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“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”- Sydney J Harris
Last week I have shared with you why it’s my belief that taking a break from your routine will be the smartest personal and professional investment you can make in your busy life. This time around I will show you what to expect from a time away. Why? The time to refresh, reflect and reconnect with the exciting future you can share is by far the highlight, it provides uninterrupted time to carefully reflect on whom you need to become and your contribution moving forward. What are the main learnings and benefits from this time?
1. DISTANCE– To create a healthy disconnect with the past.
Transitioning and re-engineering anything takes time and effort. It also takes wisdom, courage, grace, humility, perseverance and flexibility from everyone included in the process. This isn’t just a leader-centric experience; the whole team experiences it. This could be at work, home or in business. That said, there is a unique role for a leader to take a specific position to hold to, based on the discernment and convictions that they hold. In doing so, a leader experiences the highs and lows of change. A break allows you the time to freely process the positives, the negatives and everything in between. Having that time and space has allowed one of the most helpful experiences any leaders can have, PERSPECTIVE. To enjoy a healthy distance from the recent past so you can lead to a healthy, positive, bright future is a critical lesson from a break.
2. PERSPECTIVE– To reflect more deeply for on what matters most.
As previously noted perspective is a vital leadership currency. Executing a game plan is more challenging in the trenches than it is in the “war room.” Time away from the day-to-day demands of leadership. One of my favourite cities in the world is New York City. Don’t ask me to explain why I have loved that city for years. Life on the street is very different to life on top of the Rockefeller Centre and it’s different again from a helicopter up and down the west side of Manhattan or from the ferry back from Lady Liberty. The difference is PERSPECTIVE. When you can see clearly, you can see further. When you can see further what is in front of you makes more sense. Perspective serves the future because it puts it in context, gives it meaning and invites the energy to make it happen.
3. TRANSFORMATION- To have resource and energy to focus on personal development.
This lesson is a two-sided coin. One of my highest value lessons at this moment is personal responsibility. I am learning that you and I are ultimately responsible for the outcomes we have. Whether we like them or not and a time away allows the two dimensions of leadership to play out. The role of SELF-leadership and the reason WHY you’re leading. As any type of leader, this is a delicate paradox. Too much focus on self is unhelpful and difficult to justify when the ones that follow you do not see the benefit in doing so. And, if you and I aren’t in a healthy place as a leader we cannot carry the responsibilities we have forward as well as we hope. A break serves this process because it allows you to focus on yourself for a purpose. Similarly to a car, you focus on its health and longevity because of what you intend it to do. The better you look after it the more it can produce. To reflect, pray, consider, think, decide and act are all healthy parts of self-leadership. To do these things with a clear answer to the questions “For what purpose?” is even better.
4. CLARITY- To decide what goes on the “not to do” list.
Made famous by Jim Collins the “not to do list” is a list that lives in many organisations that declare our intentions to stay focused and disciplined in the pursuit of our preferred future. That’s really hard work in my experience. And I think I’m average at best when it comes to a, not to do list. I see opportunity everywhere, I make decisions based on possibility, not resources, I think through events and environments based on what COULD be not what is. That makes a not to do list hard. And they are still critical. A break provides the room to really, really, really consider what is mission critical. It creates the distance between activity and revelation. A break stokes the fire of courage to make the necessary changes when you return. As I experience it, a team does this better than one leader. You need a team around you with opinions and insights and convictions that help shape that list then hold you accountable to it. Jim Rohn got it right when he said: “each of us needs all of us.”
5. VISION- To think harder about what to be and do in the future.
Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion. Think of it this way. Activity – Action = Assessment Having time away from activity and action allows time for assessment. How are things really? How are our families? Our teams? Our staff? What is the quality of the most important relationships in your life? In addition to those questions, you get to reflect and do some work on the following insights. What specifically is God calling us to be? Who am I called to be? Where are our brightest opportunities? What are our biggest obstacles? How do we develop people to serve and influence in ALL spheres of life? What’s preventing us from growing? If we made only THREE changes in the next season what would they be? A break creates the space to think about your “being” and not just your “doing.” It invites you to make the meaningful important again and assess how everything lines up with what your convictions are and what your direction is.
6. PREPARATION- To take the time to articulate the next best steps.
The purpose of unplugging for a period of time is actually, to plug back in. To return with a clear sense of what to do next is essential for any leader. In my earlier post 6 Reasons To Have A Break I talk about the danger of overload on return. Now that you have returned it should be an exercise in sharing what the experience has made clear and then submitting it to our core leadership team to be rigorous around what happens when. Lean into your team, your board, your management team, whoever is your key decision makers to discern and decide what happens when to who and how it gets communicated. Be clear, be courageous. Your next steps are important ones.
7. FAMILY- To invest significant amounts of time into the most important relationships.
Of all the roles a leader has. Of all the roles I have, the role of husband and father tops the list. A break provides the time and space to employ the “be with” factor. You get time to go to sleep and wake up every day as a family unit. You get to share memories, friendships and sights together. You learn new words and phrases. You see a big world. You laugh, you cry, you have all the important little moments between the big activities. You have unhurried conversations with your spouse. You are fully present (I hope) to them and as attentive as possible to what was happening to them, not just with them.
There are many ways to make a break work in your world. When you do I trust you experience some of these things and they serve you as you serve others. If you have any amazing sabbatical stories please share them with us in the comments section.
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither” -Alan Cohen
In life, I have noticed how easy it is to get sucked into the rat race and find yourself in a vicious cycle of work and more work. Especially in this time and age where everyone has a side gig or a side hustle, finding the right balance has been a challenge for a lot of people. I hear a lot of people say I do not have time to take a break or go on holiday or take a sabbatical. Yet I believe that it is very important for you to take time away from your normal daily routine. When you take a break, it doesn’t mean a complete shutdown, it means finding a rhythm in doing other things that will compliment your usual routine. I have outlined some of the reasons that may help you realise why it is important to take a break once in a while.
1 – TO REFRESH BODY, SOUL & SPIRIT
To take time out of the regular life commitments and responsibilities in itself creates space. It changes the day in and day out nature of work and life. To invest in intentional refreshing, learning, debriefing and dreaming in a way that nurtures your soul is a key to this period.
To be able to “unplug” from the routines and responsibilities so when you plug back in it is with renewed clarity and enthusiasm. Ensuring you make time to read, listen, reflect, write, whatever creates the health and momentum for you. Be deliberate about stopping unresourceful habits and creating new ones with the additional time. Dig deeper into books, podcasts, programs, classes, conferences, and mentoring sessions. Do the things that refresh you but do not overindulge, do not party or get yourself exhausted.
2- TO REFLECT ON THE PAST
Taking some time to reflect on what has been is essential in this period. How have you experienced the last year? The last three years? The last five years? What are you proud of? What do you wish didn’t happen? What would you have done differently with your time again? Are there things that you have celebrated? Challenges that have not gone away? Relationships established? Broken? Mended? Write down what has been the top five highlights of the last season. Aim to be clear about WHAT they were and do some reflection as to WHY.
Look for patterns, consistencies, and themes. Personally, I usually reflect on these simple questions. What am I proud of? How far have we come? What am I NOT proud of? What evidence is there of the positive impact of my leadership? What, if anything, is continuing to impact me and my leadership negatively? Based on the above, what can I REALLY influence? How? For those of you in Christian leadership, it’s worth adding some reflection around being true to what God has called you to do.
Reflecting on what degree of peace you have with the recent past and how you sense the leading of God to be into the future. Where there is peace and the absence of peace? They will all serve to give you a sense of where you’ve been and in many ways shape step three.
3- TO DREAM ABOUT THE FUTURE. AND PLAN FOR IT TOO (SEE POINT 6)
What would you create if you could? Really? When you close your eyes and see the job, the team, the marketplace, your marriage, your family, what do you see as possible? This goes well past the hyped “if you can see it you can have it” and deep dives into the truest reflection of who you are and what really is in your heart. What do you believe is possible? What dreams are in your heart that need a voice? What needs to be given language so others who read it can attach themselves to it and run. It’s a time to challenge yourself to be bold, audacious, courageous and faith-filled during this time.
4- TO CREATE SPACE IN YOUR HEART, MIND AND DEVELOPMENT
For me, it’s early in the morning. When I am freshest. When I haven’t been distracted by the day. To sit, read, reflect, and write. To spend time reviewing and previewing. To learn as best as I can, to digest as much as I can, to be sharpened as well as I can. Who can challenge your thinking, invest in your potential and call out the best that resides in you? Even more, what lies in your heart that you have a conviction about making happen? What do you sense God calling you to? How can that begin to take shape? This kind of self-leadership, with a spirit of humility and service, is the kind of leadership that can be a significant benefit to others. Grow you, and you grow what’s in your hand.
5- LEARN, GROW & BE SHARPENED
I have been learning this regularly in leadership mentoring, learn in themes. Just like movies, films and books have themes, your life does too. My themes are based around my spiritual gifts, my responsibilities and my passions. So for me, I concentrate on growing in the following ways. As a husband As a father. As a leader. As a communicator. As a mentor (disciple maker) Attend conferences, speak, be mentored, buy lunch. Do whatever it takes to get in the way of activities that sharpen and grow you. Then do more of those activities.
6- TO PLAN THE FUTURE
Begin to write down how the future might look upon your return from this time away. What must be focused on in the next 90 days to serve the team and the organisation you are part of? Be clear. Be specific. Be intentional and be prepared for your arrival back into your working world. I suggest the following staged approach to your return.
Immediate – get done in the next 90 days
Mid Range – Include the team if any, in the next 3-6 months
Longer Term – What can you and your team shape for the next 3-5 years
One word of warning. Avoid the “overload trap” here. The overload trap is when you return, all refreshed and ready for the next big thing that you’ve spent all this time dreaming up and your team has been carrying additional responsibilities and activities in your absence. Then on your return, they have even more to accomplish because YOU have had time and space to think about all the things that are in your heart to accomplish.
That will most likely overload your team. Be able to distinguish between immediate “runs on the board” and the strategic things that need to be co-created with your team. Better you return with clarity and humility than clarity and overload. As you take this time may it be rich in reflection, deep in growth, profound in transformation and powerful in progress. May you BE a more effective leader as a result. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, how you have managed your time away from your busy routine.
“If you create and market a product or service through a business that is in alignment with your personality, capitalizes on your history, incorporates your experiences, harnesses your talents, optimizes your strengths, complements your weaknesses, honors your life’s purpose, and moves you towards the conquest of your own fears, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that anyone in this or any other universe can offer the same value that you do!”
― Walt F.J. Goodridge
Maybe you’re an expert in your field or have a hobby that you really enjoy and are very good at, the likelihood of your being able to make some money or even a full-time living from your passion is pretty high, as long as you’re willing to learn some skills and put in the work. The internet has brought the world closer and allows people to interact with each other across the globe.
This has also brought in the best business platform for both formal and informal service providers. If you have been struggling with the question: “how do I make money from my hobby?” We have taken a look at some of the ways you can tap into and get your piece of the internet pie. Here are five ways you can turn your passions into profits online:
1. Start a YouTube channel.
The amount of money that some people make from this channel is mind-boggling. The top YouTube earner, Daniel Middleton, made $16.5 million in one year from posting Minecraft videos. Now that’s a lot of dough! Creating a successful YouTube channel requires creating a following. This isn’t something that happens instantly but instead develops over time. And you have to work at it. But if you have a passion that displays well on video, then YouTube is a great way to monetize it. Remember you don’t have to make millions to do well on YouTube. A great example of this is the YouTube channel “Woodworking for Mere Mortals.” This isn’t one of the top 10 earners, but this guy does earn his full-time living from his passion and has built up a very respectable following of over 900,000 followers. The cost of setting this up is very minimal, but you might need to invest in good audio/video recording equipment. The idea is as much as you may have relevant content, you need to have a reasonably good quality video to get people subscribing and following your channel. Another thing is being consistent, you need to continually give people value so setting a posting structure such as once a week could work.
2. Become an Instagram influencer.
Instagram is an extremely visual platform, so if you have a passion for something like fashion, food, pets or workouts that work well in pictures or video, you can make pretty good money from Instagram when you develop a big enough following. The way many people make money from Instagram is by selling space on their Instagram accounts. These are often called “shout outs.” These can range from $30 a post for a smaller account to the whopping $550,000 a post that top earner Selena Gomez gets for a sponsored post. Instagram is also great for selling your own items, as long as you do it sparingly and with great visuals. Just like a YouTube channel, an Instagram page requires great creativity, quality photos and constant relevant content.
3. Create online courses.
Many people turn their passions into profits by creating courses that teach other people how to do what they’re experts in. This is part of the model that Woodworkers for Mere Mortals use. There are several ways to market these courses. You can do it yourself through platforms like WordPress and Thrivecart, or you can market on a platform with built-in customers like Thinkific or Udemy. Keeping your courses short and precise will also help in getting more people interested in purchasing your product. In a fast-paced world, people want information that will get them going as soon as possible so this can be helpful if you build your courses with that in mind.
4. Make money blogging.
Blogging sometimes gets a bad rap, but it can be quite lucrative if you set it up correctly. Engadget is one of my favourite blogs, and it’s estimated to make 5.5 million dollars a month, primarily from advertising revenue. If you love to write and can produce high-quality content about your passion on a regular basis then this could be a good option for you to make money from the thing you’re passionate about. You can monetize your blog with Google Adsense ads, promoting products as an affiliate, or selling your own products, such as an online course mentioned above.
5. Sell your services online.
The fastest way to make money from your passion or your expertise is to sell services. Things like writing, web design or helping people clean out their closets all work. You can do this online or off-line, but the big advantage to selling services is that it takes far less traffic to a website to get people to buy a service than it does to get people to buy a product. And since traffic is usually the hardest part of the equation in getting “eyeballs on your offer,” this is a huge advantage. You can set up a simple two-page website, create a small ad in Google Adwords and start getting clients within a week. And if you don’t want to build a website, then bidding for work on sites like FreeeUp.com or Upwork.com can be a great way to earn some cash for writing, technical work or graphic design. There are also sites and apps like TaskRabbit, Care, Fiverr or Rover where you can list real-world services for sale. Selling services is rather labour-intensive, but it’s a great way to create cash flow and earn money right away with your passion.
The biggest key to all of these ways to turn your passions into profits is traffic. Traffic is the hardest piece of any monetization method. You must get eyeballs on your content in order to make money. So, if you decide on one of these methodologies for turning your passions into profits, make sure that you focus at least 50 per cent of your time learning the traffic methodologies that go along with it. It’s entirely possible to make a good living from nearly anything that you’re passionate about. You just have to put in the time and effort to get there. Creating great content and being consistent is key. Let us know in the comments section how you have monetized your passion and how that is going for you.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Being different is nice, it’s actually not bad at all. In a world were people judge others by their outward appearance; what they wear, complexion, what kind of job they do, their kind of lifestyle and stuff like that, it can be difficult for one to fit in if they’re different. It can also be difficult for one to feel good about themself or to have a sense of belonging in a world were following trends is considered the ‘norm’. What’s good about all this is that everybody sees the world differently from their own perspective. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another.
Rejecting or not following the trends of the world can be difficult. I believe it takes self confidence and self love to be able to stand out. If you love yourself and if you believe in yourself you can be unstoppable.
Dare to be confident-dare to be different. Being confident means accepting and appreciating yourself for who you are. It also means believing in your own skills and ability to do things iregardless of what’s going on around you. In this regard, being different or not following the trends of the world is no challenge at all. When you demonstrate certainty and belief in yourself you don’t give room for other people’s opinions and views to define or control you and or what you believe in.
I think most people end up getting caught up in the ‘web’ of following the trends of the world because of the desire they have to keep up with others. The need for love, acceptance and having a sense of belonging can contribute to that too.
I believe being confident starts from within. It starts with you. What do you think of yourself? When you look in the mirror what do you see? Do you feel good about yourself? Do you love yourself? If you feel good about yourself and have positive vibes it will be easier even for the world to love and accept you for who you are.
Dare to be confident-dare to be different. Be able to reject the trends of the world, follow your heart and soul. Think positive. Take risks and don’t be afraid to fail or make mistakes. Focus on yourself more but don’t be selfish. Do what makes you happy. Love yourself, be able to be completely yourself at all times-no pretense. Feel good about yourself. You are unique in your own way, own that! Don’t compare yourself to others, there’s nothing better than standing out from a crowd. Be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.
Dare to be confident-dare to be different!