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Archive for the ‘planning’ Category

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. – Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

You make plans.  Whether they are written in a notebook or scribbled on a table napkin, you have some idea of where you want to go and what you want to do.

Slow down a minute.

We write them down and then we pray and seek God’s blessings over plans that we have devised on our own.

Maybe we are going at this wrong way.

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. – Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

Start with prayer.  Let your prayer lead you in your planning as you remain open to what God has for you to see, hear and experience.  You will bear witness to the powerful and miraculous ability of God to do far more in such times than anything that you can conceive and then pray for His blessing about later.

The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. – Proverbs 21: 5 (NIV)

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. – Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)

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In The Purpose Driven Church, Rick Warren stated: “If the church isn’t growing, it’s dying.” That is enough to shock and stun some pastors, even petrify others.  Yet, the ones who read those words and take proactive actions to set their church to growing tend to see results.  Others who dare not do anything different seem to be doomed to see their church see very few results.

If you want to see some growth in your church, you need to get growing.  Get busy doing the things that grow the church.  Don’t simply pay attention to who you have in attendance.  Get in touch with those who are not in attendance.

What do you do about those who:

  • Stopped coming to Sunday school?
  • Quit serving in ministry?
  • Never signed up for anything at church?

Get a team together to work on reconnecting with such people as soon as possible.  Work with that team on how to reach people in a variety ways.  Develop a plan for getting in touch with these people.  Schedule when to execute the plan.  Start bringing the plan to life.

Once you get that going, bring another team together and see how to reach those within the community.  Plan outreach activities where you can reach people through the Word and your good works. 

Jesus fed folks, healed some, and taught others.  He used parables many times rather than laying out a exegesis of the Scriptures through a sermon. 

Don’t trip.  God has already gifted both you and your team with what you need to reach others.  You just got to get busy growing.
Three books that can help you grow:

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“Christ came to redeem us from sin and bring us back to serve and glorify Him.”
– Andrew Murray, God’s Plans for You

Let’s get real.  Salvation is part of God’s master plan for all of us.  It isn’t the whole thing, but it is a major part of the plan.  What is highly important is that we recognize that God has a plan.  Even more refreshing for us is that we are included in God’s plan.
That includes your business.  That includes your special gifts and abilities.  That also includes your example that you set for others, especially unbelievers, through how you live your life.  It is all part of God’s plan.
What’s the point of God’s plan?
He shows us love because He is love.  He expects us to live as reflections of Him.   We are to serve Him.  We are to glorify Him.

Guess what?

It’s all in His plan.

 

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We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.

They are the people he called, because that was his plan.

– Romans 8:28 (New Century Version)

It is all due to His plan.  he has a plan and things work out in accordance with His plan.  Anything outside of His plan is outside of His will.  That’s how it works out with God.

God wants something, though.  He desires it both from us and for us.  In essence, God wants something for us and from us.  God wants us to be a blessing and to be blessed.  God wants us blessed, and God wants us blessing others.  God wants us getting all that He has to offer us.  God wants us giving all that He gives to us to offer to others.

Maybe you are having a problem getting what God wants for you because you refuse to give what God wants from you.  I know it sounds cold, but it’s a reality.  You cannot get what you need or want because you have not released what God has told you to give up or give away.  Maybe you need to make a change for the better and get back with God’s plan that it in His will.  That would get you back to the point where all things work together for good.

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“The greatest self-delusion is the belief that the outlook for a product improves the more resources are poured into it.” – Peter Drucker, Managing for Results


Pet projects present a problem.  You can find yourself pouring good money after bad time after time.  You can lose your mind as you lose your shirt.  That can really shake up your ego, especially if your ego is tied into the project.

Drucker pointed out the failure of the Ford Edsel in Managing for Results.  He considered the automobile “the most publicized American product fiasco.” He shared the Edsel as an “investment in managerial ego” amid six other “problem children” mentioned within the eleven major categories of business products.  Forget the Edsel as poor example of American ingenuity.  Think of it as an endeavor in egotism.  Ford kept trying over and over again, but America was not buying the Edsel.

Imagine what would happen if the CEO decided to oversee a project that he felt intimately attached to despite the all of the analysis and findings by the research team.  What would become of the nonprofit that allowed its chairman of the board to serve as the lead on a youth mentoring project without ever having mentored a single soul? Think about how it would be if your pastor decided to run the culinary ministry when he could never manage to boil water without scalding himself.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
Ego can cause some real disasters.  It can get us into some territory where we do not belong at all.  Watch yourself before your ego leads you down the wrong road. 

Try reading some of the titles listed below to keep you on track with your goals:

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How to Stay Motivated-Changing The Picture

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”- Zig Ziglar

Dream Big: Finding the Courage to Follow Your Dreams and Laugh at Your NightmaresStarting up a business may require you to scale down your big dream.

Your Dreams Are Too Small (Middle English Edition)

Don’t read into that.  I did not say it may require you to drop or dump your dream entirely.  I just said you may need to scale it down at the start to get things started.

How To Eat An Elephant: A Slice-by-slice Guide To Total Quality Management - Third EditionBusiness Development for Professionals: How to eat an elephant, one bite at a time (Volume 1)You may need to slice it up into manageable pieces, so that you can get things set up and in place to advance to new levels, stages and phases.  I tend to favor a modular approach when I work with clients on programmatic funding or business planning, identifying phases where new components, services or features can be added based upon the state of the core business.  There it is.  I seem to have have given it away, but that should be the focus; your core business.  Scale things down to the core.  Get things down to the bare essentials and build from there.


Beauty and the Business: Practice, Profits and Productivity, Performance and ProfitabilityAvon: Building The World's Premier Company For WomenI think Avon does an excellent job at providing a business model based on a similar cocnept.  You may like fashion or cosmetics, even costume jewelry.  Avon isn’t trying to get you to open a kiosk at the mall or storefront on Main Street.  The company provides each “Avon lady” with the essentials to the catalogs and ordering forms as well as support that allow her to experience success on a small scale and grow from there.  It is obvious that Avon’s core business is beauty products, not blue jeans or handbags.

Start out small, while continuing to think and dream big.  Post photos, sketches and anything else related to your dream above your PC’s monitor, on your car’s dashboard and taped to the fridge.  Keep it visible, but be sure to set things in order first
The Big Idea: How to Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Come True, From the Aha Moment to Your First MillionBusiness for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace (Christian Worldview Integration Series)
 
Share the Dream, Build the Team : Ten Keys for Revitalizing Your ChurchLeading Your Business to the Next Level: The Six Core Disciplines of Sustained Profitable GrowthDon’t get tripped up that you haven’t accomplished or achieved the full dream yet.  Just get started. Get started right.  Get started doing the core business of your dream and build from there.

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When you don’t have your mission as your main objective, you have “mission drift.”
When you don’t have your organizational priorities in order, you are just existing.
When you have forgotten why you even exist, then you have an identity crisis.
Strategic Planning For Dummies 
The 22 Immutable Laws of BrandingBranding helps you put your identity on the map, but you need to first be certain about your business identity.  Your strategic planning can help you identify some priorities, but it should also help you identify who you are and why you exist.  Seek to come to some consensus about who you are and why you exist as a business, then work on some key actions that help you bring that to life.

How to Discover Your Purpose in 10 Days: God's Path to a Full and Satisfied Life

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

7Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. 8Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. 9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites.There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah.- Genesis 25:7-10 (NIV)
In the end, “Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac’ according to Genesis 25:5 (NIV).  This same chapters says that he gave other gifts to his other sons, the sons of his concubines, but he left his personal possessions to the son of promise, Isaac.  The other sons received something from Abraham, but the one son received everything that was considered Abraham.
Think about it like this: Abraham had an estate, including herds, property, and servants.  Before he died, he had already given gifts to his sons and sent them away from the son of promise.  When he died, he left everything that he had in his possession to Isaac.  It is peculiar because Ishmael, the firstborn son, is not mentioned by name until the burial of Abraham.  It may be assumed that Ishmael was included in the earlier verse where Abraham’s other sons were given “gifts.” However, he is not mentioned by name prior to the burial of his father.
It is Issac, “the beloved son” as called by J. Vernon McGee, who gains all of his father’s possessions.  imagine the uproar that could have started if Abraham had not blessed the other brothers before his death.  Think of all of the ruckus that would have gone down if each brother sat around the house after laying Daddy to rest, only to find out that every single thing went to Isaac.  I can just picture the depths of discontent and the wealth of woeful feelings that would emerge as every sheep and goat, every acre of land, and every single slave went to Issac.
Parents need to make provisions for their passing on to the next life.  Be sure to deal with your children accordingly in the case of your death.  Let them know what provisions have been made for them and their children.  Do all that you can to leave a legacy that lives on beyond you.  Don’t let your burial become a battle of Daddy’s favorites versus the black sheep flock.  Be sure to handle your business and order your affairs while you have time and a sound mind.

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Reap Your Rewards

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked,
for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
– Galatians 6:7 (ESV)
they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes
Proverbs 1:31 (NIV)

In business, you want to reap your rewards.  You seek to benefit from your business in one way or another.  Whether it is through a salary or an individual 401(k) plan, you want to reap some rewards from the blood, sweat and tears poured into the start up and establishment of your business.  Reaping the rewards is expected.

Usually, you get back more than what you put in.  Let’s take the stock market for an example.  Your returns, including dividends and capital gains reinvested, over a typical ten year period will average you a rate of return somewhere between a conservative 7% or 8% return, while some aggressive investors tend to look for at least 10% or higher.  That all depends on the period of your investment like the Tech Boom or the Housing Bubble, even 9-11.

However, none of that matters if you never invest.  You have to put something in the nest egg for it to eventually hatch.  That just makes sense.  No matter your time horizon, as a business owner, you have an advantage over the average American employee.  You can contribute more towards retirement.  Yet, if you have the option and never exercise the option, then it is shame on you. 

Position yourself to advantage of your choices.  Savings bonds and your passbook savings account won’t be enough with gas already over $3 and milk almost at the same price.  Look into individual 401(k) plans, SEP or Roth IRA plans, and other retirement plan options.  Make sound investments with your “salary” from your business.

You can reap, but you certainly need to be sure to sow now in order to do some reaping the future.
http://www.sharebuilder.com/ Invest a little here and there for as low as $4 per trade with this purely online deal (associated with ING Direct).
http://www.fidelity.com/ SmartCash account is a great addition to your portfolio along with their various small business investment plans for retirement.
http://www.tdameritrade.com/ Retirement guides and plans that work for all size investors.
www.ingdirect.com  Its Orange Savings and Electric Orange accounts are truly great in my opinion.

Just For the Record

Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life!: Your Lifetime Guide to Financial PlanningYes, You Can Supercharge Your Portfolio!: Six Steps for Investing Success in the 21st Century  Ben Stein & Phil DeMuth do a great series for investors.
Yes, You Can Still Retire Comfortably!: The Baby-Boom Retirement Crisis and How to Beat ItYes, You Can Be A Successful, Income Investor: Reaching for Yield in Today's Market              

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http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=ministrioc-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1413313868&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrI want to get my own nonprofit to do my own thing and not have to worry about taxes and licenses.

Managing the Nonprofit Organization
Nonprofits are not sole proprietorships.  You don’t own a nonprofit.  That’s a flawed perspective.  That’s a poor perception.

I hear it a lot as I try to help other individuals get started with their budding business ideas.  In essence, some people come to the table with misconstrued notions that don’t make much sense to anyone but the other person who passed on the bad information to them.  In many cases, people are operating off of what they have heard rather than what they have researched or experienced.

Nonprofits exist for numerous purposes.  In most cases, your average nonprofit is for “public benefit.” In layman’s terms, the entity is organized in order to accomplish some good for the benefit of the community as a whole.  No matter if its focus is on children, women, the poor, or some other group, the organization itself is established for the good of society as a whole.  Truly, the goal for starting a nonprofit organization should be the good that it can do for society, not the ability to get grants and write out your own exuberant salary for doing “part-time” work.

executive compensationNonprofits are under the radar.  In this information age, where you can Google in an instant and start a wiki on everything and anything, even nonprofit and faith-based scandals, you better have more than your ducks in a row.  Ethics come into play. The high road isn’t the hard road when you go at it the right way and into with the right mindset and heart.The Nonprofit Challenge: Integrating Ethics into the Purpose and Promise of Our Nation's Charities

Consider the following when you recruit for a nonprofit’s initial board members:
  • Attorney
  • Accountant/ Tax consultant
  • Nonprofit manager/ executive
  • Business professor
  • Law school professor
  • University/ college dean or administrator
  • Retired CEO/ COO
Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding FathersI find an extraordinary example of bridging faith and societal good in Richard Allen through the Free African Society that predated the AME church.  Even though he served as an itinerant Methodist preacher, Allen established himself as a businessman and change agent in Philadelphia before becoming the leader of America’s primary African-American denomination.  He was a man of vision with integrity.  He worked cooperatively with others for the mutual benefit of his community and its people of African descent, especially former slaves.
Read Freedom’s Prophet by Richard Newman and discover more about how to balance societal change and public good with business practices and zealous religious works.

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