Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013: Fearless and Digging Ditches

As 2012 was drawing to to a close, I was desperately looking for a theme and subsequently a "hashtag" for this new year. Last year, the breakout year for Relationships Matter Now, LLC as a full-time venture made the theme and hashtag easy - #2012Rocks.

Even with the year taking off to fast start with a big lucrative project only to come to a complete stop in April (yes barely 90 days later) trickling in very little income regularly again until June, 2012 still rocked. On those most difficult days, I'd look for the lesson and remind myself at the end of most tweets - that  #2012Rocks. It was a great mantra and it kept me going especially on days when fear would creep in and try to convince me otherwise. I would not change one minute of 2012. So finding the right mantra and fit for 2013 was especially important.

Like most social media creatures - I put out cries for help in the usual places, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and got some great feedback but nothing really stuck.

Then it hit me.

New Year's Eve.

I'm celebrating at a party. Lots of live music. Tons of people. Great food. Pure enjoyment. Pure pleasure. Then I glance at Facebook and a friend asked - "What will be your "theme" or goals for 2013?" This friend posted that question after revealing that Simplicity, Security and Dreams would be their family's theme for 2013.  I loved what they'd written and stopped in my tracks to think about mine.

Very little time passed and it came to me in two part harmony... Fearless and Digging Ditches. Right there in the basement in Joliet, I remembered a fantastic talk that closed the first day of the Willowcreek Association 2011 Global Leadership Summit by Steven Furtick entitled Audacious Faith.  Steven is a hot young preacher and I mean preacher not pastor  - google him to see what I mean - from Charlotte NC with one of the fastest growing ministries in the the country. He gave a fantastic but simple talk that came back to me 1 year and 4 months later there in the basement as I closed out 2012.

Humor me for a moment - It's from 2 Kings 3 - synopsis is this  - Elisha the main prophet at that time guiding the Israelites during a drought had some news. Simply put - the people were moaning that they were gonna die, without water and they were vulnerable to their enemies - more so than usual. But God told Elisha that they would all be OK but he needed the Israelites to prepare for the what he was doing by digging ditches. Hungry, thirsty, whiny nation of people needed to start digging ditches. Immediately.

The best part about the story takes place in verse 17 - when he says - "you will see neither wind nor rain, says the Lord, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves, your cattle and your other animals. But this is only a simple thing for the Lord...."

Essentially,  the Lord told Elisha that in order to receive what they wanted, needed - they had to do something simple... prepare. Dig the ditches and not worry how it was going to happen but KNOW that it was going to happen.

As an entrepreneur, it has been a bumpy road and cash flow has been nutty. Fear would often cripple me even for a moment.

Am I gonna make enough money?

Will that project happen?

Are they gonna pay my rate?

Will I have to go find a job to have the life I'm used to?

Those questions could ruin a day on a dime if I let them. Going in to 2013, I have so much more runway on work than I had coming into 2012. I've got a published book to build on. More and more of my contacts are aware that I'm doing marketing and strategic planning "for hire." It is now time for me to keep digging the ditches. No fear for what tomorrow brings,  just fearlessness. Reminding myself, that quitting my job to ramp up my "side business" was not a mistake or a passing hobby. It was and continues to be a calling.

I need to keep doing what I'm doing so He can do what he will do...even if I don't see it yet.

I need to move into 2013 being fearless and digging ditches.

#2013Fearless is the hashtag. Join the conversation this year.

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