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Archive for the ‘success’ Category

“Find a need and fill it.”- A.G. Gaston
Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire


Have you identified the needs of your target audience? That’s important.  You want to ensure that your target audience is getting its desired results through your product or service.  Identify what they need, and then identify how to meet those needs.  In doing so, you need to prioritize your work on addressing the needs.

Your programming should include matching your product or services with identified needs.  We call this “need-based programming.”  Such methods provide you with an approach to meeting the needs and measuring success based upon which needs were met at in what areas.

Measure needs met and use these as your results.  Make sure that your data collection matches with your desired results.  As you move forward, keep your focus on keeping up with the pulse of the audience you serve.  If you lose touch, then you can lose some profitability.  That’s not the direction that you want to move in. 

“At 103 years of age, A.G. &. Gaston leaves behind a thirst for success, a keen resourcefulness and an entrepreneurial split that will be deeply missed by those of us in the business world who either knew him personally or knew of his achievements.”- Earl G. Graves interviewed at the death of A.G. Gaston

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“I am aware that only God knows the total plan and that I am part of it.” – Laurie Beth Jones, Jesus CEO
Jesus, CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership

I always like to say that it is only special because of the special effort that you put into it to put it on and pull it off.  So, with that being said, you have to put something special into it for others to get something special out of it.
  • Special Attention: Red carpets, paparazzi galore, and loads upon loads of glitter should be on the agenda for gala bashes.  Disposable cameras or digital prints with sizzling frames printed on the scene for guests.  Guest books are great, too! If it’s an arts fundraiser event, have your guests leave their handprints in “cement” (use clay) like the Hollywood walk of fame and scrawl their John Hancock to be displayed in this week’s society section.  Jazz it up as much as you can without going over budget.
  • Special Attractions:  Yes, it sounds corny, but the real deal is the real deal.  People will flock to the dunking booth if the principal is on that plank.  How about the youth minister or the senior pastor? Got talent? How about the librarian who dresses like Lady Gaga or the softball coach who plays a mean violin– or, is that a fiddle? Either way, get people to attend your event by what you have to offer.  Try to find local talent.  Get in touch with local promoters and producers, club owners and talent agencies.  You never know what treasure is buried in your own backyard until you start digging around.
  • Special Appearances: Is there a local celebrity who may grace your event? How about the mayor as the fry cook for your Friday night fish fry? Could you get that ex-football player to talk to dads in the community about the importance of fathers and male role models for young boys? What about that Negro League player? Is there a famous professor who won the Nobel Prize or Pulitzer at the local university or college? Check out who lives in your town or area, even those born there.  There are those who love to visit certain areas who may be inclined to show their faces at such an event if you can get close enough to their people who will call your people, and then you all can do lunch and see what works.

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“I shape my own destiny.” – Laurie Beth Jones
Your special events are only as special as you make them.  Sadly, if your approach and attention to your special events resemble your regular routine, then you need to assess your readiness to make it a success.  You make special events a success by making them special.  You make them special by adjusting your approach to them.
  • Preparation: How you prepare will impact how you perform.  If you are lackluster in preparation, don’t expect to tap into some hidden gem of enthusiasm and energy that wasn’t present before it is time to perform.  Go full strength with your preparations.
  • Promotion: You have to talk it up and take it up a notch. You are to talk it up to get others talking about what’s coming.  If you don’t show any enthusiasm about what you are putting on, then you won’t see many people rushing to get there.  Talk it up and take it up.  Introduce something new.  Innovate it.  Put a new spin on an old idea. Let it wow your audience.
  • Presentation: Small budgets don’t have make your events small-scale ventures. Get others to partner and support your efforts.  Look at your vendors for discounts.  Do you always use the same caterers or order from the same local restaurants? Ask for a discount and offer premiere signage.  See where you can cut costs without cutting corners.  Keep your presentation flawless and fantastic.
Remember: You shape your own destiny.

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12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Outreach Magazine May/June 2008 Issue (5th Annual Outreach Resources of the Year, Volume 7, Number 3)
There is an open opportunity for out-of-the-ordinary outreach today.  People can reach out in all sorts of ways through various multimedia mediums such as social networking and viral marketing platforms.  You can make difference through community-based programs such as CDF Freedom Schools or AmeriCorps.  You can use traditional VBS or Christian youth camp.  You just need to put your trust in the Lord to lead you into the endeavor that He has for you to undertake.
Think through your next move.  Pray over your outreach opportunities.  Make the most of everything that will expand your demographic diversity.  Partner with other organizations to streamline your outreach resources for a singular focus.  You don’t gain any ground by remaining in the same place and not making any changes.
Visit National Outreach Convention for a special resource information.

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“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

Exceed expectations. Are you getting any closer to excellence?  Merely meeting expectations is a minimum.  When you exceed those same expectations, you start to enter into excellence.  We are to offer God our best every step of the way.  Excuses do not excuse us from the expectations of our Eternal Father.

We have to go further than we have ever gone before.  We have to take actions that will lead to exploring new territory.  Excuses are just excuses.  They do not excuse us from His expectations.  They can hinder us from doing His will or walking by faith.  They can harm progress in our spiritual maturity.  They may not even help us at all.  We have to see what excuses really do for us.  They offer nothing but trouble because they lead to procrastination, problems and poor performance or pitiful productivity.  That’s what comes forth out of excuses.

Let excellence serve as your trademark.  Lead by example.  Let excuses go.  Let others see the distinct qualities that set you apart from the crowd.  Demonstrate that you are not simply going with the flow.  In fact, if you live for Him, it may even cause you to go against the grain at times.  You begin to discover that God has put more in you than you think, but you won’t discover it until you have been put to the test.  When the tests, trials and troubles come your way, it won’t be time for excuses.  That will be the time you set your heart on excelling beyond expectations.  At that point, you become David facing a giant called GoliathRight then, you become Moses standing before a raging Red SeaIn the midst of  it, you stand out like Paul, writing as a concerned parent to his dear children, addressing believers in Rome with an assurance that every Christian is more than a conqueror.  We overcome with overwhelming strength supplied by the Supreme God, God Almighty.

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Evangelical entrepreneurship isn’t Easy Street.  Some will seek to sell you Solomon’s secrets from the Scriptures or tout to possess the seven spiritual steps for success from the Savior.  You need to seek God directly and devotedly, even daily,  if you plan to succeed in any enterprise that is to honor the Lord. 

Life Application Study Bible, Personal Size (New Living Translation)


When seeking God, I believe that you must do three things prayerfully:

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Your Season

1There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

2a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

-Ecc. 3:1-8 (NIV)

… a time to every purpose under the heaven –Ecc. 3:1 (KJV)

Everything has its season.  In its season it flourishes and becomes fruitful.  God determines every season.  It’s not Mother Nature or Mother Earth.  God, the Creator, determines what is the purpose for each season.  He determines the timing of each season.  It is up to God, not up to us.

Solomon was the wisest man ever.  He prayed for wisdom to lead God’s people and God bestowed a blessing of wisdom upon him.  Ecclesiastes is a book of wisdom penned by Solomon after he observed the ways of  men and the way of life.  He wrote his observations and shared about wisdom and folly, even vanity.  He discovered that wisdom outweighs folly.  He shared God’s way as a way of life.

Stay the course with God.  He is way is perfect.  He will lead and guide you in the right direction.  In due season, it will be revealed.  God will speak through His Word.  He will provide us confirmation through His own special way.

We must recall that this fact is about everything.  Everything has a season.  For every activity under the sun, there is a God-given season.  For every purpose, God shares that there is a season.  It all must fit into God’s plan.  It all must serve God’s purpose.  It must fall into God’s perfect timing.  God controls it all.  Wait on the Lord for your season.

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Ye shall know them by their fruits.- Matt. 7:16 (KJV)
We are known by what we produce.  The Bible refers to this as our fruit.  Our fruit serves as evidence of our effort.  The fruit shows that we put our best forward and here is what was produced by our faithful and obedient efforts. 
Our fruit is broken down by quantity and quality:
  • Quantity: much or little [John 15:5]
  • Quality: good or bad [Matthew 7:17-8]
God intends for us to be both faithful and fruitful.

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“Teamwork is not a preference, it is a requirement.”
Coach John Wooden

Losing isn’t the worst thing that can happen for a team.  Losing the sense of togetherness and teamwork can be more detrimental to a team than a series of defeats or a losing season.  We need to see how to keep the teamwork as a priority.  Teamwork is about the entire team working as a team.

  • Motivate PeopleEncourage: Get people motivated to work together.  Look into team-building exercises.  Structure fellowship time.  Work in some out-of-the-office activities or outings for the entire team and heir families.
  • Maintain Progress– Ensure: With a collective purpose and people motivated to pursue goals together, keep track on progress.  Keep the bottom line in view, but ensure that what your team has set out to do is being worked as a priority.  Saving costs does you no good if it costs you clients and contracts.  See what progress is being made towards goal and record it every step of the way.
  • Measure Performance – Evaluate: Work on seeing the bigger picture.  Get beyond your department. See how your team has impacted others.  Take a long, hard look at where you started and where you ended up.  Did you get things done as a team? Evaluate your results and performance. 
Do for others what you would like them to do for you– Matthew 7:12 (NLT)

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Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)

You can win with wise counsel.  The problem for many people in business and leadership is that they are looking for that one mentor who can answer all things that exist.  That’s not realistic or rational.  That’s not how you win. 

No one has all of the answers except God.  You need a “multitude of counselors” according to Proverbs 15:22 (NKJV).  Through the multitude of counselors, your plans are established and their feedback ensures that you have covered everything on the checklist for launching your venture.  There is no one-stop shop when it comes to mentoring.

How to identify a “multitude of counselors” for business and leadership:

  • Set your standard before you select your potential mentors and counselors
  • Get a variety of people from a wide variety of experiences and expertise (CEO/ presidents, business school faculty, board chairpersons, etc.)
  • Vary the age of your potential mentors and counselors (peers, elders, Baby Boomers, etc.)
  • Vary their level of education (drop-outs, MBA and seminary graduates, readers, Ivy League, lifelong lea and others)
  • Know their stories (successes and struggles…know that they are human)

Understand that you are seeking people out and accepting those who God sends your way as well.  You may not find as much as you discover that already exists around you.

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