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There is a temptation that many entrepreneurs don’t want to mention. That temptation is to ignore your family. Oh, we won’t color it up that way. We will say things like, delayed gratification or it’s a season. That sounds better than I am ignoring my responsibilities as a dad or mom. But let’s be honest a lot of seasons last years. Your kids can’t be raised properly with an absently dad or mom for a few years.
This last weekend my wife went away to a woman’s retreat with our church. I had the whole weekend with my three kids.
No my son is not on fire. He is a good distance away.
It was so fun! We camped out, had bonfires, watched movies, and March Madness basketball.
In my earlier years, I would have miss labeled this weekend an inconvenience. However, this last week is what entrepreneurism is all about. The ability to have freedom of time when you own your company is often overlooked.
When no one tells you what to do and when to do it. You can be the ultimate family man or the ultimate workaholic the choice is yours, and you make that choice whether you know it or not.
I have found there are a few questions to ask when deciding whether to work of be with the family that makes your choice a little easier.
Can they do it? The more people you lead, the more people will ask you to do a lot of different things. Is what is getting asked of you something they can do themselves? Often the answer is yes. Often your team is looking for the easy way out, and that is confirmation from the leader. If so don’t proceed, but through the question back at the team member. If they can’t do it, then move to the next phase of questioning.
Can I help? This question is the most fundamental but crucial. Do you have the time and resources to help or do you merely just want to help? The more people you have under your leadership, the more you need to check your resources. It is important to know that difference. If you have the resources, you will move on to the next form of questioning.
What is the result? This is crucial to answering whether we are helping someone or hurting them. Often we don’t wonder what the result will be of our actions, but it can be helpful or devastating its important to know the difference. Are your harming or hurting is another way you can pose this line of questioning.
Can anyone else do it? In business, there are many things we do, but others can do it. However, no one can be the dad or mom you are supposed to be, or the husband or wife God destined you to be. You only have so much time, and you must use it wisely on things that only you can do.
If you answer all these questions before acting, I am sure the answer will be clear. Most days the choice will be family, but sometimes that choice will be to work a little more. Take each day as it comes, and you will be blessed on your journey.

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In a sluggish daze, I slowly opened my eyes. I could hear my three-year-old saying, “can I get up know?” Startled out of my sleep is the way most days have begun lately. I haven’t risen early but have slept in an hour more to wake up to one of my kids posing the question. My jolting awake has usually been followed by the non-verbal actions of me rolling out of bed and unconsciously staggering toward the coffee maker.

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photo by: KCNewman photography

As the aroma of coffee began to fill the house I had a sudden thought I could not shake. Are you a Jackass or a race horse? Saturday was my first day off in a month, and I wrote this off as an exhausted mind making things up. I certainly felt nothing like a race horse.

This season has been a busy one I am running two stores and now have come on staff at my church as the Life Groups Coordinator in charge of 48 groups. I have been overwhelmed and gotten into Martha mode. Hustling the wrong way, exhausted and empty.

I went back to sleep at ten in the morning this day for a couple of hours. Then woke up for an hour and then again at one in the afternoon laid back down. Crashing in a heap mentally and physically depleted. The whole day I couldn’t get out of my mind, jackass or racehorse you choose. That was it, my day off turned into a random question and sleeping. At nine that night I was ready for bed and I slept hard yet again.

The next morning I got up and tied my running shoes and went for a run. Jogging back up my driveway I felt charged up and alive. Ready to take on the world! Have you seen race horses at the starting gates? They clamor and bang on the gates waiting to go. Chomping at the bit, nervous energy flowing through their body. If you open those gates, they are going to charge out.

The donkey not so much. Stubborn most of the time holding its ground. Anchored in position the master will try and pull the rope attached to the bridle and tug to no avail. Pulled into action against its will. It fights against instead of charging out like the race horse.

I can be the racehorse but often I am so tired I am like the jackass. Abstinent and defiant begging to not go. Worn out and exhausted I am resting from my work. We are called to work from our rest. We are called to fill up so that we can pour out. We are called to flow out from the Sabbath, but it’s hard. It’s hard because we look at the tasks and put that above all. It’s hard because people will always want your help. It’s hard because when we rest sometimes, it gives space for us to think about our failures. Rest is just hard for the go-getters. God whispers to rest, and I will give you what you need to accomplish, yet I fit as much in and try to find time to rest.

Are you feeling like a racehorse? For me, I had forgotten what that felt like. I hadn’t had space to let go and be still. Here are some things to check to make sure you keep energized and focused.

Sleep. You need to know how much you need and stick to it. If you have young kids, and you need more sleep go to bed earlier, that is the only way that you can get more. They will wake up with the sun if they are like mine.

Extrovert/Introvert. Know which you need. I love people, but I need to be alone to recharge. I was not getting my time in the morning before the kids were up and this was a factor in my burn out. Know which one you need and be proactive in it.

God. Prayer, reading the Bible, and just sitting at the feet of Jesus is necessary to having a healthy life for any Christian. The One that knit you in your mother’s womb knows what you need. Ask God and move on what He says.

Patience. Lack of patience is the root of burnout for me. I am trying to make stuff happen, and I want it to happen NOW. Charging out of the gates has served me well, and it has also led to burnout. Look at all you are trying to do and ask someone that is further down the path then you are. They will tell you if you’re trying to eat an elephant in one bite.

Lead from health and rest and look around so that you can enjoy the journey. When we rush seasons of our lives we can miss the beauty in the very moment, we are trying to work past. There will always be another mountain and always another challenge to overcome. We forget the most basic of things sometimes. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Be blessed on your journey.

Do you struggle to rest?

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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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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.

4 stumbling

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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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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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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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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Most entrepreneurs have their hearts set on expansion. Standing still is not really an option as there is always another hill to climb. The vision is rarely a single entity but a small little empire. Our eyes are always looking for new markets and new opportunities. In business we need to be quick to act as to not miss out on an opportunity. However, if we jump to quick our business that we worked so hard to build can crumble to the ground.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

Expansion within a business is a time of vulnerability and if we don’t adjust properly we can kill what use to be successful. It is not a time to fear but it is a point that needs great clarity and forward thinking. If you are contemplating expansion make sure you can answer these 5 questions.

1. How will your role change? Different stages require a different owner. In the beginning you need to do everything. As you grow your role changes and morphs. The more you micromanage the greater lid you put on your company. You will need to change and adapt as your company matures. You need to write down how your role changes. It is important to remind yourself what you do but also what you don’t spend your time doing.

2. Have you replaced yourself? The reason you want to write out the change in role is so that you can create new job descriptions for staff members. Being able to give both tasks and key results areas is crucial so that you are able to inspect what you expect. As a business owner it is your job to replace and train yourself out of a job. Replace yourself before expansion to make the transition smoother.

3. What if you fail? Failure or at least less than desirable results may happen. You need to be prepared for an action plan of failure. Writing down both a time and willingness for loss is crucial for an entrepreneur. Often when something is failing a business hangs on too long and damage themselves to a point of no return. Writing down both a pivot and time table will help eliminate emotional decisions.

4. What if you succeed? There are two types of problems in business. Not enough business and too much business. If new business is not handled properly the customer may never try you again. If this expansion blows the roof off of your company make sure that you can handle it. If you want your company to thrive it heavily depends on your ability to take in and take care of new clients. Plan for success.

5. How is your cash flow and savings? Cash is king and often it is not treated as such. Knowing your numbers is the lifeblood of your business. With expansion you require more money to keep your doors open. You need to make sure that your emergency fund is nice and healthy. Know what parts of your company are producing profit and what parts are pulling you down. Be vigilant with your cash flow, the bigger you become the easier it is to be sloppy with your money.

Answer these five questions to avoid business failure during expansion. As the great John Wooden said, “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” Move quickly but don’t rush the process and your expansion will be the dream you desire not a nightmare.

Are you looking at expansion?

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There is a difference between hustling really hard and getting into works of the flesh. I am sure that like me you want to not only include God in your dreams and aspirations, but you want to do what He has for your life. It is quite simple to slip into works of the flesh and try to do things on our own strength. Heck it’s not just easy, but natural to operate in the works of the flesh. What feels unnatural to us is being led by the Spirit. Although this feels unnatural it is the only way to have true peace.

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

Getting into works of the flesh is a common problem for all of us. It is not cut and dry because you can be Spirit led and work really hard and can also barely work and be into works of the flesh. To help you on your journey here are 4 signs you’re into works of the flesh.

1. Out of priority. The moment we get out of alignment is a sign that we are into the flesh. Your priorities should be God, then spouse, kids, the body, and then your career. This is a life priority, not a time allocation. When you notice that you are out of priority quickly realign your life back into “balance.”

2. Jealousy/comparing. Both of these go hand in hand with each other. We compare to show how we are better than someone else or we compare to show how we are more “spiritual” than someone else. Comparing your hustle or work to others is a sure-fire sign that you are operating in the flesh. It is hard for me to not get into comparison and jealously. I often struggle with the thought of, “What does he have that I don’t?” When I have a thought like this, I am focused on myself and not on Christ.

3. Loss of peace. One of the attributes of being plugged into Christ is peace. No matter what the storm is in your life you can have peace. It is overwhelming and passes understanding, however, it is ever-present when you are plugged into the vine. It is an impossible peace to describe until you encounter it when everything around you is falling apart.

4. Mental weariness. When you are operating in the flesh you are trying to figure things out and rationalize life. The ways of God will not always make sense. Mental weariness comes in when we try to “figure it out.” Trusting God is moving when He says move and not going around and around in your mind. Get off the mar-a-go-round in your mind and trust God!

Galatians 5:19-21 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[a] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[b] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

In the end, the moment we start to get frustrated is the point at which we move from working in the Spirit to working in the flesh. You can be working 100 hours in a week and be working in the Spirit or you can be working ten hours a week and be working in the flesh. Being led by God will have fruit that is of God. Not fruit of strife and confusion. If you are off the path get back on with Jesus.  Be blessed on your journey.

How do you recognize when you need to readjust? 

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