Don’t Hate it – Change it!

How to Change Your Life and Business

fake-smile-guy-300x225“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

These are actually three separate commands but together they show you how to change your life completely.. and as with every biblical insight this also applies to your business. No matter what your life or business currently looks like, these three statements are a roadmap for transforming your situation. If you have said, “I want to change my life,” it is worth your time to study this particular verse of Scripture.

Let’s look at the three components of this verse.
There are three verbs used here: rejoice, be patient and be constant. Note that the first thing we are commanded to do is not to act or even to pray but to rejoice! Rejoicing in hope means keeping a consistently positive attitude and claiming the promises of the Scriptures. Oftentimes, when an important deal falls through, you don’t land a sale, you experience internal employee issues, your clients start complaining.. (need I go on?) ‘Rejoicing’ can sound bleak. I know what you’re thinking, “C’mon Todd, Really!? Rejoice?? It’s a miracle if I make it through the day in one piece!” However, we should be living our lives as if we truly believe the promise of Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” The Lord of all Creation plans prosperity and happiness for us, not pain and suffering! That is enough to keep us positive and upbeat no matter what is happening in our lives. You may be in the thick of it right now, but trust in Him and rejoice.

The next command is to be patient. How hard is this one! I can struggle with patience, and I’m willing to bet you do as well. Yet, God commands us to be patient, in life and in business. Isaiah 40:31 promises, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” It is worth it to wait on the Lord’s timing, to trust in him that your prosperity and success will come, He always delivers on HIS time.

Finally, we should be constant in prayer. If you really want to know how to change your life, this command is going to be key. I know that when I wanted to change my life, prayer had to be a part of that change. If I want to change my life in the future, prayer must be present. Continual prayer is not only a privilege, it is a command of God if we really want change! Try this: Whenever a stressful or negative thought about yourself or business creeps in, turn it suddenly into a prayer. Take it to God, He cares and wants to hear from you.

Feelings Change – What’s Your Business Foundation Based On?

 

Do You Have an Emotional Quick Sand Business?
Take a Look at Your Decisions So Far.

6534903_sOne of the saddest realities of our modern age is the fact that so many people make important decisions based on feelings. In fact, many of us act as if our feelings are the only things that matter! What we forget is that feelings change and do not make good business foundations or foundations for any long-term commitment. Naturally, we want to love what we do and who we are with, but there is more to building successful foundations in business and in life than just feelings.

When I say this, I do not want to give you the wrong impression. Certainly you must love the person you marry, and love is a feeling. However, what happens in too many cases is that we get caught up in the intense feelings at the beginning of a relationship and ignore some very real facts. An example that comes to mind is the young man who was raised as a Christian and lives a committed Christian life until he meets a girl who is a non-believer. He has “feelings” for her and wants to make her his wife. Therefore, he ignores the Bible verse that warns against being “unequally yoked” with unbelievers and marries her.

Fast forward a few years. The intense “love” feelings that he felt at the beginning of the relationship have faded, but no real respect or caring has arisen to take their place. The two of them have nothing in common; in fact, the more he finds out about her, the less he thinks their marriage can work. This poor young man is miserable, torn between an inevitable divorce and his conviction that he should try to make his marriage work.

Can the same thing happen in business? You bet it can.
In many ways, running a business is like a marriage. You must be committed to your work and you must build those strong and successful foundations in business that will take you through the dark times as well as the good ones. You cannot do this if you are basing decisions solely on ephemeral and passing feelings. Feelings change, and when your business foundations are based only on your momentary emotions, you are asking for eventual problems.

How to Release Fear in Business

I Will Not Lie to You or Pretend:

There have been times I have been afraid for my business.

0306_market_fears_400x400-300x300Competitors, money problems, employee issues.. all of these factors can inflict stress, fear and anxiety. But how do we get rid of it? It’s all about a solid foundation and a heavy dose of faith.

There have been times that I have hit the proverbial “rock bottom” and could not see my way ahead. However, I have learned a secret of how to release fear in business that has served me well no matter what I did or where I found myself. Instead of living in fear in business, I have learned to trust that God meant exactly what He said in His Scripture.

What Scripture Tells Us:
Let’s start with a very easy Bible verse that tells us exactly what to do when we suffer from fear in business or in any area of our lives. In Psalm 56:3, David said, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in You.” David had reason to understand fear. Think about his life; in some ways, it could hardly qualify as a success story! However, the one true thread that ran through this man’s life and is clear to anyone who studies him is his trust in God.

When David marched out onto the field to confront Goliath, he certainly must have been afraid! However, his response to the giant’s cruel taunts reveals a great deal about this young man’s mindset: “For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:47).

David not only believed that the Lord would somehow defeat this giant; he also believed that the Lord would deliver the entire army into Israel’s hands. He was right! The Bible says that David, armed only with a sling and stone, rushed forward to meet this giant who could have easily crushed him with one hand. How could he do that and banish his very understandable fear so completely? The only answer is that David truly believed what the Lord had promised him.

After thinking about little David and his battle with Goliath, it is clear that we already have the tools for how to release fear in business. Whatever your concern, fear in business can be banished when we rely on the promises that God has given us!

What Logic Tells Us:
Remember, trusting in the Lord is pivotal, but you also need to be proactive and cautious in your logical mind.

Do not allow yourself to make business decisions based on, or pushed through by emotions. These emotions will surely change and you’ll be left holding the crumbling pieces of your once passionate decision.

I would also recommend that you find and keep a mentor. Mentorship is one of the best, and most sacred, relationships/ tools we as business owners can secure. This support and continued teaching helps us to further grow, learn, and ultimately prosper in business. A mentor has ‘been there done that’ and can understand while providing sage council.

Release your fear, seek and secure a support system, and watch your profits grow!

Start With Self-Worth To Gain Net Worth

Do You Struggle with Inner Conflict?

mark-victor-hansen-quote_157-146-4For example, you may believe that you have been put into a position to help others but you are also concerned about providing for your family. Can you be a good business owner and a Christian as well? Of course!

The key is starting by nurturing your self-worth to grow your net-worth in business. The growth of self-worth is directly related to net worth.

Everyone who starts a business wants to succeed. No matter what type of business you own, you are probably constantly thinking about it and how to make it more successful. Should you hire more workers? Should you borrow money to expand? Should you let go of some of your control and trust those who manage for you? Building net worth is the goal of any business, and sometimes it can be troubling if you do not see the fruits of your efforts immediately.

However, it is important to remember who you are and value yourself in the process. If you are a Christian, your business is only another extension of your walk with God. It is not a separate, isolated part of your life where Christ has no business! Your relationship with the Father should permeate everything you do in business as well as in your personal life.

Let’s look at a Bible verse that is often quoted although it is not always applied in every area of our lives, Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Let me tell you what that really means. You are not an afterthought or a castaway. You are a child of the Living God who has promised to meet every single one of your needs “according to His riches.” I have to tell you, His riches are pretty rich!

If you have not spent time developing your Christian self-worth, now is the time to start. Until you understand your position to God as a child redeemed by Christ Himself, you will never see self-worth in business or, indeed, self-worth in any area of your life. On the other hand, when you realize that you are a child of the King, your business will prosper, just as God promised!

Clarity in Business- Do You Have Your God Glasses On?

Before You Start a Business:

future-vision-450x298You need a vision of what that business will be, how it will impact others, and how you hope to improve the lives of yourself and your family as well as those with a stake in the business. Everything starts with a vision, but before it can materialize you have to accomplish many steps. God does this many times in the Bible, laying out the steps for someone before they can get what they desire. He shows Moses the Promised Land, and with that vision Moses inspires the Israelites.

Just like your business starts as a vision and through a certain process, becomes reality, so do these Biblical stories. God knows these processes, though they might be long and difficult, work. Taking time and doing things right is the only way to find clarity in business. Otherwise, you risk taking the wrong steps and losing everything in the process.

Inspire Your Employees
As much as your vision is your inspiration, and what has motivated you to create your company, it’s important to share it. Your employees must also have that vision in business to know what they’re working for, so that they believe in you and your company. Knowing that they’re working for a clear, concrete mission will keep your employees invested, even when they have to spend a lot of their time accomplishing the menial tasks that go into creating a stronger whole. They will want to stick around to help the company grow and see it through to the realization of that vision. Continuing to inspire your employees is what will make the vision come true.

Attract Customers
Your vision in business will also attract customers. You want to share your message with the masses, and one of the best ways to do that is to take advantage of social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are one of the best ways to reach as many people as possible, and they will help you to successfully grow your business. Word of mouth now exists on a much bigger scale; rather than an individual telling several others about a great experience with a business, they can broadcast it to hundreds of people with the simple click of a button. Make sure you learn how to use social media to share your vision in business with others; you can inspire prospective customers just as much as employees, and your business will flourish. Using social media can help turn “word” of mouth promotion into “world” of mouth business growth!

5 Tips for Mastering Communication in Your Life

Communication is one of the biggest factors
to success in business, and in life.

Communication2Sadly, despite this, quite a lot of people are pretty bad at it. No one is completely self-sufficient, and everyone needs someone else, at least some of the time. Mastering communication is a prudent and necessary way to ensure that you’re always successful in getting what you need, and I have five tips to help you get there.

1) Learn how to find out what other people need.

This may seem counterintuitive; asking others will delay you getting what you want, right? Wrong. In fact, asking what someone else wants, even if you already know, allows them to communicate in their own words; giving them that respect makes them more receptive to your input.

2) Establish your credibility.

Being recognized as credible is crucial to your success in business. Having others recognize your work as legitimate will help you to be treated correctly, and you must learn to act and speak in a way that doesn’t undermine that. It can be almost impossible to regain respect once you’ve lost your credibility.

3) Ease the burdens of others.

As a Christian, I feel like this is such a simple tip to follow, because you’re following Christ’s teachings. Being a Christian in the business world might seem like a conflict of interests, but as long as you think of it as your job to remove other’s burdens, you’ll be fine. You must learn to get fundamentally deep into a problem, but also keep your mouth shut and learn from others. Once you have a concrete sense of what the person you’re talking to does, you’ve already developed a strong relationship from listening to them. Then, it’s simple to fulfill their wants and needs to relieve their burden.

4) Use your network.

Eventually, you’ll establish a network of people with various skills, who are likeminded and trustworthy. If you can’t shoulder the burden of the person you’re dealing with, then you’ll know the person to call who can. You’ll get their problem solved, help your associate in that network find work, and elevate yourself in both parties’ minds.

5) Paint a clear picture.

This last one is short: learn how to say exactly what you want to say. The clearer the picture you paint, the less negotiable aspects of it are, and the more often you get the result you desire. When the vision is clear, the words to describe it will be non-negotiable.

Take these tips for mastering communication to heart, and incorporate them into your day-to- day life. I assure you, you’ll see the difference.

Business Boundaries… Have You Heard of Them?

When starting a business, there are steps that everyone must take to begin.

pinned to a cornerHowever, I’ve noticed that a lot of people miss a crucial one when they’re laying the foundation for their business: they don’t sit down and take some time to really figure out what they believe. I don’t mean simply discussing what their beliefs are, but really considering what principles in business they hold onto. These principles should be questioned, and only held onto if they can be backed up by something factual and concrete. That way, there’s a clear-cut line drawn in regard to what you are and are not willing to do for your business, and the line will exist for a truly good reason.

Creating boundaries for your business is essential for a strong foundation. If you hold your business to principles that you believe simply because you feel that they’re right, without really vetting them, you could end up being your own worst enemy. Consider it this way: what beliefs would you still hold onto if someone challenged them holding a gun to your head? Certain long-held principles in business wouldn’t hold up, for example “the customer is always right.” Sometimes, the customer is wrong, and if your business boundaries don’t account for that, you’ll end up compromising your beliefs just to keep that customer around. True, customers are an important part of any business. However, if you find yourself going against your beliefs for someone who’s wrong, you’ve built your business on an unstable foundation that can’t help but crumble.

No one envisions their business lasting for only a few years; entrepreneurs create a business hoping it will outlast them. However, if you’re not taking the time to really create those business boundaries, you’re setting yourself up for failure. There’s a saying that I really love that goes, “When it comes to decision-making, it’s only hard to make a decision when you don’t know what you believe.” Your morals and principles in life should be your morals and principles in business, or they’re not strong enough to stand up to scrutiny, or the test of time. If you’re creating boundaries based on your morals and principles, you’ll never regret a decision because you’ll know, without a doubt, that it’s the right one. Even if it’s difficult, the knowledge that you’ve made the right call will pull you, and your business, though the tough times.

Is Multitasking in Business Killing Your Productivity?

It seems like everywhere we go these days,
everyone we see is doing several things at once.

5.23Multitasking has become the norm in our society and it seems to make sense; multitasking means getting everything done more quickly by overlapping the tasks you need to accomplish, right?  Well, I think that’s wrong.  Studies show that multitasking actually makes us less productive than we would be if we simply focused on the task at hand and finished it before moving on to the next one. When you’re multitasking in business, you could actually be killing your productivity. Remember this tip, wherever you are…be there!

There’s another reason I dislike multitasking: you’re never fully doing anything.  Every action you try to complete is devalued by the fact that you’re not putting all of yourself into it.  If you spend too much time multitasking in business, it will start to show in your work, your relationships with coworkers and clients, and your overall performance.  Instead of putting you ahead, business multitasking can actually push you behind in your career. A successful person is the one who can best differentiate between those things that should be done and the things that must be done.

It may seem like a small bit of multitasking such as answering an email while on a conference call is insignificant, but it could hurt you: those at the other end of the call will feel that you’re less engaged, and that could cost you dearly- people won’t want to continue working with someone who isn’t invested.  Plus, you risk getting your wires crossed, making a typo in the email or speaking part of the email in the call.  In short, you’ll look like you don’t know what you’re talking about, which is never a good thing.

If you’re still not convinced, think of it this way: God didn’t multitask while creating the world. Not because He couldn’t, but because the task deserved His complete energy and attention.  There is a deliberate order to everything: God created a place for man before he created man, and creating a business follows a similar trajectory.  Doing these things one by one, gracing them with your full attention, and then crossing them off your list when you’re done, is a stronger strategy for success.  Instead of multitasking in business, accomplish things one at a time, working fully until the task is complete and you can cross it off your list.

Do You Have an Attitude of Criticism or Motivation?

Everywhere you look these days,
it seems as though someone has something to say about Millenials.

Self-Entitled-MillenialMaybe there’s really a vast difference between this generation and members of Generation X and the Baby Boomers. Or, perhaps those of us in the older generations are forgetting the countless things that differentiated us from our elders. Regardless, popular culture has been inundated with criticisms of Millennials, as well as members of the generation defending themselves, and I know I, for one, would prefer to help ease these tensions and encourage those of the Millenial generation to explore their full potential.

In some ways, members of the Millenial generation have gotten the short end of the stick. Many of them are graduating from universities with a lot of student loan debt and not a lot of job opportunities. Often, they are working part-time jobs rather than the fulltime, salaried ones that many desire. On the other hand, they have opportunities no generation before has enjoyed. Modern technology has made this young generation globally- minded and assertive. Also, sites such as YouTube have allowed talented individuals to enjoy worldwide notice and acclaim, and some of them seized upon the opportunity to create more work for themselves.

Another mark of this young generation is their thirst for experiences. Many would rather travel, enjoy nights out, or even get tattoos than put money into savings. On one hand, you and I may look at the spending preferences of Millenials and criticize them for being foolish. However, I’d rather stop criticizing and start motivating, hoping that these young people heed some of the wisdom we have to offer. True, many current circumstances (the aforementioned student loan debt, the fact that young people are getting married later than earlier generations, etc.) make saving money seem foolish; however, we should help them understand that putting money away now will mean they’ll be able to retire before working becomes too difficult for them. It’s our job to prepare Millenials for positive thinking and success.

Finally, I think we can learn from their enjoyment; it’s best to be prudent with money, but occasionally stopping to enjoy life is a wonderful lesson many of us forget. It’s also wise to travel or even work abroad: for one, becoming familiar with the ways of another culture makes you a more well-rounded, empathetic person. For another, as a Christian I believe God created the Earth. The desire to see the planet in all its magnificence is a sign of respect to God’s divine inspiration.

How Successful People Think

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about failure.

successful people thinkingI’ve been wondering what “to fail” really means and who decides if we’ve failed.  I think Simon Sinek sums it up perfectly when he says, “Failure is not tied to money; it is a mindset.  Failure is when we accept the lot we are given.”

Now, on some level, we have to accept the lot we’re given; you’d have to be delusional to be in complete denial of your present circumstance.  However, what I think Sinek means is that failure is when we look at our present circumstance and dislike it, but we don’t do anything to change it.  You have to want to transcend your lot, and that will motivate you so that you don’t fail.  Negative thoughts can be poisonous, and a mindset for success can make all the difference.

When I was growing up, my family was broke- but we weren’t poor.  Poor is a state of mind; while we may have technically been experiencing poverty, it didn’t feel that way.  We were in a more positive place in terms of the way we looked at it, and that made a huge difference.

If failure is driven by our minds, then a successful mindset is the clear school of thought to adapt.  It can be hard to have a positive outlook when you’ve experienced a layoff or downsizing and are in a headspace of failure.  Obviously, this has been a very real problem since 2008’s financial crisis, and many people have struggled since.  Losing your job and struggling to find a new one can make it seem like it’s the end of your career, but you still have a wealth of potential for success.

I talk about this a lot in my upcoming book, God Was Self- Employed, but one of the beautiful and unique things about the United States of America is that citizens can create their own wealth.  It takes a lot of hard work, motivation, and persistence; that’s probably no surprise.  It takes one more thing, too, and this may be the most important: an attitude of success.  Don’t fall into the mindset of failure, and never simply accept a circumstance you dislike; if you do these things, you’ll never fail.