Light Bulb #1

As I was reading Jeffery A. Thompson’s article “What Is Your Calling in Life?” I got to a spot that turned on a light bulb in my head. He said:

“…finding your calling in life may not be a matter of finding the one right job. Instead, it may be that your calling is to bring your unique spiritual gifts to whatever position the Lord blesses you with.”

lightbulb

One of the things I’ve struggled with over the years as I’ve tried to find my “calling” is that the skills and spiritual gifts I’ve been blessed with aren’t … marketable. I can’t think of another word to use there. Maybe it will come as I continue.

One of the skills I’ve been blessed with, is the ability to understand the feelings of others. While that comes in handy at home and when dealing with coworkers, it’s not something that I could start a business with (unless I took decades of school classes and potentially earned a degree in psychology, which doesn’t interest me at all).

Thompson actually summed me up pretty nicely in the paragraph right before the one containing the quote above.

“Other types of gifts that you may notice in yourself include the ability to praise others effectively, to identify and encourage others’ talents, to organize information in a concise manner…”

Those are the things I’m good at, the things I truly enjoy. How do I make those things work for me in a way in which I can still help to support my family?

His next paragraph summarizes how I used to feel at the job I currently have. I know God’s hand was in how I got to where I am. It’s a long story, but suffice it to say that, without personally appearing to me and walking me into the office for an interview, God showed me the path to where I am.

That was five years ago. I’m now feeling like it’s time for a change, but I can’t tell if it’s a change in venue or a change in attitude. I can’t tell if it’s a change in responsibility or a change in location. Or if it’s a change within me that has stunted my abilities to continue to expand my gifts.

Perhaps, as he suggests, if I “exercise faith in the Lord, follow His spirit, and seek to amplify [my] gifts” I will be able to discern the change I feel and figure out the direction I’m intended to go.

Instead Of…

5 tips for staying in business:

  1. Listen to your customers. They will tell you what they want and if you pay attention and respond to their requests, you’ll keep selling.
  2. Pay attention to the competition. If you want to be the best, you have to be better. Saying it isn’t enough.
  3. Keep your eyes and ears open for new techniques and practices.
  4. Take care of your employees. Treat people right.
  5. Stay flexible and responsive to market changes.

Developed from the “instead of’s” on page 15 of The Start-up Of You.

Inspiration: Bruce Thompson

I enjoyed watching this video because of how personable Mr. Thompson was. A few of my take-aways…

Work to live. Don’t live to work.

Set limits for yourself. Don’t make your work life your whole life, no matter how exciting it might be. Nobody can do that and sustain that lifestyle forever.

Business is fun. Make it fun. Be confident in yourself. Business is not life, it’s just a part of it. Our families, our relationships and our faith are what really matter. Those should be our priorities and the limits we set for ourselves should reflect those things as our priorities.

“It’s not about how smart you are…”

It’s about your ability to push through.¬†Always listen to the Spirit. He can and will help you gain the confidence you need to push through the hard times.¬†Do the right thing. It will pay in the end.

“It’s all about the people you work with.”

Always work WITH people. They may work for you, but if you treat them like they work with you, you’ll have happier employees. Happier employees help create successful companies.

To hear it it Mr. Thompson’s words, click here.

Make the Investment

I like this quote:

All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves, we were all self-employed … finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s where human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it. We became ‘labor’ because they stamped us, ‘You are labor.’ We forgot that we are entrepreneurs.

– Muhammad Yunus

Also, as stated in “The Start-up Of You”, that doesn’t mean that we were all made to start our own companies. It means that we’re creative in nature and that we should invest in something, even if that something is simply our own interests, talents or goals.

Investing doesn’t mean using a bunch of money to get in on the ground floor of some giant enterprise. Investing simply means that we spend our time, talents and efforts on the things we consider important.

And don’t let the world dictate what those things are. Pick something you like and go with it. It doesn’t have to be popular, fun, interesting or worth while in the eyes of anyone but you.

Because it’s YOUR time. YOUR efforts. YOUR interest.

Or simply because it’s YOU.

But How?

I need to figure out how to become the go-to person for my skill set.

First, though, I need to find out what my skill set is. One of the suggestions was to ask other people; people who know me well and will be honest with me about the things I’m good at.

I think part of my problem here is that the things I’m good at are things that most people are good at. How do you become an expert at something everyone can do?

I Get By…

A friend is someone who does something for you, whether you know them or not.

I’d never thought about friends in that context before. As I was watching the “Launching Leaders” video, it occurred to me that he wasn’t saying these people were his friends because he personally knew them. He was calling them friends because they’d done something to help him change his life and find his calling.

I now consider Jim Ritchie to be one of my friends.

Help From Friends

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