but other skills like upselling, cleaning, making pizzas, excellent customer service, and great communication is trainable when team members have the right intangibles. Hiring the right people for the right jobs is necessary for awesome culture.

Upline Manage. Employees must feel and have the ability to upline manage. Establishing a business that empowers all who are part of the organization to watch each other and hold all accountable ensures a united front on culture. You do not want to establish a, “do as I say not as I do” atmosphere. When building an organization making sure that no people are above the company helps the company to operate as a living organism. No one is above the organization, and this needs to be well-known and reinforced to have unrivaled culture.

Data/I Statements. Nothing destroys a culture faster than drama and hurt feelings. We are all human and we will always wound each other’s feelings and have drama, but we must be relentless in trying to destroy these. Speaking of data instead of the meaning we make out of the data keeps conversations on facts and ensures the clearest and most accurate communication. Data keeps the conversation on solutions and keeps confrontations from spiraling out of control. I statements when you are speaking for yourself and we statements when you are speaking for the group is indispensable. Speaking of data and using accurate I statements ensures the stability of your culture.

Recognize. Recognition of accomplishments and milestones bolster and encourages the culture to thrive. It is an opportunity to honor employees’ commitment and to encourage growth in areas of culture that you want to reinforce. Recognition will go a long way in growing a culture around achieving and getting things done. Focus and intentionality on recognition will make your team feel like a team instead of an employee. It will establish that you care for them on an individual level and appreciate what they have done for you and your family. Recognize and encourage your team to prosper your culture.

Have fun. Business should be fun for the most part and this is especially true for culture. Develop a workplace that people want to go to by making your focus on fun while maintaining productivity. Play and work can and should go together. We as entrepreneurs spend most of a waking time working on and thinking about our companies. Why wouldn’t we have a fun thriving culture? I believe a place that people want to be at increases productivity and engagement. Have a good time to increase the power of healthy culture.

Culture is like soil. Healthy grounds will lead to healthy plants. The land requires you to pull weeds to allow the right plants to grow. It requires the right amount of water. Too much or too little and the plants die. Healthy fertile soil creates the right conditions to get the best of the plants in the garden. Make sure that your company has healthy productive soil for your people to prosper in and your business will go places you never imagine. Be blessed on your journey.

Is your company culture thriving?
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This is a guest post by Ralph Mayhew he blogs at www.ralphmayhew.com, to help leaders become better at their craft. He has just written a book called The Anonymous Leader: An unambitious pursuit of influence, which offers a fresh understanding of leadership and calls the reader to greater influence by aligning theirs to God’s –www.theanonymousleader.com. You can also hang out with him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ralph.mayhew.

If leadership is healthy, the tasks leaders apply themselves to will result in growth. Growth however is difficult. My favorite local cafe just expanded to two shops and in the space of a month the coffee was poor, food expensive, staff despondent and care to detail gone. It’s no longer my favorite cafe.  There is a maze that awaits every successful leader. It’s a maze that grows as an organisation, church, business or ministry grows. Below is a map to navigate the maze with, as we explore the 8 dangers associated with growth and how to navigate them for the sake of your people.

The unknown

photo by: KCNewman phototgraphy

1. Irregularity – people come less often as they feel their presence isn’t essential.

When people first buy into something they buy into what they see, not what it will feel like once it’s grown. Growth can affect people into coming less regularly because they are subconsciously convinced they won’t be missed.

Navigation: Ensure each person knows they are important to you.

2. Disconnection – people feel disconnected from each other.

Growth results in more people showing up and for many people, the increase in more people dislodges the community they once experienced. This causes them to feel disconnected.

Navigation: Create opportunities for people to connect and coach them into it.

3. Uncommitted – people think everyone else will do it.

As more people arrive and buy in the vision more people share the workload. The downside of this is that those who were previously involved feel as though their contribution is no longer as important, leading them to lapse in commitment.

Navigation: Develop valuable roles for everyone and communicate the value of each role to the people doing them.

4. Financial Increase – people are charged more money to sustain the growth.

In growth there is always a lag between finance to accommodate the growth and the growth being seen. This dynamic, frequently results in people being charged more or pressured to give more in order to sustain the in-between season. People don’t like this as unfortunately the new cost of things is most often not temporary.

Navigation: Monitor how much you ask from people and ensure you deliver more than that in your serving of them.

5. Anonymity – people feel like they won’t be missed, so they disengage.

Growth means it’s easier to go unnoticed. Some people love this, while others really struggle feeling like they are now ignored or taken for granted.

Navigation: Get to know people’s names and stories as you grow and use that knowledge to value people.

6. Dilution (of product) – People receive a deteriorating quality of product as demand increases.

As growth occurs the product, which appropriately served the previous number of customers, can become unsatisfactory, due to the increase in volume. This in turn renders a previously excellent product inefficient.

Navigation: Everything you need to do needs to be scalable, if it isn’t develop it into something that is.

7. Culture Fades – people will naturally drift from the original culture as more people come along.

As new people enter into a culture the culture bends and adapts in order to embrace those new to it. This can result in the previous appreciated culture changing and slipping from a culture previously enjoyed and attractive to people.

Navigation: Be clear, concise and strong on the culture you want, constantly demand if from people.

8. Loss – people grieve for how it used to be as things change.

As growth takes place people will grieve the loss of what they once had. They will miss how things used to be and the changes that have needed to take place.

Navigation: Care for people with patience and compassion as they adapt to the change they are experiencing.

9. Broken Trust – People struggle to trust in something when it changes rapidly.

People buy into an idea, organisation, church or group of people because they were able to develop trust. When growth takes place, trust can be shaken for people, becoming a barrier to people’s engagement in the new.

Navigation: Help people realize what they have trusted in and what has not changed: your leadership.

 

Growth is healthy, but people’s response to growth may not be. You need to guard against this by helping them adapt and enjoy the benefits of healthy growth.

What other dangers do you see concerning the growth of something?

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I have struggled off and on with faith and how that works with my analytical thinking. I don’t struggle with all faith, but mostly “balancing” my   t-chart personality with God’s plan. Somehow charting my course and weighing out the pros and cons can feel like a lack of faith. Struggling in my own mind can take precedence over weighing the calling of my heart.

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photo by: KCNewman Phototgraphy

It can be hard to figure out what God wants and it can leave many people including me zigzagging through life. When things go well and smooth God must be in it and when things are tough perhaps I picked the wrong path. I know I’m not alone with this thinking and unfortunately it sidelines many people at times.

Our life’s journey is like sailing.

Chart the course. No journey is taken without a direction. It is not a lack of faith to plan, weigh, and proceed in a direction. In fact, this can be a step of great faith to plan out and set goals. Often I have associated God’s movement in only sudden things or surprises, however, He is in the planning with the right heart and mind. I, just like you, am created in the image of God and my t-chart mind was created by Him and for Him. Chart your course and plan your steps.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” ~Proverbs 16:9

Raise the sails. Faith comes into our lives as raising the sails. Charting the course is needed. Until you exercise the faith of raising the sails you will remain in the harbor. You will be safe and sound existing in the harbor, but the open sea journey is where living happens. Faith in action. Raising the sails is our main part of the journey. God always has His part and He always wants us to do our part. Partnering with Him is one of the greatest blessings of this life. Raise your sails to prepare for the wind.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. – John A. Shedd

Use the rudder. With the ocean pushing on us from side to side, slowly and sometimes quickly it can yank us off track. A constant readjusting is necessary to stay on the narrow path. We will fail, we will get distracted, and life will always demand us to steer back in line. The rudder for me is the Word of God. This puts my life back on center. The Word fills, sustains, and helps me to remain. The Bible has every answer. Sometimes indirectly, but it’s there if we are willing to look. Alive and powerful the Word of God examines us. Allow the Bible to be your rudder on your great journey.

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12

THE WIND. God’s will and plan is the wind. It doesn’t mean that it will be smooth and easy sailing because sometimes you maneuver into the wind winding back and forth. This is called tacking. Too often we think of ease as being God’s will when many times in the Bible it points to the opposite. We may go with or against the wind in sailing, however, some sort of wind is needed to move the boat. Without wind sailboats sit idle rolling with the waves being cast about. We are powerless on our own and in this recognition of powerlessness is might and strength because we turn towards the One with all power.

We take the course we think God is leading to the best of our abilities. We do what we think God is leading and if we are wrong we must trust that He will gently redirect us. No matter what God’s promises are true for your life; both consequences and blessings. It does not say IF you pick the right path God will be with you, but that He will be with you. Do your part of charting the course, raising your sails, set the rotor, and trust the wind to guide you. Without the wind we are nothing and that is where trusting God is so important. Trusting that He is gentle and good and has a plan to prosper and not to harm you as long as you go with the wind instead of fighting against it. You are called according to His purpose. Now be blessed on your journey.

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The main point of business for every Christian should be to take something that is temporal and use it to point to the eternal. Your business operating with a Kingdom mindset changes decisions you make and how you view everything. Not only is it a better perspective as far as fulfilling the commandments that God gave us, but it leads to better business practices.

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

Often we can put God into a box for church and other activities, sectioning Him into certain areas and out of other areas. Giving God our business should be the top priority. If I’m honest though, many times in my life God is the last option or who I turn to when I get a bad profit and loss statement. To lead in the business world while living for Christ, follow these 4 principles.  

Long-term perspective. In order to live out our faith in the workplace we must have a long-term perspective of eternity. Not just five-year goals, but down through future generations and beyond. Decisions through the lens of eternity change what may be a right or wrong move. It increases our patience and gets our focus off of just dollars and cents. We make choices beyond ourselves when we keep focus on eternity. It becomes less about us and more about saving people for the Kingdom. Reframing our business in the scope of eternity must take place to live out our faith within our business.

Matthew 6:19  Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.

Stewardship. Stewardship means the activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something. Stewards care for other people’s things as if they are their own even though they don’t own it. To properly run your business as a Christian man or woman you must remember that God owns everything. You merely manage it for Him. I tend to drift toward selfishness and self-centeredness, but when I am living my faith out I am laying myself down because it’s not about me. It’s about taking care of what God has entrusted me with. To live out your faith in business you must remember that it’s not yours, but God’s.

Colossians 3:23-24  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Excellence. We are called to do everything as if we are doing it unto the Lord. That means that we are doing everything with intention and excellence. We are being the best business owners we are capable of being. If you want to make impact you must live with excellence. You represent the King of the universe. If you want to influence people for God, you must show yourself excellent in your field. It is easy to wait for perfection, but perfection is a myth. Excellence is not perfection; it is continual improvement. We must run the race to win even though we will never “win.” Honor God in business by rising above mediocrity.

Priorities. Maintaining biblical priorities while running your business is a necessity to showing Christ in your business and having a healthy life. Biblical priorities are there like everything else in the Bible. They are there for us to have healthy lives. Biblical priorities start with your relationship with God, then spouse, children, church body, and lastly your business. There are two things to keep in mind. Your time spent is not always the same as priority. Also, it is not a balance. Trying to balance is a good way to fail. It is a heart position that is easily seen and felt. Priorities in your business show Kingdom level behavior.

God desires your whole life. Allowing Him in all areas of your life will bring all the fruits of the Spirit with it. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, thankfulness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Now that is a business I would be proud to own and that is a business that honors God. You spend too much time working in and on your business to not have God at the center of it. In the long-run doing things God’s way will always yield the proper harvest in the right time. You will fail like I do, but get back up and try again. When the fruits of the Spirit are missing that is a good sign that you are operating outside of God. Stop, back up, reevaluate and lean into God. Pray for God to strengthen you and ask for His vision for your company. He will take you places you would never expect. Be blessed on your journey.

What are other tips to living out your faith in your business?

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With the fast approaching of New Year’s, it is a time when I and many others look back at the year and plan for 2016. This year I have had so many good things happen, however, it has also been a year where I have lacked focus and intentionality. I was moved too often by emotion and ran from exciting thing to exciting thing. With my family, health, spiritual life, and personal finances I would draw this year up as a success, but with my business both online and offline I lacked more focus as I would have liked. That’s a nice way of saying I adopted a shiny thing syndrome this year. “Oh look at that! That looks cool, I’ll try that. Oh wait, look at that!” This would sum up my year in business. It has not been a year of failure, although I need to come up.

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“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams

I am dedicated to getting more out of 2016. Here are 5 things I am using to set and keep my goals.

Make Plans. Where do you want to be in 12 months? Year goal setting is really as simple as asking that question and writing down what you want. As a Christian I get caught up in thinking, Is this what God wants? Though that should happen it shouldn’t be an excuse to not move. If you are frozen in fear, stutter stepping with every goal and plan, stop it! What I have begun doing now is praying and then moving in where I think I should go. If you don’t have a point of reference in where you are going you will not get there. Make a plan for 2016 to get more out of it.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established.

Submit Plans. Just like submitting our architecture plans to the building department, you and I need to submit our plans to God. We do not want to get frozen in fear, however, we do need to remember that without God we are a shell of what He intended. It is all about Jesus and sometimes I can get caught up in my goal that I forget this foundational thing. If we submit our plans to God, we need to trust that if we our outside of that plan He will guide us and put our feet back on our path. Submitting your plans to the Lord is necessary to get the most out of 2016.

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

Shut up? There is a great Ted talk by Derek Sivers and a great post by Matt McWilliams on shutting up about your goals. The long and short of it is that your goals are less likely to happen if you are sharing them. The reason is that sharing your goals give you psychological satisfaction like you have reached your goals. So this year my inner circle that will hold me accountable will know my goals. Other than that I am keeping my goals to myself. Zip your lip to reach your goals.

Make a commitment to yourself today. Vow to yourself today! That you will make whatever sacrifice! That you will pay whatever it takes! That you will do whatever you have to do! To be amazing.
– Eric Thomas

Decide. There comes a point in every journey that we need to decide. Setting principles to live by and making a commitment to the process is key to hitting any goal or vision for our lives. If we don’t make a decision to the process we will be moved and swayed by emotion. Though emotion can be great for starting, it is horrible for keeping you going. Emotions are fickle and no matter how awesome and cool your goal is your emotions will eventually turn on the goal. Decide and commit to the goals that God has placed in your heart to reach higher in 2016.

Move. Don’t sit any longer analyzing once you have prayed, submitted your plans, and decided. Run! Focus on one thing that will move the needle the most in your life out of the goals you have written down and move. Dave Ramsey calls this gazelle intense. You have to move like you are a gazelle being chased for dinner. This does not mean that you don’t rest or that you can’t enjoy life, but each and every day first thing in the morning you must move toward your main goal. If you don’t take actions goals are worthless. Run toward your goals to make 2016 the best year yet.

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” ― C.G. Jung

Focus in on what you want out of life. Submit your plans to the Lord and He will bless them. If you didn’t get as much out of 2015 as you would have liked, it is okay. Neither did I. It does not mean that the year was a waste or that you failed. Let’s learn and grow together making this next year a prosperous and significant year. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps you reach your goals?

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This week has been a whirlwind. There are so many things that have just happened and I am stunned with the speed of breakthrough. I will be launching a new podcast with a good friend. We sold our home in less than 24 hours and found a home that is a house I use to only dream about being able to afford. I landed two huge writing opportunities and have watched all the timing work out perfectly. Finances, favor, and timing have been seamless.

breakthrough

If you looked at this week you would think that everything is just happening. You may wonder how all of this happened overnight? You may want to know what the secret is to having any of these opportunities. Isn’t that how we operate? We want to know what the secret is and how can we get there quickly. I have done this as I fought and still fight jealousy. I have focused on the wrong things and as a result instead of blessings I got frustration and burnout. These 4 things will lead to sudden breakthrough.

Run your race. It takes discipline to focus on what only what you are doing instead of what other people are doing. You easily can lose yourself in the shuffle. I struggle with seeing a shiny new object and getting distracted from my goals and what I sense God is calling me to. You have been entrusted with certain things that only YOU can do. Stay in your lane and do your thing. Be faithful and you will see breakthrough.

Pain. To accomplish breakthrough you will go through a lot of pain. The fact is no matter what, we will experience pain and discomfort. We will either have pain then a harvest or have a false harvest and then pain. Pain is inevitable so you might as well get a reward from it. Falling for the instant gratification of debt will only prolong and put off your breakthrough. By trying to avoid the pain of cutting expenses you will cause yourself a greater pain. Embrace pain and you will leap forward.

Focus. In a culture that can’t focus on anything for five seconds you will need to buck this trend. When aiming at a goal or vision you will need to work at it a long time without seeing any results. We have been paying extra on our mortgage since we moved into our house nine years ago. Nine years has not been a piece of cake. We have had lean months and months of abundance, but we kept hammering at the mortgage. We haven’t done everything perfect, however, we have stayed focused. Focus over time will carve out your own personal breakthrough.

Abundance. One of the biggest keys to enjoying the journey on your way to breakthrough is having a world view of abundance. To be totally transparent at times, I struggle here and it leads to jealousy and covetousness (having or showing a great desire to possess something, typically something belonging to someone else). On the journey to breakthrough we must remember that God is the God of more than enough. Someone else getting what you desire does not stop you from getting it. I believe that God tests our hearts on this journey. We must be faithful with our attitude and we will see breakthrough!

I wish things just happened like it appears. I wish that there was a magic bullet, but I haven’t found one that exists. I looked for the painless and quick answer for so long that I missed the answers that I didn’t want to hear. Pain, focus, and time are not fun things to talk about, however, it is how businesses are built and dreams are fulfilled.

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Keep grinding and keep trusting God. Your harvest is coming. Be blessed on your journey!

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The Correct Way to Hustle

Zechariah Newman —  September 6, 2015 — 4 Comments

It seems like everywhere you look whether it is a blog, podcast, or YouTube video they are telling you to hustle. In fact, I have even posted about this very subject. I have encouraged and exhorted you to hustle. To throw a brick through your television and get out and get things done. The problem is that some people need to get off their rear-end and get stuff done, but most entrepreneurs don’t struggle with this type of hustle. Most entrepreneurs struggle with a different hustle.

Most entrepreneurs struggle with and confuse busyness as hustling. Scurrying around doing a bunch of things is not hustle. It looks like it, however, really it is undisciplined and unfocused behavior that ends in burnout and frustration. I have been guilty of this more time than I can count. No time for faith, family or living, this “hustler” blames the dream. I have fake hustled and blamed everything except the man in the mirror.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

I have had enough! Enough blaming the dream instead of the way in which I was going after the dream. Blaming the business instead of the way I was running the business. Anytime we allow the vision and plan to rule us, there is a problem. The dream becomes the master and we slip into the role of the slave. These are 4 ways in which you should redefine and start proper hustling.

Intentional. Hustle is being intentional. It is making sure that our activity is focused on the correct things. Rather than running around like a chicken with its head cut off, it is focusing on one thing at a time until it is done. Getting maximum use of time and energy with intentionality is crucial to the hustle. Equally as important with intention is knowing what not to do. Knowing what to avoid and leave undone will catapult your life to a whole other level.

Rest. Hustle is resting. This eluded me for a long time. I would work non-stop and take twice as long to do activities because my mind was numb from overworking it. Hustle to me now is taking time off. It is resting and recouping making sure that I am sharp and ready for action. Rest is not only crucial for enjoyment, but also for productivity and efficiency. Rest is an essential part of a healthy life and a healthy hustle. Take your hustle to the next level by resting.

Grit. Grit is defined as courage and resolve; strength of character. Grit gets one dreamer and entrepreneur back up while a lack of grit moves someone else to the sideline. You must rest, but you must never quit. Get back up when you fail, have some resolve and decide that you aren’t going to stop until you cross the line. Back up, rest, reexamine and shoot again.

Enjoyment. We must build our vision in a way that causes us to enjoy the journey. Waiting to enjoy the journey until the end will make for a miserable ride. This kind of limited destination type of dreaming is short-sighted. We need to come from a place where we are living out our calling daily no matter what is going on. Your family, vocation, and rest should all be part of the journey; don’t leave any of it out. Enjoy and savor the moments because you will look back fondly on the early years.

Next time you hear the word, “hustle,” think of these 4 areas. Your hustle should not be exhausting. If it is for a long period of time you are doing one of these things wrong. Realign back to what is truly important in the hustle. Hustle with wisdom and passion and you will be blessed on your journey.

Are you hustling the right way?

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