One thing that I have come to realize as I have looked over these past 7 months is that before Covid-19, my life was incredibly full. It was full of good intentions and a lot of meetings that didn’t seem to be for any other reason than to make me feel important. I came to realize that I needed to say “no” to opportunities, meetings and activities of all kinds. On the surface there was nothing wrong with what I was doing, but as I began evaluating my life, I saw that the people and places I was needing to invest my time in were getting overlooked and pushed aside.
As I began to say “no” and finish up commitments, I started to have more life and joy again. I realized that I didn’t need to run myself ragged so that I could hopefully eventually “do what I want in the future”. I began to understand that I needed to focus on the now and be present for those in my life.
It’s been a paradigm shifting 7 month journey, but it has been one that was needed. I believe that what would have taken me 2-3 years to learn and put into practice was sped up because I was faced with hard truths and made the needed changes. I would never wish a pandemic on anyone or any community, but I am choosing to make the most of this situation. I am choosing to slow down and dig into where I have been planted. I have been focusing more on my family, coworkers, and neighbors, and as I have done this it has been life giving.
In focusing on who is next to me and the opportunities I have today, I have been able to build stronger relationships and get opportunities that always seemed to elude me in the past. I have learned that to have an impact on the community you are a part of, it is about more than voting, talking or marching, but taking consistent action over time. I am far from perfect and don’t have many answers, but one thing I do know is that when we slow down and take root where we are, we start to have the impact we really long for. My life… it’s pretty ordinary, and it’s just the way I want it.
The biggest thing we lose when we have no community is accountability.Accountability is what drives us to actually get things done. It drives us to be better, serve our customers and stay engaged with what is happening in our communities.
If we lose community, we lose everything. It is why isolation as a punishment is so brutal mentally and eventually physically. Worst of all, with no community, you lose accountability.
Don’t let these times of isolation keep you down and keep you apart, figuratively speaking of course.Use these moments to create and bring people safely together.Here are some examples of what I have done that you could absolutely do.I have created content (Which you can subscribe to by clicking this link) which comes out weekly where I share fresh ideas on engaging and serving your customers and community.I have created simple workout videos for those of us now working from home.I have invited folks in my network to pray for their countries every Friday at 9:30PM.
Don’t lose your community because when you do, you lose your accountability and your purpose.Reach out to others and create, and even if only a handful of people join you on that journey, it will be worth it for everyone involved.
Your message matters more than you know.Let me give you an example from this past week.I created two posts both with the goal of growing my newsletter.One offered free pie from Pie Bar (Seriously, click that link and buy a pie… you won’t regret it) and the other invited people into an adventure to discover how to better engage and serve their customers.I was blown away by the outcomes. Now the numbers you are about to read are nothing grand, but they are incredibly telling.
The pie post had under 200 views in over three days, no likes, no comments, no new subscribers.
Invitation into an adventure post had over 550 views in under 24 hours, 5 likes, 2 comments and 4 new subscribers.What that translates into is over a 200% increase in views in under 24 hours, a 500% increase in likes, a 200% increase in comments and a 400% increase in subscribes.Those percentages are a little hokey, but that’s why I gave you specifics up top. I hope you see the importance of this lesson. Your message matters. Give the people what they want, and don’t stop trying until you do.
You already know enough, go out and apply that knowledge and see what happens.
Last week was a hell of a week and I have been noodling around this idea in my mind as I was challenged by someone I met with. He asked me if I was a confident person to which I said I was. He then said that even so, he sensed and got a feeling of a lack of confidence. As he pressed into what he meant, I couldn’t disagree with him. In fact it is something that my wife has said time and time again. I don’t feel that I am trying to prove myself to anyone but I always seemingly find myself not applying anything and just talking about what I have read or heard. I don’t have many business success stories and so I feel I need to compensate with words.
What I am learning though is that I know enough. It’s time to take that knowledge and apply. In fact a perfect example is that I just took copious amounts of notes over the past month from podcasts, books, conversations and I don’t think I have consciously applied one iota of what I’ve learned. This thirst for knowledge is great, and I never want to stop, but this lack of application and measuring what happens can’t continue on. Today, March 22nd… I am letting you know all of this because I want you to keep me accountable. I want you to ask me what I am applying and learning from that application. In a month, I hope to have tangible experiences and not just head knowledge. Keep me honest folks.
In all this craziness the one thought that pops into my mind is “How can I help?” It is literally all consuming and it is tough for me to not try and overthink this and go to grand gestures. The thing is, grand gestures wouldn’t work long term for our family as it would put us in tough financial times or worse.
In talking this idea over with my wife, she keeps on reminding me that as long as we all play our part in practicing social distancing, that is the way we can help. It isn’t big, but it is needed.
Another way that I am going to help is by sending encouraging hand written letters. Encouragement and a reminder that the person receiving the letter has value and purpose. We need to hold onto those truths, that we have value and purpose, or else this will be a journey too dark and long for many. Figure out a joy or talent of yours and share that with those in your community. Thats how we can help our customers, teammates, and those around us.