Are We Using People To Achieve Or Helping Them To Develop Character?

Are We Using People To Achieve Or Helping Them To Develop Character?


In the movie Chicken Run, the chickens are not producing enough eggs so the owner, and also the villain, decides to buy a pie making machine. As you see in the first part of the graphic above and the video below, chickens go in and pies come out. The magazine in the film, inspires the villain in the movie to buy the pie maker. She believes this machine will turn her failing farm into a money making machine.

The Trap For Leaders

As a business owner striving for success, we can easily fall into the trap of seeing our team members as the chickens in this analogy. Team members go into our company, the pie machine, and out of it comes what we define as success or achievement. Money, power, fame, influence, are a few examples of how we measure our achievement.

In this mindset, the team is not a top priority and we can see them as a commodity making it really easy for us burn someone out knowing we can find someone else to take their place.

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My Radio Interview Where We Talk About My Work, IDEMA & The Formula For Intentionality

My Radio Interview Where We Talk About My Work, IDEMA & The Formula For Intentionality

As I mentioned last year, I'm writing a book about flourishing in freelancing. As a result of writing this book, several freelancers requested getting together on a regular basis. This resulted in us establishing a monthly group where we meet to review the concepts in the book. After our last meeting, I met up with a client to talk about the work we were doing. Fresh off the freelancing meeting, we discussed the graphic I created to teach the day's concept.

As a result of this discussion, he invited me to meet with him, his partner on a new business venture, and a friend to share these concepts with them. I agreed and the next day I shared the concepts with them including his friend Craig Williams who co-hosts a business authority radio show on the Pro Business Channel with Neil Howe.

Craig invited me to be one his guests on the business authority show. In the interview I discuss the work I do, two projects I've worked on, IDEMA and the Formula For Intentionality. The segment where I'm interviewed begins at 9 minutes 30 seconds.

It has been awhile since I've done this type of media so it was great to shake the dust off and share my ideas.

IDEMA Framework

After Two Years, We've Officially Launched This Important Idea

After I chose to shut down Noodlehead Marketing, us team members concluded one of the most valuable ideas from our journey was the IDEMA framework. As a result of this conclusion we agreed to package and publish it so we could take and use it in our future ventures. It was our parting gift to each other, our clients, and our friends.

Unfortunately, the reality of my decision to shut down the company was destabilizing and I fell into a deep depression and severe anxiety. The years of emotions for everything I had gone through in the Noodlehead journey poured out of me like a flash flood, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. For three months,  I faced numerous unexpected episodes of fear induced panic. It was the darkest season of my life, and I struggled for three months just trying to sleep and eat.
By God's grace and the support of friends, family and our church, I was able to move out of this valley of darkness and end the company well. But, we did not package and publish IDEMA like we had intended. Now focused on providing for my family, IDEMA was pushed to the back burner.
The first year of freelancing in 2014 was an unexpected success as people I knew contracted my services to help them solve their organizational & marketing problems. IDEMA was something I used to help me organize these initiatives. In 2015, IDEMA became more prominent in the work I did, and I realized IDEMA's incompleteness during this time.
We needed to finish what we had started by packaging and publishing IDEMA. This would create a foundation for anyone to use, share and teach IDEMA. With the help of two of our past team members and a few new friends, we've brought IDEMA framework to the world.
March 31st 2014 was the last day of Noodlehead. 
Two years later, and we've now officially launched this important idea. It is our highly valuable gift to you.


Three Ways We Can Respond To Those Who Offer Their Help

Three Ways We Can Respond To Those Who Offer Their Help

Every year, our church hosts its services at the park for Easter Sunday. 

Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to serve as a parking attendant. Part of this included helping carry guest's food and stuff to their destinations and an offer to park their vehicle in the larger lot.

After the experience, I recognized an interesting pattern of how people responded to my offer for help.

Some of the people I offered to help actively resisted it. In many of these cases, they clearly needed the help, but they adamantly declined while they were dropping things and struggling with their children.  Seeing the difficulty, I'd offer multiple times to help, but many were firmly committed to doing it themselves. I found this draining and demoralizing for me as the one offering the help. As a result, they left a negative and memorable impression on me. While I disliked helping these people, I knew they still needed to be served and loved.
The second pattern I noticed was the group of people who accepted my help but were fairly apathetic about me helping them. When I offered to help, they looked at me like a deer in the headlights. They said yes without much emotion or excitement, and I quickly forgot about them. 
The third pattern I noticed were the people who accepted and embraced my offer to serve them. The more I helped them, the more excited they were to receive. They expressed their gratitude and were happy for the help. The more excited they got, the more I wanted to serve them. Their response and my immediate impact in making their lives better were energizing. These were positive & memorable moments, unlike my experience of those who resisted. 
The next time someone offers to help you or give you a gift, which way will you respond? Will you resist, be apathetic or genuinely embrace it?

Image courtesy of PicJumbo.

3 Problems Churches Will Solve In The Future With Their Content Online

3 Problems The Church Will Solve With Their Content Online

Thanks to my parents, I've been involved in different denominations and sizes of churches since I was born. I've also discovered the church has lacked in their potential to truly connect their powerful, but digitally neglected , content with their people in a personal and relevant way.

Churches are usually focused on the next Sunday service and tend to devalue the past messages. Since churches are busy with this focus, I thought I'd make it easy for them by pointing out the problems.  By illuminating these problems, the church can take the steps towards resolving them. They can then help the body of Christ where they need it and  when it matters most. 
Here are the top three problems I see with church members accessing content online to help "bring them along".

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How This One Directive Could Drive More Unity

How This One Directive Could Drive More Unity

 When we find ourselves resisting those leading us, let us direct our leaders with this one statement.

"Please, bring me along."

Instead of saying yes out of compliance or no out of reaction, ask to be brought along. Expect our leader to teach us what they know.
One of three things will happen. They will share what what they know and with our new found understanding, we'll want to follow their lead. Or, we will present what we know and they will realize why we're resisting and address the issue.
The third option is neither of us are brought along. At that point, we have to decide if the directive is a pothole (not preferred, but can move forward), or a roadblock (will not move forward until addressed) to determine how we proceed.


A Simple Way To Help Each Others Change

A Simple Way To Help Each Other Change

Helping a friend, family member or stranger go from where they are to where they want to be can be difficult and require a ton of energy. Heck, it could be hard to do this for ourselves! 

Instead of facing this resistance, get clear on the vision and help by mapping out the numerous micro-steps along the way. The smaller the steps, the easier it is to move forward. 
It's best we check our intentions before we start since trust is key here. If we aren't trustworthy or lose it along the way, we might find ourselves back where we started. 


How The Iceberg Effect Illuminates How Much We Don't Know


The Iceberg effect is a visual metaphor to help us more realistically face life and work.

Any time we face a project, relationship, friend, employee, church, or anything, the top of the iceberg is what we can immediately see.

For example, when watching a political presidential debate we see the top of the iceberg for the candidates we're interested in supporting.

When we start a new project, we think it will only take 2 weeks, when in reality it's a 2 month long project.

When we have experience in a particular area, we visualize what the iceberg looks below the tip of the iceberg. While we don't know for sure, we can reasonably anticipate the unknowns that are likely and unlikely to happen. This helps us better anticipate the successes and failures we'll face.

No matter how experienced and knowledgeable we are, we will inevitably face the unexpected unknowns in life, work and projects. It's the deep abyss with no end. It could be something or it could be nothing. 

In 2001, numerous New York companies planned for what they knew and what they expected could happen to mitigate their risk and maximize their chances of success. At the end of the day, they did not expect a group of terrorists to attack the world trade towers and change their entire lives.

It is wise for us to plan for what we know, what we anticipate and a little extra for for the complete unknown. Outside of this, it requires we trust in something more powerful than the unanticipated unknowns.

For me, I choose to trust in God. How about you?


10 Simple Actions Freelancers Need To Do When Income Dries Up

10 Simple Actions Freelancers Need To Do When Income Dries Up

As a freelancer, there are times when we need to generate income immediately. In red alert mode, we need to move quickly to get paying gigs. Ideally, we discover what to do in red alert mode before it happens, but for those of you who are in this zone now, here are ten actions to help you move forward and suppress the panic.

  1. Since God knows and is in control, anchor yourself by praying for direction.
  2. Meet with 10-12 people per week, ranging from good friends to people you hardly know, and ask for advice.
  3. Call past clients and leads to discover if they have any needs you can help with.
  4. Reach out to people who have referred work your way in the past and let them know your situation and how they can help.
  5. Keep your inner circle updated on your situation and how they can help you overcome it. Be specific with what you need.
  6. Attend 2-3 networking events where you can meet numerous people in a short period of time.
  7. Get exposed on-line by sharing articles, content and ideas on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
  8. Blog daily and share links to your blogs with your network. (If you don't have a site signup for a free account on Medium or Wordpress)
  9. Offer to write a blog for those in your network who have platforms and an audience.
  10. Slow the bleeding by taking odd jobs, research study groups, or becoming an extra in a feature film.

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