For many people going to work on Mondays is sort of like the opening line of the Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities. "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times," as in it's great when it's pay day, but other than that there is little pleasure in getting up and going to work Monday morning. The main reason this is a reality for so many people is the fact that they have settled for this kind of work lifestyle.
This only has to stay a reality for you if you choose for it to stay a reality. God intended so much more for you and I, but sometimes we can get stuck in the muck of our routines that prevents us from realizing better opportunities.
In order to get to the place where you love your labor, I believe there are at least three necessities that must be incorporated into your work: It must be purposeful, pleasurable, and profitable. Here are a few quick questions to ask yourself to see how close you are to having these three areas covered in your work life:
1) Purposeful - How do you define your identity apart from your work? What qualities or characteristics do you possess that make you uniquely you?
2) Pleasurable - What did you love to do as a child that you stopped doing as an adult? What type of work gets you excited? What do you do that brings a sense of enjoyment even if there's no payment attached to it?
3) Profitable - How much are you worth in the marketplace and how can you validate that? What natural talents, skills, or hobbies do you have that you could get paid for?
If you don't believe loving your labor can be a reality for you, then go back to doing whatever you were doing. However, if you're ready for a change, check out the resources I have available to assist in your transition. As a matter of fact I have a FREE course to help you navigate the path of starting your own business.
Stop settling for loveless labor. You can do the work you've always dreamed about. You just have to embrace a new normal.
Why We Must Inspire Youth to Dream Again
What if while you were growing up no one ever encouraged you to be someone great? What if you didn't have anyone close to you say that you could do something special? What if there was never anyone around to say that you could accomplish your dreams?
If that were your experience it would probably be a pretty safe bet that you wouldn't expect much for yourself or your future. In fact, you might not even think that you have a future at all. Unfortunately, many youth feel like their lives are a lost cause and not even worth living or planning for. Why? One major reason is their hope has been lost.
Hope is a very powerful concept. With a lot of it, we feel like we can conquer the world. Without it, we feel like that world has conquered us. That's why Solomon writes in Proverbs 13:12,
"HOPE deferred makes the heart sick, but a DREAM fulfilled is a tree of life."
Having hope is a really big deal. It's not just a good feeling. It's an essential element connected to the dreams God places in the hearts of every human being in our childhood. But if those dreams are not recognized or nurtured, people end up living out what Solomon expressed in Proverbs 29:18,
"Where there is no prophetic VISION the people cast off restraint…"
Much of what I see from our young people today is connected to the fact that they are hopeless, which causes them to reject and disregard moral boundaries. Many of them have experienced so much in such a short time of life, including violence, poverty, sexual abuse, bullying, exploitation, and so on. Without divine intervention their lives will either be cut short through self-destructive activities, or they will live long lives of repeated regrets, failures, and ultimately unfulfilled potential.
A Powerful Alternative to Hopelessness
That's why we're so excited about launching Club D.A.R.E., which stands for “Dreams Are Realized Everyday.” This is a youth development movement on a mission to inspire 1 million teens to “dream B.I.G. dreams and do B.I.G. things.” We expect these B.I.G. dreams to impact their families, friends, communities, and potentially the world.
To make this happen, a core part of our strategy includes the development of:
As great as this sounds, we can't do it alone. We need your help to turn the dreams of 1 million teens into reality. You can give your tax-deductible donation at this link, which will help to fund these resources that will be launched very soon.
We are in real danger of having a lost generation of young people who have given up on life. We can't let that happen. OUR future depends on their dreams.
Please partner with us today to impact our youth. To learn more about Club D.A.R.E. go to www.clubdare.org.
Success in business can come from some unexpected places. Jackets for Jobs, Inc. in Detroit is a great example of this. This incredible organization, founded by Allison Vaughn in 2001, provides unemployed women with business attire and mentoring, while helping them find jobs. Since they started, they have helped over 16,000 women. I love this quote by Ms. Vaughn:
When Jesus tells us to help the "least of these," I believe many Christians struggle with seeing how that applies to our businesses. However, this powerful story is a great example of how following your dream can make a significant impact in your community.
I encourage you to ask God how He wants you to use your dream to impact your community.
Click here to read the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alison-vaughn/how-dressing-the-unemploy_b_8033112.html
Recently I read an article online that focused on the challenges many African-American teens face in their own communities and how in the past it was taught that your education was the ticket to escape. The author was challenging that notion with some points that supported the premise that these teens should be taught how to change their communities rather thatnlook for the first chance to get out.
While I definitely agree with the overall theme in the article, one of the things that jumped out to me was the fact that this is not an issue just for African-American teens. We need to be teaching all young people across all cultures the importance of investing in the communities they grow up in while they are there.
Here are five reasons why I believe we should teach all teens focus on impact in their communities versus escaping them:
Youth are often overlooked and undervalued as community development assets. However, they are in the perfect position to become positive change agents. If we can get them to see it in themselves, maybe we can turn more communities around.
Read the full article, Teach black students they can change communities, here: http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/jul/07/teach-black-students-change-communities-not-escape
The new clothing line launched by Atlanta area high school seniors Jordan Williams and Brandon Iverson is called Young Moguls. However, this is by far not their first business venture. They started in business together when they were 10 years old selling toys.
Click below to listen to hear the inspirational story of their journey and how they are empowering other teens to pursue their dreams also.
You can read the original article posted online at WABE, Atlanta's NPR Station, here: http://wabe.org/post/atlanta-teen-entrepreneurs-working-be-young-moguls
If you only pay attention to mainstream media outlets, you will only get a distorted, narrow, and negative image of young people from urban communities. This powerful story of Taharka Bros. Ice Cream in Baltimore is a great example of young leaders from an urban community turning their passion and concern into positive action that will not only benefit themselves but others also. What excites me even more about this story is the entrepreneurial creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance they demonstrated to bring into reality their dream of impacting their community through ice cream. I hope this inspires you...
The future of Taharka Brothers, purveyors of ice cream and social change, hinges on the success of a crowdfunding campaign. If successful, they will be able to grow their business by launching a “Food for Thought” ice cream truck, a literal vehicle for change. With a looming deadline, and what seems like an insurmountable goal: $28,000 in 29 days, Taharka Brothers takes to the streets to raise awareness, inspire, and turn out some supremely delicious ice cream – voted Best in Baltimore.
When we assess a community's struggle with generational poverty, we must not overlook the role played by young people in help break destructive cycles and create positive ones. Some key ares we need to focus on to equip at-risk youth to make significant economic progress include financial literacy, youth employment, and youth entrepreneurship. That's why I was so excited when I read about Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina, which opened a bank run by its students. According to WUNC North Carolina Public Radio:
This is an incredibly innovative move by Hillside H.S. and Woodforest Bank to bring economic solutions to a community that needs more access to economic resources and tools to empower itself. Hopefully more banks and schools across the country will follow their lead to help challenged communities creates cycles of prosperity.
Read the entire article here: http://wunc.org/post/durham-ncs-hillside-high-school-first-open-bank
Tim Elmore, one of the foremost experts in youth development, has written a powerful article, Seven Shifts as Generation Z Becomes Generation Y. In this article he explains what's happening with the "next" generation of kids as they morph into adulthood, and shift away from old realities into new ones. Here are a few of his points...
These are some great points for those who want to understand and serve those in the millennial generation.
Read the entire article at: http://growingleaders.com/blog/seven-shifts-as-generation-y-becomes-generation-z
As our time draws closer for the start of the Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp and our preparation intensifies, sometimes it's hard to remember why we do what we do. As we go through the checklist of all things that need to get done (and it's a long list), at times we forget that we have a real opportunity to save a kid's life or help somebody to start a new one.
This camp is more than just a time to keep kids busy and out of their parent's hair. We are creating an environment where dreams are jumpstarted, ideas are catalyzed, and purpose is ignited. For many of these kids they don't have anyone in their lives telling them they can be the next great inventor, entrepreneur, or community leader. They don't have people giving them tools for life success and a means to break the generational poverty that plagues their families.
When people use the term "at-risk", often it's assigned to kids who live in violent neighborhoods, come from challenging circumstances, and are in danger of falling victim to their difficult surroundings. I believe, though, that there are much more "at-risk" kids than those who live in these environments, because too many others are in danger of living life without purpose, not discovering the greatness that's inside of them, or never achieving a sense of fulfillment from having accomplished something beyond anything they could imagine.
That's why this camp is so much bigger than just helping these kids start a business. It's so much greater than just helping them launch a new product or service. It's far beyond teaching them how to market to a new customer base.
This experience is about helping them utilize their God-inspired imagination, discover unique abilities, and release unbridled creativity to manifest His image in their lives and the world. This opportunity is about helping them tap into their God-given potential to see things in themselves they have never seen before. This is a chance to assist them with taking significant steps toward achieving their God-given destiny.
Your financial support of Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp will provide the opportunity for our youth to dream again, to believe that they have more to live for than just making it past today, or acquiring things that only provide temporary pleasure. You are funding seeds of greatness. You are investing in the restoration of hopes and dreams.
Your donation is bigger than business. Thank you for your support.
A satisfied customer is the best form of marketing. So listen to Soraya's testimonial about her experience at last year's Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp. We still have business sponsorships available for you to make a tax-deductible contribution to invest in the lives of at-risk youth, so they can build social entrepreneurship, leadership, and team building skills, among many other things...
Watch The Disruptors Streaming Bible Study!
Struggling Christian entrepreneur? My new ebook was written just for you!
Get the app that connects your career, calling & community!
Connect Your Faith With Your Work
Dream B.I.G. in 3D will take you on an internal treasure hunt to connect your career path to your purpose. Click here to learn more...
Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling