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It is the Nature of Man to Rise to

So David may have been born into a situation that destined him for greatness, but do you really think that was it? I mean, do you know anything about his brothers? They were born into the same family as he was? They had the same opportunities, yet they moved on into obscurity while David went on to become a famous warrior, poet and King.

Really the main fact was that David had the blessing of God on his life. You can’t deny that reality when reading his story. However, aside from that, David made the most of what he was given. Consider the following two truths about his life:

David was a Skilled Poet

David wrote most of the Book of Psalms in the Bible. He was a musician and a poet. How do you suppose he gained these skills? As a young man he practiced his instrument of choice, the harp. He was so good, in fact, that he was sought out to play for King Saul who had regular mood swings. When Saul’s people needed to find a skilled musician, David’s reputation got him the job. I imagine seeing David out in the countryside with his flock of sheep and his harp, making music and writing poetry.

David Became a Skilled Warrior

Perhaps what David is best known for is killing the giant, Goliath. While this was something that no one else was willing to do, David was confident in his ability to get the job done. (Can you imagine what the other Israeli soldiers were thinking when this teenager stepped up and took out their toughest opponent?) In part, that confidence came from his days out in the wilderness, practicing with his sling and protecting his flock from wild animals. His confidence was built over years of practice throughout his youth.

So Greatness Starts with Practice and Persistence. David practiced his music, wrote his poetry and we still sing his Psalms today. He became a warrior because he practiced with his weapon of choice and actually had to use it in the defense of his flock.

Are you practicing and preparing for greatness? Do you expect to achieve some sort of greatness in your lifetime? I don’t think we start practicing early enough in life for things that really matter. We do a lot of thinking and reading and planning but very little doing.

I had lunch this week with a 20 year old that has built an impressive lawn care business. He started 6 years ago mowing lawns as a freshman. Today he owns 4 trucks, a skidloader, lawn mowing equipment, a tractor and probably lots of other equipment that he didn’t tell me about. He employs up to 6 people and focuses on making the quality of his work better than anyone in town. He probably earns twice what his peers will hope to earn in two years when they graduate from college. By the way, he also earned his Associate of Arts degree while doing all of this.

I wrote about this young man two years ago when I heard how he had earned over two thousand dollars in one weekend. What I didn’t realize is that he earned more than twice that amount! In some ways he was like David. He was confident in his ability to get the work done and he was not afraid to ask for the business. He took action as a teenager and did something impressive.

How much time are you spending on your skills? Are you working on anything of value for your future? Have you attempted to start your own business? Are you willing to fail at something worthwhile? Have you built the confidence that you need to overcome serious challenges in your life? Are you creating anything of value? Don’t wait for this to happen. Start today.

If you need some encouragement to develop your own skills, leave me a comment below. Encouraging people is what I do.

It would also be great to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for taking the time to read. I am excited to see greatness in you!

 

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Greatness Starts Early in Life

Be not afraid of Greatness; some are

When we are young, we dream of doing something significant, something big or making a difference. We want to change the world, save lives, “be a fireman” or solve world hunger. Not everyone acts on those dreams, however. As we get older some of us begin to lose that dream. It begins to look less “realistic”. We decide to fit in and try to look like everyone else. Instead of cultivating that dream or working on the critical steps that will make it possible, we join our peers in what they are doing. Often that is nothing very important or looks very normal.

So how do we keep that dream alive? In the next 4 blog posts, I want to share some life lessons from a young man that lived over 3000 years ago. We all know of him as King David, or the guy who killed Goliath. He not only became someone great, he did great things when he was young. Those actions or conditions led him to become perhaps the greatest King of Israel, whose story is still being told today. So here are two facts about David that helped him achieve greatness early.

He Wasn’t Everyone’s First Choice

David was chosen last out of his brothers to be anointed the next King of Israel. Through Samuel the Prophet, God chose this young man, not because of how he looked, or his age, or outward characteristics, but because of his character. David’s family was likely surprised because they went through all the other siblings first and David was the afterthought.

I hope this encourages you. If you have ever been picked last for something, you understand how this feels. Hopefully it makes you work that much harder to do your best. It builds character. This is critical in the formation of Greatness. A great leader knows that everyone has value. Sometimes that value is just below the surface and needs to be discovered. A leader that was picked last in life is able to see the value in people much better then someone who only looks at appearance.

He Learned Responsibility Early

David took care of his father’s sheep. This task took constant attention, and wasn’t the most glamorous job. In fact he was doing this job when Samuel the prophet showed up to pick the next King of Israel. The family needed to run get him when he was called for. Learning responsibility is critical in making sure that greatness starts early in life.

Do you have something to be responsible for? There are always jobs that need to be done like taking care of the pets, doing chores and cleaning up after yourself. Can you do those things without being asked? When you can, this is an indication that you are becoming responsible, and it is a sign that greatness is in your future.

Are you destined for greatness? How do you react when you are not the first choice? Does it make you work harder or does it make you feel sorry for yourself? Are you working on your character or just what people can see. Think about it.

What about responsibility? Do you have regular chores to do? How many times do you need to be asked to do them? Responsibility is a prerequisite to greatness.

I would love to connect with you here in the comments section, and I would be thrilled if you connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s get started on being great today.

 

 

 

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Ready? Set? Go!

_Create a definite plan for carrying out

In a few hours our garage sale will be under way and we won’t be ready. But we will have started. It’s just the way it goes for us. The timing is never perfect, and things always interrupt our work.

This time it was 3 orphaned squirrels that literally showed up on our doorstep. They need regular care, sometimes in the middle of the night. We definitely could have picked a more convenient time.

There are a dozen good reasons to have a garage sale and probably a hundred reasons to keep us from following through. That’s what happens with most good actions. Some of those actions could literally change our life, but we end up choosing one of the hundred reasons that keep us stuck.

“If nothing changes in your behavior, why would you expect tomorrow to be different than today?”

Here are twelve things that you could take action on today: (there’s a million more)

  1. Start a Business
  2. Build an Emergency Fund
  3. Read a Self-Help Book
  4. Subscribe to a Blog or Podcast
  5. Start Exercising
  6. Update Your Resume
  7. Write a Book
  8. Help your Neighbor
  9. Research a new Career Path
  10. Hire a Coach
  11. Pay off Debt
  12. Have a Garage Sale

Before we know it, the squirrels will be on their own and life will “return to normal”. I know that we are doing one thing this weekend that has been a lot of work, but we needed to get it done. Yay for us this time!

What about you? What do you need to do today to begin changing your life. Ok, a garage sale will not change your life, but it could help you build momentum. The point is getting started even when things aren’t perfect. We are rarely ready and never set, but we just have to go! You will be glad you did!

What do you need to get started on? Leave a comment below. I would love to continue a conversation. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and I would be honored if you subscribed to this blog. Ready? Set? Go! Thanks for reading!

 

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Have You Settled for Monotony?

Monotony is the Awful Reward of theA coaching client of mine recently landed his dream job. He was not in a hurry and in fact was employed throughout the process. Without the pressure of being forced to replace his income he was able to take his time and find a position that was a great fit for his skills, experience and goals.

Is there a better opportunity out there for you? If you don’t believe it then you will never take the risk to go looking. So many folks think that there is nothing better for them and they decide to endure the misery of their current situation. There are too many opportunities out there to settle for this option.

So what should you do?

  • Determine What you are Looking For. This will take some introspection. Identify what you want the next step of your life to look like. Determine what things bring joy to your life and fulfillment to your career. There are some helpful resources out there to assist you with this process. It is important and critical to the success of your search, so don’t skip it!
  • Get the Opinion of those you Trust. Feedback is critical for decisions like this. Hire a coach or tell your plans to a trusted friend. This friend should be someone who will tell you the truth and not what you hope to hear. They need to be a friend who will see possibilities and who will encourage you.
  • Create a Plan. It is best if you can work your plan while you are still employed. This removes the pressure of taking the first thing that comes along. My client was able to interview for a position halfway across the country because he had given himself the flexibility to choose from multiple options. This experience prepared him for the offer he eventually accepted. It built his confidence and made him that much more attractive to the companies that were searching.
  • Take Action. The bottom line is that you need to act. You can only desire change for so long. If you don’t do something about it, you begin to get comfortable in your misery. Believe that there is a job out there that is better suited to your situation, and go get it. The first compensation offer that my client received was not what he needed. However, when he submitted a counteroffer, that fit his goals, the company accepted. How cool is that! It would never have happened if he had decided to take the more “careful” option and just deal with his current situation.

Have you settled for Monotony? Are you being too careful with your career and your future? Take a chance on making a change.

Need some advice? Leave your comment below and let’s start the conversation. Let’s connect on Facebook or Twitter. I would enjoy getting to know you. Thanks for reading!

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Teenagers still do Amazing Things!

The Greatest Lesson of Life is that You

I recently listened to a young man’s story of how he grew up. He told me that when he was a teenager, his Mom was single and was struggling to provide for his family. She worked very hard in real estate, but the economy had taken its toll on the market and she was not able to move many properties. As a result of their situation, she was planning to sell their home to downsize their monthly payment obligations.

Here is what inspired me about this story. This young man, who at the time was only 16, decided that he and his brother would work extra hours and would pay the mortgage themselves. That is exactly what they did. They both had part time construction jobs and worked enough hours on evenings and weekends that they were able to take the pressure off their family’s finances by paying the mortgage.

I can imagine how difficult this was to balance school, homework, activities and work, but I also realize how much it shaped this young man’s future. It developed his sense of responsibility. It taught him how he could make a tangible difference by taking action and working hard, not to mention the great skills he developed in construction.

This young man went on to join the Marines and serve his country as a weapons expert. Today he is the General Manager of an Amazon Distribution Center in a major metropolitan market.

How high are the expectations that you set for yourself, or your student? I am not talking about grades or sports. While those are important, I am talking about life skills, work and being responsible. Do you have a job? What are you doing with the money? If a job is hard to find, have you considered starting your own business? Parents, does your student know what it is like to pay a bill or manage a budget? As a student, do you know how much the mortgage is on your home? These are some good questions to ask, and the answers will open your eyes.

Teenagers still do amazing things! When we expect great things for them they will impress us. As a student, what are some things that you are doing to learn responsibility? I would love to hear about them. Feel free to leave a comment below and let’s start the conversation. Let’s also connect on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading. Now go do something Amazing!

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A Record-Breaking Beehive Business Idea

Flow Hive Image

If you have not heard of Crowdfunding yet, you will understand a little more at the end of this post. For a father and son team from Byron Bay, Australia, who had a revolutionary beehive concept, crowdfunding has turned out to be a far more lucrative path than they had planned. You see, in less than 10 minutes they had raised their target goal of $70,000 and, as of the time of this post, they have raised over 11 million dollars, with 3 days left! Yes, you can still contribute if you want to get in on the action.

So what is Crowdfunding? Here is list of key points that you need to know: [click to continue…]

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Come in we're openThe answer to the question, “Should you consider construction work as a career?” is a resounding, YES! I am very enthusiastic about this career choice, especially for young people, but for anyone looking for a new start. The demand is incredible right now and the starting wages are going up. Here are some examples of what I am talking about. [click to continue…]

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How Does Amazon Build Great Teams?

How Does Amazon Build GreatTeams_I had a great conversation with the General Manager of an Amazon Distribution Center the other day. He was an inspiring man with a great story, but that is for another post. What I would like to share with you today is what I learned about how Amazon hires and then builds a team of great employees.

So how does Amazon build great teams? The General Manager that I spoke with talked about these things:

Attitude – So when I spoke this GM, he told me that the first thing he looks for is a great attitude in the applicant that he is interviewing. Attitude is everything. How engaged are you in the interview? Do you show enthusiasm for what is ahead? Do you appear to be someone that he would want on his team? Someone with a great attitude is valuable to a team environment.

Preparation – What he was talking about here was preparation for an interview. He is not impressed when an applicant is not prepared for even basic interview questions. Like most managers he will ask open ended questions that are designed to get you to talk. It’s the best way to learn about you. So you need to be prepared. You need to think a little bit on your feet. You need to have something to talk about. You need to be able to put sentences together that make sense. It is important for you to verbally describe your work experience, give specific examples when asked, and share your opinions. The future favors the prepared.

Experience – In most cases great experience trumps a great education. If you have valuable related experience, you are much more desirable than someone who only has a degree. I need to mention that Amazon expects you to have a degree if you are going to pursue a management position, but they highly value experience. If you are an older applicant, you should not feel as though you would not be valuable to this company. Amazon is a huge network that is built on logistics. They are all about shipping products to customers in the most efficient way possible. If you have experience in any part of making an organization like this successful they will want to talk to you.

Action – One of the most exciting things I learned was that Amazon is intentional about promoting its people. They promote employees that have a bias toward action. They are constantly looking to innovate and do old processes in new and better ways. They are regularly in the news because of some new way they are solving problems for the consumer. Are you open to new ideas? Have you attempted new things? Have you taken action in your current job? Are you someone that makes things happen? Do you look for new and better ways to do old tasks? All of this is important to a company like Amazon. Simply put, they intend to grow. They need action takers on their team to make this happen.

Not only does Amazon sound like a great place to work, they have a great philosophy about hiring good people. I was very impressed with this General Manager and he represented his company well.

All of these qualities are valuable to any company. Do you possess some of them? If you do, you could be ready to take the next big step in your career. I encourage you to make something happen today.

Do me a favor and leave a comment below if this was helpful to you. Take a second and share this on Facebook or Twitter. If I can serve you in any way, let me know. Thanks for reading!

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Valuable Connections

Make Time for Valuable ConnectionsI had a great connection yesterday, and I’m not talking about a WiFi or internet connection. While on a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia I was asked a question by the person next to me. Most of the time I don’t start conversations on flights, but I welcome them if it makes sense. The flight was nearly over and we were descending into Philly, when this lady asked how I liked the book I was reading. It was “The Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris. This started a quick discussion about the book, what I did for a living, what she did for a living, etc.

It turns out that this lady’s husband has a blog. He has had one for a few years and is a full-time blogger, speaker and business owner. He has a site that provides information and support to School Principals and Educators.

When I learned that this gentleman had grown a successful business through blogging and providing resources to people online, I was inspired to continue my own efforts. I asked if he had considered being featured on the podcast Entrepreneur On Fire, since I was sure that he would be a good candidate. I wasn’t completely surprised to learn that he already HAD been on the show. It was episode 600 and you can listen to it yourself right here.

So why is this exciting to me? Here are a few thoughts.

Motivation – Finding someone that is successful in a similar line of work provides motivation. When you spend time around folks who are successful at what you want to become, it gives you energy to push ahead with your own goals.

Affirmation – When others have dreams to accomplish similar ventures you feel a sort of kinship with those people. It was clear that I have common values with these people, and that just feels good. Yes it’s possible to make a good living providing valuable resources to people through an online platform. I am reminded that what I am pursuing is worthwhile.

Dedication – Without dedication you will not be successful in the online world or any other business. It requires hard work when no one recognizes what you have to offer and certainly no one is buying. The first few years are spent creating content and slowly growing your business online until things start to happen that are income producing. I was able to hear first-hand how that process has gone for a real person.

Inspiration – Through our discussion, I learned some strategies that I could implement in my own business. Things like webinars, membership sites and digital products are all parts of my business that I will be implementing over time. I can’t tell you how inspired I was to meet someone in person who is making these things happen.

Do you actively seek valuable connections? I have to admit that I didn’t start this conversation, but I am glad that it happened. I am sure that I benefited the most from this discussion as well. Good connections have always been important, but they are more valuable than ever today. I encourage you to seek them out and to take advantage. No matter what business you are in, it is worth your time to connect with successful people in your industry. Make it happen today!

Leave a comment below and let’s connect right here! Thanks for reading!

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The 15 Success Traits ImageI am over half-way through a great book right now, but I didn’t want to wait until I was finished to talk about it. The book is “The 15 Success Traits of Pro-Bloggers,” by Jonathan Milligan. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone that desires to do business online, whether you are experienced or a beginner. I am finding myself inspired and motivated to do more with my blog already.

What is so cool is that I have witnessed Jonathan doing the very things he writes about. He creates value every day, and it has made him successful. I belong to his Blogging Your Passion University which provides tons of great resources to those of us working at improving our blogs. It’s a network of like minded individuals that are regularly blessed by his great content.

Here are a few specific reasons why I am recommending this book:

It Contains Specific Step by Step Instruction. When it comes to the process of growing your blogging business, this book gives you a great road map. Jon lets you know what to expect and helps you to anticipate what needs to be done next.

He Tells the Truth. Nothing in this book is sugar coated. It is exactly what Jon has experienced. It shows his failures and his successes. It shows his triumphs in this space that have allowed him to become a Pro. Through all of the truth-telling you learn that you too can become a successful blogger when you learn from others and follow their advice.

He Writes Humbly. I have read authors that do not make you feel as though you would like to get to know them as a person. Not so with Jon. He is very real even though he has seen substantial success. This is valuable to me. I learn best from folks that are approachable. It just works better for me. It’s the kind of man that I strive to be, so I am naturally drawn to his style.

It is Motivating. When I realize that by applying just some of the strategies outlined in this book that I have a good chance of increasing my income and making a difference, it is highly motivating. It is a goal of mine to build a business that provides useful content to the world. When this is being done by folks I admire, it pushes me to work harder and do what I am capable of doing.

So here are just four reasons why I am recommending this book. When I am finished with it, I will have even more. Hopefully you will buy your own copy and begin to move your blogging business forward.

Let me know if you have any questions. Leave a comment below and let’s start the conversation. If you have a question for me about my blog, I would love to hear it. Thanks for reading!

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