Word For Today January 14, 2014: Obligation & Doubt Are Poor Motivators
There are many reasons people give for wanting to start their own business. When I ask a new business owner what is their "WHY" and the real thing motivating them to move forward in this new venture, I'll hear things like:
I'm tired of working for someone else
It's time for me to give back
My time isn't my own and I want it back now
We need to make more money
I have to find my destiny and where I fit in
To make up for all I lost and help others
As you glance quickly at the list above, do you notice something in common? In interviewing, coaching and working with hundreds of thousands of small business owners and the more than 2 million people we reach each month in our client base, I've begun to see a common motivation in new business owners that not only scares me, it makes me curious. Thoughts like, "When did this start? What makes them think this is normal?" start going through my mind.
So I put on my 'Scientific Research" hat and did something I rarely do and most times, don't even enjoy doing. I went and watched a lot of videos from different 'gurus, experts and leaders' online and turned my ear inward, seeking to 'read their mind' if you will, as they explained WHY they do what they do and HOW they started. Why do I dislike doing this so much? Because watching my competitors only makes me weak. Studying my customers makes me strong. I don't enjoy watching the role playing, smoozing, manipulation, unbelief and other things alot of company owners do. I also don't like to study what really great business owners are doing UNTIL I spend more time studying my customers. On this assignment, I was only looking for where these scary motivators were coming from.
And….. There it was. Plain to see.
Conversations began to go on repeat, from one expert to the other, over and over again.
I struggled with this and wanted to give back now that I've found freedom.
I was tired of this and made a decision to never be this way again.
My serving others is my attempt to make up for all the time lost.
I felt it was my obligation to enlighten others so they don't have to struggle as I did.
Sounds good so far, right? I mean, it's all about serving others and helping them once we've succeeded, isn't it?
I began to pray and ask God WHY I felt such a heavy burden as I watched these videos and why, in my desire to be the best reflection of the Kingdom of Heaven in business, I felt a heavier burden in trying to lead people. The words that came back to me were very clear: obligation and doubt.
WOW. It was almost as if the wind had been knocked out of me. God does that some times. The word He gave was not only for me to share and teach, apply in my own life and to write on, but it was for many, not just a few. It was governmental, not just for my culture.
When a word is governmental that means that it is for ALL people in ALL areas of the sphere I influence. It is not just a personal thing God is attempting to work out in my life. It's a corporate thing God wants to work out in many lives and He wants to use me, if I will be obedient and humble enough to take on the assignment, to help set many free from a false belief that has caused many to stumble.
Obligation by definition means: an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.
Doubt by definition means: a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.
My mind began to ask question. I searched for the answers. That's how I process things. Big picture to detail. Now, go detail to big picture… and back again.
Neither of these things are something a leader shouldn't have in their life, are inherently evil and should be avoided at all cost. We all, as leaders and especially as business owners, have obligations we must fulfill. I must pay my employees payroll every week if I expect them to keep working for me. Doesn't matter how much they love me, love their job and the purpose of our corporation, if I don't pay them, they won't stay. We all get that. Doubt is also very common and it's not always a bad thing. I asked Marcus Lemonis, business man, star of the TV Show "The Profit", who owns a multi-billion dollar producing empire, Camping World, if he ever doubts on Twitter recently. His reply? "All the time." So doubting is NOT something anyone who is starting a business, running one and is hugely successful in will ever be exempt from.
So what do you think God might have meant by 'obligation and doubt'? Here are my thoughts and what I believe He showed me that can benefit all of us.
Faulty Reasons To Start A Business That Create A Heavy Burden
1. Obligation is a poor motivator: When we start a business because we feel obligated it will quickly become not only a poor motivator but it will become a huge distraction. Wanting to give back is great. Feeling like you HAVE to give back is not. Being inspired to motivate others is awesome. Feeling like you have to make up for lost time, get back what you lost and find your place in the world doing so is not a good sign in a business owner.
When we see people overworking, jumping from one thing to the next, constantly under stress, destroying every attempt at success they ever start, obligation could be the reason they can't sustain what they're growing.
Fulfill your obligations, please. Don't build a business because you feel obligated to. That's called debt and it's never a powerful motivator.
2. Seeking success to destroy the doubt: If you are chasing success in any area of your life because you believe that once you 'get there' wherever there is, defined by the measure of success you're chasing, all doubt will disappear, just quit now. With every promotion comes struggle. With every level of authority God gives you, comes responsibility. Each new level brings on a new challenge of doubt greater than the last. If you can't even get enough courage up to do regular posts on social media because you're so plagued with doubt, do yourself a favor, and get a job. You'll never survive the first time some self absorbed nutcase writes you a tweet and rips you to shreds to his 21 lone followers. You'll have a panic attack the first time someone in influence says something negative about you.
Seeking to remove doubt by finally attaining a certain level of success is as toxic and dangerous as thinking you can hit an ideal weight and finally never feel fat again, or battle the self accusing voice in your head. No, that's the motivator of an anorexic or bulimic person. The question becomes, "How skinny or fit must one be for that voice to finally leave forever?" I battled with anorexia in junior high. Let me break it to you easily. This is painful for me to say. When one of my teenaged friends died of an overdose of diet pills, did she finally no longer struggle with doubt? Yes. Because she was dead, my friends! But as long as she chased the perfect weight, and even when she got to 93 pounds, it was NEVER enough. And it will NEVER be enough for you either, if you're chasing success to silence your doubts. Doubt never leaves. Learning to conquer the doubt, overcome it daily and do what you fear is the sign of a Champion.
3. Trying to gain lost time by helping others: This one is crafty and at first glance it looks pretty good. Helping others and giving to others the knowledge that you have attained through your journey is a noble and upright thing. Books are written with this motive. Best selling seminars are sold out with this cause. It is important to glean wisdom from those who have gone before you, so you can have a shorter learning curve and gain from their pain. But trying to gain lost time never happens.
You and I can not ever get back what we lost. We can't keep score in life and think that one day, we can repay, and finally have peace. We'll never find our place getting back lost time, we'll never heal relationships going back and getting lost time back into our lives and we can't live free in our future because we got back anything.
Freedom is in the now.
We must forgive and let go. We must release and not repay. We must cancel and not expect repayment. Trying to gain lost time by helping someone else is akin to addiction at the root level and very dangerous. Please, someone show me the math equation and RX for that: I helped so many people and that finally equals all I lost, so now we're even. I'm free. This is danger at a new level and leads thousands of people into disassociation, role playing and incredible pain every year.
Now that I've dropped a few big bombs from heaven on what we shouldn't do as we start a new business, let me be an encouragement to you on things that DO work and SHOULD be your motivating force for being the best you can be, in every area of life.
Your life is worship and so is your work.
Doing everything unto God, who loves you, accepts you and is for you, not against you, is the best business practice I could ever pass onto you. Don't let the world define you. Stop giving power to your past and staying in prison. You don't need to get back what you lost. You need to #BEMORE today, now.
Recently someone I love very much came to me in tears and regret. They saw their life flash before them in a few short moments and they realized they had not spent the time they should have and wished they had with people they love. Life is a battleground my friends, not a playground. This person regretted not spending more time with siblings, their friends and just people in general.
Ironic. They forgot in a quick minute all the things they had overcome during the last few years. They forgot the new life they had created and the incredible life they were living NOW. In just a few moments of regret, they forgot that the people they wished they had spent more time with were right there, in front of them, ready to be connected to them, now. But regret had flung it's invitation and this person was drinking the deadly poison all the way to the bottom of the glass.
"YOU need to learn how to fight", I told this loved one. "Don't you ever forget that my past is filled with things I regret, didn't do right, made mistakes in, wished I could redo and things that could make me discouraged if I began to really ponder them in depth. But THEY are under the cross. They've been buried. I've made an agreement with God to not dig them up. TODAY is what matters. What I do IN MY FUTURE is what will write the rest of the story." We both hugged and realized, God had stepped in and regret had left the room.
Build your business because you want to offer the wonderful life you've had the privilege to live to others simply because of love. Put your love on and keep it on. When things get tough and you feel like you're losing your way, don't let obligation, doubt, fear or worry motivate you. SLAY THAT BEAST…. and keep love on. Keep your commitment on. Follow through on your words. Follow through on your assignment.
Do things that you know you can do well and do them for the world, unto God, as a love gift, not a burden you must repay. Becoming a prisoner is not a wise way to build a business and trying to 'give back, gain back and finally have' is a poor motivator for a business.
YOU are a gift to the world. God wants to do big things through you. But it cannot happen and will not happen looking back. It will only happen moving forward.
All of life on this planet thrives to move forward.
Powerful Motivators For Starting A Business
1. You are really good at something and can add value to the lives of many. Rabbi Daniel Lapin, in his best selling book, "Thou Shalt Prosper" teaches a profound biblical concept that if applied to the world as we know it today, would change everything. Here it is: Add value to everyone you meet. Bring value to people's lives. If you work for someone, you're not there because you believe in their mission, although you might. You're not there because you love the CEO and their dreams, but you might. You are there, on assignment, with ONE PURPOSE and that is: Add value to the company so that the company can add value to the world.
2. The world needs what you offer. Find a need and fill it. In copywriting I teach that we have to find the URGENT pressing problem and then fix it with a solution that is so unique, so ultra-specific and with feedback from so many people that it's a no brainer, YOU are the solution the marketplace needs. This is not arrogance, it's good business. GOD cares about good business.
When we go to work, as a CEO or employee, the way we work is worship to our Heavenly Father. How on time we are, when we follow through on tasks, when we do what we've been hired for and do it to the BEST of our ability means a lot to Him. Being the best in your field so GOD looks good is a holy pursuit. Being the best in your field so you feel good about yourself, feel like you're helping, giving back, finally gaining time lost, making up for something and repaying is a work of the flesh. The Bible says all works of the flesh are dead. Stop pursuing them in business.
3. You are willing to take responsibility with your authority. So many people want the favor of God. No… let me rephrase that. They don't want the favor of God, they want FAVORS from God. You know, special treatment, feeling like they are God's favorite and are treated better than anyone else. The favor of God on your life is a death sentence. It's death to all you hold and aspire in exchange for all that God wants done. It's an allegiance to an assignment for the benefit of others. It will be the most painful thing you ever submit to and it will be the most exhilarating, fulfilling life you could ever live. With favor from God comes responsibility. We cannot have it any other way. No way around it.
One of the biggest problems we have in our society today is that people want authority, the place of leader and to be 'in charge' without ever taking responsibility. We see parents trying to play the role of leader in the home but won't take responsibility. We see this in business, government and more. Remember this: Authority without responsibility is a pathway to ruin. Every time.
If God gives you a business idea that would benefit many, take responsibility for your life and work on your own stuff. You will get to a point where creating your 'best life' because 'this is how you want it' must be laid on the altar and chasing what YOU want life to look like must be surrendered to what HE has created you to do. Ironically? It will create the best life you've ever lived and it will be the most incredible path of your life. But along the way, it won't feel like it, look like it or even resemble such a thing. THIS is called 'walking by faith'. And faith works, at work.
My friends, it is my mission and desire to awaken a generation so they know that not only does God care about us, but He wants to be involved in every area of our lives. This article started because God gave me a word. If it helped you at all, don't thank me, thank Him. If it ministered to you, met a need in a deep place, while I love and appreciate all of your kind notes, the One you should write a note to is Him.
YOU are worth loving and faith belongs in your workplace.