It seems like these days, with all the doom and gloom, an emphasis on vision and fulfilling your callings in life have been shoved by the wayside. The same could be said about success.
And helping our kids do the same? It seems to have been shoved to the side also as we become more and more reactionary and just surviving day to day. And as we allow ourselves and our kids to be numbed by entertainment. Work ethic seems to have gone down the toilet, too. Everybody wants something for free and to strive for nothing.
Look, I get it. I’m stressed, too. Life is full of challenges. There is a lot that is out of my control. Some days I have the energy of gnat. I’m overwhelmed and burnt out. So is my husband. And our son.
But long ago I learned the importance of vision. It started with me reading a book by Stephen Covey called 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He tells us that successful people keep the end in mind.
And yes, success matters. What do I mean by success? Well, I don’t mean being a millionaire though if that’s your ambition as it is mine, there’s nothing wrong with that.
I’m talking about success as in reaching your full potential, overcoming your personal obstacles, and becoming who God made you to be.
And if you are a parent, helping your kids do the same.
Does that mean that in order to be successful, your child needs to go to an Ivy League School and get a high paying professional job in Corporate America?
If that is what they want, then of course encourage it.
But I’m going to say something very radical in today’s culture—college is not for everybody.
Your child may find more challenge and satisfaction in learning a trade and/or becoming an entrepreneur.
What does that mean practically for your family, your business and for your life?
Let me suggest you start with asking very basic questions and creating vision statements. Help your children do this, too. Here is a very basic one:
What do you want your life and business (if you have one) to look like a year from now? If I were to wave a magic wand and money and time were not an issue, what would you want/need/desire for your life and business?
Years ago, when I first started this entrepreneurial journey, I was inspired by the words of Ali Brown, an Internet marketer who is top in her field.
She said, “Don’t make decisions from where you are, but from where you want to be.”
At that time, my husband and I owned a vacation rental business. It was draining and stealing our joy and we were losing money fast. In fact, we had two mortgages. It was an extremely painful time as my husband’s job was also being cut back and his paychecks were being delayed.
I decided that I needed a plan to become the Proverbs 31 woman I dreamed of becoming. Guided by a verse in Scripture which I paraphrased to, “A noble woman makes noble plans and by these noble plans she stands,” I invested in training to become an Internet marketer. Ali Brown’s Online Success Blueprint System was the first course I ever bought and my adventure of being an avid student started.
That led me to hearing Ali’s amazing statement which transformed our lives. We realized that we were not meant to be in the vacation rental business. Travis wanted to be a licensed architect and I wanted to be a wildly successful entrepreneur. All our decisions then reflected our desires and we have invested heavily in them.
Flash forward years later, and the rental property is gone. We don’t regret that we had to lose it to foreclosure. Anything we had to let go of was well worth it.
Now my husband is working full time in his business and I am highly involved as his business director. He was the first person to take one of the first courses I developed, Brand Identity Quest. He now works at home and though it is not easy, we are learning step by step how to live in faith and joy.
And at this time, our son is 20. He doesn’t fit into the mainstream world as he is highly creative and he has Aspergers. He’s very talented in art. So now our son is my apprentice and I’m training him to be a graphic artist. He has great potential! We also will train him to do 3D modeling for my husband’s business.
None of us are where we want to be yet nor is it easy, but keeping the end in mind has helped us through the rough spots and will continue to help us through the rough spots.
And we are gaining confidence that God wants to and will take care of us so this gives us courage to keep striving no matter what.
What “end in mind” do you envision? Where do you want to be a year from now? What do you need to invest in in order to make it come to reality? Where do your kids want to be a year from now? What kind of educational and personal growth do they want to see? How can you cultivate their passions and callings?
Ask these questions and you will ignite your life and your business!
Photo by Sam Beasley