15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.


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Ready For a New Season?

horizonI’ve been quiet the last few months and I thought I should probably explain why. My last post, right before I dropped off the blogging and Facebook grid, was an update on my fasting progress – and I’m sure a few people may have assumed I just wasted away. Not the case.

Like I explained previously, I was fasting not to lose weight, but because I wanted some spiritual enlightenment regarding my future path. So I fasted for three days. I spent most of the first couple days just being really woozy, then on the third actually felt mostly fine. I also set aside a half hour or so each day for meditation and prayer.

For myself, one of the principle purposes of prayer is to thank God for my blessings, which I did (and still do). But for these three days I spent most of my prayer time asking questions.

  • Who should I spend my life with?
  • What cause should I champion?
  • Where is the best place for me to apply my treasure and talent?
  • Am I living my life for Your glory or for my glory?
  • Am I wasting my life here, here, and here? And a little there

I don’t think I was expecting the audible voice of God to issue me an edict (although I wasn’t ruling it out), but at the end of my fast I didn’t have any particular insight on my future path. I did have a new appreciation for food though.

It was a couple weeks later that I would receive my answer. I was having a one on one counsel session with one of my business mentors; discussing my financial goals and where I wanted to be in the upcoming year. He laid out a goal for me, and then added on this recommendation: “If I were you, I wouldn’t publish another book until you hit that goal.”

Which was probably the last thing I was expecting to hear. My first instinct was to justify that writing doesn’t consume much of my time. After all I wrote my first book in 15 minutes. Maybe other people have a problem with being double minded but surely that doesn’t apply to me.

But about 5 seconds into that train of thought, I derailed it without raising a single verbal objection. Why?

Because I asked God for direction, and after a period of fasting and prayer I received an answer from a Godly mentor. Someone who is a friend. Someone that I trust. Someone who has a financial interest in my success. Someone (along with his wife) that I dedicated my first book to. So, it’s not exactly like I could just ignore his suggestion.

And the last reason, because I once wrote “If you only do what your mentor says when you agree with him, then you don’t have a mentor. You have a buddy.” Although, for the life of me I can’t find where I wrote that. It might have been a tweet.

So it really wasn’t a huge sacrifice on my part to give up writing books – temporarily. I’ll put my future books on hold for now, concentrate on developing my business. I think one of the things about writing books that appealed to me was that I could reach a greater number of people than I can training individuals in business development. It’s something that’s easier for me as an introvert. But easy, is not a virtue. And working with people individually I can impact their lives much more than I can through writing. Besides, there’s plenty of time to write books after I retire. Especially if I retire this September.

For those of you that continue to tune in here, I’ll be reducing my blogging frequency to once a month.

And lastly…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

fireworks


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Your Fuzzy Vision Creates Foggy Followers

clarity

Last post I announced very publicly my vision to positively impact one million people. Still flush with resolve and excitement about pursuing this vision, I continued on to the next chapter of Visioneering entitled “Taking Inventory,” which is filled with important and vital steps that you should take before announcing your vision.

Huh.

In fact the next two chapters were about HOW to publicly announcing your vision and why you should wait.

Oh well.

So maybe I’m not the greatest student. Still, I haven’t given up and I’m not taking my vision back (although you may recall I did reserve the right to revise it later). But I will be taking the time and care to make sure that I am crafting a vision that is clear and focused.

According to Stanley, all effective visions have four components:

  • The problem
  • The solution
  • The reason something must be done
  • The reason something must be done now

It is also important to ask yourself the question “why?” not just once but many, many times through the course of refining your vision. From Chapter 8 “Going Public, Part II:”

Repeatedly asking why forces the dialog to move from the realm of circumstance to one focused on values.

Try it. This actually works with any subject not just divine visions. Start off with the question “Why are you feeding your dog now?” and after enough why‘s you eventually will enter into the subject of compassion and responsibility and nurturing.

I actually have a lot of why material. In fact I have an entire book addressing the issue of why that I was planning to write for my fourth book (but maybe I’ll move it up in the queue to #3 now). But an effective vision statement needs to be concise enough to be compressed into a single sentence. Or a brief paragraph. An “elevator pitch” if you will. Being a part of someone’s vision shouldn’t involve reading his book first; that’s a pretty imposing barrier to visioncasting.

So even though I may have jumped the gun (see my post on Leap Before You Look), 2013 is still my year of Visioneering. I’ll still be posting vision updates here; I’ll still be moving forward; planning and praying and preparing. I will just be spending less time trumpeting and more time revising, refining and redefining. But when I do post on my vision, I’ll try to make sure that my message is clear, concise and (insert another adjective that starts with C here).


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Preparing to Launch

My name is Matt, and I just finished writing and publishing my first book. Apparently, now is when the real work begins.

Book publishing 1.0: Author writes book. Author is at mercy of publisher on whether they accept it, print it, and/or properly promote it. Author success is a hit-or-miss proposition.

Book publishing 2.0: Author writes book. Author can publish it just about anywhere. Author is the chief marketing agent for his own book.

So, this is me developing a blog for the first time. To be honest, I’ve been a laggard when it comes to new technology. My phone is not smart. I use a laptop not a tablet. What in blazes is a twitter?

So perhaps preparing to launch after the book has already launched wasn’t the brightest thing to do. But, if you read my book, you’ll see that it’s actually the perfect way to start.

Next time I update, I’ll try to have some real content.