Lipstick and Perfume

Beware of Sabotage

Have you ever watched your dream start to come true, but felt like everything was coming apart at the seams?  Lets talk about that.


You’re not alone.

Check out this article if you’re about to make a huge decision and need wisdom before it’s too late.

It’s so easy to imagine everyone else has their act together except for us.  We easily imagine everyone else is successful and they know what they’re doing.  Just take one look at their social media account, right?  All the pictures are perfect.  They visit the coolest places on the planet everyday.  Their businesses are successful and all of their children have straight teeth.  And when they don’t, they still have enough to buy them braces.

But things aren’t always as they appear.  In their heart of hearts behind closed doors, many people hurt.  They long for connection.  They experience guilt.  They carry heartache for years and years.  Keep this in mind the next time you see someone who looks like they have it all together.  Don’t exclude the “stars” you admire.  They may have a lot of money and notoriety but that doesn’t mean they’re no longer human.  They’ve got problems just like everyone else.

Along those same lines, you don’t have to reach the top of the mountain to see the stars.

 Do you want to know why you get to feeling as though everything is coming apart at the seams just as everything is really falling into place?  You feel the way you do, because when you succeed, people who don’t have what you have begin to take notice.  They don’t like the fact you’re getting results.  They may even try to sabotage your dream.

I call this phenomenon the Joseph Principle: Nobody knows you when you’re down and out.  But many want to pull you back down when you start to rise.  As they say, hurt people like to hurt people.  Especially those who are winning in an area they’re struggling with.  Never underestimate the power of evil.  A co-worker can do a lot of damage with a little perfume and some lipstick.

This idea can be found in the book of Genesis, beginning in chapter 37.  Joseph was favored by his father and suffered greatly at the hands of his brothers.  He was sold into slavery.  Falsely accused.  Spent time in prison for a crime he never committed.  Was separated from the father he loved for years and years.  Is that enough?

However, in the end, Joseph was able to say to the very brothers who had abandoned him. ” Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.”  Genesis 45:5

The next time you’re on the right path and everything seems like it’s falling apart at the seams, don’t give up.  

Yes, you may have to change your course or recalibrate, but keep on truckin’.  A plane on a flight from New York to Los Angeles is off course most of the time and needs minor adjustments.  Your dream and goals are no different.  Although you may not have to make an abrupt change, there are always tweaks.

Find someone who has done what you’re trying to do and learn from them.  Read their book.  Study their posts on Social Media.  You may think nobody’s ever tried to do what you are right now.  Often, that’s not true.  The bible says, “There is nothing new under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 1:9.  Every artist who ever lived has left behind a body of work to study and learn from.  And now with social media you’re even able to see how they spend their time when they’re not working on a canvas.  Amazing!

Probably, the resistance you’re coming into contact is strong indication you are going in the right direction.  Live fish swim against the current and dead fish float downstream.

 You don’t have to try something completely new.  You just need to keep moving forward and keep the flywheel moving.  Eventually momentum will take over.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a church your trying to grow, an art business or a family.  There is always a learning curve.  The more you use the program the more familiar you’ll become with it.  And familiarity will snowball into more and more productivity.

For example, remember the first time you used your new FB page or online banking.  It took time to find your way around all the buttons.  Now you can go in and clickaway in a fraction of the time it took before.  The same is true of any endeavor in life.

The reality is if you give up now, you’ll never know what could have been.  

People are depending on you to follow through with what you started.  Not only that, do it for yourself.  The best way to silence your critics is to prove them wrong.

Go ahead.  I dare you.

What helped you to power through when it seemed like your dream was about to shrivel up and die?


Reversing Your Fortune

Make Distractions Work For You

Are distractions keeping you from being as productive as you’d like? What if there was a better way to use them to your advantage? After all, nobody wants to live in obscurity. But distractions can leave us there unless we conquer them. Today I want to show how you can come into the light and make distractions work for you.


Since I’ve discovered how this whole process works, I’ve been able to concentrate more on the things that really matter. I’ve lost thirty pounds in five months. Painted two houses. Watched the church I pastor come alive before my very eyes. The benefits are never-ending. It all begins with focusing on what really matters.

A post by one the world’s most famous bloggers shows how serious this issue really is.  Be prepared, this is powerful!  This is the last post world famous blogger Scott Dinsmore ever made on the importance of disconnecting.

Statistics show that some employees are checking their email 32 times a day!

Getting a handle on this issue will position you to lead in your field.

When you stop focusing on the trivial, you can hone in on the things that really matter.

So here’s how it works.

Distractions are like Ants. They may be small, but an army can and will carry off every last crumb of your Chocolate Cake. Spend any amount of time online and you’ll see them come crawling out of the woodwork….then up your pants leg.

They effect creatives big-time. Just ask any blogger or writer. Especially those with an audience. You’re always wondering what the tribe is up to. Superssites like Youtube and Facebook can be especially enticing. Not because they’re all that great. They’re like Denny’s….nobody decides ahead of time to visit them, you just end up there and end up feeling bloated and guilty.

I’m not downing social media sites. They serve a purpose. But they become a problem when they call you away from doing what only you can do. At that point they are no longer a diversion, they morph into a distraction.

Gravitate toward them enough and you’ll get sucked under the wheels. They leave you feeling guilty, blue in the tooth, uneasy and plain sick. The last thing you want if you’re trying to grow, is regrets.

The Good News

Rather than succumbing to them, why not use them to your advantage. Let them be a trigger. Every time you’re tempted to indulge, be proactive instead.

Let them be a clarion call to pursue your dream. Every time you’re drawn to them, make a hard phone call instead. Connect with a prospect. Do a load of laundry or prepare a meal. Plan your next family vacation. Start your website or blog. Write a letter to a friend.

Makes you wonder what would happen in a week or month’s time, right? In no time at all you will transform an enemy into a friend.

While you’re at it, reward yourself for good behavior. Come up with some kind of payment when you avoid the distraction and make a healthy choice. Buy yourself a book. Get a manicure once a week. Take your car thru the drive-thru wash. Meet a friend for coffee. Whatever you do, reward yourself.

If you need some more help with issues similar to this, I’ve published Life Coaching: 7 Myths Keeping You From Your Best Year Yet, to help you win the battle.  You can purchase it here in an instant.

Productivity and growth are not accidents, you can train yourself to achieve your desired results. Olympians do it, Musicians do it, Business women do it, and so can you!

Shrinking the Power Gap

My response to recent layoffs

Does the unjust use of power hit you in the gut? Me too. This realization comes with news of Twitter’s new CEO and his decision to “part ways” with 336 employees. Maybe you’re not a Twitter fan, but you’ve been effected by these kinds of leadership decisions.


Let me start by saying I’ve been a Twitter user since 2009. Admittedly, I only recently realized what an enjoyable tool it can be. I made the mistake many people make. “Let’s tell the world all about ME”, instead of joining the conversation and helping others. O.K, I confess. Can we move on?

But it’s more than just the possibility of an enjoyable form of social media losing some of it’s quality. I’m not saying we should all pull the plug for a day, though some may do that. I’m just mostly bummed for 336 people who had a job last Tuesday and don’t have one today. If that’s hard to process, just imagine how you’d feel if you lost your job today. Right now you no longer have income. Why? Just because.

The because in this case is “we feel strongly that Engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team, while remaining the biggest percentage of our workforce.” So ultimately, it’s all about being a faster company at the expense of the people who created it. It’s not because it’s what’s best for everyone. We just want to be able to move faster. Toward what? Becoming a company who fosters insecurity in its employees?

But it gets better. CEO, Jack Dorsey shared: “Twitter’s product and engineering teams would endure the “most significant structural changes, with the rest of the organization to be streamlined in parallel.”  Which means “if you work for us today, there’s a good chance you won’t next week.” This is the kind of thinking wearying the work force around the globe. Why invest your time, talent and energies in something bigger than yourself, if what you pour yourself into will possibly swallow you whole? But Boa Constrictor companies and organizations continue these types of practices at the utter expense of small guys like you and me.  Seemingly.

So what can you do? Great question! I’m wondering myself.

Here are some of my initial thoughts.

Number one: Be a leader worthy of trust.

Leadership is a special endowment. As leaders we are to protect, nurture and pour into those we invest in. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to do anything that will make the ones who work with me wonder how secure their future is. I want to do whatever’s in my power to make sure the team I lead is going somewhere, together.  I want them to know there’s a family portrait awaiting all of us in the Promised Land. How about you?

Number two: Time spent encouraging the disenfranchised is always time well spent.

My heart seriously goes out to the 336 people effected by this decision. I want you to know someone has taken notice and really cares. Thank you for your contribution!  We all rise up and bless you. Because of your labors and dedication we’re all able to experience one of the coolest platforms on the planet.  Your work matters!  We affirm you!

Number 3: I find it fascinating someone who heads up an organization fueled by collaboration and teamwork would go through the trouble of making such a monumental move after only 8 days behind his Mahogany desk.

I wonder what went through his mind. The loss of just one or a handful of computer programmers and engineers seems unthinkable, let alone 336! I remember losing my Grandfather and walking around wondering where to find everything on the family farm. Before I could just ask him and he’d show me. When you lose 336 employees, you can be sure things are going to be a number of challenges and setbacks. It doesn’t seem like a sound way to propel yourself forward as a business. What do you think?  

Number 4: The world is changing.

Companies want dedicated employees.  But whatever happened to companies and organizations who intentionally better the lives of their employees?  Is the age of job security so far gone she can’t be resurrected? Maybe this is all part of a trend where the disenfranchised and the dead rise up and industry is at our mercy. Why work for someone else, when you can work for yourself? Not saying you should quit your day job. But it might not help to move in the direction of independence.

Number 5: Don’t give up!

Never let the actions of a handful of people make you lose hope in the masses. Some of the people at the top are there because they excelled at putting themselves first. Not all, but some. Most people are decent human beings who enjoy helping and encouraging one another. Truth be told, that’s why some of them are “poor”. They give wholeheartedly to others and sacrifice their own comfort in the process. Hard to believe? Yes.  But true. They are amazingly beautiful people without a voice. If you don’t believe me, do a little research on the web and find out how God is using “ordinary” people. I’m especially excited about what is happening in Nigeria! I recently posted a quote by author Sam Adeyemi and made some wonderful connections with people in Nigeria. In some cases I was the first to follow some of them, despite the fact they had pages with great content. Why? The power gap. Let’s shrink it with every last bit of energy we have.

Imagine how you’d feel if you were posting spectacular content to social media forums and you had NO followers. Nada. Zero! Meanwhile, the ‘big names’ just keep getting bigger and richer. Funny how that works. Now imagine how you’d feel if you went on a site and saw you had 1 follower! I had the pleasure of being the first follower in two different instances this week. I admit, it felt pretty good.  Seems to me the company is small and nimble enough as long as that’s happening.

How about you? Does the power gap make you sick to your stomach or are you o.k with it? By power gap I mean instances where people use their own personal power at the expense of those who have none. I’m learning service is all about others, not myself. Everything doesn’t move faster when we look at people as dispensable cogs in a machine, but human beings who have dreams of their own. Let’s face it, most people dream of succeeding, not worrying how they’re going to feed their children.

Go out today and look for diamonds in the rough. Every one wants a sparkling diamond, but few want to invest in the ones who need work. How do we shrink the power gap? One person at a time. Small is the new big. You don’t just invest in individuals so that your organization will grow. You do it because it’s the right thing to do.  What are you doing to shrink the power gap?

Was there a time when you felt like someone used their power at your expense? How did it make you feel?

Stop Managing Your Time

3 Ways to Fulfill Your Joy

Time Management.  Sounds exciting, right?  Maybe that’s why we all struggle with managing our time. I remember as a young leader facing the responsibility of planning my days. If you’re like me, you’ve been there. You wake up and kind of just ‘wing it’ to pass the day. You’re not sure what to do. You may even have a thousand ideas. But where do you start?  Hold on and get ready to be inspired.

Untitled design

The following ideas are based on some productivity ideas offered by Dan Sullivan. Dan is the President of the Strategic Coach organization.  Go check out his website when you get a chance.

Rather than thinking of every day as the same, imagine three different kinds: Work Days, Buffer Days, and Free Days.  

III I’ve been doing this for awhile now and it’s increased my excitement and accomplishment level a ton!

Work Days

These days are a no brainer. On work days, you do just that. If you’re a creative, that’s the day you work on your sermon. Write a blog post. Do the stay at home Mom activities whatever they may be. Go to the office. This part’s not too hard to figure out. If you’re a writer, that’s the day you work on your manuscript or work on the outline for your next novel. It may include working on your website or posting on Social Media. These are the days you take action. But they are not all that’s required to be productive. Being productive involves all you set out to do in every area of your life. You can be productive at work and unproductive in your marriage. You can be productive in your marriage, but unproductive at work or play.

Buffer Days

These are the days when you work on things other than work.  Think of them as days you buff out the wax job you applied on a work day. That’s not a misprint. These are the days you do laundry, cut the grass, pick up your dry cleaning, finish painting the kitchen. Tie up loose ends.  Finish what you started or take the next step toward completion.  Buffer days allow you to focus on the minor things you had to neglect to focus on your majors. You already know this, you just never thought about it. Buffer days are a whole lot more exciting than they sound. They allow you to experience a sense of accomplishment and resolve a lot of tension.  At the end of the day, you have not just one accomplishment but many!

Free Days

Free days are Saturdays regardless of what day the calendar says it is! These are the days that you do what you want to. If you want to eat a Hot Fudge Sundae and listen to your favorite music by the pool, go for it. Free days are days when you decide to be productive by resting. They don’t need a goal or a reason to exist. You don’t have to move the needle forward at all. These kinds of days leave you well-rested and ready to get back to work. These are the days when you fill your tank until it runs over. You can’t give what you don’t have, so don’t neglect to have these kinds of days. You should have one of these days AT LEAST once a week.  Some of you work so hard you’ve forgotten how to even have these kinds of days.

The beautiful part is you don’t have to dedicate every day to just one of these categories.

You can work for a couple of hours in the morning and relax the rest of the day. You can tie up loose ends until noon and block out an hour or two in the afternoon and head to the beach with your kids at 4 p.m. You get the idea. The trick is to figure out how this system best works for you based on your own unique needs and schedule.

Yes, there will be days when nothing goes as planned. Nobody can deny that. But though life can be unpredictable, it’s amazing how predictable it can be. If you want to change your future, start today. Give this system a try and you will see how enjoyable it is.

I wonder what would happen if we thought of Time Management as Joy Fulfillment? After all….

Time Management….

-Sounds like work to our brain.

-Sounds like it requires too much planning.

-Sounds like it’s only for people who have more time than you do.

-Sounds so Old School.

-Doesn’t sound exciting or fun.

-Sounds like something you do in an office with no windows inside a cubicle.

On the flip side….

Joy Fulfillment….

Sounds like fun.

Sounds exciting.

Sounds like what the world is longing for.

Sound like oil for the wheels of your mental machinery.

Sounds life-giving and full of  hope.

Sounds like something Jesus talked about. John 15:11.

Speaking of joy and fulfillment, it’s better to give than to receive.  And gifts aren’t gifts until you share them. So share your excitement on Facebook or Twitter. When you do, you’ll make other people feel better as well as yourself.

Question of the day: How do you approach your daily schedule?

“Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.” (Psalm 90:12, TLB)

….And while you’re spending them, shouldn’t you have joy?  Maybe it’s time to stop managing and start enjoying the days you’ve been gifted with.