YOU are the FOUNDATION, the linchpin, the center of activity from which all creativity and purpose flow from for your business concept, ministry or calling. A foundation is defined as: The basis on which a thing stands, is founded, or is supported. Whenever you work on you, everything else in your life will begin to thrive. You can have the best laid business/ministry/non-profit plan, but if you do not grow as a person it will not thrive over the long haul. How many of us have small and unstable foundations and we are out there trying to “do” business? Let’s take a look at a few more foundational keys to get this building project right:
Foundation Key #5: Take Care of YOU This is not a call to selfishness. This is a call to basic survival, common sense and self-maintenance. We cannot serve God, our families, ministries and businesses if we are walking around feeling physically bad and struggling emotionally. Give yourself permission to love you and prioritize your needs (again in a healthy way with the love of God as the foundation, not selfish/unbalanced way).
- Find a rhythm of daily self-care. We are not talking about perfection. It’s about taking simple baby steps to move forward in the right direction. We must learn how to delegate, relinquish and receive help. To do this we must release the pride, admit our vulnerabilities and the fact that we need others to help fulfill our life purpose.
- Manage your energy. It greatly impacts your ability to create new things, think new ideas and actually implement them. Self care is very essential in order to create, maintain and sustain the energy necessary to fulfill your God-given purpose. This means taking care of your body, your soul and your spirit. We cannot do anything sick, tired, drained, burned out and wasted.
- Guard you heart and your motives when doing things for others. We neglect ourselves when divide ourselves up a thousand ways for everyone. Then we look around and there is no more left to give. Sophia Nelson in Black Women Redefined states, “We overextend ourselves because we want to feel needed, loved, and special.” This goes back to Foundation Key #1 — Do your God Work so that you do not need to burn yourself out to feel special, loved and needed.
- Daily soul and self-care helps to keep our internal foundations strong and fortified. Then when unexpected happens, we have the capacity to handle it without falling apart. We can respond in strength and not react to situations. “If you are not exercising, eating properly and getting adequate sleep, your ability to bounce back from a major illness or life trauma is significantly lessened.” Dr. Gayle Portner in Black Women Redefined.
Foundation Key #6: Take Stock of Who is in Your Circle Bird of a feather flock together. Darnyelle Jervey, a leading business coach says that “Your income, overall mentality and lifestyle will be an average of the top five people you spend your time with. Who are you spending the majority of your time with? If you are not satisfied where you are, not only must you look within, but you need to take a good hard look at the people you are hanging around.
- Remove toxic people your life. Add those who help build support and encourage you and you them. Protect your soul from contamination – limit your time with negative people (Thema Davis) . Being with others who are positive, whole and uplifting brings you energy, fresh perspectives and new ways of looking at things.
- In early stages of rebuilding or building your life, business or ministry when you are most vulnerable, who you allow to speak into your life is very important. If you are just starting out, you cannot afford to pollute the atmosphere around you with toxic people.
- Learn how to maintain healthy relationships. Don’t be so quick to cut people off. Never cut what you can untie” – Sophia A. Nelson. Life is better connected. Isolation is an energy stealer. Learn how open up, receive and give wise counsel, be humble and handle conflict in a healthy way. “The hard truth is that we don’t want to get involved in ‘other people’s business’; nor do we want to feel a sense of responsibility for one another anymore. But as Christian Women (or men), we have a responsibility…” – Sophia A. Nelson.
- We cannot choose the original family we are born into but we can choose the life tribe we create – Terri Cole.
Foundation Key #7: Stop being an Information Junkie and Inspiration Addict — Do Something! Without Action, there is no Traction – Marshawn Evans, Business Coach. This is self-explanatory. There must be traction or momentum in order for anything to take off. To gain the traction needed for what you are called to do, you must take that first step. Without positive, intentional action, you will not reach your purpose and destiny.
- Don’t be an inspiration addict. We can get emotional and enchanted with the excitement and exhilaration of new inspiring ideas, but fail to implement or do anything with it. A lot of us are in love with the idea of (owning your own business, being an entrepreneur, a speaker, preacher, teacher, business man or woman) but we sit and do nothing. We have all been guilty of waiting for some big miracle to get things going.
- Don’t be an information junkie. These are the people who are constantly gathering information, going to everybody’s conference, buying every book, signing up for every free teleclass, on everybody’s email list, following everybody on Twitter, but still not doing anything. They are waiting for perfection and for everything to be all in place before they move towards doing what they are called to do.
- The only way to avoid becoming an inspiration addict or inspiration junkie: Get on the bike and start to pedal. It does not have to be perfect. Focus on who you are becoming and not where you were or where you are – Lucinda Cross, business coach
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7: 24-27 (NIV)
Authentic, prosperous and strong business and ministry leaders will always build the foundations of their calling with WISDOM. Don’t be foolish like the builder in this parable. Take the time, count the cost to build a sure and stable foundation of for your life and calling. More Foundation Principles to follow….Stay tuned.