I recently read a great article on Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneurs: You're More Important Than Your Business Plan
. It reminded me of the leadership quote, "Become a person of leadership before seeking a position of leadership."
Make no mistake that a plan is needed. However, many entrepreneurs put too much stock in a great business plan and don't focus enough on equipping themselves to be a successful entrepreneur. This article points our some key factors that entrepreneurs need to possess in their character, mindset, and skills that will position them to succeed over the long-term:
- Purpose and Passion
- Perspective and Resilience
- Point of Entry and Leadership
- Potential for Big, Bold Impact
- A Good Business Plan
All in all, you still need an effective plan in order to succeed as an entrepreneur. However, don't make the mistake of spending an inordinate amount of time working on your business plan compared to the time spent working on yourself.
: Kingdom Business University Christian Entrepreneurship Courses
)Click here to read the entire article
...What are your thoughts about the importance of a business plan for entrepreneurs? Leave your comments below...
Leadership and Business Resources
"A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls." ~ Proverbs 25:28
"Pursue your passions!"
This is a statement that you will hear from nearly all motivators, pastors, parents, teachers, advisers, mentors, and others preach to people almost daily, as if that’s the magic formula to lifelong happiness and success. Unfortunately, they don’t always tell you that “pursue your passions”
is only part of the equation. As important as it is to pursue your passions, it’s equally important to make sure you steer your passions in the right direction.
If passion can be equated to a raging river, purpose is the river banks. Knowing your purpose provides direction and restraint for your passions. Purpose helps to control and contain your vigor and energy. Purpose channels your passions toward meaningful and fruitful ends. Purpose is the discipline that guides your zeal to produce profitable endeavors. Purpose ensures that you have the opportunity to maximize the potential of what your passions can accomplish.
Whether in business, relationships, or life in general, people run into all kinds of trouble when they don’t know how or aren’t able to channel their passions in a positive and profitable direction. These people are like swamps. One big difference between a river and a swamp is that the river has boundaries, which keeps the water flowing as a powerful force. The swamp’s lack of boundaries allows its water to overflow its banks, become stagnant, and emit a foul stench. People love rivers, but very few actually enjoy being near a swamp.(MORE: Learn more about Passion @ Work Training Workshops)
In the last few years, it’s easy to see that we have had many “swamp creatures” appear in boardrooms, pulpits, the public square, and society overall. They allowed their passions to run rampant, ruining their reputations and causing major collateral damage.
When it comes to your passions, don’t be like a swamp. Instead be like a river that’s purposeful, powerful, and profitable!How do you channel your passions in the most profitable direction? Leave your comments below...(MORE: Watch Passion In Action TV live streaming or on demand at www.passioninaction.tv)
Leadership Development Resources
A recent study from University of Scranton's Journal of Clinical Psychology revealed that 92% of Americans who make New Year's resolutions are unsuccessful at achieving them. Further, those reporting having "infrequent success" was 49%, while 24% say they fail every year. Wow! I thought those numbers would be high, but not that high.
Are you in the boat of those who participate in the resolution ritual year after year and then fail to live up to the annual goals that you set? Well apparently according to that study you're not alone. The real issue is not about will power. You don't need any more will power to keep your resolutions. Instead you need a personal revolution - encompassing your mind, body, and spirit - to help you reach your peak potential where God created you to thrive.
I created this inspiring video a few years ago, but the message is still very relevant today. Enjoy!
Also read my previous blog, Instead of Making Resolutions, Dream
, which advocates dreaming as a more productive alternative to resolutions.In what ways are you dismissing New Year's resolutions in favor of a personal revolutions? Leave your comments below...
Have you have ever felt like, "God I know you sent me out here to start this business (or ministry), but now it seems like everything is against me… Why can’t you just make me successful?... Where is the prosperity your Word promised me?"
I know I have. I'm sure Moses felt the same way too.
Sometimes it appears that God-designed dams seem to block the flow of our blessings. Could it be that He keeps us from succeeding in the very thing that He called us to do? Would He cause your business to fail if He gave you the idea to start it? What’s that all about?!
I'll tell you in my Kingdom Business column in the latest edition of Brotha Magazine
Also, as with each article we have posted an accompanying video
. Click the image below to enjoy this powerful teaching...
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Learn from your yesterday to make decisions for your today that benefit your tomorrow.
Last week I wrote Part 1
of How to Achieve Successful Setbacks
. Here's Part 2...
One of the things that keeps me going after a setback is that I don’t run my business just for the sake of money, fame or success. I see a much bigger purpose for my business and my life. I am living
a legacy, so that I can leave
for the next generation. Therefore, when I am confronted by challenges, I need to see beyond myself in terms of how I handle them.
I love the quote from the movie Gladiator
, when Maximus tells his men who are about to go into battle that “what we do today will echo into eternity
“. The focus of your life should not be just what happens to you today, but the legacy that you will leave tomorrow.
I operate from the perspective that the things that happen in my life aren’t just about how they impact me. I consider how my experience could benefit the people that I will meet later in life who could be facing a similar situation. I think about how life lessons that I learn through difficult tests will help me to be a resource to my children as they confront comparable challenges. Therefore, when I am faced with setbacks, I know that I can’t quit because someone important to me is waiting for me – even depending on me – to succeed. And that person may not even be born yet. Whether you realize it or not, someone is waiting on you to succeed also.
Perseverance is a key component of a successful setback. And while persevering for your own goals is great, persevering to help others reach their goals is even better. I believe the human spirit comes alive when we fight to help others achieve a better life. A great sense of fulfillment awaits those who persevere for the benefit of others.
A key question to ask yourself is “What are you a part of that’s bigger than you, that can’t be accomplished by only you?
” If your vision for your business or life is not on that grand of a scale then it needs to get bigger. When you discover and embrace the fact that your purpose in life incorporates more people than just you, you will adjust how you see life and how you respond to the things that happen to you.
One of the critical roadblocks that keeps people from extending themselves to others is fear. Fear paralyzes people, keeping them from stepping outside of their comfort zones, either to get help or to give it. It also prevents them from bouncing back quickly from their setbacks, because often it takes connecting with those outside of our comfort zones to get us back on track. We can learn a lot from others’ experiences that will help us get back on our feet after a setback. Your relationships will determine your results in life.
If you try to do life alone and self-focused, you will fall far below your success potential.
As you finish strong in 2012, think about somebody (or somebodies) into whom you can invest your time, talents and resources. Let that person or group of people be part of what drives your determination when
you encounter frustrations. Don’t let fear or anything else prevent you from connecting with the people who you need… or the ones who need you.
Remember that a setback is a set-up
for you to develop the character and internal fortitude you need for the journey that lies ahead of you. If you’re going to fail, then fail while moving forward toward your goals and dreams. Keep learning and keep growing. I look forward to your success!How do you successfully overcome setbacks in your life?
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Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died today. Among all the things that have been and could be said about him, it's easy to see that he was a pioneer.
Now you many never do something as grand as walking on the moon, but that doesn't mean the steps you are taking should be any less significant. You have a legacy to build and lives to impact. You have a mark to leave on history.
If you believe it's possible, you have an opportunity to do something that has never been done before. You too can be a pioneer in your circle of influence.
What steps are you taking toward your destiny that will create greater opportunities for those who follow you? What are you pioneering that will create a path for someone else's destiny?
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The pace of life and business seems to be steadily increasing. With this increased pace, making positive decisions becomes more challenging, because there is less time to process critical information needed to make those decisions. Fortunately, God foresaw this, creating within our bodies an intricate rapid response system that we utilize to make quick decisions on the fly.
Our bodies are equipped with a mechanism called adrenal glands, which control our “fight or flight” reactions when we encounter threatening situations. Most times these decisions are made in fractions of a second. In his book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
, Malcolm Gladwell provides an interesting perspective on our ability and propensity to make split second decisions. His premise is that we constantly make instantaneous decisions based on a two second first impression of a situation. He explains that this ability to make quick decisions works to our advantage in some situations, and to our disadvantage in others.
While our adrenal glands are quite effective in helping us determine instantaneously whether to fight or flee, they are not quite as useful when it comes to situations when we are given a space of time to make a decision. The negative impact of this is that people have a tendency to make more “flight” decisions when immediacy is not required. It seems that the more time that people have to ponder their situations, the more time they spend focusing on the downside risks rather than the upside potential.
The reality is that running a business or simply living life is all about effectively managing risks. An essential part of managing risks is taking them when necessary. However, if you are unwilling to take any risks, your business or your life will not flourish like it could. There is one main culprit that can be blamed for people’s aversion to risk and assertive decision making. FEAR.
Fear paralyzes people and constrains their decision making process considerably. Fear can even keep people from taking low impact risks. Whether it be fear of failure, fear of success, fear of other people’s opinions, or fear of the unknown, this is a powerful emotion that can sap the courage out of the strongest people. Regardless, fear can be conquered no matter how intimidating a situation may be.
People who achieve great things in life and business have learned how to conquer their fears. You must learn how to do the same if you are going to have significant accomplishments.
Here are some practical steps that you can engage during those situations when you are tempted to give in to your fears. Continually practicing these steps will also help you to make better decisions in shorter amounts of time.Focus on your vision:
- Keep your thoughts aimed at your dream with a laser like intensity.
- Don’t be distracted by things that don’t align with your vision.
- Focusing on your future can provide you the motivation to move past your fear (Imagine what will happen to your vision if you don’t move past your fear).
Evaluate the obstacle(s):
- Assess whether your obstacles are real or perceived. Sometimes what we consider an obstacle is nothing more than a menial distraction.
- Determine what you have control over – including your attitude – and what you don’t. Quit worrying about things you can’t control.
- Seek wise counsel from those who have faced similar obstacles, so that you can determine whether to attack it or ignore it.
Attack the enemy that’s “in-a-me”:
Respond to the challenge:
- A house divided against itself cannot stand. Your fight is often internal (i.e. thoughts, emotions, and desires) before it becomes external.
- Recognize that you have the potential to do great things. If you don’t believe that you can win your fight, then typically you won’t.
- Forget your past mistakes and don’t allow negative memories to poison your perspective.
- Courage is not the absence of fear, instead it’s recognizing your fear and engaging in the battle in spite of it. You may even be fueled by it.
- Learn from your previous victories and use them as stepping stones to move ahead.
- If you’re going to fail, at least do it moving forward. Rarely have I seen a fight won by a person who was running away.
A key point to remember is that just because you are able to make quick decisions, doesn’t mean they are always the best decisions. The more you practice practical decision making in situations where you are challenged by fear, the better your decision making will be when it needs to be instantaneous.
Pursue your dreams with persistence, patience, perseverance, and passion. Face your fears confidently and assertively. Don’t let anyone or anything, especially fear, stop you from accomplishing all that God has prepared for you.
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Are you ready to LOSE? Most people say they're ready to win, but very few say they're ready to lose. Mainly because to intentionally pursue losing is counter to our hyper-competitive culture of winning. We're so used to trying to win at everything we do, it's a foreign concept to embrace giving up or letting go.
In our society pursuing purpose is often associated with pleasantries and pop psychology, not solitude and sacrifice. This view of purpose isn't very sexy. It's not popular to focus on giving up what I want in exchange for pursuing what God wants. However, this is exactly what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 10:39, "Whoever finds his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." He was promoting losing oneself thousands of years before Eminem penned his popular anthem Lose Yourself.
In the context of what Jesus is talking about, losing our lives for his sake means embracing death so that we might live. Death to what, you ask? Great question. Death to your will. Death to selfishness. Death to carnal desires. Death to your comfort zone. Death to being controlled by other's opinions. Death to low self-esteem. Death to procrastination. Death to small dreams.
When we embrace this kind of death by exchanging our ideas, plans, and desires for His, we are resurrected into a life that is beyond anything we could imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9). A life beyond your dreams is waiting on the other side of your death to your dreams.
You have to DIE to your PURPOSE before you can fully LIVE out your PURPOSE.
So are you ready to lose? I hope so!
I delve a little deeper into this concept in the video below, filmed a couple years ago in front of "The Awakening" statue at National Harbor, Maryland. Enjoy and leave your comments below!
I love to imagine how entrepreneurial thinking can produce creative ideas and innovative solutions to challenges that many impoverished communities face nationally and globally. I believe that successful purpose-centered entrepreneurs can be used as a strategic tool to empower others to build healthy, prosperous communities.Inc. Magazine
recently posted an article, "Why Entrepreneurs Do What They Do
In the article they describe entrepreneurship as "solving problems and creating social progress; building great new things that make a better world. It's about celebrating each step toward the ultimate human longing for an enhanced and enriched enterprise of life."
This description of entrepreneurship succinctly captures the entrepreneurial spirit that God wants every human being to have, whether you own a business or not. You were created for something special that goes beyond your personal well being and extends to creating well being for others.
The article quoted social entrepreneur and Episcopal bishop Rev. William Swing: "There are two fields of genius available...laborers who live on yesterday's insights and entrepreneurs who live on tomorrow's possibilities. Both have their own dignity, but entrepreneurship pulls life into its destiny."
The potential for great things to happen in the world is unleashed when purpose-centered entrepreneurs, who have incredible vision, diverse skills, and a passion for progress, channel their collective energy to create something greater than what one individual could do on their own.
Our society needs more God-inspired social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial thinkers to help conquer the immense challenges we are confronted with in the world on a daily basis. I am one of them. Are you?Click here
to connect with me to see what we can do together!