Monday, November 26, 2012

Your Plan is your Power!

Welcome!  It is amazing that today is the 26th day of November 2012.  Seriously, where did the days go?  Before we know what is happening we will be in 2013 and I can’t help but wonder how many of us are even thinking about the New Year let alone trying to prepare.  

As you may have noticed I have been talking about reviewing the year 2012 to enable us prepare for 2013 on this blog for a few weeks now.  Someone asked me why I was so hung up on what will come in 2013 and my response was that because I have heard that the man with the plan is the man with the power.

So what is your strategy for next year really?  What is it that reviewing 2012 will do for the way you will run next year?  Asking the questions in previous posts what did you learn about yourself and your dream, how will you take that information and utilize it next year?

I had the opportunity to teach at church yesterday and a few things came to my attention on why people don’t plan.  The first is the fact that people actually think that life is something you can fix as it happens.  They say stuff like “I will cross that bridge when I get there.” And while it seems like a plan, it is actually no plan at all! 
Living the life of your dream in 2013 cannot be left to last minute decisions.  I heard a wise man once say that most of the life mistakes we make are made based on the spur of the moment decisions.  What he means is that we go through life just waiting for stuff to happen so we can react.  So our lives are lived in reactionary mode and we wonder why we didn’t hit the objective we had set?

The second thing that caught my attention is that sometimes people claim to have made a plan when what they have actually done is project where they want to end up without looking at how they will arrive there.  Your strategy is beyond what you say you want to do or see, it is about the detailed day by day, bit by bit, step by step intentional thinking through aligning resources and actions with the goals and objectives you have.  

I am simply saying that saying for instance that you want to make money next year is not enough, you need to take it further planning the step by step process by which you intend to make money.  At this point you want to be able to answer questions like:

a.      What specific aspect of your dream can generate income for you?
b.     What are those things that you are required to put in place in making this money?
c.     Who will you need to work with you on this?
d.     How long from start to finish and earning?
e.     What happens in between?

And so on and so forth.  The idea is for you to break down your intention into small bite sizes and begin to work them out, both in your mind and on paper, even before the dawn of 2013.

Remember, he that has a plan has the power, stepping into the New Year with such a detailed and intentional plan gives you the clarity edge compared to the man who just started to make his decisions upon reaching the bridge.

I do know that you will make it, and I am sure a little bit of deliberate and intentional planning will be a plus.  Life is a gift and no matter what we may have seen, if we intentionally put our plans together, God will come and bless them NeverTheLess.  He will…
Sistar B

Monday, November 19, 2012

Your Dream, Your DNA

Another week, another step towards actualizing your dreams and visions!  Welcome and May God bless you!  

Recently, I have been thinking about what makes my dream unique and different from all other similar dreams, and the only answer I could find was that the unique element of what I do is… ME!  Yes, me.  I am the difference maker in how my dream and vision is pursued and lived to make impact.

This brings me to our next review question for 2012, which is; 

‘How have I limited myself this year, and what will I do to correct that?’  

 One of the hardest things to do and learn in growing and running a dream is how to conduct and run as ‘you’.  At least for me in 2012, there were times I struggled with doing stuff just the way I knew to do them and they flowed from me naturally.

While, this is a strength, sometimes I wonder whether ‘me’ is good enough.  Isn’t there a way better than the way I am doing it? I wondered.  It took a while but I recognized that even though there are alternative ways to run, the best way for me to run is to be me!

People may have told you how what you are doing isn’t going to work because it is not the way that it is done… and while they may be correct, is it possible that that is not the only way it can be done?  

The point of today’s post is to point us to the folly of having run this year doing our best with our dreams while trying to be other people.  You received the inspiration to dream and you have labored to put it all together, why do you have to present it like all others have done?

What is wrong with showing up with your dream and it is all you?  How can you say a dream is yours if you cannot bring yourself to bear on it?  Why agree to put your values and principles on the back burner just because you want to make what you are doing appealing to everyone?  No sir!  You cannot do that, because no matter how hard you try, you are not and cannot be called to everyone.  Those who will flow with you will do so not because of the very correct or perfect way you have presented the dream to them. They go with you, because you - the unique you - appeals to them.  If who you are will not be required, God would have made you a clone of all those people you are trying to be.  

So, while we may have wasted precious time and opportunities in 2012 trying to do it like all the others, it is time to look ahead into 2013 and determine that you will present the unique ‘you’, that part of you that nobody else can be. 

I guess what I am saying is give your business or dream the SOUL it deserves, give it your signature… ensure that everything you do in 2013 has your DNA all over it.  because in the end, it is your DNA that makes you different from the over 6 billion people on the face of the earth… and that is a good thing.  So enjoy being YOU.

Irrespective of what anyone says to you initially, I can assure you that ‘you’ will grow on them.  If you remain in the game long enough as ‘you’, they will get used to you and you will be amazed at how they take to you.  Make 2013 the year you determine to be you and nobody else because that is how you will make it, NeverTheLess.

You are loved.


Monday, November 12, 2012

PDA: Public Display of Accountability

Welcome!  How are the reviews going?  Before we go on to our question of the week, l need to tell you about myself.  Before my marriage and then Effectual Magazine, I was a confirmed quitter.  I had no staying power at all with anything that got too difficult.  I will quit an argument even if I was in the right just to keep the peace.  I will take the back seat in a relationship and allow myself to be maltreated if only to avoid exercising my right especially in conflict.

I will stop going to a particular place just to get myself away from anything that will turn the attention on me for too long.  I quit at every turn. I will give up on a grand dream very easily once I hit my first resistance.  I didn't quit on education however, because I wasn't sure I will be alive to tell the story; it seemed my parents were serious about killing me if I flunked out...

But then I realized that the reason I kept quitting was because no one expected me to deliver on any promise to them... I refused to be accountable to anyone, and that meant I could do what I wanted!  Even with Effectual, for at least four years, I ran below the radar because I didn't want to be accountable. When it dawned on me that I was going to keep going round in circles except I shaped up, I opted to have a very public release of the magazine.  We had the press present and we had people in the room whom I respected and will hate to let down.

That day most thought I was just birthing a dream, but for me it was more than that, it was the beginning of my commitment to ensure that this will not die too!  Since then, I have been tempted to quit a hundred times but then I remember standing before those men and women that day, making a promise to deliver excellent life impacting content and the thought of upholding that promise keeps me going.

Today's question is what will I commit to do differently, and to whom will I be accountable in 2013?  This question is more about looking at those things we had purposed to do at the start of 2012, and even started but somehow, we hit a resistance and rather than keep pushing, we quit.  Recognizing that we have pulled back on something we not only believe we can do but actually have the ability to do is a start.  Like I did with Effectual, step out and schedule a release date for that book, not in your mind but to people you don’t ever want to disappoint.

Pencil down a date when your office or business plans to hold that first Conference you have had on your schedule for years but have managed not to hold.  If you can, put adverts out to that effect.  I find that the pressure that comes with publicly displaying your intentions makes us feel accountable to the public and urges us on even when we would rather quit.  The truth is that first edition may not be the best that you can do, but it will be the start of many to come, especially if you get the ‘technology’ right the first time.

Public display of accountability is not about making empty boasts that we have no intention of following through on, it is however, a submission of our aspirations to others so that we can follow through.  The truth is that most people may never even come back to ask you why you didn’t follow through, but just knowing that someone may come back and ask you why, is enough motivation to go on.  For me it is another reason to ensure that I keep walking towards to my dream destination.

So before you do anything about 2013, ask yourself, how can I commit myself to a group beyond my family, so I can follow through rather than quit on this dream again?  You know something else, because God loves you very much, He will, amongst that crowd, pull out one person who will commit along with you and he or she becomes one key reason why you cannot afford to fail.

Despite my penchant for quitting, it has been years and I am still here.  So even for you, if you take the bull by the horns and publicly submit to be accountable you will make it NeverTheless… seriously I know you will make it.

You are loved!


Sistar B

Monday, November 5, 2012


Welcome to a new week, as I pray new Blessings your way in Jesus name!  Hope your weekend went well, mine was full and insightful, plus I had my children home for about six days and it was a joy to have a full house again even though for only six days.

Last week I was at an event and a lot of what we call “old school music” was played and the line “one is only poor only if they choose to be …”from Dolly Parton's Song, “Coat of Many Colours”, stuck with me.    the more I thought about this line, the clearer the truth became to me.  Yes, one is poor only if he chooses to be.  God has endowed us with so much in talent and experience that if we will take the time to consider what it is we have been given and find a way to express our gift, then we cannot literarily be poor.

The line also had me thinking about what poverty really is?  As for the song writers, being rich was not about how much money they had but about the attitude with which they viewed that which they had and by the use they were able to put that which they had.  So before we even continue the exercise from last week, let me encourage us to check our attitude.  Ensure that somehow, our attitidue is one of gratitude. Setbacks or no setbacks, we are still here, which means we have the opportunity to right whatever may have gone wrong.

So while I am asking that we review our year to ascertain what we can do to have a better next year, it will be great to ensure that we have the right attitude while reviewing.  Remember you are only as poor as you choose to be. Whatever worked this year can be better, just as whatever we may think didn’t work may appear different if we looked with the right attitude; one which sees every glass as half full rather than half empty. 

Today's question is; “what worked really well?”  What did you do in 2012 that worked? How did it positively affect your bottom line?  Take time out and replay it all in your mind, write out the high points, speak to members of your team ask them why they think that particular idea, principle, whatever it is worked.  Write it all down and then take it a step further and ask yourself, how you can adapt the process that gave so much success into next year’s running and operations.  The idea is to repeat what was successful, and find a way to adapt it where things didn’t work if possible, to ensure you have a blue print for next year.

For us at Effectual Magazine, one thing that has worked really well is how we have been able to keep our content fresh and impactful so that the magazine is it’s own chief marketer.  We want to take that same attitude of keeping it fresh into our marketing and hopefully our market share will increase considerably.  Something else that has worked in our favour is the collaborative efforts we have made to add value to both our work and our readers and we intend to do our best to keep them going and possibly forge more of such alliances in 2013.

The idea behind this series of posts is to ensure that we don’t walk into 2013 blindly, trying to find our way while others are off and running.  Part of what you may need to do might be to learn some additional skills to enhance your performance.  Now is the time to identify those courses and begin to put together a plan to enroll and follow through.

Every dream needs to evolve and it is my hope that with the right attitude and with the mindset that there is gold right where your mine is, you will be able to position yourself for a great 2013.  

No matter what happens, no matter how hard it is to go through with these reviews, never forget that you are only as poor as you choose to be and with that kind of attitude and doing the right thing, who says you cannot make it?  You can and you will make it NeverTheLess.


Sistar B