What Is Before Your Eyes (Part Two)

In my last blog, I wrote about Jacob and how he used the power of positive imagery to create a future for himself [Read here].  Today I am writing  along the same lines but now my focus is on Jacob’s grand father Abraham. I find Abraham very interesting. Here is a man who left his home country at the age of seventy-five, with his wife and all his possessions to seek a new life with God.

I don’t know about you but I am pretty sure that most of his colleges and family members thought he was stupid for embarking on such a journey at that age. In any case, as a result of his obedience to leave his country and faith in God, God made a covenant or strong agreement with him.

In spite of this covenant, Abraham was deeply concerned that his servant Eliezer would inherit all his possessions. The reason for this concern was because Abraham and his wife Sarah were childless. So how did God begin the process of solving this problem?

Gen 15:5-6 says “Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous.”

Isn’t it interesting that Gods first remedy for Abraham and Sarah childlessness was not an all expense paid trip to the Bahamas to get their “mojo”back nor Viagra or the latest fertilization pills (not that those are bad). God simply started by changing what Abraham was seeing about his future.

God said “Look,” change what you are looking at and it will change the current situation to match your desire for your future. This is so crucial because what you are looking at, will determine what you think and what you think will determine who you are and what you have.

So how can we apply this practically today? well, our eyes need to be looking constantly at images of where we want to be, who we want to become or what you want to have or accomplish.

A way to achieve this is to use something called a  vision board. A vision board helps to create a good image of our goals and dreams. I was introduced to this concept by my mentor and it really works.

Creating a vision board is very simple. Basically, I just went online and downloaded a bunch of pictures of things I want to manifest in my life presently or of some goals I want to achieve.

For example, my vision board is based on my values and one of my values is family. So I just created a word document with various images or pictures of happy families that I downloaded from the internet which I review and look at for about 10 to 15mins everyday.

Alternatively, you can just get these pictures and paste all around your work space or kitchen. Friends, your dream may seem unattainable but never underestimate the power of vision and the images that are infront of you especially if they are positive. God bless.

Decision for today:  I will start by creating an atmosphere in my house, work place etc with positive imagery.

Question for today:  What do I want to see in my marriage, finances, business?

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What’s Before Your Eyes

There is a story in the bible about an entrepreneur called Jacob. At the time of this story, he was an employee of his crafty uncle Laban. He was not happy about his salary and working conditions. So Jacob decided to do something about it. What Jacob did to remedy the situation, simply bordered on tact, genius, faith and off course hope. His goal was to build enough assets for himself to compensate for the low salary his was getting.

His plan, build the correct image mentally.  This how he went about it, Jacob told his uncle to separate the speckled (The sheep that had white on them) and sported sheep (all the dark-colored ones) from the rest of the sheep. He requested that his uncle give him all the sported and speckled sheep as his payment (assets are always the best wages) while the others would belong to his uncle. This gave an unfair advantage to his uncle because most of the sheep were not speckled or spotted. To sweeten the deal,  Laban removed the existing sported and speckled sheep from the others and put them in the care of his sons. What this meant was that Jacob did not even have any sported or speckled animal to work with, making it almost impossible for Jacob to achieve his goal.

In any case, Jacob agreed to the terms and on the surface, it seemed like Laban had made a killing on the deal. However Jacob had a secret. So what was the secret Jacob had? Well, Gen 30:37-40 says ” Jacob however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.  Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban.”

The result of this was tremendous. Jacob’s livestock increased and Laban’s did not. So what am I getting at here? well, Jacob basically created an image of the result that he wanted and constantly fixed his eyes on it. The image he created by peeling the bark of the wood, built up hope in his mind which set the same process in motion in the sheep. Hope creates a vision for your future and vision can influence your present situation.

So what is before your eyes today? Sometimes, it is not what you see for your future that matters, it is what you are seeing “Now,” right in front of you that determines your future. So change the image in front of you and you will change the life ahead of you.

Decision for today: I will change the image I have about myself, my finance or my business.

Question for today: What steps can I take to change the negative images I have created in my mind?

Nothing Wrong In Being A Guru

One of the most important things an entrepreneur should constantly embrace  is acquiring knowledge.  It is actually the difference between a successful entrepreneur and  an unsuccessful one.  If you are going to advance your business or organization to the next level, an excise in constantly informing yourself in your area of specialty is necessary.

When I use the word “knowledge,” I mean getting helpful insights and tips on the products/services you are offerings as well as insights on how to improve your process in connecting this with your client base.

You know, there is nothing as frustrating as for a client to engage with an uninformed entrepreneur. You will lose business often and quickly if your clients senses that you really don’t have any idea on what you are actually offering.

The bible says “My people perish for lack of knowledge[Hosea 4:6] ” and your business or organization will not advance if you as the leader or entrepreneur don’t have adequate knowledge in that field.

I believe that every entrepreneur should aspire to be an expert or  guru in their field. It doesn’t mean you have to know everything, what I mean is that, you need to know enough about what you are offering and communicate it clearly to your clients.

It also means that you know extensively what your target market loves. This is so important because if you are ignorant about these fundamentals, your clients will not be convinced that you can solve their problems.

As an entrepreneur myself, I have made many mistakes in this area and one thing I have noticed is that clients who are aware of your expertise in an area seldom argue with your suggestions to them.

This is so because any one that has risen from the level of just regurgitating the specifications of the clients to actually adding value to their request always gets the ears of their clients.

The first level of just “re-producing” what the clients wants is ok and common when you are just starting. In fact some clients just want you to give them what they want. However, we you are a “Guru or Expert” in that field, your clients will pay you extra to get your opinion on the their request.  They come to you  as a consultant to get your recommendations. This usually occurs when clients can see the positive results of your work  and  can sense your knowledge in that field.

Knowledge always yields results, ignorance never yields results. Proverbs 15:4 says ” The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly” That says it all.

So if we want to take our business or organization to the next level, let’s get knowledge in that area. Regardless of your field, get information on it, join organizations that speak to what you are doing, find mentors, read books and seek  out things that can help feed you with knowledge.

So there is nothing wrong with being a “Guru” as long as you are willing to being a life-long student. So “Take it to the top.” Happy Sunday.

Decision for today: I will seek out knowledge in my field of business. I commit to discovering tips for success.

Question for today: In what area do I need to increase in knowledge, what mentor or material can I connect with to take me to the next level.

Be on the look out for my new E-Book ” The Anatomy Of A Successful Business.”

God bless,

“Working In Love”

There is a difference between a job and work. A job is something you do just for the sake of it. It is something you do to pay the bills. A job is something you do, that you are not passionate or excited about. Someone even said that the word “job” is an acronym for “Just Over Broke.” Funny isn’t it.  However, work is different. Your work is your assignment. It is your purpose and it ties in with what God has called you to do as an individual. Your work always points to your area of passion or pain. Your work is something you enjoy. Your work is the adequate environment where you are at your best and when we work in line with our passions, talents we end up “Working In Love.” “What do you mean by “working in love?” I have heard about “walking in love,” so what do you mean?” you might ask.

Well “Working in love,” means that you are actually “in love” with what you do. Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world is known to have said that he “tap dances” to work every morning. Wow what a statement! To tap dance to work means that he enjoys going to work and loves the challenges  his work setting presents. Investing is Warren Buffets assignment, it is his passion, his assignment and it is his work. That environment, brings out the best in him and when you hear him speak about it, he is always brimming with excitement.

With that said, I can’t imagine putting someone like Mr Buffet in a work setting outside of investments or finance. He will literally die because that is not what he loves to do. Many people are wasting away on jobs that they hate. In fact, some studies have shown that over 70% of the population in the United States are working in jobs that they hate. Another study shows that there more suicides on Mondays in the United States than on any other day because a lot of people dread going back to their boring jobs on Mondays.

So what am I saying here, I am simply saying that we need to discover those things that God has given to us that make us who we are. We need to discover our purpose, our assignment or our work. There is a unique assignment God has called you to carry out. There are passions and talents God has given to us.  The reality is that it might be difficult at first to discover your “work,” in fact, you might have to take some “jobs” before you find that “work,” however in prayer and in meditation, God will show it to you.

In 1 Corinthians 7:17 Paul says “Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.” So take that step to discover your work and when you do, you will experience “Working In Love.”

Decision for today: I choose to spend time discovering, expanding and expressing my God-given assignment or work.

Question for today: What can I do better to discover, expand and express my God-given work?

First Things First

I am currently reading a book titled “The Art of Followership” by Ronald E.Riggio, IRA Chaleff and Jean Lipman-Blumen. It is a compilation of various books, writings and principles about Followership. In it, James Maroosis a contributing writer made this statement and I quote,

“…The point is that what is most needed in any human situation is a humane response, what Peter Drucker calls ” doing first things first.” And first things in the context of leadership, are always the moral things- that is, the right things to do.”

Although in context, this statement refers to leadership/followership, I think there are some nuggets of truth in it that we can learn from.

First of all, the statement  suggests that there is a right way to approach every situation in life.

Secondly, doing the right thing should always be the first thing on our minds because it will determine the final outcome or effect of the situation.

In the bible, there is a story  about two brothers named Cain and Abel. Cain offered a very bland sacrifice to God, there was no thought towards it, he just presented whatever he could find. His attitude was not one of honor but of routine, Cain did not do what was right. On the other hand, Abel his brother, offered himself first to God, put some real thought into his sacrifice and offered his best to God.

The result was that God rejected the offering of Cain but accepted the offerings of Abel. After the offerings were made, God made this statement to Cain.

He said,  “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Gen 4:7

What a statement! In essence, our acceptance as a leaders or followers is largely dependent on our decision and subsequent action to do what is right at all times in any given circumstance. Without getting too deep, we all know the right things to do, we just need to ensure that it is a priority in our value system.

The first thing to do should be the right thing to do. The reason why we relegate doing the right thing first is because most times, the right things are not always the most convenient things to do. Sometimes, doing what is right can be humiliating. It can be tough on us in the present but it will definitely yield great results in the future.

One thing that can help us make  doing the right things a priority in our lives,  is to constantly evaluate the final outcome of our actions.  We should always ask whether what we are doing or about to do will affect us positively or negatively.

So what are you about to engage in this week? What decisions or tasks do you have to undertake. Well, first things first, do the right thing by choosing to do what pleases God. God bless.

Decision for today: Lord, I choose to do what is right today no matter the cost.

Question for Today: How do I keep myself focused on the right things?

Something About That Name

Something interesting happens when you type the word “Followership” in a word document. You get that wavy red line underneath the word, you know, that red wavy line you get when you type in a misspelled or in-correct word (Try it now as you read and see for yourself). When you investigate further, by right clicking the word Followership in the word document, to see if you can get a better suggestion for “Followership,” you get words like “Follower-ship, Fellowship, Followers-hip.”

I don’t know about you but those words have nothing to do with the meaning of Followership. It almost looks like  a conspiracy out there  to completely eradicate the word “Followership,” from our vocabulary.What I find interesting, is that many people don’t like  to  associate themselves with that word or anything that relates to it. If fact, some people have proposed using a different word to represent what Followership means. Some say ” Well, we get the idea or the message behind what that word connotes but can we just do something about that name?” We are constantly bombarded with ads and books that magnify the need for leadership and not a lot expounding the virtues of Followership.

I find this very sad because there is no leadership without followership. John Maxwell said in his book “The 21 Irrefutable laws of Leadership,” that ” He who thinks he leads and no one is following is only taking a walk.” I agree, leadership and followership are different sides of the same coin. So trying to remove the very consciousness or essence of followership from our mind-set is like having a coin with just one side.  A coin with just one side is fake and unreal.  In the same breadth, Leadership without followership is also fake and unreal.

Jesus said, ” Follow me and I will make you fishers of men (Matthew 4:19).” Paul said “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ  (1 Corinthians 11:1).” Your strength as a leader or the influence you will have on others will depend greatly on your ability to follow which is your Followership.

If we have proved the significance or importance of followership as it relates to leadership, then why is there such a push to undermine it? First of all, I think that there is a negative connotation to the word Followership. People see followers as weaklings, idiots and zombies. Also, there is an unattractive perception of Followership that makes us not want to identify with it. Finally, Followership is not a felt need, people would rather listen about leadership or how to make millions than to listen to a message on how to follow.

What we don’t realize is that following after the right principles, people, instructions and having the correct perspective of what it means to follow is what will get us those millions we so passionately desire. So before we eradicate Followership from our vocabulary, let’s try to understand it first.

Celebrate Your SHAPE

One of the best things you can ever do for yourself is to celebrate who you are and what you have. I know it is hard sometimes to accept who we are and what we bring to the table but the reality is that God created us with unique abilities and talents that your immediate world really needs.

I love to read the book  “The purpose Driven Life,” by Rick Warren. It is a book that talks extensively about our uniqueness as people. In the book, Rick Warren discusses about something he calls our “SHAPE.” It is an acronym for Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personalities and Experiences.

We all have “SHAPE.” We have unique gifts that were given to us by God, that when put to use, can change lives around us. These gifts are things we didn’t really ask for but God in His mercies gave them to us anyways.

We have unique passions and things that touch our hearts deeply. Some of us are passionate about flowers, some are passionate about kids in the inner city, others are passionate about arts. I realized that I am very passionate about leadership. I am driven by leadership and can not stand bad leadership. I am also passionate about helping people financially and love it when people rise above whatever limitations life has thrown at them. So those are my passions, what yours?

We also have abilities that are special to God, some people can sing, others can dance, others can speak, while others simply can think things through. God never creates anything without abilities and you can do something with the abilities that you have. So discover what those abilities are and use them to bless someone out there.

We also have personalities and experiences, we can use our personalities and experiences  for good as well. Well you may say “I can’t stand the way I talk or the way I walk or the way I am .” Friends, those thoughts or statements are not from God. Your personalities and experiences however hurtful or insignificant they are to you, can be used for God’s glory.

In 2 Kings 4:2 the bible tells a story about Elisha and a woman whose dead husband left them in serious debt. The scripture says

“Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house? “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

There is always something in the house. Find out what it in there and use it. Many times, we look down at what we have and conclude that what others have is way better. The grass is always greener on the other side but the fruits of our lives will only get sweeter when we celebrate and cultivate what we have on the inside.  So celebrate yourself today, enjoy your SHAPE and let God use it to bless others. Happy Tuesday.