It's amazing how time can change perceptions. Just two years ago the basketball world was hailing Steph Curry as having arguably one of the greatest individual seasons of all time from a statistically perspective. He made over 400 3-pointers (the hardest shot to make) when no player had ever made more than 300! And his team won a record 73 games. However, at the end of the playoffs they lost the Championship to LeBron James, Kylie Irving and Cleveland Cavaliers. Since then he has seemed to fade away from the spotlight of those considered the best players in the league.
He won the MVP award after the 2015 and 2016 seasons, but he wasn't even in consideration for the award in 2017. And even though his team, the Golden State Warriors, won the championship this past season, most people gave the credit to new addition, Kevin Durant, one of the best players in the world.
Related: 7 Lessons to be a MVP Like Steph Curry in Your Business and Community
Nevertheless, I believe 2017 was his greatest year ever. Was it because he had the best statistics of his career? No. It was Because he demonstrated a character trait that most high- performing athletes - and high-performing leaders in all walks of life - rarely exude. HUMBITION.
I define humbition as a combination of humility and ambition. It’s a blend of possessing a strong desire to succeed tempered by the ability to submit to a cause greater than individual success. For a person to demonstrate humbition they have to possess a strong character, because it's not an easy trait to utilize for very driven people.
When Durant signed with the Warriors, Curry stated he didn’t mind making room for the former MVP on the team if it meant winning another championship. He recognized that although they were already very good, they would be seemingly unbeatable with Durant’s unique skill set on board. And true to his word, Curry adjusted his game to allow Durant to fit in smoothly. And sure enough the team won its second championship in three years at the end of the 2017 season.
Curry embraced what many community leaders seem to forget, and that’s what’s most important is achieving the goal, not who gets the glory for it. You should be ambitious and have big goals for yourself and your organization. There would be no big impact without people who have big goals. However, you should never let the pursuit of your personal goals get in the way of engaging with others in your community who have the potential to multiply the positive impact on those who are underserved.
One key to making this happen is identifying the skills and strengths of all those inside and outside the community who want to contribute to its development, and then exploring ways to most effectively complement one another. Another important aspect of combining talents is having a shared vision and goals that all involved individuals and organizations can agree upon and are willing to contribute to.
Our communities certainly need people with big visions, audacious goals, and a strong hunger to succeed. But surely if a team of highly talented, big-ego basketball players can submit to one another like Steph Curry did to win a championship, highly talented leaders with big ideas can learn to work together in our communities for the good of our communities.
Fame or perceived success – it all comes from group think.
Earlier this week the music industry celebrated the 59th Grammy Awards. There were many dynamic performances, but the one that caught my attention and many others was Chance the Rapper. What impacted me the most was the fact that he was willing to use a secular platform to boldly proclaim his faith. And while many people are celebrating his rise in the industry, I also wonder how many people,though, have whittled down his elevation to a few familiar and overused buzzwords.
One of those buzzwords that typically gets thrown around around stories like his is "passion." With him being an independent artist it's easy to apply that label to him and say that's what caused him to be in the position he is in right now. It's hard enough becoming successful in the music industry with a major record label behind you. So it would have to be many times harder going the independent path to becoming a successful artist.
However, passion alone didn't win him those awards and accolades. Passion of course was part of the formula, but he had to be excellent at his craft in order to be recognized by the Industry as the best artist in his category.
It always irks me when people use passion as an oversimplified path to achieving your dreams. It's a waste to be very excited about what you do but not develop the character and discipline to grow into being very good at what you do.
If you want to get to the top of your industry you must realize that passion should push you become excellent at your craft, skill, or gift. But it's not enough by itself. Passion should give you the motivation to practice even when you don't feel like it. Passion should propel you past convenience and comfort. True passion will drive you to do your best even when no one is looking. If this doesn't describe you, then I would question whether you are as passionate about your dream as you say you are.
We can see his end results now, but very few people saw the money invested, long nights, early mornings, series of rejections, and painful experiences that led up to this point.
If you never demonstrate excellence in your supposed area of expertise, passion will become just another random word and empty promise.
So find something that you're passionate about and then become excellent doing it. Develop your skills. Build your expertise. Become the best at what you do.
And even if you're not celebrated on a stage like Chance the Rapper, you can still be confident that you have given the world your best and not just another buzzword.
Connect Your Passion to Your Profession!
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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.
Simone Biles just won the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics to cement her status as arguably the best gymnast of all time. There are some critical lessons you can learn from her experiences to the top of her sport that you can apply to your business journey.
1) Believe in your potential more than what you have already accomplished. In an interview she stated she didn't want to be known as the next Usain Bolt or Michael, but instead she wanted to be know as the first Simone Biles. What you have already accomplished to this point is wonderful. However, you can't rest on that. You have the potential to do so much more and go so much further.
2) You are your greatest competition. Before the Rio Olympics Simone had already won more world gold medals than any gymnast ever. Yet she didn't allow that to cause her to relax or assume she would automatically win her next gold medal. The question you need to ask yourself every day is, "Am I getting better today than I was yesterday?" Keep raising the bar every day and you will see your improvement grow by leaps and bounds over time.
3) Practice like you're the best in private so you can perform as the best in public. She practices 6 days a week for approximately 32 hours. And she almost always stays on a strict diet of chicken and broccoli. Behind the scenes is where the real work of building a legacy takes place. The public stage becomes the place to demonstrate what you were working on while nobody was watching. Take the time to perfect your talents and gifts. There are no shortcuts and no one can do that for you.
4) Leave your past in the past. Simone wasn't born with a silver spoon (or any kind of spoons) in her mouth so to speak. She came from a very difficult background and the odds were majorly stacked against her. However, she didn't use that as an excuse to stop her from pursuing her goals. Even now she doesn't dwell on what she couldn't control back then. The more you look backwards with a negative mindset the easier it is to make excuses. Learn from your past circumstances and mistakes but don't get stuck there.
5) Block out the negative noise. At her first World Championship gold-medal win in 2013 she was able to move past a racist comment by one of her competitors without flinching. If you took the time to address every critic or hater you won't have any time to work on your business. Stay focused by keeping your attention on you, not on any negative things people have to say about you.
6) Do it all with a big smile. Simone's smile is electric and her attitude makes you want to root for her even more. Although she and others know she's the best you can tell she doesn't throw it in their faces and her teammates genuinely enjoy being around her. You don't have to be mean or cutthroat to do major deals and make big things happen in your business. As a matter of fact you'll go much further treating people with respect and gratitude than being someone people want to avoid.
Simone Biles has shown us what excellence looks like by maximizing her potential in her field. Now it's your turn!
Risk is inherent to entrepreneurship. Therefore faith - i.e. belief or confidence - must also become an integral part of an entrepreneur's mindset. However, did you know that faith is amoral? That is, faith is neither good nor bad.
Whether you realize it or not your faith is always at work - either for or against you. How is that? You have more power than you think you do. Whatever you believe about yourself long enough will become a realty.
Since that's true, how can you ensure that your faith is working for your benefit?
1) Focus: Faith was never meant to be some ambiguous cosmic slot machine. As an entrepreneur your faith is a force meant to be targeted at specific goals and objectives. Faith helps you clarify your vision and filter your thoughts to concentrate only on what's most relevant to accomplishing your dreams.
2) Fear Repellant: As I mentioned earlier, your faith feeds off your beliefs. This means you must use your faith to block self-destructive thoughts of failure, disappointment, defeat, etc. If you're going to succeed in business your belief in your success must be stronger than your fear of failure or anything else that tries to stop your progress.
3) Failure Bounceback: Unexpected disappointments are inevitable in business. The issue is not if you will fail. The issue is how you will respond when you fail at something. When your faith is locked on the right things, you are able to learn from failure and use it as a stepping stone to your success.
As you can see faith is not some supersecret Jedi mind trick. Entrepreneurs can use their faith as a resource to manifest your business dreams into reality. So don't waste this God-given gift!
According to recent surveys, only 23% of company executives believe that recent college graduates have the skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Don't be on the wrong side of that statistic. In this podcast episode you will learn four career building principles to develop skills that will keep you in very high demand.
Enjoy and I look forward to your comments below...
Unless you were living under a rock, you couldn't escape the shear excitement, fascination, and bewilderment when Steph Curry effortlessly launches one of his vintage moonshoot 3-pointers and it slices through the rim barely disturbing the net. The stands are packed hours before his games start as fans clamor to watch him go through his pre-game routine. Last season he won the MVP award for the NBA. This year he was so much better that one TV analyst said he should win the this year's NBA award for Most Improved Player. Statistically speaking, no player in the history of the game has improved upon an MVP season to the level that he has.
So what has led to Curry's rise as one the of NBA's best players if not the best. Let's look at seven lessons we can learn from Curry that can elevate your work performance.
1) Unparalleled preparation leads to unprecedented performance. Curry didn't just get good overnight. In the off-season he uses an extremely unorthodox training regimen to prepare himself for the grueling 82-game NBA season. Some of the exercises and drills he performs don't even seem like they relate to basketball, but now you can see the end result. If you desire to perform in your career beyond all expectations and surpass all your goals and expectations, in your preparation you have to be willing to do things that others aren't willing to do. It's not just about working harder than everyone else. It's about preparing harder when nobody else is around.
2) Turn your talent into skills. Talents are based on natural abilities. Skills are enhanced abilities. Talents are given. Skills are developed. Being the son of a former NBA player, Curry was born with ball-shooting talents that most people only dream of. However, success is not a birthright. He still had to invest the time to practice and dedicate himself to becoming one of the NBA's best shooters (some even say he's the best shooter of all time). Most young professionals are extremely talented. Unfortunately, too many of them don't apply the time and discipline needed to hone their natural talents into transferable, work-relevant skills. In fact many CEOs today say that most college graduates are entering the workforce with knowledge, but without critical job skills
3) Perfect your skills into expertise. Although he had the natural genes to be a greater shooter (his dad Dell Curry spent more than 15 years in the NBA), Steph still works on his game endlessly. He is what's know as a "gym rat." He's usually the first one in the gym and the last one out, trying to get up as many shots as possible. One story said he shoots until he makes 500 three-pointers. That means he has to shoot maybe 2 to 3 times more than before he will leave the court. It not good enough to be talented. You need to become an expert. So although you have great skills, what is your practice regimen like to become the best in the world at what you do?
4) Turn your setbacks into strengths. Early in his career he had many ankle injuries that limited his playing time and potential. It seemed like every time he was about to move to the next level an ankle injury would slow his development. It was until his off-season strength and conditioning figured out why his ankles seemed to be so fragile. Once the issue was discovered, they developed a very unique workout routine that has allowed to strengthen his ankles in a way that ankle injuries are mostly a memory. The additional benefit of his routine is that it also improved his hand-eye coordination, dribbling skills, and agility. What have you learned from your failures that you can turn into competitive advantages? How can you build on your setbacks to develop new skills and abilities?
5. Don't let opinion or criticism or traditions (other's expectations) limit your boundaries. Curry is often underappreciated and underestimated because of his slight build. A lot of NBA players are taller and more muscular. But what he lacks in size and girth, he makes up for in speed, agility, and ridiculous shooting skills. When he is in a hot shooting streak, he is almost impossible to guard because he has developed an incredible knack to make impossible shots look easy. What knowledge, skills, or resource do you have that others would consider a disadvantage, but you can actually use to your advantage?
6. You can have fun after you've put in the hard work. When he's on the court many times it looks like he's having more fun than everyone else. You can easily tell that he finds joy and enjoyment in playing this game. Do you find joy in running your business or serving in your community? If you don't you need to ask yourself why. If you can't come up with a good answer maybe you need to go do something else
7. Live with fearless faith! I was super excited to hear that Steph Curry is a Christian. During a 2013 interview with Active Faith Sports, he said, "I try to use each and every game as an opportunity to witness... It's a way to kind of preach the message in little ways that I can. Each game is an opportunity to be on a great stage and to be a witness for Christ." He lives his faith through his profession. His excellence is a demonstration of God's glory. Your business or community engagements is your platform to shine for God. How are you using it for His glory?
You may not be a well-known, record-breaking basketball player like Steph Curry, but you still bring something significant to your customers or your community. You can be a MVP to those you have the opportunity to serve every day. To the world you may not be anybody, but to somebody you may be the world!
Prompting of the Spirit
You’ve had heard the calling, yet you’ve ignored the prompting of the Spirit! But this year (Yes, this year of 2016!) comes with the promise of success for you and your business through God’s way. Don’t let it go!
It's the Profit with Passion Virtual Summit taking center stage from January 29th through the 31st online at profitwithpassionsummit.com…a truly special event that will start your year right.
Profit with Passion Summit will bring together dozens of the most DYNAMIC and INFLUENTIAL Christian entrepreneurs, leaders and thinkers who will walk you step-by-step through their personal testimonies, including the essentials of Christian business leadership; Character, Ability, Vision, and Experience.
Sign up now for a truly life changing event. Start, grow and expand your business! Brought to you by LumaSpark - visit profitwithpassionsummit.com for more information on our all-star lineup of speakers, free giveaways, and much more.
Be a witness to our BOLD testimonies of faith, business, and success
If you have been working in ministry or the community for any amount of time it is not uncommon for God to work in ways that are not necessarily mysterious, but are definitely unexpected. Recently, I was facilitating a youth business training with Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program for a group of at-risk youth in Atlanta.
I had my lesson plan laid out to teach them how to start a purpose driven business. However, I found as I was going through my curriculum, it was not connecting with them. I tried different "trainer techniques" to get them to engage, but nothing seemed to work.
It wasn't until I started focusing more on asking them questions than teaching content did I start to make a connection. I began inquiring about the problems they saw in their communities and the causes they believed were the culprits.
The energy in the room skyrocketed when I became the student and I opened myself to be taught by them. At that moment I had two choices: 1) stick to what I had planned to teach them, or 2) become a sponge so that I could better determine how best to reach them based on what they were facing. Fortunately, I chose the latter.
So what began as a youth entrepreneurship training became a millennial focus group for community transformation. It was very revealing what they saw as the issues and causes in their own communities, as well as some of the potential solutions. The top 4 issues they listed were:
That's why we need more Joshua's to lead the younger generation to their promise land. Sometimes it's easy for adults to talk at or over teenagers without really talking to them to hear their perspectives. With the complex issues that we are facing our communities these days, it behooves all of us to seek wisdom from whatever source God may bring it.
You can learn more about how Kinsman Community Ministries is working with youth to transform their communities through social enterprises at www.mykinsman.org/youth.
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