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I want answers, and I want them now. As I sit on the precipice of a major life decision I want reassurance from everyone and no discouragement.  That’s why we ask so many people what we should do. Searching for the answers on the outside and not looking inward at what God has been speaking. Can’t trust myself and what I feel God saying I need a second, third, fourth, and hey a thousand agreeing voices really would be nice. Then if something happens, I can blame them. Look all these people thought it was a good idea. Like a child wanting someone to blame, to remove my responsibility. “Go through the process,” my pastor keeps telling me. I hate the process. The process sucks!

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

Reaching my arm out slowly wanting to grab hold but afraid to let go. I’m stuck in the middle between faith and fear. Frozen like a deer in the headlights, between safety and adventure. Standing in the in between, I am about to go splat.

Like, could all the lights to go green before I take a step. Can I get a stamp of guarantee?

That’s what I want to know, the beginning to the end. Is that too much to ask? A little god-like power would be nice.

No mystery, no trust needed.

The reality of calling and following Jesus is much different than my no trust plan. Often it is like driving through fog. We are moving along feeling are way around not able to see more than a few yards in front of us. When driving in fog, you don’t stop because you will get rear-ended by others struggling to see. You don’t go fast either because you could run into someone or venture off the road. You simply plod along waiting for the dense fog to lift. Eyes fixated on what you can see. No thirty thousand foot views here. We only think that this is the way to go, and we are trusting God for the rest. Fixated and dedicated to the little bit we can see, we do our best on what is right in front of us. We trust Him that eventually the fog will lift, and it will all make sense. We must live through the principles to get to the promise.

Why do God’s principles have to be the opposite of what I want? Sow then reap. Believe then see. Give your life to get one. Make yourself a slave to Christ to be free. Die to self to be born again. It is always the principle before the promise. But at least, there’s a promise. Do you know what is on the other side of emotion?

Nothing!

If we trust emotion, we are deceived. Emotion makes us foolishly wonder around zigzagging from one excitement to another. Emotion causes us to quit right before the fog lifts. Emotion causes us to settle for safety instead of PEACE. Emotion confuses lust with LOVE. Emotion mixes up happy with JOYFUL. Emotion leaves us empty and wanting more. However, there is a promise behind every principle

Here are a few promises of God:

He promises to be with us.

He will give you wisdom if you wisdom if you ask for it.

If you bring your request to God and refuse to worry, you will have peace that transcends all understanding.

If you seek Him, you will find Him.

Trust and faith are needed in the principle before every promise, and it’s not easy to trust sometimes. We have been let down by people and wonder if God will do the same. We have are eyes on the result all the while God is asking us to be formed and molded in the process. We are invited into trusting the process. Into allowing Him to mold you and shaped you. He promises to finish the good work that He began. Will we embrace the process and trust God on the journey? Trust the One who knit us in our mother’s womb. Trust even when we think it sucks. Only then can we be blessed on the journey.

Do you struggle to move?

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As a small business owner, I have around twenty-five people that I employ. In business, the lower the turnover and the more independently your staff can perform with you the greater profits and freedom you have.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

My industry of quick serve means that many employees this is their first job. On top of this minimum wage employment is a high turnover industry. Within my restaurants turnover is minuscule compared to the sector average, and I have a few employees that have been with me for ten years.

I have acquired the skill and talent of turning low performers into some of my best workers. It is not easy and requires patience, but it has its rewards that make it worth the effort. There are a lot of diamonds in the rough that with the right heart attitude and training can become the most loyal and awesome employees.

A lot of employers make assumptions with low performers that employees don’t care or aren’t hard workers when the problem and solution look much different. I have found that as employers we think we are much better at communicating than we are. If you have an employee that is a struggle walk through these steps before firing them.

Baseline The first question that needs to get addressed is whether the “problem” employee has a head problem or a heart problem. If you are unsure, you can ask them. Employees will let you know if you have built a rapport. Here is the difference, are they missing the skill and knowledge to do the job or the motivation to do the job?  Do you need to train them or motivate them? Often managers and owners assume an awareness that is not there and the employee doesn’t even know they are nut cutting the mustard. Establish whether it is a head or heart problem and follow the three steps accordingly.

Head:

Winning. What does winning look like? You have taught the skills. However, have you been explicit about the expectations you have? We say a lot of things that aren’t specific such as hard work or clean? Don’t assume common sense and in detail describe what that means to you. Define priorities and how high the bar is set. Being on time, working fast, and independently are things that need to be stated. Make it measurable and measure it often so that there is no doubt if expectations are being met.

Why. The task itself is not enough. You need to explain the why behind the task. The why enables thinking. The why fends off going through the motions and missing the meaning behind the task. When I go into my local Subway, they say, “Welcome to Subway” every time. The problem is they are usually saying it in a monotone voice not giving eye contact. I feel so appreciated. The words have been taught, but the reason is missing. It is to make the customer feel welcomed. Eye contact and tone of voice is way more important than the words. Keep the why first in its proper place.

Growth. Opportunity for growth within the company and growth mentally is crucial to keeping your employees engaged mentally. As humans, we are either growing or shrinking. Make sure that your team members are learning personally and within your organization. Keep an environment of growth to help your employees to stay engaged and to expand their skill and talent.

Heart:

Their passion. What are the goals of their life and how can your company help them? Change the training as much as possible to their inner cry of their heart. One of my employees wants to be a missionary. Everything at the point of sale we teach her as it will help her in the mission field. Even food cost numbers can be shown as far as controlling finances for a small budget. Teach with the understanding of their passion to get the heart engaged.

Their skill. Put the people in the right places on the bus as Jim Collins states. You need to set up your employees into a position to win. They need to operate with their talent and skills. There is nothing worse than doing a job you are bad at. One that you never can thrive in.  If you don’t have a spot to let your employee work in their skill, you need to let them go. Skill is an area you should hire slow and fire fast.

Your heart. Your staff needs to know you care. Caring can be faked temporarily but in the long run it can’t. If you don’t care for people and their future, you will never be great at leading. If you do care, you need to show them. You need to reward them and encourage them to be the best version of yourself. In supporting them and caring for them, they will care for you. You will be more than just a boss but a leader and friend how they will come to long after they work for you.

Engage your employee’s mind and heart if you do your business will never be the same. It will be so much more than making money. Money is a byproduct of having rock star employees that care for your company almost as much as you do. Don’t put the pressure of caring on the same level as you. But do demand excellence. Teach your employees heart and mind and you and your business will be blessed on your journey.

How do you guide your employees into being great?

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I’m failing as a husband, father, business owner, and personally. Every area of my life on the outside looks pretty close to perfect but on the inside I suck. I don’t give my kids enough attention. My wife’s needs to connect emotionally are left unmet. I’m impatient, angry, and depressed. The accuser is always quick to point out all my failures. I never realized life would be this hard, it looks so easy for everyone else. I always thought I would be successful; I thought things would come easy for me.That success would fill empty places, I thought people that weren’t succeeding where just lazy. I was cocky, and life has smacked me back to reality. I expected  perfection from myself. My expectations for myself have not been close to how I have performed. I suck if all I listen to are the thoughts that roar inside my mind when I fail.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

Perfection myth. The imposter would like you to believe that perfection is attainable. That somehow one day we will try hard enough and fix enough about ourselves that we won’t fail. Those other people have it together, and you don’t. That somehow the genetic father and dad gene skipped over you and me. I’m falling short of perfection, and that’s ok. I’m failing because I fall short of the expectation for myself that have in my mind. The standard the Bible calls me toward. I’m failing because I’m not Superman. I fail and instead of a comforting voice telling me it’s ok the imposter inside of me laughs. That voice inside my head and yours probably too. That accusatory voice is whispering into our ears thoughts of unworthiness and it never stops. Juggling all our responsibilities and relationships, we are bound to drop things. When we let go of a ball is when the imposter starts in on us. Not acknowledging when we do things correctly our mind is our biggest critic. The imposter that says to close myself off from those I love. The imposter that says we should hide failure and pretend that we have it all together.

Hope. There’s hope, though. There’s hope if we refuse to quit! There’s hope because we will keep aiming to be a man of honor and integrity. If we want to be a man that fights for their family and loves them well. A husband and father that is Patient, Kind and understanding is the bar that we must set. We desire to be the business owner that is a sacrificial leader. If we want to be that man, we must never quit. There is hope if we keep trying and keep failing forward. We must refuse to give up. We must refuse to stop aiming high to the standard that the Bible points us toward. We must commit to ignore the imposter that wants to get us to stop trying. We must continue to aim at being the sacrificial man our family needs and deserves. There’s hope because we keep learning and growing. Hope because Jesus makes us whole not our performance.

Failing Forward. We must be comfortable with failure. We must come from a place of aiming high and realizing it is only God that gives us what we need to get there. We must acknowledge our imperfection. It is Jesus and His death and resurrection that complete us. He makes us Righteous but we will never be perfect until heaven. Perfection is a myth; surrender is what is required. Philippians 4:13 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” We will not reach the goal, but we must press on. We must press through. We must never give up.

So even though we say to ourselves we are unworthy and a failure. We can stand in TRUTH that we are made worthy through the shed blood of the lamb, not in goals reached or in less struggle. That to have it all we must surrender it all. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-11 says, “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” That if this is true it is never about us but always about Him. Be blessed on your journey as you trust Jesus and His shaping in your life.

Do you struggle with feeling like a failure after failure?

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You are on the earth for a reason. You doubt that’s true, but it is. You doubt that you can follow that calling because of what you’ve done. You think sometimes that you are unqualified. You question whether you are worth anything in the shadows of your mind. You may wonder if there is a God and if He loves you. Doubt, fear, unworthiness are emotions that are ok if you just visit them. But don’t stand and camp there. We will either visit faith and live in doubt or visit doubt well we live in faith. You will have bad days emotionally where you feel as worthy as an ant and yet the Word explicitly states otherwise. In Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

That is the truth. You may not feel mighty, but you are MIGHTY. A warrior who is courageous walking in the footsteps of David, you are a giant killer. No giant can stand or mountain can’t be moved. You may feel inadequate but in Him, you are more than a conqueror. Do you believe that? You don’t have to gain or prove something it is just the truth. It is the truth when you accept it as such. You don’t need to earn a thing the Creator of the universe loves you flaws and all. He is mighty to save; He is the answer to every need you have. He is the way the truth and the light. He is the light that drives out the deepest fear and darkness. All things are made new in Him. That includes you.

Do you trust Him?

Isn’t that what it all comes down to in the end? Trusting God even if we are scared and shaking. Courage in spite of how we feel. Moving when God says to move. We will always have a choice to choose God’s ways over anything that we have planned. Or the other option is to shrink back into comfort. Shrink back into familiar even if it’s a warm diaper full of crap, at least, we know what it is. Shrink back into false humility saying we aren’t able. Are eyes are on the wrong source are eyes are on ourselves.

By grace, you have been saved. Do not accept less than His best. By grace, you have been made whole. Do not merely do enough to get into heaven. Live life fully and flowing over. Live in courage out on the edge of discomfort. Because that is what He made you to do. You were meant to fight on the edge of light and darkness. Fight with love, mercy, and grace. You were made to take back land that the enemy has stolen. Made to seek and save the lost. You are made for a purpose. You were made to spread the name above all other names. Made to spread the name of Jesus! He will give you what you need when you need it. Just trust Him and take a step whether it is bold and courageous or shaking like a leaf. Trust Him and He will take you places you never thought possible. Be blessed on your journey as you follow the one that makes you brave.

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As a family man running my business and caring for my family take precedent. Sometimes those two things have too much of my focus. For years, one thing I neglected was my health. In my late twenties, I had my marriage, two children, two restaurants, and ill health. I felt overwhelmed and had no clue what to do. All I knew for sure is that what I was doing wasn’t working. I went in to see the doctor because I wasn’t sleeping well and experiencing bouts of anxiety and depression. This real sense life is closing in on me and my inability to keep up.

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The doctor told me that I had high blood pressure and looked terrible. He asked if I was getting enough sleep and how my stress level was. I remember sitting there stating, “I have two kids under 4 and two restaurants. How do you think my stress level is?” The doctor gave me three to six months to get my blood pressure in line naturally, or he would recommend that I start taking medication to lower it.

Fast-forward to today and I have my marriage, three bundles of joy, two restaurants, and online presence. I still struggle with overwhelming anxiety at points, in fact as my father said I am usually bored or overwhelmed. He is right, and some of my health is habit, and some are nature. That said, my blood pressure is in the normal range, and I am getting ready to run my fourth marathon.  My health has gone from a concern to a benefit in my life. A change in health hasn’t been smooth but with a consistent effort, I feel better than I did as a teenager.

If you want your business to prosper in the long–run you need to make health a priority. These five healthy habits should be a part of your daily life.

Prayer. Prayer is a practice that automatically lowers blood pressure. Breathing slows and you relax when you connect with your heavenly Father. Start each day from this state of prayer and being alone with the creator of the universe. God has your back at all times and starting my day in this manner reminds me of that. When you pray you gain gratitude and peace. God provides all, and His thoughts are better than our own. Pray to have a healthy spiritual life which leads to a better physical life.

Eat. What you consume is what you output. My wife loves sugar and has to fight against eating too much of it I, however, love salt. Chips and salsa are my nemeses. Some tips are not to cut this out completely but to get your snack out of its packaging and stop when that portion is done. A big open bag of chips ends up getting consumed to quickly otherwise. Reduce salt and sugar intake and reduce or eliminate processed foods. Processed food is always high in sugar or salt. Be aware not obsessed with what you eat to live healthier.

Exercise. I started running, and that helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. You don’t need to run, but you do need to get up and get moving. Exercise will help you to have higher energy and greater confidence. My tip for exercise is to sign up for races. It could be a 5k or an ultra-marathon it doesn’t matter. Signing up for races causes you to get out and stay active. If you are self-conscious about races, trust me all shapes and sizes are running and walking these things. Get out and move to help your physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Margin. Allowing space in your schedule will return peace to your life. I jam my schedule too full and rush around. I know that my margin is too packed when I shovel my food in my mouth and pace around all day. You and I aren’t accomplishing anymore by hurrying through life. It feels like we are accomplishing more but in reality, we are not making the best moves and me be having to do it again coming from this place of rush and hurry. Return margin to your life and remember you are less efficient when you rush.

Fun. Return fun to your life to help your health. It is amazing how we don’t take the time to enjoy our lives. Your life is precious and is not meant to be hurried and serious. At a Rend Collective concert, one of the band members said seriousness is not a fruit of the Spirit joy is. I love this! Stop with the frowning and start scheduling and planning fun. Your life is made to enjoy. Your worth is not tied to how much you do. Stop and have some fun to help your health.

If your health is poor start to pick up one or more of these habits and make a change today! Health like everything else requires focus and energy. Do not wait until some of the costs of an unhealthy life catches up with you. You can’t serve the ones you love, build a business, and help others to the best of your abilities when your health is poor. Focus and time will heal your body and change your life.

How do you maintain your health while building a company?

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Throughout my business career, there have been moments that I have felt my faith in Jesus has held me back. To be honest, I know that my faith has held me back from short-term wins. In the long-run at times, I have been slower on profitability and momentum. To do things God’s way can be a mystery and if we don’t watch it, we can blame God for not getting ahead.

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Picture by: KCNewman Photography

Often I look to blame others. My failures are easier to handle when they aren’t my fault. When I run out of other people to blame God gets the brunt of my anger and resentment. The foolish things that I can blame God for like, He owes me. God’s debt isn’t reality, God’s ways are above our own, and we will always be in His debt. His principles and promises may not make since at the moment but in the end, it always will. If you are struggling with wondering how your business and faith work together, there’s hope. These five principles are God’s design for your life and will cause your business to flourish!

John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

Love. We are commanded to love others, and that commandment makes us better at business. Though is can sound fluffy the reality is we can come from two places, kindness or love. Kindness tells people what they want to hear, rescues, and muddies the water. Love puts others above comfortable. Love makes us straight shooters saying “no” when we need to. Love fires people when they aren’t a good fit so that they can find somewhere they are talented and fulfilled. Love is strong!

Galations 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

Service. Service is another thing that the Bible calls us to. The greatest thing about this is that is what success in business is. Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Now don’t get ahead of yourself like I do, and start to see what you can get. Just serve with no agenda. Serve your fellow man and eventually in the long-run it will benefit your business.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Hope. We named our youngest Hope because it has such a place in my wife and I’s heart. We thought we would not be able to have kids; now we have three little balls of energy. Hope is the precursor to faith. Hope is the foundation for action. Hope believes that it will all work out. Hope will lead to faith. Hope moves when all looks lost. Hope is the rallying cry that you need in business.

1 John 5:5 “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Faith. The precursor to action is faith. Faith that God will work it all out. Faith that He has a plan for your life and that if you stayed submitted to His will you will be on the right track no matter how it may seem. Faith that God is good and He is faithful. Faith makes you brave and bold in action. Faith when full makes you move with an intensity that is needed in business and in accomplishing any dream. Faith makes you a business person of action.

Isaiah 26:4 “Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.”

Lens of eternity. It is said that rich people have a twenty-year perspective. So how much more rich are we that view everything through the lens of eternal life. I am not talking about just money but in all ways. Eternity reminds me that I am simply a steward that is caring for what I can as long as I can. Life beyond the grave helps me to reframe success in that light. The lens of eternity makes me preserver when others quit causing me and you to be undeterred business owners.

In the end, you will have a choice. You will have to look with your eyes or with your spiritual eyes. God’s ways are above our own. When it looks like foolishness in the world’s eyes, I have made a commitment to follow Him to the end. I hope you will as well. If you live a life dedicated to Christ, He will make all things new, and give you a life full of adventure and excitement. Be blessed on your journey as you follow the Lord.

How does following Christs lead help you to be a better business person?

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Those personality tests are hurting your business and your life. Here is the thing I love all those tests and take a lot of them myself. Personality and strength finder tests can be an important tool to help you gain insight into your talents and abilities. Profile tests can help you target in on your areas of strengths and can lead you into doing tasks that can bring you a greater energy level. I know you’re thinking, “How can this be bad?” All of these things are obviously great, but there are many drawbacks to these same personality tests that you need to be aware of.

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Watch out for these four downsides to personality tests.

1 Corinthians 12:31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

Test addiction. If you have taken one test, you have taken many. I know I have taken so many tests I can’t count them all. The problem with this is that I have taken these tests like it is going to give some answer that will fix everything. That suddenly a lightbulb will go on that I was missing, and my life will hit a whole new level. The test becomes the answer instead of the tool they are designed to be. Stop taking tests and start taking action.

Don’t grow (not my gift). We grow in the uncomfortable, and new areas of life yet tests can get us to stay with the comfortable. It is great to know if you are an introvert or an extrovert for example but knowing I am an introvert has stopped me from doing many things that would advance my business. I don’t go to network events; I don’t door to door market because I am an introvert, and I use that as a crutch. Don’t allow your growth to be stunted by not stretching beyond your gifts. Know your gifts and take action whether it aligns or not.

Delegate tasks you shouldn’t. Many tests will show you what drains you and what fills you, and it can be a great coconut on the head to delegate many tasks that you find draining. The problem is that this has more grey area than I have liked to admit. Though you should delegate off much, you still need to do some tasks that are major keys to your business. Yes, do more of what fills you and less of what drains you, however, make sure in your delegation you still know how to do the job and you inspect what you expect.

Don’t show (not my gift). The other hindrance to these tests is we can get lazy and not develop a skill. When we know are gifting we can expect others to communicate and love us the way we communicate and love. The issue is that we are making communication and love about us. We don’t show and tell people the way they hear and receive the best but stick to our languages. To get the most out of personality tests use it to show you where you will fall short and how you can adapt to communicate better. For example, I want people to get to the point in communicating my wife wants detail. I know when I talk with her to give more detail than I naturally do. Recognize how others want things shown to them not how you want to do it.

At the end of most things, everything in moderation is the slogan we should have. Knowing yourself is great but don’t let that become your self-absorbed isolationist mentality. You and I need to learn, grow, and expand and make it about others. Service is what God calls us into. Businesses that succeed are ones that serve to a higher degree than the competition. When you take tests, you should ask yourself some questions to grow and become a better servant.

Four questions you should always ask:

Am I looking for my identity in this test?

How will this help me communicate better with others?

How does this test help me love others better?

Do I need to change or continue any action after this test?

Know your gifting but don’t let it be your identity. Tests are great especially if you have your staff and family take them. You can learn how they tick and learn how to communicate and love them well. Make the personality tests about serving others and you will be blessed on your journey.

How do personality profile tests help your business?

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When building your business, you need to remind yourself that your spouse and children come first. When your spouse is not working for the business, they can feel second if you’re not intentional. I have been married to my High school sweetheart for eleven years. It has been a great ride, but I would be lying if I said that two becoming one was always a smooth and easy process. At times, I have been on auto pilot in Marriage instead of pursuing her like when we were dating. The standard should be to grow continually and improve in our marriages. I have such an awesome marriage, but I know I am always capable of more. That there is areas that I could love her more the way she needs.

Ephesians 5:25

Men let’s commit to love our wives more deeply in these four areas.

1. Lead. Let’s lead better. Looking at the landscape of our society we have dropped the ball as men. We should be leading much better, we should be leading by example and humility. Instead, I often see men myself included as consumers only caring about our wants and desires. Leading is putting your family first. Leading is hitting your knees in prayer, leading well is not needing to be asked to help around the house or with your kids. Leading is allowing others to go second because we are brave enough to go first. First to apologize, first to serve, and first to appreciate.

This year and the years to come I pledge to be a better leader of my family.

2. Follow God. The more I follow and chase after Christ the more my wife feels love. God allows me to love on a whole other level when I am abiding in Him. He changes my heart from selfish to one of service. Only when I feel the love of God, can I love to that level and as a husband that is my duty. To love my wife the way Christ loved the Church. I can only love my wife sacrificially the way she deserves when I submit to and am yoked to Christ.

This year and the years to come I pledge to have a more intimate relationship with God.

3. Presence. My wife’s biggest love language is quality time. As someone who is always on the move and thinking, doing T-charts, and budgets I struggle to be at this very moment. As you can guess, this can be a problem. Most of our discussions are about my inability to be here and how it makes her feel unloved. As I am working on this, I need to set boundaries with technology and yellow pads. Focusing on presence is helping me; as measurement and focus improves performance.

This year and the years to come I pledge to be here in the now with you more every day.

4. Discover. We could spend our whole lives trying to discover our wives, and we will still not fully know them. When we are dating it is simple to seek to figure out our partners but somewhere along the line, we get comfortable. We stop discovering and pursuing our mates. We stop finding new things they like, looking entirely at them and finding new ways to love them. We settle for good enough instead of a continual pursuit.

This year and the years to come I pledge to investigate and discover who you are.

Good enough is just not good enough for me. This year press in a little deeper get to know your wife a bit more. Be the knight in shining armor that you are meant to be. Fight for your marriage, fight for her heart and you will be blessed beyond measure in your marriage journey.

How can you love your wife more?

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Early on in my career as an entrepreneur, I was told that you can’t be a good father and an excellent businessman. I bought into the lie that I had to choose one or the other. That somehow they were mutually exclusive. What happened is someone who I knew and trusted forced their self-limiting beliefs on me. This level of thinking caused me to bounce back in forth between an extreme focus on my business and intense focus on my family. I would either be all in as a father and husband or all in as an entrepreneur. In my heart, I would feel like I was always robbing from one and giving my all in the other. Always failing, always feeling guilty. This level of thinking leads only to guilt and condemnation.

Can you be a good father and entrepreneur

If you are struggling in juggling the balance between fatherhood and entrepreneurship, follow these four guideposts

Prayer/stillness. When we already feel like we don’t have enough time for business or family are tendency can be to squeeze every second of the day into movement. The desire to be in constant motion is derived from feeling time moving means more ground gained. Movement equating to ground gained can be true, but I know in my life that I am inefficient with most of my day. The Pareto principle states that eighty percent of the output from a given situation or system is determined by twenty percent of the input. Pareto principle is true for my life, and I know that it is true for your life as well. The only way that you are going to figure out your twenty percent that you need to put your effort into is to have reflection and prayer. Pause to ask the creator of the universe what you should do. Pause and reflect on what has worked and even more importantly what didn’t so you can stop spending your time doing it. Prayer and stillness must be built into our lives daily to be the best husbands, fathers, and entrepreneurs that we are capable of being.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Priority. There is a great analogy that Dr Henry Cloud gives. He said if you fill a glass jar with large rocks then put smaller rocks in the jar, and they will fill in the gaps left by the bigger rocks. Then put sand in the glass and it will fill in the space left by both sizes of stones. Last put water in the glass, and it will fill in all the space remaining. However, if you do the opposite and put the same amount of water in first, then sand, then smaller rocks, and last the big rocks the big rocks won’t fit. This is how your life is; you must start with the big rocks. If you know the big rocks for you, you will be the man you desire to be. For me, I must start with God, and then my wife, children, others, then my business. If I approach life with this priority, win! Priorities will help you to be the dad and businessman you hope to be.  Here are some questions from Dr. Cloud in his article in Success Magazine to help identify your big rocks.

  1. If I only had one week to live, how would I live?
  2. What are the top four rocks—the most important things—in my life?
  3. How can I create a lifestyle that is in alignment with my rocks?
  4. What legacy do I want to leave?

Speak. We must express our expectations. Not of others but for ourselves, affirming that I will be a man of intention, focus, and presence. Affirmation is something that I have begun to do more and more. I strive to be what I say to myself in the morning. I am raising my expectation; I expect to win, and, therefore, I rise to that standard. Studies show that we believe more of what we say then what others say. Rewrite your story by using the most powerful muscle in your body your tongue. Speak your expectations and be the man God made you to be.

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Boundaries. You must build your fences. Fences for yourself and for others to follow. A lack of boundaries causes a lack of presence and productivity. We have great freedom we are given, and entrepreneurialism enhances that. With great freedom comes great responsibility and ownership of that freedom. The only way to steward freedom properly is by setting up boundaries. Here are my top five: 1. Biblical match. 2. Mental presence and physical presence to match. 3. A day of rest a week. 4. Priority 5. Identifying a problem or a concern. These are five different banks of my river. When I follow them, my life flows when I use my freedom improperly it always causes a problem for me. Set boundaries to have the freedom that brings life not death.

In the end, perfection is a myth. Improvement and presence are what we should be after. Focus on being the best version of yourselves in the moment of time that you are presently in. Adjust, move, ask for forgiveness, pray for wisdom, and never give in. Failure happens in giving up and giving in. Take a step and trust Him with the rest. Be blessed on your journey.

Are you a good entrepreneur and father?

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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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