After my business began to hemorrhage money during the recession, my marriage and my personal relationships took a back seat in my life. I poured everything into my failing business and abandoned all other distractions. Soon, I found myself with nowhere to turn. I knew I had to find a way out of the hole I had dug for myself.
I was determined to turn around my company and turn around my marriage. I never wanted this to happen to me again. Desperate, I went to my mentors, my business books and my Lord. I read about a word called autodidact, which is someone who is addicted to learning. That’s what I wanted to become. I bought every book that I could find by the authors I respected most. I took vigorous notes, studied the principles and taught them to everyone in my business. I applied them to my life in every way, shape and form that I could.
I created a list of business resources. I read every quote I could find online from all the business influencers I admired. I copied all these quotes and I read them over and over again. I was an insatiable reader. I read books, magazines, downloaded interviews, read and listened to speeches and downloaded ted talks. I went to professional consultants, business professors and community leaders for advice. I got involved in professional associations, affiliate groups, webinars and newsletter clubs. The most important thing I did to develop myself professionally was begin teaching and speaking. I realized that if you don’t give it away, you’re not going to receive it.
I needed resources for home, too, because it’s not all about business. I started attending church more often, I began reading the four gospels repeatedly, praying out loud with my wife and meditating. I looked for Christian fellowship and I looked for leadership roles within my church. Over time, I changed. My relationships focused more on mentors, counselors, pastors and Christian friends. I joined a men’s Bible study fellowship and started attending Christian Business Men’s Connection. I found purpose in my home and I found purpose in my business.
I began to give back my time, my skills and my resources freely and expecting nothing in return. Reciprocation began, not overnight, but others saw my character and saw my genuineness. They saw that I cared. Slowly, I began to develop a servant leadership. Serving others became a great reward. I’m trying to help others grow their business. I believe that profit and margin is a ministry, one that I can truly impact.
I hope my story helps you in some way in your journey – whether it’s in life, business, relationships or religion. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and involve yourself in your community and find your true purpose. It’s a long journey, but a worthwhile one.