Win this Fight

I came across this solemn prayer I wrote out some time ago. We all have struggles. We all stumble, struggle, and at times come up short. We all feel alone at times, doubt, and lose hope at times in our lives. May this prayer remind you of the One who will never give up on you. 

 Lord, Hear Me

 
Am I that different? Am I deceived? Do I lack faith? Do I just need to believe? 

 
Why do I feel alone in this fight? To want to make a difference, to truly be a light? 

 
I want to matter more. I want to make a bigger mark. Yet it seems to me, that I’m alone, fighting in the dark. 

 
Yes others are doing this, but they seem so far away. I wish I had someone here with me, who felt this same way. 

 
To be passionate about things that matter, consumed with living God’s best. No matter the price- the sacrifice of passing all God’s tests. 

 
Is there someone who can do more than push me, but love me through it all. To race with me, fight with me, and pick me up when I fall?

 
I want warmth. Inspiration. Encouragement from near. Not just at a distance or digitally, but next to me. Right here.  

 
But should it not come, I pray I will draw near. To the One who created me. To the One who removes my fears.  

 
Thank You Lord for Your comfort, when none seems in sight. It is because of You, I know, I will win this fight! 

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Life on Purpose

purpose-drivenLet me cut to the chase on this. Why are you here? Why are you on this planet? What are you living for? Self? Pleasure? Entertainment? Addictions? Family? Money? What? What are you living for?

D.L. Moody said, “Our greatest fear should not be that we won’t succeed but that we will succeed at something that doesn’t matter.” Are you living for something that matters? Are you pursuing success for the right reasons? Where is your heart? What does it seek? What do you think about? And ultimately, what do your decisions in life show the world what you are living for?

I’ve been in a bit of a funk as of late. And I’m actually thankful for it. For whatever reason, when I do find myself down a bit, I tend to think more deeply. I’m drawn more to God. (perhaps that’s why I’m in a funk. I haven’t been spending enough time with Him). I begin to evaluate myself, my decisions, and the results in my life. When I speak of results, I’m speaking of far more than financial gain (as most people default to). I’m speaking of my relationships, spiritual growth and relationship with God, my attitudes, actions, and decisions, and ultimately, how many people I am leading to the truth.

Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God (rule, dominion, and God’s way of doing things) and all of the material things like clothing, food, provision for our lives would be added to us. The apostle Paul said to set our minds on things above where Christ is. He also said to think on things that are just, pure, lovely, are of good report, have virtue, and are praiseworthy.

What have you been thinking about? What wakes you up in the middle of the night? Are your thoughts consumed with financial matters, what you’re going to do on the weekend, food, the internet, the opposite sex, the negative in your life, or even just the temporal things that this world has to offer? What are you thinking about?

Or perhaps you’re thinking about your purpose. How are you going to influence people with truth. How can you fund that ministry God put on your heart to support. Perhaps He commissioned you to go to other nations or to the neighbor next door. Perhaps He is leading you to serve in a certain capacity in your local church. Maybe you find yourself thinking about how to raise your kids according to God’s ways and are ever seeking wisdom for that, or your marriage, or your business relationships. Are you thinking about how you are being a light everywhere you go? Do you find yourself asking what is your purpose?

I once heard a quote that goes something like this. Is there enough evidence in your life that you could be prosecuted in a court of law that you are a Christian? What if your life could only be seen and not heard? People would only know you by what they saw you doing. Would your life look like one lived on purpose or lived on pleasure? Would they see you laying on your couch watching TV programs that do not reflect your purpose, or would they see you serving and helping people? Would they see you on Facebook more than reading your Bible? Would they see you going to church or the movies? What would they see? Would they see you praying or just playing? Would they see someone broken and sad, or joyful and glad? Smiles or tears? Anger or peace? Depression or laughter? What would they see?

The apostle James said he shows his faith (beliefs) by his works. What do your works reveal about what you believe?

These are the questions I ask myself. And how I answer them will determine where I’m at five, ten, twenty years from now.

The only place we can find true fulfillment is in a deep, personal, walking, talking, living, breathing relationship with God Almighty that comes through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ His Son. My greatest aim is to know God more deeply and to have fellowship with Him.

I have changes I need to make.

I have growing to do.

And by the empowering grace of God, I can fully live my life on purpose.

 

 

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Thankful.


God doesn’t strong-arm us into partnering with His purpose. He invites us to use faith, discernment, and humility to discover a life beyond our wildest dreams.

John Bevere

Eight months ago Courtnee was tracked down through Facebook for what is now her current job where she is flourishing and has won the trust of her boss and co-workers as office manager of a real estate company. In January I started working part-time in Aspen selling insurance and have had good success.

Our business continues to grow through amazing relationships which in turn grows its income.

With our new employment moving up valley we felt we needed to move as well. Late this Spring Courtnee and I moved into a new home in a nice subdivision on an acre lot with more square footage than we’ve lived in before- for the same cost as a home half the size. The transition from one school to another, one soccer program to another, and one city to another has been nearly seemless. Literally everything has fallen into place miraculously.

Our marriage is the best it’s ever been. We have vision for the future. We have goals and dreams and a vehicle that can take us there. I, myself, am changing and not the same man I was.

We have amazing children who understand the importance of obedience and right choices.

Our church and pastor continue to be a huge blessing to us spiritually with timely messages that address specific areas of our lives including business, marriage, and finances.

It’s simply amazing.

All of these wonderful blessings can be traced back to a decision I made to get involved with a misunderstood industry and an”outside the box” organization Life Leadership.Bryan's iPhone pics 021

I can honestly and emphatically say none of these aforementioned blessings would exist if I had not trusted God to stick with this one decision despite many critics, nay-sayers, and even close family members and friends that were flat out against my involvement. At one point, even Courtnee was against my involvment. Thankfully, we are now partners together in this great adventure.

Talk of “faith” and “trust” comes up all the time in Christian circles, but I see now that it’s usually spoken of in a manner that is neither. For me, sadly, it usually was a cop-out used to settle for the status quo or remain in my comfort zone. Basically the mentality was “just keep doing what you’re doing and trust God to work it out.” I had one  question for myself. “How’s that working for you, Bryan?” There’s a scripture that says God’s people perish for a lack of knowledge. My ignorance on the topics of finances, communication, systems thinking, conflict resolution, and relationship skills had me slowly sinking in a world of quicksand.

June2014LeadershipConvention 004Yet, because of my involvement with this amazing organization, along with the mentorship of Larry VanBuskirk and Orrin Woodward, I truly believe I can maximize my God-given potential and fulfill my purpose. The vision God gave me the summer of 1997 is coming to fruition!Journey Pics 104

When we look to God’s word and His mandates for us as His people, no where does He say “settle.” No where does He say to be comfortable. He says, “Go.” He says, “Be fruitful.” He says, “Multiply.” This life we live should be one of constant stretching, reaching, expanding, growing, changing, and ultimately glorifying our Father. Shame on me if I am the same man today I was five years ago, 1 year ago, or even yesterday.

I have a lot of work to do on myself and in my business. There is so much more in store for us to feel we have fully run our race. In fact, I’m not sure even a lifetime on this planet is enough time to fulfill all of it. Thankfully we have a vehicle that includes mentorship by Inc Magazine’s #20 leadership professional, Orrin Woodward, world-class educational tools, a community of winners, and the great I AM to help us be far more effective.

I am so thankful for Kalii Stone reaching out to me to share with me what has now become my passion- leading people to Truth through the greatest, most systematic, rewarding business orgazination on the planet.

2014 iPhone pics 051

 

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Do You Know Your “Why”?

It’s really this simple. If the reason you want to do something is bigger than the excuses that hold you back, you’ll do it. Obviously, the bigger the task, the dream, the purpose you choose to accomplish, the bigger you “why” must be. Life never gets easier. We only get stronger (or weaker). And we only get stronger by overcoming obstacles and challenges along the way. And we only overcome when we have a reason to overcome. What’s your “why”?

When the dream is big enough, the facts don’t count.

Terri Brady

 

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Setting People Free

setting people free

If you are like me, you find yourself in random conversations getting asked, “So, what do you do?” Generally we respond with our occupation and what it entails. “I’m in sales with XYZ Company,” “I work at such and such company,” “I own a business,” are responses we tend to give or hear.

Years ago there was a commercial for a pick up truck that showed a man at an outdoor potluck or party of some kind conversing with his neighbors. Apparently he had recently moved into the area. He was asked the typical question, “What do you do?” The man paused, “Uh, uh, uh…” As he stuttered, the commercial started showing video of him using his pick up to spend time with his family, go to the lake, pulling a camper, and simply having a good time. I liked that commercial. It showed that his thoughts were on his family and that his “doing priorities” were with the ones he loved, not simply the ones he worked with.

And that’s how I believe I respond. When people ask me the same question, my response is like this, “I help set people free.”

You may ask, like so many others do, “What do you mean?” Well, I have the awesome privilege of being coached and mentored by experts that are teaching me how to be free financially, professionally, and personally through amazing eduational programs that in turn I can teach to others as well. I guess you could say my collegues and I are modern day Harriet Tubman’s.

This response is often followed with, “What’s that look like?”

financialfitnessWell, through a program called the Financial Fitness Program, we teach and help people implement proper thinking and decision making when it comes to finances so they are no longer slaves of the Financial Matrix. We even helpFinancial Matrix those that are underpriviliged, disenfranchised, or victims of disaster through our LIFE on Life Initiatives. By helping people become debt free, financially free, and poverty free, we set them on a path to make choices in their lives based on their purpose and not on their paychecks. Imagine the freedom you’d have in life being able to live like that- no longer worried, stressed, or bothered with financial concerns.LifeOnLife

Our LLR Corporate Leadership program educates anyone in the small to corporate business world with proper thinking for themselves and their employees. We help employees to be LLRCorpLogoproblem solvers and not just minions. It empowers people with success thinking so that people are engaged at work, not doing the bare minimum so they don’t get fired, but equipped and developed to make a difference. There is amazing freedom in
knowing that you have a voice at work- not just because you want to make noise, but because you have valuable information to contribute to your occupation that benefits the company and its customers. And it’s especially liberating for employers to have employees that are engaged and passionate about their work.

Lastly, we help people develop personally. Imagine strong men and women that take personal responsibility for the decisions they make on a day to day basis. Imagine people that endeavor to change the world by first changing themselves. Imagine people who strive for excellence in all they do- in marriage, family, work, and community. Our Life Leadership program helps a person begin their leadership journey right where they are at; for we believe that leadership is for everyone. lifeleadership

This is what I do. As I become liberated in my own thinking, I help others do the same. I work with people and help them be the best version of themselves that they can be. It begins with myself, then my family, then my teammates, coworkers, community, and beyond. And I find that it’s the greatest thing I could ever do with my life. As the Good Book says, “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free!”

truthwillsetyoufree

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Where Are You On Your Financial Journey?

When I first started this blog I really wasn’t entirely sure what it would consist of. I named it The Journey of A LIFEtime simply because I thought it would chronicle my success journey in Life Leadership. It has obviously chronicled more than that. Since my first published blog The One That Started Them All I have learned a ton.

There’s a story in the Bible that many people are familiar with. It’s the story of the exodus of Israel from Egypt. After many years of what I call preparation, Moses returns from the desert to set God’s people free. For hundreds of years the Israelites prayed to God to save them from their slavery and distress. For they remembered the promise made to their forefathers of a Promised Land for their people. Upon Moses’ return, the fight for freedom began.

Through a crazy and miraculous string of ten events that included the death of all of Egypt’s first born children that included the Pharoah’s son, Pharoah eventually let 2 million Israelites leave Egypt along with all the food, livestock, gold, silver, and supplies they could carry.

It didn’t take long before Pharoah changed his mind and chased after them to capture and/or kill them. Fortunately, God miraculously came 23F0789F00000578-0-image-a-3_1418212117272through again, parting the Red Sea through Moses’ obedience, allowing the Israelites to safely cross to the other side. And if you are familier with this story, you know that Pharoah and his armies chased Israel through the sea only to have it come crashing down on them killing them in the process.

Israel escaped Egypt only to face tests of their thinking that amounted to many of the Israelite’s complete failure. Despite countless victories and miracles, the first generation of Israelites that escaped Egypt, would not see the Promised land. Due to a lack of faith and obedience, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and eventually died there. They always had their needs met, never lacked for food or water but never entered the Promised Land.

EXODUS-GODS-AND-KINGS-Trailer-1Eventually, God raised up two leaders through the mentorship of Moses. They were Joshua and Caleb. These men would do what millions wouldn’t do before them. They would have the courage to step out in faith and obey God and lead His second generation into the Promised Land.

There were still battles to fight and work to be done. Living in the Promised Land still required faith and obedience for there were still temptations of “better things” and “better ways of doing things.” Some were still tempted with complacency as their parents were in the wilderness.

Amazingly, despite the fact that Israel experienced peace and prosperity unmatched by all Israelites that ever lived before them, God still had more for these people. Unfortunately, they never realized the fulness of all that God had prepared for them.

There are so many parallels that can be made from this true account from the history of Israel. And the parallel I would like to draw from it is related to our finances. So let me ask this question. Where are you? Or better yet, who are you? Everyone is in one of these places; Egypt (the Financial Matrix, the Wilderness (land of debt freedom), or the Promised Land (Financial Freedom).

Most of America is living in the land of slavery, Egypt- the land of the
Financial Matrix
. There are differing stages that we find people in theseFinancial Matrix lands based on their knowledge or lack there of.  First, there are those who have completely given up that there is any hope to their financial situation. At best they hope the government will take of them, or pray to the lottery gods for their solution. They blame and make excuses. They have long ago given up any responsibility for their lives.

Then there are those literally praying to God or the cosmos for answers. Living paycheck to paycheck, ever struggling to pay their bills, let alone their debts, and despite working really hard, they do not know how to escape. So they can only pray, for they have no knowledge of how to change their circumstances.

Next we find there are people who have some different knowledge. Perhaps you’re one of those like my wife and I who have come across some new information that has helped us recognized the need to leave the Financial Matrix and pass through the Red Sea of lies and deceit brought upon us by those in the media and power positions.  Like us, you’re excited, but realize the task ahead of you will be full of challenges, struggles, and adversity. But hopefully, like us, you have a plan.

As people begin and continue through the process to debt and financial freedom, they often encounter struggles created by trying to follow the financial success principles of long-term vision, delayed gratification, and the patience required to see the effects of multiplication working in their lives. These struggles often find people longing for the days of Egypt. After all, for the most part, in the  Financial Matrix, they could buy what they wanted, when they wanted, and basically how they wanted by using a credit card, or leasing vehicles, and getting loans, etc.

Then there’s this interesting group of people. They’ve applied the
principlese of Financial Fitness but have become comfortable with being debt free. Their financial_fitnessneeds are met. They’re not worried about paying bills but have settled into a routine. And to be honest, they are complacent. Their sights are  no longer set on the Promised Land. It’s fine if others want a greater reward, but “hey, we’re fine with where we’re at.” They might even realize that it is God Himself that has provided this greater place, but it’s just not worth the fight of faith to possess it. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that in many cases, they are only one lost job, one economic downturn, one major health crisis away from financial ruin.

Lastly are those that didn’t quit at debt freedom but pressed on to true financial freedom. They’ve reached the Promised Land. Not only are they debt free, but they literally do not have to worry about finances ever again. They have enough either in savings or have created a passive residual income that has them set for the remainder of their lives. And what can often happen here is that they too settle into their place of comfort and ease no longer striving for continued excellence in life. Amazingly though, God still has a greater purpose even for those that have reached this place. Just as God had more for the Israelites that possessed the Promised Land, so too does He have more for those who have obtained financial freedom.

In learning from great mentors like Orrin and Laurie Woodward and Larry and Marsie VanBuskirk, and my pastors Mark and Tasha Bintliff, I see that the key to never settling for comfort and ease is to always remember our purpose for living. And that’s ultimately what the Financial Fitness Program is all about- helping others by leading them out of Egypt- the land of the Financial Matrix, into the wilderness of debt freedom, and ultimately into the Promised Land of financial freedom that they too might fulfill their purpose and help others do the same.

So where are you on this journey? Have you even begun? Do you want to?You and I have been placed on this earth for a purpose. There is a path to follow for those who have the courage to take it. And here’s a roadmap to help you begin. 

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I’m Back: Lessons Learned

lessons-learnedIt was June 28, 2013. I professed that I would no longer be blogging about leadership until I hit a certain business goal. Well, here it is November 5, 2015, and I can humbly say that we (Courtnee and I) hit that goal! Let me be totally transparent. I had NO idea it would take this long to hit this goal. And that’s what I’d like to write about today.

When I wrote that blog, I fully expected to hit our goal in a maximum of 6 months. Yet here it is, nearly two and a half years later. Wow. Let me say it again, I had no idea it would take so long. So, why did it take so long? Seriously! Why? Well, perhaps this is the simplest way to cast light on that question. Here are the top 12 things (in no particular order) I’ve learned about reaching new milestones in business and in life. Please know, though, that I have not mastered these, but have certainly become aware and quite familiar with each of them. Why did it take so long? Because I didn’t know the following very well:

  1. It takes a team! We absolutely could not and would not have grown our business without our awesome teammates. And if we cannot inspire, encourage, support, serve, and truly lead our teammates, they likely will not perform. Part of this is also knowing your teammates and caring for them enough to help them get their goals and dreams. And when you’re in a win-win situation like we are in our business, helping others get their dreams will help us get ours. We still have much to do to help our teammates, but this is a step in that direction.
  2. Attitude matters! Leaders cannot afford to be emotionally up and down. Yes, we need that mentor or coach in our lives that we can discuss our problems with, but our teams, the people we lead, need to see us being strong. They need to see us staying positive. It’s extremely important that they see us being consistent, they need us to constantly and continually cast the vision of a better tomorrow. We must instill hope not discouragement. Accept, approve, appreciate with a great attitude.
  3. Adversity Quotient. If you have not read Orrin Woodward‘s book Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, read chapter 12. Tough times are coming. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about marriage, finances, relationships, or business, life will knock us down. How we respond will determine if we have victory or not over that situation. And if we don’t prepare, when the struggles come (and dang it people, realize that they ARE coming!), it’s going to take much longer to overcome. We had our share of struggles, obstacles, and disappointments, but we just kept resetting the goal and pressing forward.
  4. PDCA. Orrin Woodward teaches this process of plan, do, check, and adjust. You can’t keep doing the same things over and over and over again and think you’re going to get different results. Have a plan, do the plan, then check the results of that plan, and adjust accordingly. This seems pretty obvious, but it took me a long time to start implementing this process.
  5. Know your priorities. If we don’t truly know WHY we are living and doing what we are doing, we will be easily distracted and tossed about by the constant pulls that family, friends, finances, and circumstances have on life. When we know our priorities, saying “no” to other things isn’t that tough. Living a life of priorities is also living a life of significance.
  6. Orchestration. This might seem out of place, but I’ve learned the hard way (and this is something I’m fresh in the process of learning), that if you can’t orchestrate the efforts of a team effectively, hitting goals is much more difficult. This is much more difficult than I imagined. And it will be a tougher challenge as our business grows.
  7. Communication. This is directly connected to orchestraton. To effectively orchestrate the strategy, one also must be able to communicate effectively. Poor communication leads to confusion, frustration, and a loss of trust from your team. This also means one needs to learn conflict resolution (read chapter 10 from Resolved).
  8. Systems thinking. This ties into knowing our priorities and orchestration. We need to know where to invest our time that will produce the greatest return on our efforts. Understanding leverage is a huge key to any kind of success. Again, I refer to Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, chapter 11. This is something I’m continually diving into, but suffice to say, it will radically change one’s results in relationshipis, business, finances, etc, when understood more clearly.
  9. Never stop learning. No matter what field a person finds themself in, to reach the highest levels of success, one must learn and grow. This means one must read, listen, and associate with the right people and right information. Our current thinking is what has caused us to arrive at our current place in life. If we want to reach higher heights, accomplish more, influence more, and want to maximize our potential, we need the right thinking to occupy that place. So, learn from someone who’s already there- someone with the “fruit on the tree” that you want. I’m so thankful for Life Leadership, because this is our very culture. It’s what we DO, which makes the journey much more simple.
  10. You have to work hard. It’s human nature to give the least amount of effort hoping to get the highest level of results. And that is a formula for failure. To win at anything takes a whole lot of hard work over a long time. Period. We have to work hard, keep working hard, never stop working hard, and when we think we have worked hard and long enough, we will likely have to keep working hard for even longer. This was a tough one for me. I can always work harder. I can always give a little more effort. Human beings have unbelievable potential and capacity to do so. So let’s do it.
  11. Belief. Ultimately, nothing is done without belief. If we believe we can, we will. If we believe we can’t, we won’t. But belief can be cultivated. It can be created within us. And it ties directly into number 9 above. If we continue to learn from those with the results in life we want, and they are willing to encourage us as well (another reason I’m so thankful for Life Leadership), their belief will create belief in us. And the more you get around that kind of environment, the sooner the “switch of faith” will be turned on in us. I could talk a lot about this, but let me simply say, it happened to me just last month. I thought I believed before, but that “switch” got turned on in me after attending our last leadership conference. I BELIEVE!
  12. Leadership is tough! Like everything in life, having a “head knowledge” about concepts and principles is easy, but actually implementing them into our lives is tough. I had been to many marriage classes and even read books on marriage before being married. Let me simply say, none of that helped until I implemented it. So it is with leadership. Most everyone can write down what it means to lead and/or be a leader, but how many will actually pay the price to lay down their lives and BE a ture servant-leader?

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I have so much more to learn; so much more to develop and implement in my life. Truly, I don’t know if a long life is enough time to fully step into the fullness of what a life of true leadership is about. There is always more to learn. There is always more we can change about ourselves. There will always be more obstacles to overcome. And there will always be more people who desire to do the same.

The goal we hit isn’t necessarily some monumental, massive achievement in the scope of things, but it does represent that we are on the right path and doing the right things. We truly are changing and growing. And as we continue to do the right things in the right way with the right people, we will continue to achieve the right results in our lives.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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