Welcome in the New Year

It Doesn’t Have to be Scary

Here we are at the start of another new year. It’s hard to believe that it’s 2024 already. It’s amazing how quickly a year goes by. It seems like it was just yesterday that we welcomed 2023.

The unknown of a new year can be scary. Wouldn’t it be great if we could look forward and know exactly what the future holds? It would be nice if it were that easy. The problem is that there would be no need for faith or to trust God if it were all mapped out.

The best way to prepare for a new year is to be intentional in what you want to accomplish.

So, how do you prepare for the unknown?

I think the best way to prepare is to look back at the past, at what you’ve learned up to this point. Reflecting on the things that went well and the things that didn’t. With this information you can make wiser, more informed decisions going forward into the new year.

As you look back through the past year, I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at how many of the things you wanted to accomplish…you actually did!

The next step is to look forward. What do you want to accomplish in 2024? This is where faith comes in. You can set some pretty big goals for the year, but they need to be realistic. I could set a goal of owning a NASCAR team in 2024, but that’s not very realistic.

However, this doesn’t mean that I can’t begin taking steps in that direction this year. We’re told in Mark 11:23-24 that we shouldn’t be afraid to dream big. Luke 1:37 says nothing is impossible for God. So we need to have faith.

The other part of this is…

Our dreams and goals need to be in alignment with God’s plans.

There have been a lot of new things happening at Tisdale Church throughout this past year. We disaffiliated from the UMC. We got an amazing new Pastor. We’ve seen an increase in attendance.

Looking forward, we have some pretty big dreams and have set some big goals for 2024!

We can’t see the future, but if we align our plans with God’s, have faith, and do the work…He’ll take care of the rest.

This brings us to the remaining piece of the puzzle.

Learning from the past is good. Looking to the future is good. The thing we need to be careful with is not getting stuck in one or the other.

We need to remember to live in the present.

This can be hard if we dwell on the mistakes of the past or are only looking forward. This leaves us missing out on the important things around us every day.

This past Sunday, Pastor Lisa had everyone randomly draw an individual word for the year. These words, specific to each of us, should help us to bring all three areas together. This word is something that we can use to help us learn from the past, look to the future, and live in the present.

I’m excited to find ways to incorporate my word of the year.

Here’s to a great 2024!

Children Are Not Restricted by the Impossible and We Shouldn’t Be Either

If We Continually Put Our Drop in the Bucket…It Will Overflow

Have you ever noticed how often we put restrictions on ourselves? We put up barriers between us and our dreams. We are our own worst enemy.

We tell ourselves, “I could never do that.”

Children on the other hand…don’t see any difference between possible and impossible.

When Jesus fed the 5000 it was a child who stepped up and gave the five loaves and two fish. Notice that he gave them to Jesus…not to the people. He took what he had and gave it to God and let God do the rest.

Think about that…5 loaves and 2 fish fed 5000 men. This is just the men…it doesn’t include the women and children. The actual number was probably closer to 20,000.

You want to talk about something that appears impossible.

The disciples were freaking out, telling Jesus that they needed to send the people to get something to eat, because there’s no way they could feed them all.

Oh, ye of little faith.

Not only did everyone get something to eat…there was more left over than they started with.

This is what God will do for us, if we will just give Him our “loaves and fish”.

It’s not up to us to do the impossible. We’re just supposed to give what we have to God and let Him do the miracle.

We are our own worst enemies. We’re continually telling ourselves that it can’t be done.

Don’t be afraid to dream big, because nothing is impossible for God.

“Great leaders – great achievers – are rarely realistic by other people’s standards. Somehow, these successful people, often considered strange, pick their way through life ignoring or not hearing negative expectations and emotions. Consequently, they accomplish one great thing after another, never having heard that something cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing!

Persistent Decision, The Traveler’s Gift, Andy Andrews

We’re familiar with what happens when there’s a leaking pipe with a bucket catching the drips. It’s only a matter of time before the bucket runs over if it doesn’t get dumped.

This same principle works when we all give our drips to God. He will multiply them, and the bucket will run over.

We’ve all been given something specific to do. Do whatever that drop is, put it in God’s bucket and watch the bucket run over.

Why In the World Would I Want to Turn My Blog Posts into Podcasts?

It’s Simple Really…To Help More People Build Their Dreams

As a society we are moving at a faster and faster pace. This leaves less time to do all those things we’re trying to do and we’re trying to do a lot.

Add to that, the overwhelm of information that’s out there. It’s hard for people to find the time to read no matter how great the content is.

I’ve been writing two blog posts a week now for almost seven years. Even though they’re short, most people don’t take time to read them.

Of the 31 active subscribers, 8-12 people open them regularly…4-6 click and read. That’s a lot of information not being used.

This can be a little depressing.

Granted, I don’t know how many people who aren’t subscribed read them, but still…

Multiple times I’ve considered quitting. It takes a substantial amount of time to write, edit, find pictures and publish each one. I’ve often wondered if I should be spending my time on this.

Here’s the bottom line…if my message helps one person build their dream…it was worth my time.

Early on in my blog posting I talked with several people who told me they simply didn’t have time to read them.

This is exactly why I listen to audio books and podcasts. I can consume content through my tablet or phone while driving or doing other things.

Okay…we agree, an audio version of my blog posts would increase the likelihood more people would get my message.

I’ve thought about this for years but…it’s the time issue again. It’s going to take time to figure out how to do it, learn how to do it, then actually do it. I don’t have time. So, I just put it off.

Putting it off is easier, but you don’t accomplish much by putting things off.

I’ve been talking with Nic Natarella at AdWise Creative about turning my blog posts into podcasts.

Even if I have Nic do this, there are still decisions that need to be made…and decisions take time.

Not to mention I’m a recovering perfectionist and I struggle with wanting things to be perfect.

I had a conversation about this with my friend Shep this past week. He said it will take some time, it won’t be perfect, but it’s not going to get done if you don’t do it.

He’s right.

So, what are we going to do?

We’re going to move forward.

It’s going to take some time. It’s not going to be perfect. We’re going to do it.

Whether building a building, a business or a life, the hardest part is the early planning. The thing to remember is…it won’t get done if all you do is plan.

I want to help construction companies searching for business solutions and customers who are overwhelmed by the construction process.

I want to help both achieve their dreams by providing businesses with systems and training while educating and assisting customers through the construction process.

Podcasts will be a way for me to help more busy people accomplish their dreams.

I’m meeting with Nic today and we’re moving forward with this podcasting thing.

Asking This Question Can Be the One Thing That Leads to Nothing Getting Done

How Do I Know Which Thing, is the Right Thing, to do First?

This is the million-dollar question…literally.

I think this one question costs us more time and money than any other. Especially as entrepreneurs and business owners.

Last week I wrote about the millions of bricks that represent all the small pieces that our dreams are made up of and the difficult decision of choosing the one from the millions.

When there are millions of things to choose from it can be overwhelming.

As a recovering perfectionist I struggle with indecision. This indecision comes from a long list – lack of clarity, it won’t be good enough, fear of failure, fear of success, and a multitude of other insecurities.

This indecision is the one thing that costs me more than anything else.

It’s frustrating having dreams and them not becoming reality.

Dreams are the subliminal ideas, thoughts and images occurring in our minds. I believe this is how God shares His ideas of our purpose and a direction for building our lives.

This means that when we’re not taking actions to move us toward those dreams, we’re ignoring God.

Dreams are critical to living the life God intends for us.

In the Certain Decision, from the Andy Andrews book, The Traveler’s Gift, he says, “A person without a dream never had a dream come true.” This is what happens after we’ve had dreams that haven’t come to fruition. We give up on those dreams and just drift through life without a plan. We get stuck between dreaming and results and just stop dreaming.

I gave up on my dreams until God got my attention with a smack in the head with a board. Don’t ignore your dreams. They’re there for a reason.

I would have all those big dreams, but for some reason I couldn’t get from dreams to results. I could figure out a plan and get the dreams turned into goals but would struggle to get to the results that were needed to turn those dreams into reality.

How do I get my DREAMS to become RESULTS?

The missing part was the ACTION. This needs to be actions specific to achieving the goals. Not just actions that make us feel good about being busy. They need to be specific to accomplishing the goals that lead to the “one thing”.

Previously I wrote about building our dream lives one brick at a time and the importance of doing something rather than nothing.

My life plan includes a process for getting dreams to results.

DREAMS      VISIONS      GOALS      ACTIONS      RESULTS

Having a life plan helps me do the things that get the results that will build my dream life.


It starts with a plan for building my best life as per God’s plan –

  • Building my relationship with God (spiritual)
  • Building a family legacy (family)
  • Helping people build their dreams (vocational)
  • Build wealth (financial)
  • Build the best me (personal well-being)
  • Help others build a better them (ministry)
  • Help build a better world (social & community)

It also includes a list of big, someday dreams –

  • Home addition/remodel to level of new
  • Keep my truck repaired and maintained in like new condition
  • Build, repair and/or maintain out buildings, fences, yard, etc.
  • Traveling / cruises
  • Have a four-wheel drive project/play truck
  • Own properties; houses, commercial buildings, land
  • Have trucks, trailers, tractors, loaders etc.
  • Vacation home in the mountains
  • Own a NASCAR team (possibly sponsor instead?)
  • Have a plane with optional container spaces – office, seating, living, storage and ability to haul my truck (Could be used for disaster response and various services)

But how do I know which thing, is the right thing, to do first?

Next week we’ll go deeper yet.

How Do We Accomplish Big Future Dreams While Living in the Present?

This Huge Gap is What Keeps Most People from Achieving Their Goals

Most of us have…or at one time had…some really big dreams of what our lives were going to look like. All the amazing things we were going to do or have. These dreams started when were young and full of excitement and imagination. Before we experienced some of life’s setbacks.

Early in my life I had big dreams of owning and running a huge farming operation with Dad. Later I added the dream of owning and operating a big construction business also. These were a part of my big dreams.

Then life happened.

This is not to say that the things that happened weren’t my fault…because most were. My young inexperienced decisions came back to bite me. Forty years later, I’m still recovering from some of those bites. Hopefully I’m smarter now and can avoid getting bit.

The last several years my learning, experience and life lessons have helped me move in a direction of cleaning up those mistakes.

As I have been working on goal setting and planning for the future I’ve experimented with several different systems. Most of them had similarities with some differences sprinkled in.

As I used them, I would mix and match them trying to get to the system that worked best for me. Some parts I would keep, some I would replace. Each time getting closer to what I needed.

I could see the big dreams out there but struggled with getting from here to there. Something was missing.

Last week I wrote about how building our lives has to be done one brick at a time. I picked this up while reading the book, The One Thing. Like all the other systems, it wasn’t a lot different. It may have been how it was presented or maybe I was just ready to hear it.

Getting from here to there isn’t hard to understand. If you want to earn a certain amount of money or own a certain house or have a specific job…it’s simply a matter of figuring out what you need to accomplish each year to get there by the target date.

The dilemma is getting from the daily routines of living life to the big dreams out there in the future.

Imagine standing in front of a huge pile of a million bricks that represent one of those big dreams. This would be a pile of bricks 40’ across and 40’ high. It’s your job to figure out which one of those million bricks is the first one you need to lay to get that dream built.

This is where the real problem lies.

Which one is the one I should lay first? What if I lay the wrong one? These questions and a lot more bombard us daily and the next thing you know…another day as gone by without any bricks being laid.

Add to the first pile another for every additional dream. Depending on the dream the size of the piles will vary. Some bigger and some smaller, but all will still be huge piles.

As I stand here looking at my thirteen huge piles of bricks…which brick in which pile should I start with?

This isn’t to say that there is only one right brick in those millions of bricks. What it does mean, is that we need to be clear on what it is that we’re building and focus our daily brick laying on that building.

One thing for sure. Nothing will get built if we don’t lay some bricks.

Next week I will give you some practical, real-world examples of how I choose bricks for building my dreams.

So…What is it That Your Company Does?

The Importance of Telling Your Companies Story and Telling it Well

We’ve all been asked the question…you know the one. “So…What is it you do for a living?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions when people meet someone new.

A simple answer of I’m a contractor, a painter or an electrician doesn’t cover it anymore. The business world has become so diverse in the different types of things being done. As an entrepreneur or solopreneur giving a clear and precise answer this question can be tough.

A cookie cutter answer doesn’t cut it anymore.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve worked on getting clear on our mission and the characteristics and actions needed to accomplish it. We’ve been using the Business Made Simple process for this.

This week we’ll use the things we learned, making a story that will clearly explain what it is we do in an exciting and interesting way. It won’t be the typical boring history of when the company was founded by my grandfather in 1929….

This story will be focused on our dreams and the future, not the past.

When asked, “What is it that your company does?”, we tell this story:


Construction companies struggle with a lack of business knowledge and construction customers don’t know what to expect.

Lack of knowledge and understanding leads to out of control, unprofitable businesses requiring too much time for too little profit and customers paying more than estimated for less than expected. This results in overwhelm, burnout, unhappy dissatisfied customers, lawsuits and termination of businesses.

We help both achieve their dreams, by providing businesses with systems, processes and training while educating and guiding customers through the construction process.

This leads to happy satisfied customers who become raving fans and profitable less overwhelmed companies separating themselves from their competition.

With the right tools and knowledge, construction companies and customers can build the businesses, construction projects and lives of their dreams.


If we will live out our story everyday in everything we do, we’ll accomplish our mission and…

Bridge the gap between construction companies and customers.

We can choose to live in a boring mundane world, void of purpose and vision…or we can discover our passion and purpose and write the story of our dreams.

It’s up to us.

What Actions Do You Need to Take to Accomplish Your Mission?

If You Aren’t Clear on What You Should Do, Your Mission Will Fail

It’s week three of the BMSU’s Mission Statement course. The first week we worked on discovering and getting clear about the mission and the importance of having one if you are going to turn your dreams into reality.

From a young age we have dreams of what our life will be like when we grow up. You remember those big and exciting dreams that you had as a kid.

But, as we grow older those childhood dreams begin to get buried under the weight of daily adult living. Then we convince ourselves that those dreams weren’t real…they were just childish imagination.

Sometimes we get hit in the head with a board to remind us that they are real.

Dreams are the possibilities placed in us by God at the beginning of our lives.

The second week we researched what critical characteristics are needed in people to carry out a specific mission. Different people have different skills and abilities. These differences are what give us the exact strengths needed to carry out that mission.

I don’t have the skills and abilities to play professional sports. I’m much more suited to building.

As a child my dream was different than my life now, but the big picture dream is still the same. There’s a connection with that dream and today’s reality.

Our characteristics need to align with our mission.

This week’s focus is…critical actions. We can talk big, but it’s no good until we do. Thinking and planning are important, but until you do something…nothing is going to happen.

It’s easy and safe to plan and prepare. If we actually do something it might result in mistakes and disappointments.

Not doing…keeps us from our mission.

Accomplishing a mission requires action. Think about what “action” movies all have in common…ACTION. If there isn’t some action taken, the building is going to explode, or the girl is going to die, or the bad guys are going to win.

We can’t let that happen.

Critical actions need to be simple and understandable. They need to be specific, focused and habitual. They need to become second nature, done without thinking in reaction to varying situations.

As with my mission statement and key characteristics, my critical actions are always being tweaked and improved. Going through this week’s study, I made some changes to my critical actions.

If my mission is:

Bridge the gap between construction companies and customers. Construction companies struggle with a lack of business knowledge and customers don’t understand or know what to expect from the construction process. We help both achieve their dreams, by providing businesses with systems and training to make their companies more efficient and profitable while educating customers in what to expect throughout the entire construction process.

Then I need to take these critical actions to achieve that mission.

  • Make all we can, save all we can, give all we can: Vigilant focus on generating revenue, being frugal and sharing our blessings.

(With a Servant’s Heart, I tend to forget that we have to be profitable as a company to stay in business. This reminds me of that)

  • Communicate clearly: We design and implement business systems, giving construction companies and their customers the opportunity to understand each other, allowing both to build their dreams.

(Without clear and accurate communication no one knows what to expect. This is the number one problem that construction companies and customers deal with. We help them bridge that gap)

  • Spend time wisely: Using the limited amount of time we’ve been given each day to generate the best return for us and our customers.

(I tend to be a thinker and planner. This is to remind me of that and push me forward to prioritize, focus on the first next thing and take action)

A dream is where a mission starts. Action is what make it a reality.

DREAMS   →   VISIONS   →   GOALS   →   ACTIONS   →   RESULTS

ACTION…it’s the most important thing to accomplishing a mission!

What is Your Mission and Why Does it Matter?

It’s the Most Important Thing to Turning Your Dreams into Reality

I’m currently going through Business Made Simple University’s online course Mission Statement Made Simple. I’ve gone through this course before but,

I don’t think you can ever be too clear about your mission.

This time I’m going through it with a mastermind friend. This gives us both the opportunity to get outside perspectives. Alternate viewpoints are a huge help to getting the mission honed to laser clarity.

A clear mission is what gives you clarity of direction and purpose. It is the filter that all your business decisions should be ran through.

A mission is a clear direction for overcoming a conflict that is causing havoc in the world.

Over the past several weeks I’ve had numerous conversations with people struggling with clarity. I know how difficult and overwhelming this uncertainty can be.

As entrepreneurs, the responsibility of having a clear mission rests on our shoulders…should we do this or should we do that? When we’re employed by someone else, we just show up and do what we’re told.

This is why in most cases there’s so much discontent of employees working in large companies…there’s no clear mission.

Without a clear mission we just wander through life with no purpose.

How do you determine what your mission is?

This seems to be the most difficult question and one in which the answer continues to be refined every day. We are all given natural abilities and things we are drawn to. For example, I have no skills or desires to be a brain surgeon, a dentist or a teacher and trust me you’re better off because I’m not.

One thing that is a determining factor if you’re fulfilling your mission is if you love what you do.

Do you look forward everyday to getting to work and have to force yourself to stop at the end of the day. Granted there are varying degrees of this based on different personalities, but if you don’t love what you do…it’s not in alignment with your purpose.

I think there is a specific core purpose that goes beyond our vocation. I think this core purpose can be put to use in different businesses or ministries.

My purpose is to help people find solutions for building their dream business, construction project and life. With this foundational purpose my mission can change over time.

I love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Whether it’s my current mission to help construction companies struggling with a lack of business knowledge and customers who don’t understand or know what to expect from the construction process. Helping both accomplish their dreams, by providing businesses with systems and training to make their companies more efficient and profitable while educating customers in what to expect throughout the entire construction process.

Or my future mission with a NASCAR team. 😊 This is me turning my dreams into reality.

The important thing is to know yourself, search your heart and be connected to your Maker. The more you do this, the clearer the picture becomes. Having a clear mission moves your dreams towards reality.

Over the next few weeks, as we go through the rest of Mission Statement Made Simple, I’ll share other aspects of having a clear mission, i.e., key characteristics needed, critical actions taken by people in alignment with the mission and how to clearly share your mission with others.

It’s Time for Laser Like Focus

The word "Goal" with a dart hitting the center of a target on the letter "o"

Learn from the Past, Look to the Future, Live in the Present

Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at determining where you want your life to go and a plan for how to get there. It’s easy to get caught up in all the noise and not know which way to go.

One thing is for sure, if you don’t move, you’ll never get there!

The first week we looked at the importance of having a clear direction. We compared a life GPS, “Goal Prioritization System, to a GPS used for reaching your destination in your vehicle. You need to start with your why.

The next week’s focus was how to determine “where there is”. This involves opening ourselves up to those big dreams that come by opening our heart to hear the still small voice of our Creator.

Third was cleaning up your dreams and making them a vision. It’s the action of giving dreams some form and a description. In this post I shared some of my big dreams and the process of turning them into a vision.

Last week we went into how to set goals so that you will have a way to measure your progress along the way. The first three weeks were more thinking and planning. This is critical to knowing the destination. In the fourth post we move into the action part of the system.

Now it’s time to get to the PRIORITIZATION part of the Goal Prioritization System.

To be able to reach the destination, we need to prioritize which things need done in what order, we need to be clear on our MISSION. A mission is a clear assignment to be carried out if we are going to achieve our VISION.

My purpose, “Help people find solutions for building their dreams through better business systems, quality construction projects and life lessons.”, is my why. This is what the still small voice spoke to my heart. My vision was shared in the week before lasts post. This is my where.

We have our WHY and our WHERE the mission is the HOW.

Our mission:

Bridge the gap between construction companies and customers.We do this by providing construction businesses with systems and training to make their companies more efficient and effective while educating customers in what to expect throughout the entire construction process.

With our vision and our mission, we know where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.

We’ve looked back and reviewed what we did wrong and what we did right. We can’t change the past…we can only learn from it and move forward. In the infamous words of Franco Bertollini in Gumball Rally

“What’s behind me is not important.”

Life is like this movie. The drivers start out with a purpose and know their destination. Each team determines what the best plan is for them. As they race across the country they are faced with choices along the way, some planned for and some not. They may have to make split second decisions that will alter their route. But if they are going to achieve their VISION, those decisions need to be based on their MISSION.

We’ve learned from what we been through up to this point. We need to be flexibly rigid. Flexible when it comes to the future because we don’t know what is around the next corner. Rigid in decisions we make, based on our mission. All we can control is this moment we’re in right now. Learn from the past, look to the future, live in the present.

If our focus is on a clear MISSION, the choices in the present become easier.

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.