In the Bible, a group of people were trying to occupy a new area of land. The Israelites had been slaves in Egypt previously, and they didn’t have a land to call their own. So they invaded a neighboring area occupied by multiple other people groups.
In order to conquer the area, they had attack many cities. One city in particular they had to attack was called Jericho. It had big, strong walls that seemed insurmountable.
God told them to circle around the walls for seven days. On the seventh day the walls would fall down and they could conquer the city. And guess what happened. The walls fell down.
I think it’s interesting to note, though, that for six days they probably saw no results of their walking. It’s not like the walls began to slowly crack or crumble. There was no indication they’d have success. But they remained faithful to the dream God had for them—even amidst taunting and criticism from the Jericho citizens looking over the walls.
The hardest part in any dream is being faithful even when you don’t see results.
I’ve noticed with my sites, I saw no results for the first few months and years. I’m only now really seeing a result of my faithfulness. They’re getting a name. They’re getting sponsors lining up to support the sites.
I didn’t see any of this. I’m so glad I was faithful even when I saw no results.
So now I ask you. What have you been marching around? Have you become discouraged? Are you seeing the results you want to see?
Perhaps you need to keep walking. You might be on your sixth day. Don’t give up.
[Blog photo from Mopho.to]
I’m writing a book about overcoming criticism. With a topic like this, I’m relying mostly on my personal experiences for the content. And what that translates to is about 20,000 words about myself.
Here’s my struggle: How do I proceed writing this book without it becoming an exercise in narcissism? How do I translate my personal experiences to the reader without it becoming a long list of words about myself?
I started into one book today and couldn’t continue. The book was exactly what I didn’t want my book to become. It was paragraphs and paragraphs of me me me me me me me. How exhausting to read! (more…)
We were in Argentina, staying with some of my wife’s family. She wanted to show them some of what I do, so she introduced them to my blog. They aren’t huge in the blogosphere. I’m not sure they read any blogs or even saw the value in them.
As they tried to understand what my blog was all about, they kept saying things that were missing the mark. “Oh, your blog is like a devotional.”
I replied, “Well. I guess, sort of. It’s not really, though. There’s no real spiritual development in these blog posts.” But I supposed that idea gave them enough to wrap their head around the idea. (more…)
At any given time, I have about 23 different companies sponsoring what I do with my websites. And each month, I have to give them the opportunity to renew their relationship with me or to discontinue it.
Every month I get this pit in the bottom of my stomach. What if one of them doesn’t renew? Or worse, what if a bunch of them decide my sites offer no value to their company’s marketing strategy.”
So every month I send out emails asking for them to renew. I hate that part. And every month there’s at least one advertiser I need to replace. This is the worse part. (more…)
I know a guy who’s writing a book. He’s pouring loads of money into it and written a ton.
Most self-published books don’t do very well. Especially if you don’t have a huge audience. But this guy thinks he’s the exception to the rule.
He’s writing articles for tiny magazines. He’s pimping himself out to speak places. He’s breaching all sorts of proper protocols in order to make this thing a success. Again, this guy thinks he’s the exception to the rule of protocol.
Let me include you in on a little secret. Very few people are the exception to the rule. Almost all of us are bound by rules that dictate where we can and can’t be successful.
But let me let you in on a deeper secret. Some people are the exception. For instance, my brother is one of those. He’s the sort who can email someone out of the blue and get a real response—with that person willing to help. He can meet someone one time and they feel like they’re his best friend. My brother is the exception to those rules up there. My friend is not.
I do believe that there are some rules we’re the exception to. Unfortunately, those rules are different for each of us. The key is to discover what rules don’t apply to you. Those are where your opportunities live.
What can you get away with that no one else can? Do you make friends in a second? Can you spot a lie from a thousand miles away? Does your storytelling captivate an audience?
Most people can’t do that stuff. But if you can, it means you’re the exception to the rule. And it means that’s the opportunity you need to seize. It means you have a chance to succeed where others have failed.
What rule are you the exception to?
[Blog photo from Mopho.to]
I have no hard statistics to back this up. But I’ve met more people who have changed their religion than have changed what NBA team they root for. I’m willing to bet it’s more likely someone will change their religion than their fanship.
That’s actually a great opportunity for Christians. Unfortunately, in the last couple weeks I’ve been proselytized by loads of people—trying to convert me from being a Heat fan into a Spurs fan. Imagine if those people devoted their energy into trying to introduce their friends to Christ.
No, this post isn’t a big Jesus juke. I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty. Because, frankly, these same people would be ineffective at introducing their friends to Jesus too. You know why? (more…)
As a teenager, I had a big dream. I dreamt that I stood in front of thousands of people as they listened to me. They wanted to hear what I had to say because I was the expert. They laughed at my jokes. They responded thoughtfully to my deep sayings…
I had influence.
I don’t know of many people who haven’t had a dream like that. We all have a goal that we want to see happen. We all have a vision for our life that includes some sort of influence. But getting there is the hard part.
If I had to give one bit of advice to dreamers, it would be this: Be prepared to make thousands of adjustments as you pursue your dream. (more…)
I’ve read tons of books that tell you how to get people to do things for you. Some books are about wise leadership principles. Others are about manipulation.
In fact, did you know that if you want someone to choose your preferred option between two options, you can change the way your phrase your question? By changing the way you phrase a “this or that” question, you can put your idea into their head. For instance, let’s say you want someone to wash the dishes. You ask it like this: “Would you like me to wash the dishes, or…?”
By leaving the option you want them to choose blank, it requires them to think the thought. It’s basically inception through dialogue. How delightfully manipulative, eh? (more…)
Sunday| Mag is probably one of my best ideas. It’s not necessarily the content of the site or the design. But the way it functions makes it much more successful than it might be otherwise.
You see, it works great for advertisers. It allows them to make a small investment and get a huge return—longterm—on their sponsorship. It’s a system I’m not sure I’ve seen any other blog or online magazine use.
On the other hand, though, the system has really limited how many people read the mag. It’s really only the super fans and the subscribers—which is still about 10,000… But I know there are more out there. (more…)
In the Bible, you can find a couple of letters from a guy named Peter. He was writing to Christians during His time—helping them figure things out and encouraging them. He was writing as an authority on the Christian faith because he was one of the founders of the whole gig. He walked with Jesus.
That’s pretty cool. He was instrumental in shaping how Christians interact with Jesus. But I think if I was in his shoes, I couldn’t have done it. I couldn’t have written these letters. I couldn’t have been a vocal part of the Christian faith. I probably would have relegated myself to the background. (more…)