Mile Markers on the Way to Your Destination

It’s Important to Measure Your Progress as You Go

If you aren’t intentional about your actions, you will find yourself being distracted by shinny objects. This doesn’t mean that shiny things aren’t worth the distraction. What it does mean is…you lost your focus. Unless your mission for achieving your vision involves finding shiny objects…ignore it and focus on your destination.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve discussed how a Goal Prioritization System is similar to a GPS in your vehicle. If you put in the right information, it will help you reach your destination. How to determine your destination by opening your mind to big dreams and discovering what your purpose is. And then how to turn your dream into a clear vision.

Setting goals and taking action is the best way to reach your destination.

Just like taking a trip in your vehicle, you should always be aware of where you are in relation to where you are coming from and going to. You need to constantly be paying attention to your fuel level, where the fuel stops are, how fast you’re going, where the rest stops are located, etc. The same is true for traveling through life heading to your destination.

In the last post I shared my dreams for the future and the vision of where I plan to be in seven years. I’ve always been a big dreamer, but big dreams don’t happen without action. For me the next step is the hardest to implement.

Dreaming is a lot easier than doing.

Everything I do should be advancing me toward my dream destination. If not, then I shouldn’t do it. This is critical, but hard for me. By nature, I want to do it all. I need to be intentional about not chasing shiny.

To reach my vision it is going to require a lot of different pieces and specific measurements. For today’s example we’ll look at expanding my customer base.

In my vision I state:

…“reaching hundreds of thousands of people around the world”…

How are we going to expand our customer base from 32 to “hundreds of thousands of people” by the end of 2027? To do this, we need a plan with some ways to track the progress.

If we can increase the number by 200% each year, this can be accomplished. That seems like a pretty big number…and it is.

  • 2020 – 32 x 200% = 64 + 32 = 96
  • 2021 – 96 x 200% = 192 + 96 = 288
  • 2022 – 288 x 200% = 576 + 288 = 864
  • 2023 – 864 x 200% = 1,728 + 864 = 2,592
  • 2024 – 2,592 x 200% = 5,184 + 2,592 = 7,776
  • 2025 – 7,776 x 200% = 15,552 + 7,776 = 23,328
  • 2026 – 23,328 x 200% = 46,656 + 23,328 = 69,984
  • 2027 – 69,984 x 200% = 139,968 + 69,984 = 209,952

At first this looks impossible. If you stop and think about it…all it takes is for everyone to just bring 2 new people to the group.

That doesn’t seem so impossible.

Let’s break this down some more. If we’re going expand our customer base by 64 people by the end of 2020, we need to add 8 new people each month from now to the end of the year. Up to this point this process is still fun…for me.

What really makes this process the most difficult is that the customer base is just one small piece of the overall vision. In addition to the customers we need to have something to sell that they want to buy. We need to balance the physical construction projects with the development of products and services. We need to keep the invoicing done and the bills paid. And on and on…

If one thing isn’t working, it’s time to try something new. Don’t give up. It is easy to be overwhelmed when looking at the big picture. It’s no different than taking a big trip. You have a dream, you determine the destination, you map out the route…

But if you don’t go by some mile markers, you’re never going to get there.

What Does It Mean to Have Clarity?

Really, I Just Want to Know!

What is “the thing” that I’m supposed to be doing? How do I know if that’s “the thing”? Maybe I should be doing “that other thing” instead? Where should I go from here? How do I know if that’s the right way? Am I the only one who feels this lost? What’s wrong with me?

So many questions, this is making my head hurt!

When I was growing up, I knew exactly what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I was going to farm with my Dad, just like he was farming with his. This was a great plan and it was going well until those plans got changed. When I was in my early thirties my Dad died, at fifty, of cancer.

We were farming together, he owned some of the equipment and I, using borrowed money, owned some. The problem at this point was, I couldn’t afford to buy his part so…I got out of farming.

In addition to farming I had been doing construction for most of the previous ten years as well. I liked doing it, was good at it, so this seemed like the logical thing to do, and it was.  

As life went on, I again began to give up on dreams, those unachievable fantasies. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t ever going to achieve anything more than mediocrity. It’s not that life wasn’t good; it was just…unfulfilled.

Then God got my attention with a board upside my head.

I survived an accident and was still alive…God wasn’t done with me yet. It was at this point I began dreaming again and believing anything was possible. I had new dreams and plans. I was excited about the possibilities…but now seven years later, I’m still trying to figure out how to turn those dreams into reality. Maybe there isn’t anything more.

I better be careful; God may do something to get my attention again.

Over the past seven years I’ve been searching for clarity and direction. I’ve prayed, read, studied, researched, listened, watched, multiple different things from a lot of different people. All good advice and very inspiring. Why is nothing changing? What am I doing wrong?

It’s been said that a rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out and here I am stuck in a rut of my own making. Walking back and forth looking for a way out isn’t working; it’s just making the rut deeper.

If I want to get out of this rut, I need to stop doing the same things hoping for different results.

God has big plans for us, and He will move mountains to create opportunities for us to achieve them. It’s up to us to move ourselves. I believe it’s Satan that causes us to stop short of those big God plans. It’s much better for him if we don’t achieve those successes. He’s the one who plants the doubt and fear. Telling us that we don’t have what it takes to do that big thing…who are we kidding.

Over the last seven years I knew my purpose and what I was supposed to be doing. This website and these weekly solutions are all part of that. At the same time, I felt as though I was just pretending…It really wasn’t going to happen. Look at the small number of follower’s that I have. No one cares about what I have to say.

Stop this, you’re being ridiculous.

In an effort to get different results, over the last few months I’ve done some “different”, some really big “different”. Big commitments of both time and money. Doing things that are way outside of my comfort zone. One of these things was joining Ray Edward’s Kingdom Builder mastermind group. This involves a weekly virtual meeting with a group of twelve specifically chosen people from around the country.

We’re just getting started and in our second meeting this past week, I was feeling overwhelmed. Once again, I asked myself, who am I kidding? I don’t belong in this group. I don’t have what it takes. These people are much better at what they’re doing than I am. I can’t afford this.

It’s happening again…Satan just shut up!

After the meeting…and wallowing a little…I remembered something that Ray said during a podcast, “Clarity starts with making a decision”. Most of us are waiting for clarity to be a simple light bulb moment. We expect it to be a bright shining mansion in the distance with a perfectly clear and straight path to get there and a chauffeur driven limousine to take us. This isn’t the way it works; clarity happens after we decide and do.

In Ray’s podcast, 7 Steps to Getting Clarity he pointed out things that if we decide and do, clarity will follow:

  1. Calling – Our purpose, the thing we are called to do.
  2. Commitment – We need to be all in.
  3. Credibility – Others see our ability in the area.
  4. Congruent – It’s something we love doing, it comes naturally.
  5. Connection – We naturally connect with those we serve.
  6. Competence – We have God given skills in this area.
  7. Consistency – We keep doing it regularly and don’t quit.

As part of my daily journaling I read Proverbs 3:5-6 every morning. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all that you do, and He will show you which path to take.”, New Living Translation.

The day after the meeting last week when I read this, for the first time I realized something that confirmed what Ray was saying. It doesn’t say, trust in the Lord, seek His will and He’ll give you everything that you dreamed. It says trust in Him, seek His will in all that I DO, and He’ll show me the path.

He will show me the path…He’s not going to DO He’s going to SHOW. It’s up to me to DO. It’s good to pray, read, study, research, listen and watch, but none of this is going to DO me any good if I don’t DO something.

Clarity’s not in here…it’s out there. If I want it, I have to decide and then go get it.

How Do You Make Your Dream Become A Reality?

It’s A Choice You Make…Or Not!

It doesn’t matter if you’re dreaming about building a new home, a successful business or a great life, you have to choose to make them a reality. The importance of intentionality to dreams is critical to the outcome.

This week I’ve been working on finalizing the proposal for my niece Hannah’s out of the box home. This is the dream house that is going to be built using salvaged grain bins and some conventional construction. We began discussing this project a year ago. Some will think that’s taking too long. It’s important to realize that dreams don’t magically become a reality overnight. Dream building is a process that requires time.

There are 5 things needed when choosing to turn a dream into a reality:

1st you need to realize that it’s your responsibility. You’re responsible for your dreams becoming a reality. This doesn’t mean that crazy unrealistic dreams will happen (see needs 2 and 3). On the other hand too often we let our own limiting beliefs keep our dreams from becoming a reality. You are the only one who can control your own thoughts. Our thinking dictates our decisions and we are where we are because of those decisions…good or bad.

2nd you need clarity of purpose. I believe our dreams are one of the ways God tells us what His plans are for our lives. If we believe what it says in Jeremiah 29:11, “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” If our dreams are in alignment with God’s plans, then there is no reason they shouldn’t become a reality. God will move mountains to make our dreams real. It’s up to us to be ready to move ourselves.


3rd you need guidance. Often when building dreams, we are going into unfamiliar territory. Whether it’s building your first home or starting a new business, you probably won’t have the experience or knowledge needed. Dream building can be a lot safer and more fun if you have an experienced guide. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t go climb a mountain with out a guide that had been there and done that.

4th you need to act. A dream won’t just build itself, it requires action. This is one of the scariest things about turning dreams into reality. People generally approach action in one of two ways. Either they jump right in without thinking or they don’t do anything while over thinking it. Experienced guidance can help balance these opposing positions and help you to move forward with your dream while minimizing disasters. When faced with doing nothing or doing something you better choose to act if you ever want your dream to become a reality.

5th you need to persist. I think this is the most important one. If you ever hope to get your dream built you will need persistence. There will be disappointments that will cause you to want to quit. There will be times when you are so tired you don’t think you can do one more thing. You can begin to convince yourself that it wasn’t real…it was just a dream. This is the point where most dreams die. Somehow successful people continue moving forward when others quit. Sometimes God see’s fit to give us a wakeup call.

As Hannah and I work together to build this project it will be the building of two dreams, both hers and mine. We will each take RESPONSIBILITY for our part. We will continue sorting things out and finding the CLARITY for the dream. We will accept and give GUIDANCE when and where needed. We will intentionally ACT to keep moving closer to the completion of those dreams. Above all we choose to PERSIST and never quit until our dreams become reality.

If you or someone you know needs help finding solutions for building dreams, contact us in the comment section below.

“I Have A Dream” For A Team

And I Want It to Be A “Dream Team”

It’s interesting how sometimes when we experience things, i.e. a word, a topic or a message, it seems that the same thing will show up multiple times, in multiple places within a short period of time. Some people would say this is just a coincidence. I believe that when this occurs it is God trying to get our attention and give us some building blocks of wisdom for building our dreams.

This past week I experienced a delivery of building blocks of wisdom.

I have been spending time thinking through the pros and cons of delegating. As I have written about before, delegating is something that I suck at. I know that if I want to reach my full potential, I need to share the load. Once again, I was trying to tell myself otherwise, but God had a delivery of blocks for me.

The first shipment came while reading Nick Vujicic’s book, Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life. In the book he was talking about the importance of needing help and how we can all build a “Dream Team”. This immediately took me back to the 1992 US men’s Olympic basket ball team.

I connected it to delegating and the business team that I need to build. My very own “dream team”. A team of talented superstars that share my vision for the future of the company. Finding the right players is critical to building the dream.

The next load came during Michael Hyatt’s podcast, “Leadership Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.”. Once again dreaming and leading with a vision surfaced as they spoke about his famous “I Have a Dream Speech”. King had a vision for the future, and he took action toward making that dream a reality.

Then a third and fourth load both came on different days but through the same delivery service. The Bible App on my computer delivers a Scripture of the Day, every day. On Wednesday it was Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together.” Today’s Scripture was Galatians 6:2, “By helping each other with your troubles, you truly obey the law of Christ.” These sound a lot like building a team don’t they.

Too often we lose sight of our dreams and give up on them. We fall into a routine of just good enough and give up on our dreams. We should never be satisfied with mediocrity. It takes hard work and time to build a dream. If we are going to be all that God intends for us to be, we must keep pushing forward, even when we don’t feel like it. This is another benefit of a team.

There was a point in my life where I became worn down and gave up on the dreams I had when I was younger, and they were some pretty big ones. Sometimes when we ignore the building blocks God’s is delivering, He will resort to more drastic measures to make sure we get His message.

We can choose to continue working on building our dreams or not. It is up to us.

After having these blocks delivered, I decided to move forward building the “dream team” and this week added a new superstar. I’m excited to have Cathleen join the team and am looking forward to her help building a dream business.

Because I have a DREAM TEAM DREAM!

Retirement Should Not Be Your Goal in Life

Enjoy the Life You Have Now with Reason and Purpose


I hear a lot of talk about retirement. It seems the closer I get to 60, the more it’s a topic of conversation. This is the problem with having so many ‘old friends’. I regularly get things in the mail from the Social Security Administration or AARP. This has to be a mistake. These things are meant for old people, not me. They must have the wrong address.

Most people seem to be looking forward to retirement. Often, it’s viewed as the target that we should be aiming at. Once we’ve reached retirement, everything is smooth sailing from there. We can sleep in, don’t have to get up and go to a JOB; no more rat race for us. I’ve worked hard my whole life and now I get the ‘retirement prize’.

I think this attitude about retirement is not only wrong, but misleading.

This perception causes us to focus on the wrong thing. It puts the emphasis on the pie in the sky future, rather than where it should be – living everyday of our lives to its fullest, while living out our purpose.

Don’t take this wrong. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t retire. I don’t even care if you do it when you’re 35. What I am saying is that it’s not a very good plan to make retirement your goal in life. You need be intentional and consider what it is that you want out of life and start living accordingly now.

Where did this idea for retirement come from anyway? That at some point in life (to be determined by someone else) you will reach the time to quit working (maybe receive a stipend from the government) and start enjoying life.

As is the case with most things, it’s origin had merit and reason. Historically, most people were forced to work for a ruler, required to serve a king or had mandatory employment to some dictator. This gave little or no freedom for personal choices or for the opportunity to live the life of your dreams. Retirement, as it is most commonly thought of today, can be traced to a program designed by Otto von Bismarck, a German Chancellor, in 1881 He felt that people who had spent most of their lives working with little or no choice, deserved to be cared for once they were no longer able to produce.

In most countries where retirement is a part of the culture today, people aren’t forced to work a job that they don’t want to. We have the freedom to pick and choose our vocation. However, much of the time people forget they have this freedom. It is as if they are still living in one of those situations and working for some overbearing ruler.

I think this is the core of my feelings about retirement. Things have gradually shifted from the freedom to do the work you want, to working for a dictator named Retirement. Retirement has become the carrot dangling at the end of the stick; the reason people work.

Just know that you have options; lots and lots of options. Don’t live for retirement but live the life you want. Make the choices now. Live the life of your dreams. The life that you were put here to live.

Early retirement, late retirement or work until the very end…you choose.

The Importance of Helping Your Customers Dream Big

Building Your Very Own Barbie Dream House

As builders it is important to encourage your customers to dream big. Sure they may have a budget that won’t allow them to do everything they want, but it’s also important to not begin the dreaming process with a limited belief. Our job as the contractor should be help them find the design and build their dreams. Today’s post was written by Shannon, my Professional Assistant and soon to be customer.



Guest post By Shannon Martin

For Christmas I bought my granddaughter the Barbie Dream House. Yes, it was expensive and yes, she loves it!! My daughter says she plays with it all day, every day. So, in my opinion it was a great gift for a three-year-old who loves Barbies. The Dream House has an elevator, swimming pool, fireplace, three stories, huge bedroom and top of the line accessories. I jokingly said that I was going to write a Blog post about the Barbie Dream House. But when I thought about it more, who doesn’t want a Dream Home of their own?

I’m in the middle of planning/designing a room in my house. Our one and only bathroom was added onto our 1880 stone home in the 60’s and has an odd layout. The bathroom is very simple and functional but time and hard water have created some issues. There has been a water leak under the floor for a while that has rotted some floor joists. Water pipes are corroding. The bathtub is starting to have some cracks in it. So, we have decided to build a new bathroom.

As a Pinterest lover, I started with pinning ideas for the room and discussing my issues with Mark Eastman of Timber Creek Construction. Mark is good at knowing what you need before you even know it!! He suggested that I dream big and asked if had considered adding another bathroom to our home. It would be nice to have a bathroom on the 2nd level and it would increase the value of our home. By putting one bathroom on top of the other, the plumbing could be done at the same time and all in the same area.

So, I’m getting my own Dream House and I’m very excited about it! Watch for more posts and pictures as we work through the process.

What are your ideas for your Dream House? Think about your future. Do you have or plan to have children? Do you have aging parents? Do you often have guests? And give Mark a call at Timber Creek Construction for a fun discussion, great suggestions and a contractor who wants to help you.



Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this Shannon.

As a builder I have seen way to many people who have been disappointed by their contractor. It doesn’t have to be that way. At Solution Building we are currently working on some business systems and production programs to remedy these problems. We will be offering these products later this year, so be watching.

Getting Back to the Core

Ideas Without Actions Don’t Do Anybody Any Good



“My future is immediate. I will grasp it with both hands and carry it with running feet. When I am faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, I will always choose to act!”

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

From the book “The Travelers Gift” by Andy Andrews

We are already almost a month into the new year. It is crazy how fast time goes and there are so many things that I want to do this year. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were celebrating Christmas and beginning the process of looking forward to the new year. I have some big plans for this year so we have to get to work.

I was a dreamer at an early age. I had big ideas and plans for my life. Then there was a portion of my life where I became disillusioned and accepted that my dreams were just that…dreams that couldn’t and wouldn’t come true. I decided that I was just kidding myself the whole time. Then in 2012 I had “A Life Changing Wakeup Call” and realized that I had gotten sucked into the world of doubt. I had given up and quit dreaming. I was just accepting what life was giving me and that was just the way it was. Since the accident I have become reenergized about dreaming and about life. It’s great to be excited about life again!

One of the conclusions that I came to after this accident was that dreams are just dreams if there isn’t any action taken. It can be hard for those of us that are dreamers to move things from ideas to doing. This is where the ‘rubber meets the road’ or in builder lingo where the nail meets the board. I told you in a previous blog, “Using Core Values as My Life Filter”, that I would come back to the ‘Core Values’ and here we are. One of those core values is “Intentional Action”. This is a simple, straight forward value, but it requires me to move things from the dream to the action. This part is critical to the outcome. It is like seeing a beautiful picture of a dream home, but never being able to live in it if you don’t start nailing boards together.

Another self-realization that I discovered was my tendency toward planning. I like to plan. I can plan things to death if I’m not careful. It’s good to have a plan to avoid as many problems as possible, but finding a balance in planning and doing is important. Planning is like dreaming, nothing is built until you physically move some boards and swing the hammer. Like dreaming, planning requires action to get things accomplished.

As I was recovering from the accident I had time to reflect. I discovered things about myself that I naturally knew, but hadn’t slowed down long enough to evaluate. This time of self-discovery was a big help to me and was one of the Intentional Actions that I then began to implement regularly. I know that everyone of us is different and we all have our own individual strengths and weaknesses. This is why it is important to give some time to knowing yourself. It is easy to get sucked into the daily routines of living our lives, but if we hope to achieve our purpose in life we need to be Intentional in our Actions. In the next Life blog, we will discuss “Finding and Maintaining the Balance in Everything”.

Dreaming About Budgeting


The Roots of the Financial Planning Tree


A few weeks ago I wrote about the 4 W’s of budgeting. That post was an overview of the WHY, WHAT, WHERE AND WHEN of budgeting. It was a quick look at the purposes for budgeting from the outside. It didn’t answer the question of HOW I do my business budget. It is important to understand the underlying reasons or there is no motivation to prepare or maintain a plan. So we will peel off another layer of the onion and get closer to the process of HOW.

This morning as I was reviewing my schedule and once again trying to figure out how best to spend time, I had a thought…time and money both need to be managed and spent well. Both of them have a major role in achieving our dreams and need to be budgeted.

We can’t see into the future so we can’t know in advance how much of either of these, (time or money) it will take. What we can do is use information from our past and plan for the future. The hard part is maintaining the present. We need to be aware of where we are and be intentional in our actions using what we know from the past and what we want for our future, otherwise we just wander through life.

Dreaming about the future –


            If you haven’t determined where you want to go, how will you ever get there? Growing up watching my Dad farm, that was what I dreamed of doing. I started in that direction without much of a plan (okay none) and then something unexpected happened…my Dad died. If his death wasn’t enough, the waves that it created completely changed my future. Granted there is no amount of planning that could have prepared me for his death, but the right plan would have served as a life preserver until the waves subsided. Instead my ability to dream was drowned. I went through years with no clear destination or direction. Then several years later I had a dream resuscitating incident. I fell while working on a second floor. I was unconscious for three days. After regaining consciousness and while recovering, I realized that God wasn’t done with me yet and I still had things to do and dreams to achieve. I think that when I hit the ground the impact must have restarted my ‘dream heart’. The point of this is the underlying importance of dreams. Having a plan can serve as a life preserver.


863937109_6245bef2c4_oI have always been a planner by nature. For years there was no purpose behind the planning. Dreams are what give the planning a purpose. My dreams now are big, more like they used to be. Things like; being debt free, renovating our home, traveling, owning rental property, flying my own plane and owning a NASCAR team…to mention a few. Everyone’s dreams will be different, but this will be the motivation behind the plan.

Okay now we have a reason for making plans. How much money and time are needed to achieve your dreams? Break each one down, what is it going to cost to get out of debt or buy that NASCAR team?

If my debt is $100,000.00, how am I going to pay it off? How long is it going to take? How much do I currently earn?

I will peel another layer in a later blog and we continue to go deeper. Until then what are your dreams?