Why You Can Go Sideways

image courtesy of Keith LeBlanc @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Keith LeBlanc @ flickr.com

So, you have been climbing the ladder at your place of work, but now something has changed. You have a desire to move back closer to family. Your spouse has a great opportunity, but that would require you to move. You or a family member gets sick or develops a chronic illness. You have always wanted to live somewhere else, and now you feel is the right time. Whatever the reason you decide you want or need to move, you have just one problem: your company has nothing in that location. You think, do I really want to start over in my career? I have a good job and have worked hard to get here. I’m not sure I want to give it up. If we move, I will have to start over and build up my career again. Moving for any reason will always have an effect on your career.

Look at moving as a opportunity to grow or take a side step in your career. Today, if you have something to offer an employer, they will be willing to negotiate with you. You could talk with your current employer and they might be willing to allow you to work from home. It may not be the same position but it could be a position with equal or similar pay and benefits. You could propose to your company the possibility of expanding to where you are moving. (Be prepared to show them how this would benefit them). You could look at the companies in the area you are moving to and find ones that you would want to work for. Show how the skills you have developed could be helpful to those companies. This could work to keep you at the same place in your career or could even be a step up. You could also look at the skills you have developed over the years to start your own business. You have many options and should look at moving as an opportunity rather than feeling that you are losing something.

Life is not perfect and our situations never will be. Look at what is before you with optimism and think, how can I make the best of this situation? Your career may change many times over your lifetime. Don’t be too concerned about short-term sidesteps in your career. You have the ability to make something great out of those situations.

Inspired by Unpolished

image courtesy of Hogne @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Hogne @ flickr.com

On September 17 and 18 of 2015 my wife and I attended the Unpolished Conference that brought together entrepreneurship and faith to encourage and build into entrepreneurs. The conference was hosted by Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. They had a great lineup of speakers, including Todd HenryJohn GrayJohn Maxwell, Calev Myers, and Mark Burnett. I really enjoyed the conference and was excited to see some businesses developing in the greater Cincinnati area.

I really enjoyed all the speakers at the conference, but my favorite speaker was John Gray. He is the Associate Pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas and an entrepreneur. He is a singer, comedian, and teacher. His spirit on what God has called us to do with our unique gifts inspired me and gave me a push to continue to work hard at what I feel God has called me to do. If you ever have a chance to go see John Gray speak, I highly recommend it as he will inspire and entertain you.

The conference was two wonderful days of inspiration and information on being an entrepreneur. The presenters challenged us to work hard and be educated. There were many wonderful tips provided, but the one that stands out is be educated. Calev Myers stressed the importance of reading books. This confirms what I have heard and read from many other successful people. It reinforced my resolve to make sure I allocate time to read daily.

The Unpolished Conference was a great event, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in faith and entrepreneurship. This event, in addition to Coaching with Excellence hosted by Dan Miller in May of this year, has built into me and has helped me to take the first steps to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Faith and Entrepreneurship

image courtesy of Bob Gala @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Bob Gala @ flickr.com

Today Tricia and I are attending the Unpolished Conference hosted by our church. This conference is unique in that it is about faith and entrepreneurship. I am excited to hear from the speakers about how those two elements work together in their lives. Some people feel these don’t belong together and should be kept separate. People feel that you have a business side of you and a faith side of you. In my life, God comes before anything else.  I feel that if we keep faith out of the business world we risk losing the ethics and good work habits we want.

Being an entrepreneur is about hard work and faith. You have to have faith in what you are doing and that it will succeed. When you start your own company you don’t know if it going to succeed or fail. You work really hard on building your company, but sometimes it doesn’t work out and the company fails. Many entrepreneurs understand this but have faith that they can succeed, so they keep trying. Some start multiple companies or develop several products over their lifetime.

I am not saying you have to believe in God as I do. Develop your spiritual body and invest in finding a faith in something greater than yourself. If you don’t have a strong spiritual aspect to your life, I encourage you to invest in that part of your life and explore and develop your spiritual body. If you have an interest in Christianity and having a relationship with God, read the Bible and explore churches. If you live in the greater Cincinnati Ohio area, please check out Crossroads. My wife and I love it there and have formed friendships with others who are invested in us spiritually and vocationally. Spiritual growth will help build your faith to be strong in your business endeavors.

Business and faith in God complement each other. God has always wanted people to work. God gave Adam a job in the garden even before sin entered the world. God designed people to work and wants us to enjoy our work. Putting God first when starting a business gives you a firm foundation to build upon. God’s commandments guide many of the qualities we look for in good business people. You want to work with people who keep their word, work hard, and don’t steal. Faith and entrepreneurship are closely interrelated, and people work better when they embrace that.

Do You Have Smart Goals?

image courtesy of Paula Naugle @ flickr.com

image courtesy of Paula Naugle @ flickr.com

The other night my wife Tricia and I worked on our SMART goals. As I was writing I would think through the SMART goal setting framework and put down in writing my goals. Almost all of my goals included each element of that framework. I do have goals that I have not fully developed, but I will write them down in some form or get a picture. I will look back at those and brainstorm them to mold them into SMART goals. If I cannot, I will put them back to the dream goals, which if I don’t develop, will stay just that: a dream. My wife and I read our goals to each other and discussed them. It helps to talk about your goals because you can offer encouragement and if needed gentle suggestions about them. My wife and I have goals in all areas of our lives. A primary focus in our goal setting was our business as we are taking the first steps as entrepreneurs.

Let’s look at the SMART goals together. Afterwards go through your goals and write them out according to the SMART goals framework.

  • Specific – Narrow your goals down. Take broad dreams and break them down into single goals. As an example, of one of my goals is: “I will start weekly  Periscopes.” I have more, but this is the specific part and no doubt what my goal is.
  • Measurable – Do you have a way to measure the completion of your goal? An example could be that you want to purchase a home within a year and need to save one thousand dollars per month to do that. You can measure your progress by the money you save month after month.
  • Attainable – Is your goal actually within reach? Lets go back to the example of purchasing a home in one year by saving twelve thousand dollars. If you have a monthly income of two thousands dollars, your goal is likely not attainable. But if you earn eight thousand dollars per month, your goal is attainable. Make your goal something you can achieve.
  • Relevant – Is your goal relevant to want you want to accomplish in your life? If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you want to have business goals that will help you accomplish this.
  • Time-bound – Give yourself an end date to accomplish each goal. If you want to start a blog in 1 month, to accomplish this goal means that by the first of the next month your blog will be up and running.

Now that you’re equipped with the SMART goal setting framework, I would love to hear what some of your goals are. As you start to work more on goals you can add to the SMART goal setting framework by utilizing SMARTER goal setting by adding Evaluate and Revise to the process.

What Are Your Values?

image courtesy of GotCredit @ flickr.com

image courtesy of GotCredit @ flickr.com

We all have values that guide us in how we live. We place value in things like our careers and our homes. When looking for a job you need to examine the values of the company to see if they align with your own. If the company has values that go against yours, do you still want to work for that company? Is there another company whose values more closely align with yours? When developing a business, you need to establish your values for the company. People will want to know your values; if they don’t know your values, they won’t connect with you.

I would like to share with you some values I hold and look for in others – values that help in business:

  • Faith
    • I believe that people have a higher purpose. Making money is not the only reason to go into business. I have faith in God and as a Christian I believe He has called me to help people. I look not only to other Christians but also to people who share and believe in a calling. Faith complements many other values I have. I believe those values are beneficial in business.
  • Honesty
    • I want to work with people who I trust and can depend on. Make your yes be a yes and your no be a no. If you cannot trust the person or people you are working with, how can you be productive? You need to show by your actions that you are honest even when nobody is looking.
  • Graciousness
    • I want to show people that in  everything they do, I appreciate and value them as individuals. If you walk all over people, no one will want to work with you. Show appreciation to people. Compliment them on their work. If you have to criticize someone, compliment them on something to start, then be as gentle as possible when delivering the criticism.
  • Hard Work
    • Put forth the effort or stop and don’t do it. If you are going to do something, work hard. Don’t commit to something if you are not willing to do the work to see it through. Be diligent while maintaining balance by taking breaks. You will appreciate the down time and will be refreshed when you get back to work.

Think about your values. Write them down. I would love for you to share your values and why they are important to you in the comment section below.

5 Reasons to Rest

image courtesy of davide fantasia @ flickr.com

image courtesy of davide fantasia @ flickr.com

Working is an important part of our lives. We spend a lot of time working to provide for ourselves and others. We as humans are created to work. Some people actually enjoy working. No matter our work situation we need to take breaks and have days off.

Here are five reasons to rest:

  1. Our minds work in two hour intervals and need breaks. If you have been working hard for two hours, stop what you are doing. Stand up and walk around. Take a quick break and get a drink of water.
  2. Working a lot of hours puts physical and mental stress on our bodies. Working sixty plus hours in a week strains our bodies and over time can increase health problems. You will become less productive and eventually crash. Putting in sixty hours once in a while is ok, but try to keep your work week to forty to fifty-five hours.
  3. Working a lot harms your relationships with people. If you work a lot of hours you are not seeing people except those who you work with. You lose connection with family and friends. Your marriage will become strained or fall apart. Is the financial gain worth the time away? Spend time with family and friends and build your relationships. You will find it refreshing and enjoyable.
  4. Working a lot means lost development in the mental, physical, spiritual and relational areas of your life. You won’t be able to grow in those parts of your life if you put most of your time into working. You need to be balanced in your life to be healthy and productive. Build yourself up and not just your finances.
  5. God has called us to take one day each week to rest for the work week. “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2-3 NIV). God wants you to rest for work so you can be productive in all that you do. Take one day during the week to not work and simply enjoy life.

Doing what you love for a living is rewarding and can make it tough to remember to take breaks from work. Building a business can be stressful which is even more reason to take a break. Plan breaks into your workdays and set aside one day of the week to be your day of rest.

Are Robots Going to Take Your Job Away?

image courtesy of hastingsgraham @ flickr.com

image courtesy of hastingsgraham @ flickr.com

Have you read any articles, watched news stories, or viewed documentaries about robotics? Does the idea of more automation in our world worry you? Do you fear that your job could eventually be taken over by automation? This is a discussion people have been having throughout the ages as new technology has been developed. Some people believe that in the future people will not have to work at all.

We have automation that has replaced jobs in many places like car factories or Amazon warehouses. You can get lawnmowers or vacuum cleaners that operate on their own. I have a coworker who has one of those lawnmowers. I just read an article in Forbes about a restaurant in San Francisco that is automated. Google and others are now in the process of developing driverless cars. Does this mean we are next and that our jobs will be automated? 

Yes we will have more automation in the work world and yes we will still get to work. Yes we will still have a need for humans to do work. We are social and need and desire human interaction. People are creative and artistic. We will come up with new jobs that we currently don’t have. We will want to incorporate people some way into work. People will use their unique gifts in the future to create solutions to problems. Work will never go away as problems never go away.

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.

Elbert Hubbard

I want to ask three questions about you:

  1. Do you have a creative idea for work but are not sure about it?
  2. Do you have passion to help people?
  3. Do you want to do work that you enjoy so you don’t feel like you are just working a J-O-B?

Ask yourself these questions and decide if you have a solution to a problem people have. Do you want to become an entrepreneur? You can do it, and if you need help I am here for you so feel free to contact me.

Have You Chosen Your Career?

image courtesy of James Wheeler @ flickr.com

image courtesy of James Wheeler @ flickr.com

Today the economy is being transformed by technology, global trade, break down of old systems, and careers that have not previously existed. In The United States of America this is disrupting and changing many people’s careers. People no longer compete for jobs within The United States of America but with other people globally and with technology. The good news is technology is also making it easier for people to start their own business with little capital.

I recently finished listening to the audiobook Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live The Dream by James Altucher. James talks about how the middle class in The United States of America is being pushed out. James presents a lifestyle change that can help you succeed not just in business but in all areas of your life. I highly recommend the book. It was great to listen to while driving.

The main point from the book I want to talk about is choosing yourself and making money. Today we don’t have the stability in big corporations and big government to provide a secure livelihood. I want to encourage you to consider a career as an entrepreneur. Today you can get started and build a company part time while still working. You don’t need a lot of capital. You can start a blog, write a book, develop an app for smart phones, create a product and sell directly to consumers online, or create videos on YouTube that people will want to watch. Create multiple ways to bring in income; don’t become dependent on one income source. Find your unique gift and what you have passion for and choose to take that risk. You will learn so much no matter the results.

I want to encourage you to take the path that many are worried about taking. You have the ability to do great things and live a fulfilled life. Success financially can help you succeed in other areas of your life. If you are struggling to get started please feel free to contact me I would love to answer questions or discuss your situation with you.