Early in our marriage, I was a free spirit. Think of a kite flying around in the sky and that was me. Unfortunately, I was so busy floating among the clouds I lost track of reality and the responsibilities around me.
You’re out of steam. There’s too much to do. And you’re falling further behind every day.
And it feels like the same story, every year. Well, at least for a handful of the previous years.
Did you really go into business to operate this way? Is this what you imagined entrepreneurship would look like? Has the chaos become comfortable?
What if your small business could provide for you and your team, be enjoyable, have meaning, and facilitate ongoing success?
All at the same time?
That’s what you really want. That’s what I wanted. That’s what we can have. It’s what we would have, but something’s missing.
For you and your small business, I want clarity because that clarity is your starting point for moving towards what you want, from and out of your business. But while you need and want clarity, its chaos you're surrounded by (and much of it caused by your own doing directly or indirectly).
In the midst of facing and transitioning out of chaos during the halfway point of my small business owner journey, a strong visual metaphor came to me, helping to understand what was going on and why the clarity and order were so important.
In this visual, I imagined a messy house. Every room was cluttered with stuff everywhere. Chaos all over.
When the iPad first came out, I’d play Zombie Highway. The point of the game is to drive as far as possible without dying. Seems easy. But, there are forces pushing back. The car could crash either by running into debris in the road or, it could flip over when there were too many zombies on the vehicle.
To succeed in the game required looking forward onto the horizon instead of at the zombies. Their presence was distracting and caused the player to focus on the horde instead of the road. In most cases, the zombies didn’t flip the car, but focusing on them led to distracted driving causing the player to crash into debris they didn’t see coming.
The loss of vision and visibility inevitably leads to failure.
My friend Jeremy Sloan has launched a weekday blogging challenge as a follow up to the one we did in 2017. He and several team members at CablesAndKits.com (an active client) are participating, beginning this week and lasting through the end of March.
My first post in the challenge went up yesterday, about the importance of relationship building time with our children. My plan was to simply post weekly as I've done since the beginning of this year and cheer them on along the way, but crazy me has decided to participate at the faster pacing.
With five kids, and an abundance of vocational transition in our lives, there's been no shortage of chaos as me and my wife navigate the challenges of parenting. And as our five kids get older, I suspect the craziness of life is going to kick into high gear. On top of the natural craziness of life, there’s also the real challenges of parenting with excellence.
There’s an abundance of advice mixed with our own experiences to figure this out and end up with kids that want to spend time with us when they’re no longer required to do so. But, it’s not easy and requires an abundance of grace for ourselves and our children.
So, in the worst case scenario where I fail miserably in every area of parenting, what’s the one thing I could do to that would not only make up for my shortcomings but would rise above them in a powerful way?
My new blog for building a strong business foundation is up at StartupNation. One of my 2019 goals is publishing 5 articles on other websites. So, I've knocked one with four to go.
In this new blog for small business owners, I explain the Formula for Intentionality, and how to answer the critical questions that build strong foundations for every meaningful company. While it's uncommon to be this deliberate on the front end of a business launch, its essential for enduring the numerous challenges faced along the entrepreneurial path. The focus created also minimizes the numerous distractions that come along the way.
In the article, we'll explore purpose, mission, vision, and core values in a way that's helpful but also makes sense of how these elements connect together. So, what are you waiting for, go read it!
Ivan Alfaro Shares About The Simple Life, Walking With God, & Sponges As He Fully Embraces Entrepreneurship
My blog is focused on sharing stories and systems to help you live better and work smarter. And, this interview series gives you the opportunity to collect insights from people I know and work with, and provides a break from my ramblings :-)
In the following interview, we'll connect with my longtime friend, now entrepreneur, Ivan Alfaro. Ivan is a former freelance web developer. We originally met to discuss a potential web project during the years running Noodlehead Marketing. While we never had the opportunity to work on a project together, we did connect on a personal and spiritual level becoming friends and sharing life over the years.
Ivan has made a significant series of transitions going from a Senior Web Developer at Turner, leaving the comforts of corporate America, for the rewards of entrepreneurship. He's also now engaged to be married, so he's got exciting insights to share.
Let's jump right into the interview with my friend, and explore how he lives better and works smarter.
“Why doesn’t everyone in American go to church?”
That was the question pastor Andy Stanley received on a trip to China from a local Christian woman. At the time, he didn’t have a satisfactory answer, but it began a journey back to the roots of Christianity and its centerpiece. According to Stanley now, the main reason for the decline in the American church is how resistible it has become.
Ironically, it would be an irresistible message, ethic, and ultimately a historic event that would transform the world and turn the very empire that crucified Jesus into a vehicle for spreading the great news about Him. And this story is the one Andy unpacks for us in his book, Irresistible: Reclaiming the NEW that Jesus Unleashed For The World (affiliate link).
While I failed to complete my goal of finishing the Jump by end of 2018, I still made significant progress on my second book, getting me most of the way to the finish line.
During my December blogging break, I was inspired to continue working on the project after making significant progress on the cover (see below).
My goal now is finishing the manuscript, and reading through it numerous times digitally and in-print by the end of March 2019.
I'm also seeking small business owners and friends who are willing to read the book before its completed to provide feedback on making it better, and a review when it's eventually published. If you're interested, shoot me an email and I'll connect with you when I'm ready to share.
Let’s talk about the cover.
2019 is here, and so are my objectives for the year. Like my annual looking back blog post, started last year, I’m publishing my plan again for what’s to come in 2019. This write-up provides me a motivational vision (and reference point) to focus on throughout the year as I wade through my priorities and circumstances. Finishing our student loans and my second book will be two large milestones, but that's not all I've got on the docket.
As I survey these themes and goals, I want my example to inspire and encourage you to forecast your year and set your own plan in motion. In December 2019 when you look back at the year, what do you want have seen happen?
Here’s what I’m expecting.
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