During this pandemic, we have all had our share of ups and downs.
Recently I gave a talk providing some learnings from my journey the last few months and wanted to share in case they help you process your last few months.
This past October, I was at a conference in California called ‘Business As Mission’. While there, I met a married couple in attendance evaluating companies to invest in. They were not there to invest in our coaching business, however attended one of our workshops.
We had a great conversation and I ended up giving them a copy of my book, ‘Win at Home First’.
Near the end of this conference, I bumped into the married couple again. Somehow she had read most of my book in just 2 days! She even showed me some of her notes and bookmarked pages!
This married couple was excited for my book and how it could help business leaders, so they wanted to pray for me.
The woman also had a prophetic word for me of ‘expand.’
I have been given a prophetic word in the past and it is both awesome and confusing.
Expand what? Or maybe more importantly, when? How? Who do I have to talk to in order to make this happen? Can we just go ahead and expand the business now Lord?
The year starts off strong
As I ramped up for 2020, I was energized by the word ‘expand’. Expand the number of people I help. Expand the offerings that I can bring to others whether it is a podcast, more books, more workshops. Expand financially, relationally, and the list goes on.
The year started off strong.
January was the highest revenue month of my career. Traveling to different states to speak, more clients, more workshops, more keynotes.
February continued at the same pace. I was excited about building the business and impacting the kingdom. The business was in fact expanding!
At home, we were doing well as a family. Busy, active and healthy kids. My wife impacting many people from her PTA role, small group, Jazzercise community, her part time job, plus other ways she serves others.
Maybe you were on the same path. 2020 on pace to beat 2019 in all areas.
Then things changed.
Coronavirus hit and it all came to a screeching halt.
Week one of the quarantine, I was scheduled to be in Washington DC for three different speaking engagements. Week two I was scheduled to be in Kansas City for a speaking engagement, as well as business development. I was extremely excited for both these trips and they were further evidence of ‘expand’ happening.
When the trips were scheduled, I moved around all of my coaching calls so they would not be in the way of the trip.
So when those trips were canceled, my calendar was wide open. I mean wide open. Blank. Nada. Nothing to do.
To give an extrovert who has a tendency to strive a wide-open calendar for two weeks, yet not allowed to go anywhere, is a bad combination.
Plus with speaking engagements and workshops canceled, immediately my revenue of March and April was cut by 40% compared to January and February.
My drive and sense of purpose was crushed.
Meanwhile, my three kids were excited to not be in school (at least at the beginning of this quarantine) so they wanted to play, watch movies, have fire pits, and stay up late every night.
So, night after night led to a lot of lounging around, wine and sugar cookies.
It felt like a two week long spring break.
Maybe you can relate to this.
Your goals, dreams, and your plans for 2020 – both at home and at work – felt like they were crushed. A buddy of mine loves to quote Mike Tyson, who said, ‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.’
Like me, you thought 2020 was going to be better than 2019. Maybe you just hired new employees. Or just started a new job.
My open calendar and lack of discipline caught up to me. I was in a funk. Discouraged and frustrated. I could not keep doing this.
Shaken vs. Unshakeable
A mentor pointed me to Hebrews [12:27]. I have read it before, but that’s it. Just read right over it. Never reflected on it, just blew right past it. However, this time was different.
The verse is, “This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken-that is things that have been made- in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.”
This hit me square in the eyes and became my rally cry for the last few weeks. I started to pray and journal on this verse, as well as talk with my coach and mentors in my life about this verse.
God is allowing a shaking to take place right now. All the counterfeit gods we have lifted up, whether it was my word ‘expand’, my Q1 results, or the busyness of my schedule, or all my business development meetings I had at bars or coffee shops with prospects. Whatever it may have been that was man made in my life, God was allowing it to be shaken.
On the other hand, was the idea of the unshakable. My connection to God, my marriage, my family, serving others, pursuing the fruits of the Spirit.
I began to reflect.
I spent time thinking through the ‘shakeable’ items in my life. What had I been putting on pedestals? I listed them out and began handing them over to God. My schedule, revenue, social media likes, busyness, my glory and not God’s, my plan and not God’s. Examining my counterfeit gods.
Next was to reflect on the ‘unshakeable’ in my life and how I can double down on those things.
My quiet time with God and growing in intimacy with Him. The unshakable of my marriage and committing to serving and loving Holly during and after this time. The unshakeable relationship between my kids and leading and loving them well. Loving and serving those in my life whether family, friends or clients.
I encourage you to do the same. What is the shakeable in your life? List out the places, things, people, etc. that you have been putting your hope and value in.
Also list out the areas in your life that you can double down on the unshakable to remain, as God promises in Hebrews 12.
If you are on LinkedIn, here is 1-minute video I did on the above. Check it out and connect with me there as well!