Entrepreneurs of Life, by Os Guinness

As Entrepreneurs of Life, we respond to the call of our great Creator
By seeing all life as an enterprise transformed by his call to “Follow Me.”
We therefore count the cost, consider the risks,
And set out on each day as a venture to multiply our gifts and opportunities
In order to bring glory to God and add value to this world.
In so living, we find the fullest meaning of our lives in answering the call,
We seek our identity solely in our naming by the Caller,
We pursue excellence defined as “My utmost for the His highest,”
We count our deepest companionship among our fellow-followers of the Way,
We look for final approval only from one audience – the Audience of One,
We break down every false barrier between eh sacred and the secular, weaving all life into a seamless
web of faith and love in action,
And we work for no other accomplishment or legacy than the Caller’s own “Well done,”
The menial and humdrum we elevate because of the one for whom it’s ultimately done,
The dangerous and sacrificial we bear as the privilege of high calling,
The siren sounds of ease, success and popularity we shun for a trusthworthier voice,
And the temptations of conceit coming from being so chosen we answer with a gratitude humbled by
graced because we have been chosen at all.
Thus we are fully engaged in the world on realistic terms, but empowered by vision and energies from a world that is unseen but even more real and realistic.
In all things, and in all the vicissitudes and seasons of life,
We know that, primarily, we are called not to somewhere or something but to Someone,
That there is no true calling without the Caller,          
That calling is not only being who we are but becoming what we are to be,
That no self-made goal can ever rival the Ultimate Why of the mystery of the Creator’s purpose for
each of us as his creatures,
That we will never rise higher than when we follow the call not knowing where the path may lead –
so long as the Caller is God,
And that while we may lose our jobs and our health, or retire from a career, we will never retire from our calling – until that Final Call, which is death, leads each of us to the climax and consummation
of all calling.
For on that day, for the first time, we will not need to listen only a word; we will see the Caller face to face and find ourselves in our Father’s home forever.
In the meantime that is our journey until our life’s last day, the passion of our lives is to go further, higher, deeper, always closer to the One who called us once and calls us still – to Himself, and to all the joys that knowing him can mean.
– Os Guinness

Why did I say....

.....Matt Perman's book "What's Best Next" might be the best book on the Theology of Work I've read yet?
Two of many reasons are 

- God wants us to be productive 
- God created us to be creative
And this book helps one think into that agenda.

The 3 Most Important Things in Networking



While the 3 most important things in real estate is "location, location, location" - in Networking it's.........

 "follow-through, follow-through, follow-through."

Thoughts led to to 'Water From a Deep Well'

I enjoy where my journaling leads me. This morning it was, in part, to a 2008 overview of my read Gerald Sittzers' book Water From A Deep Well.  

These are Sittzers' words....

Introduction 

Page 18: Every generation of believers faces the risk of becoming a prisoner to its own myopic vision of the Christian faith, assuming that how it understands and practices faith is always the best. C.S. Lewis cited this problem as a reason for reading old books. "None of us," he wrote, "can fully escape this blindness, but we shall certainly increase it, and weaken our guard against it, if we read only modern books," for modern books (as well as the ideas and practices they convey) only tell us what we already know and thus reinforce our blind spots and prejudices.

History will show us that there is more to the Christian faith than what we think and have experienced.

Page 20: Augustine once wrote that the only way to understand something is to love it first, that is, to study it with sympathy, patience and appreciation.

Page 23: The purpose of this book, after all, is to explore the diversity of Christian spirituality. Still, however diverse these various traditions are, there is an underlying truth that unites them. From the apostolic age to the present, the vast majority of Christians have believed that God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ, that Jesus Christ is both divine and human, and that God is therefore one in community. My goal is to explore how these various spiritual traditions - ascetic, monastic, sacramental, evangelical and the like - reveal who God is, how we can know him intimately, and what we can become in and through him.

------

Back to me, Danny. 

Good stuff!! Reading these 9 year old notes is a great reflection. I can see how it's shaped some of my thoughts today. 

My coach, Dave Moore, assigned this book to me. Listening to Matt Perman talk about roles and routines (in What's Best Next) this morning shaped some thoughts for my journaling which led to looking for another book Moore assigned to me about routines. That search lead to Sittzers. 

It's a journey!

Has God Given You A Vision? by Tim Hetzner

Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. Habakkuk 2:2

When God gives you a vision for your life, write it down, keep it before you at all times and run with it. You say, ‘But I see no way for it to come to pass.’ The Bible says, ‘The vision is yet for an appointed time ... wait for it; because it will surely come’ (v. 3). You may not know how to get from where you are right now to where the vision will ultimately take you - but God does. So ask Him to reveal the next step to you. Whether you’re in prison like Joseph, in a soup kitchen in the inner city, or at home taking care of small children, God will fulfil the vision He placed in your heart. The more you see yourself leading in the boardroom, launching your own business, serving in ministry, writing your first book, or helping others through your gifts, the sooner it’ll become a reality. Before a vision becomes clear, God gives us glimpses of it - like a picture developing from a soft hue into sharp resolution. So take your vision and run with it. Let it motivate you to perform to the best of your ability in your present position, while staying in communication with the One who knows and loves you best. Today pray ...

Prayer

Lord, I know that where I am right now, isn’t where You’re taking me. Give me glimpses of Your vision for my future, so that my understanding may grow in accordance with Your timing. Give me patience along the way and faith to trust that You’re always working for my good. Amen.

The above devotion was written/compiled from multiple sources by Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church


5 Productivity Questions to Ask Yourself Each Morning



I spend a bit of time of time each morning praying, journaling  and thinking into my day; how do I want it to go, what are my intentions and goals for the day, and I ask myself a few questions.

A training call I was on this week gave me a new way to look into my productivity. In the spirit of "What's Best Next" (the book), here are some questions I've started asking myself -

1. Where is my time being best invested?

2. Where is my time being mostly wasted?

3. What do I need to spend more time doing?

4. What do I need to spend less time doing?

5. If I invested my time more wisely, what would it mean to me?

Thanks to Caliber Home Loans for the training and www.DougSmithOnline.com for the information.

Treating everyone fairly and justly...

Traditional marketing focuses on the masses, treating everyone the same. 

Guerrilla marketing treats everyone fairly and justly by treating everyone differently. 

Guerrilla marketers come to understand and practice win/win relationships.  

Guerrilla marketers think about their prospect's behavior and how to best relate with them. If you, the marketer, have a High D temperament, but your  prospect is a High C, your marketing "output" is naturally different that your prospects "input." You tend to be direct, to the point. You want to move through the process and get it finished so you can move on. Your High C prospect wants details, details and more details. The High C wants time to think through the details, ask questions and insure he gets good answers. 

If haven't taken a DISC assessment in the past year and would like to learn more about your temperament, email me at Danny@DannyLSmith.com for a link to a free online DISC.  

Danny L. Smith
512-773-6528

"The top 1% of successful entrepreneurs build themselves ahead of their business."

Who Flourishes the Most?

If you insist on a quid pro quo every time you help others, 
you will have a much narrower network.
- Adam Grant

Motivation and opportunity are two things highly successful people have in common with each other.

But what about what-we-give-to and what-we-take-from others?

In his book "Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success," Adam Grant (Wharton School prof) lays out how he's identified and accessed what causes people to be most, and least successful.

According to his years of research, the top 3rd most successful people (across many industries; doctors, engineers, sales, attorneys, teachers...) are GIVERS.

The top 3rd are GIVERS.

So are the bottom 3rd.


In the middle are the Takers and Matchers.

Click here for Podcast: https://youtu.be/Dcfk89LKfjo

The Eight-Word Mission Statement

Venture capitalist Kevin Starr insists that companies he funds can express their mission statement in under eight words. They also must follow this format: "Verb, target, outcome." Some examples: "Save endangered species from extinction" and "Improve African children's health."

The mission statement is a key part of  Star's approach, but it's not the only part. Once the mission statement is establish, Starr insists that companies that get investment "measure the right thing" and "measure it well.

It takes that kind of clarity and brevity to attract investors and to keep your own team's eyes on the prize, he explains. read more at Harvard Business Review online.

Everyone Sells...Unlock the Salesperson In YOU!!!

Everyone sells. EVERYONE.

The dad telling everyone how cute the new baby is...he's selling.

The applicant in an interview....she's selling.

The daughter begging dad to drive his car...selling.

Did you tell someone about a movie and say "you've got to go see..".....selling.

How good of a sales person are you?

The young man walking his date up to her door for a goodbye kiss....selling. The lady shopping and asking for a discount, for whatever reason...she's selling.

How many times did you ask for something today? You were selling everytime. Did you talk about a candidate and why you like one over another? You were selling.

Call it what you want, you were trying to get someone to do what you wanted. I t  i s  c a l l e d  S.E.L.L.I.N.G....period-the-end...selling.

Do you work with others in an office, or talk to customers about ANYTHING? selling.

Stop lying.

To another place

Someone posted recently about how quick they can “go to another place” when reading a book.

Me too. Or listening to certain music, a video on Facebook about running the slalom course (water)…there a real triggers that take me to other places.

John Maxwell talked about it in his “Law of Environment.” In a sense, Zig referred to it when he said “we’d be the same 5 years from today as we are today except for what we read, listen to and who we associate with.”

I just finished the book “Living with a Seal” by Jesse Itzler and I’m running more and doing push-ups. I also realize how much of a wimp I am! Good grief. Even before hiring Seal to live with him for 30 days, Itzler was close to insane.

Another place…….to reach my goals, I know I can’t get to these things I’ve never done before without changing. I need to get to another place.

It starts with what I think about that other place, first getting there.

#OnwardToUpward

John Maxwell's "Characteristics of a Positive Growth Environment"

1. Others Are ahead of You

2. You Are Continually Challenged

3. Your Focus Is Forward

4. The Atmosphere Is Affirming

5. You Are out of Your Comfort Zone

6. You Wake Up Excited

7. Failure Is Not Your Enemy

8. Others Are Growing

9. People Desire Change

10. Growth Is Modeled and Expected

Procrastination. Just that.

We all do it. We put off starting a project, dealing with an unresolved conflict, fulfilling an obligation,
improving our health, or taking a class to improve our job skills. Fundamentally,
procrastination is a decision one makes, consciously or unconsciously, to delay
getting into action due to some underlying fear or concern.

Some people are naturally starters while others are finishers. In either case,
procrastination can cause problems. Can. It can not also, but that's a different subject.

Persistent procrastination can drain one’s energy and result in nagging feelings of
guilt, diminished self-confidence, missed opportunities and anxiety.

Procrastination is common reason for performance problems in the workplace,
and persistent procrastination can restrict one’s career progression or even pay
raises. Moreover, the cumulative effect of procrastination on an organization can
negatively impact the bottom line, considering today’s fast paced business
climate and the need to continually improve the organization’s products and
services.

So, why Do People Procrastinate?

There are a number of reasons people procrastinate, and a person who
procrastinate may do so for more than one reason. A few of the most common
reasons are:

- Task Complexity – the task seems daunting, and one doesn’t know where to begin.

- Under-Developed Organizational Skills – the skills required to plan and
orchestrate the sequence of activities’ needed are absent.

- Resentment about complying with the wishes of others – if it’s not one’s own
idea or if the task is not a result of willing participation.

- Perfectionism – hold unreasonably high standards, and being fearful they might not
be met.

- Time Crunch - the task will require the commitment of large blocks of time, and these
are not easy to arrange.

- Fear of Failure, or Fear of Success – either way, fear gets in the way of getting
started, and often.

- Task Saturation - there are simply too many things on the agenda to do, so it’s hard
to get started on any one of them.

- Diversions and Distractions – focus and attention are difficult to sustain because
the environment is not controlled.

To that end....

Results. Making an I.M.P.A.C.T - a series of things I do...out-in-front

Results, targets, goals, intentions....what is it I want to get done in the future.....this morning, today, next month, the rest of the year?
The most important thing I know I can do is the "Think into those results, with I.M.P.A.C.T" -

What IDEAS do I have about getting those results?

I MEDITATE (pray) on my ideas and the results I want.

I PROPOSE QUESTIONS to myself about the choices, behaviors, actions, causes and circumstances that could bring about those results.

I ANALYZE & ACT - how it’s work for me in the past. What did I do right? Wrong? What needs to change? I do something even if it’s wrong (anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until I can learn to do it right!).

Continuously Create the Right Environment / CONQUER the gremlins! We all have them. My environment includes everything around me at all times. It can't always be right, but I can control the majority through what I read, listen to, watch and the people I hang-out with. I pour positive self-talk into my head (to drown out the gremlins). I try to be conscious of what I'm saying when I talk to myself and what I'm saying to others. And what I'm hearing others say. Fight the demons..!

TRANSCRIBE (journal) my thoughts…my ideas…the results I want. I'm not sure the rest of this makes any difference without a discipline of writing down what's in your head.

13 Choices to Achieve Sustainable Results

 If you limit your choices to only what seems possible 
and reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you
 truly want , and all that is left is compromise - Robert Fritz


1.     I’ve got to choose to have the right mindset

2.     I’ve got to choose to have the right support and higher expertise

3.     I’ve got to choose to have a robust evaluation and correction system

7 Reasons to Stop Being a Perfectionist

Krista Jezek shared this with me a few years. She got it off a discussion on LinkedIn and I've Googled looking for the original source but it seems the list has been around for some time and lot's of credits.

Here's the list (and please let me know if you know who originally came up with it)..
  1. Perfectionism causes procrastination
  2. You get caught up in the details
  3. Perfectionism doesn't allow you to be yourself
  4. Perfectionism set you up to need others' approval
  5. Perfectionism causes you to be in a constant state of stress, because you’re always trying to meet your perfect standards
  6. Perfectionism stops you from taking a risk
  7. Perfectionism stops you from picking up the phone

    To that end..........#BuildItOutInFront

Failure Has Benefits....

One of the best books I've even "not" read is Maxwell's Failing Forward. 

I haven't read it, know I should, but have it and I have reviewed it. I've also read numerous quotes John's made about it. (I'm pulling it out to put in my 'need to read soon' stack)

My friend John Griffin told me our mutual mentor Paul Martinelli hit him with the Success Cycle recently: Test, Fail, Learn, Improve, Re-Enter. (I have that written on a post-it note inside my daily planner and look at it numerous times a day)

Personally, I think action around "anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well" will propel one towards an incredible amount of getting things done. Add the Success Cycle and the possibilities are endless. 

Ha! Failure! It's an event, not a person. Most of us just don't get that. We don't know how to make failure work for us.

Friend and colleague Hurdie Burk were talking about his Business Warrior initiative and I was drilling him on his intentions for the group and whether I was willing to invest the time and money. Hurdie knows success isn't just about moving forward, it's about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and trying it again.

Needless to say, he nailed it because I can't wait for his new group to start.

And to add value, he then sent me the Google post...The Surprising Benefits of Failure. 

To that end.............#BuildItOutInFront



The Flea Trainer, by Zig Ziglar

DLS note. Zig continues to so greatly influenced my life, long after his death. One of my favorite of his many stories is this one.....

"Your experience influences how high you think you can go. If you have been told (or told yourself) that you can only expect so much out of life, you may have conditioned yourself to mediocrity.

One of my favorite stories is about flea training. It is the perfect illustration of how your experience can limit what you are able to accomplish. If you put a bunch of fleas in a jar and put a lid on the jar, the fleas will jump up and collide with the jar lid. They quickly adjust how high they jump so they won't hit the lid. After they adjust their jumping power to avoid the lid, you can take the lid off of the jar and the fleas will not jump out! They will have trained themselves to jump so high and no higher. The fleas actually become slaves to their experience and imprison themselves inside the jar—even though they could jump out at any time after the lid is removed.

People do the same thing to themselves. Somewhere in most people's experience, they develop the idea that they can (or should) do only so much and no more. They adjust their expectations of themselves accordingly, and they get what they expect: less than what they are capable of!

I believe you have the potential to do and accomplish far more than you believe you are capable of doing and accomplishing! I believe that because history is filled with stories of men and women who have done just that. If you study the lives of great people, you usually discover they came from average families, living average lives, doing very average things. Then, these people have some kind of experience or encounter a turning point that puts them in position to do more than they could even conceive. Or possibly they became sick and tired of living the way they were living and finally said, "Enough is enough!" In every instance they responded to the experience or opportunity and accepted the challenge to grow.

Former United States President Dwight Eisenhower was not a high-ranking officer in the years prior to World War II, but he was passionate about wanting to get out from behind a desk and fight "his war." He was a staff officer to General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines prior to the war and probably thought continuing in that role would be the best thing he could do. Circumstances of the war and his excellent organizational skills eventually resulted in him becoming the Supreme Commander of all the Allied Armies in Europe, and after the war he was elected president of the United States. Eisenhower is actually quoted as saying, "I thought it completely absurd to mention my name in the same breath as the presidency."

The amazing and even startling point of this story is that there was never one big thing Eisenhower did that changed the course of his life. Every small step, every small promotion, every new direction his military life took led to a culmination of events that resulted in his huge lifetime of success. His willingness to accept every new position, regardless of how mundane or challenging it might be, moved Dwight Eisenhower toward his destiny.

What about you? What do you expect of yourself? What is your turning point? You can do more than you think you can do. But you'll never know if you don't try. Go out there and see all the good things life has to offer a flea trainer."

Bless you Zig and I do look forward to seeing you at the Top. 

Danny

 

Changing Values to Win

"Values influence every aspect of our lives: our moral judgments, our responses to others, our commitments to personal and organizational goals." - Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner write in The Leadership Challenge

The essence of how we live are in our values. We do what we value. 

Ex. I might say I value my health but succumb to my desire to eat heavy carbs, thus living out my value of that emotional pleasure. 

Ex. Getting up early to workout with a group of Camp Gladiators is part of the plan to loose weight / improve strength. That plan is part of of the fulfillment my value of being healthy. 

Values are the intangible aspects of life that make you feel in alignment, complete, on track, and functioning at a high level.
At our core, values change over time and a life that recognizes and aligns with one's core values will feel more satisfying. 

We must first recognize 1. the values will living out versus 2. the values we want to live out. 

Then we can start making adjustments to our activities to align with our goals and desires. 

Some examples of values include adventure, fun, service, creativity, connection, etc. When we consciously design our life to align with our values, life gets immeasurably richer — and easier! 
Process. It's a process to gain clarity of your values and and as you do you'll start designing your life 
To discover your values, ponder these questions:
  • What is important to me?
  • What is important to me about that?
  • How does that make me feel?
Then break it down:

  • What did I do today that I liked? What value was that connected to?
  • What did I do today that I didn't like? What value was that connected to?
The change questions are "what values are winning?" :"What values do I want to win?"


Danny L. Smith, CMPS
512-773-6528

Handling a Promotion: Promotions bring privileges...

- the wise leader will use them without abusing them.

- the wise leader will refuse to exploit the privileges entrusted.

"Nehemiah never started Nehemiah Enterprises, Inc."

from "Hand Me Another Brick" by Charles Swindol

Don't Confuse Trust with Hope

We can't confuse Trust with Hope. And I'm not talking about the hope for salvation Christians have in their faith (as I do). What I am talking about is how we trust each other and how "hope (in this context) is not a strategy." Trusting well is a strategy. When we trust well, we can verify that trust, we can hold the other accountable to that trust. When we trust well, we get down to business faster. When we trust well, we have the same motives, the same agendas, and behave well according to that trust we have with each other.

When we don't trust well, we check things out, we display passive-agressive attitudes, we ignore, we just wait for others to "get over it." When we don't trust well, we encumber each other. We slow down the process.

And it cost money, time, and respect.

We have to earn trust. Hoping someone does something doesn't have to be earned, it just kind of happens. Now, remember, I'm not referring to a Christian's hope for salvation, that's a different totally different meaning - though the same root word, different context all together.

Here's an example of what I'm referring to about Trust vs Hope; when you are driving you don't trust that someone will not run a red light because you can't hold them accountable. Oh sure, they can get a ticket, or even pay for your car and hospital bills, but you might be dead!!

Now, what you do do is hope other drivers drive safely, don't run red lights, or cross the line on curves at 70 miles an hour.

Th cyclers on the roads here in Austin are HOPING they don't get run over. It's not trust, but hope.

Same thing happens in business; we can hope for some things and trust in others. Those we Trust Well in, we can verify - we hold someone accountable. Otherwise it's Blind Trust and we are hoping someone doesn't have a seperate agenda.

The more we trust, the more profitable we are, and the more we make a good difference.

Play on words? I don't believe so. Maybe a bit simplistic. Test it yourself and see how it works out.

To that end....

Danny