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.
People often get frustrated when they know what their passion is, but the doors of opportunity don't seem to be opening quickly enough in the things they are pursuing. If this describes you or someone you know, one reason those doors are not opening yet could be because you have not asked a very simple but very important question. And the answer to that question could completely change the way you see everything. Watch the video to see what that question is...
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
Are you you ready to have the best year of your life?!?! And it really doesn't matter how great or not so great your year was just in 2016. You should always be looking to be better, grow more, learn more, make a more significant impact in the world, etc. Don't ever rest on what you have previously accomplished. Anyone who has a relationship with Jesus should always be looking for opportunities to become a better version of yourself.
So just as you're identifying ways to be a better you this year, entrepreneurs should also consider ways you can hit the reset button in your business in order to have your best year yet...
1) RENEW Your Mind. Stress and frustrations can clog up your creativity and clarity. You need to take some time to declutter your mind so that you can see clearly what you need to do in your business as you move forward. The more clarity you have, the more confident and accurate decision-maker you will be. Spending time with God in His word will allow to let go of thoughts and don't belong and embrace the ones that need to stay.
2) REFOCUS Your Goals. If you haven't already done so, you must first clarify specific, concrete goals. Next, define the difference between a real opportunity and a distraction. Often times we get delayed from reaching our goals because we don't have a way to differentiate between the two. If the "opportunity" isn't pushing you towards your goal, most likely what you're dealing with is a distraction. Leave those alone - no matter how good it might look - so you can keep moving forward in doing the things that will give you legitimate momentum.
3) REPOSITION Your Relationships. In 2016 people showed you who they really are to you if you were paying attention. Either they were for you or against you. You need to keep strategic people around you as vision partners, advisors, supporters, etc. And for those that are not, you must create some distance between them and your vision. You may not (or you might) have to cut them off completely, but you don't want to allow them any closer to your business and ideas than is absolutely necessary.
4) REFRESH Your Brand. If your business did not accomplish what you expected or desired it to accomplish last year it could be because you lack a branding strategy, don't have a clear message, you're not connecting with the right audience, you're not relevant to the market you are pursuing, or all of the above. Sometimes the truth is a bitter pill to swallow. If you're not good at branding, marketing, sales, or advertising, please get some help and don't try to go at it alone. There are enough legitimate branding experts out there that you can leverage their gifting while allowing you to function in your gifting with excellence. Just be diligent in finding the right ones with which to partner.
So don't be afraid to hit the reset button and start something over, so you can move forward the right way. Hitting the reset button means admitting that you may have made a bad decision or a mistake as a result of thinking you were doing something right. Avoid repeating the mistakes of last year. But you also can't rest on last year's success.
If you're willing to become a "brand new creation" you are guaranteed to have a year that exceeds your expectations! Have a blessed 2017!
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!
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers just pulled off an improbable feat in the basketball by coming winning three games in a row to win the NBA Championship against the defending world champions, Golden State Warriors. The thing is this journey didn't just start this season. It started nearly two years ago when James returned to Cleveland. He announced his return by penning an essay describing why he came back.
The part of the essay the caught my attention wasn't about basketball. It was his vision for his hometown. Here is an excerpt:
So is your vision compelling enough that you can pull enough of the right people "Together" to accomplish it?
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.
I dare you. I double dare you. I triple dog dare you!
I dare you to look beyond your problems to see your potential.
I dare you to look beyond your obstacles to see your opportunities.
I dare you to look beyond your frustrations to see your future.
I dare you to look beyond your drama to see your dreams.
I dare you to look beyond your guilt to see your giftedness.
I dare you to look beyond your bruises to see your blessings.
I dare you to look beyond your burdens to see your brilliance.
I dare you to look beyond your losses to see His love.
I dare you to go where no one has gone before!
I dare you to grow when others are groaning!
I dare you to conquer when others are cowering!
I dare you to comfort when others are complicit!
I dare you to be positive when others are pessimistic!
I dare you to be fearless when others are failing!
I dare you to be faithful when others are fading!
I dare you to love the unlovely!
I DARE YOU to DREAM BIG!
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.
Success in business can come from anywhere and through anyone, but it seems extra special when the story is about a teenager who has defied the odds. Thirteen-year-old Moziah Bridges, CEO of Mo's Bows, has defied the odds that many adult entrepreneurs have succumb to. His company, which handcrafts his personally designed bow ties, has 5 employees and produced $200,000 in sales. Moziah says the motivation behind his passion is:
One thing I really appreciate about him is that he has a big heart to give back to others. He made a special bow tie called the "Go Mo! Scholarship Bow Tie" with 100% of the proceeds going to help underprivileged kids from his hometown of Memphis go to summer camp. He did this because he feels like it’s good business to help the community. He is definitely creating his impact.
This is the type of young person we envision inspiring and supporting through our Kinsman Youth Entrepreneurship Programs. Hopefully we'll have the chance to mentor the next Moziah Bridges.
Read more about Moziah at: http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/07/10/13-year-old-ceo-200000-sales/
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.
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling