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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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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