You know what it’s like to set a goal and go after it. Many of you have lost weight, ran your first race, started a business, paid off debt, started a degree, earned a degree or applied for a promotion and that’s just in the last 6 months. (Y’all are an ambitious bunch!)
You determined your goal and did what it took to make it happen…up early, up late, no television, working during your breaks and the list goes on.
But, the thing you did that most determined your success…you started.
You actually started. And that, my friend, takes the most courage.
I started too…scared out of my mind and, well frankly, embarrassed. I don’t even like to admit that. But, for the sake of transparency, it needs to be written.
This post is about being bold, being brave in your dreams so you can celebrate your past accomplishments while defining goals for your future. It's in these actions, you reach that outrageous dream!
The Impact of Business Boutique
For me, it’s been just a little over a year since I set a goal to start my own business.
The desire to have something of my own began July 2016, but I didn’t travel to Business Boutique in Nashville until November.
Thus, I consider November 2016 the birthday of Inspire to Engage.
For those unfamiliar with Business Boutique, it’s business church with a touch of pep rally. It is an event put on by Dave Ramsey’s company with Christy Wright as its leader. It’s a powerful event, to say the least. This year over 3,000 women gathered for 3 days at a mega-church outside Nashville, TN. People like Pat Flynn, Nicole Walters, Donald Miller and Christy Wright filled us full of information, inspiration and permission to follow God’s (business) calling on our heart.
It was at the 2016 event, though, that I knew God was asking me to continue to teach…that my 13-year career as a public school teacher was simply the beginning of my stint as a teacher. There, God impressed on my heart that teaching comes in many forms, including the written word (hence, this blog).
On Stage With Christy Wright
At that event in 2016, I determined that I would begin developing a business that teaches women…something.
Exactly what I was going to teach was still very vague. And, I know all of you are sighing and rolling your eyes because to reach a goal you must first define the finish…the goal. (As Christy Wright says, “You can’t finish a race if you don’t know where the finish line is.”)
So, as I sat in that church auditorium in 2016, berating myself for not knowing the specifics about the business I wanted to build, one thing, though, was very clear to me.
I wanted to be on stage teaching next to Christy Wright.
It is outrageous right now for me because presently I teach an audience of 2 (my 5-year and 3-year old sons) and a few blog readers. Plus, my fledgling blog and freelance content marketing business don't exactly scream, "I'll be on stage at a women's business event in front of 3,000 people tomorrow!"
But, I know that I loved watching those women and men at the 2016 (and later 2017) conference on stage – informing, inspiring and pouring their hearts out to us in the audience. They were on-fire, and I want to be there.
If God's Not In It
Why did I embarrass myself by telling you my ultimate goal...my outrageous dream?
Honestly, I want to give you courage and permission to set an outrageous one for yourself!
See, Olympians had to first dream, set an outrageous goal, of making it to the Olympics before they actually became Olympians. It’s that dream that guided their other life decisions.
I’ve heard Christy Wright say before, “If God’s not required for your dream to become a reality, then you aren’t dreaming big enough!”
I believe her.
And even more than that, I believe in our Heavenly Father. He works miracles every day and gives us the gifts and opportunities to accomplish crazy, wonderful things.
My Challenge To You (And Myself)
So, I challenge you.
First, write your outrageous goal. You already know what it is. It first popped into your head when you read about my dream. (You may have laughed at me first, but you knew instinctively what your outrageous goal was.) So…be brave. Write it down. There is something powerful in acknowledging the dream to yourself...for it NOT to reside in the recesses of your mind, only to surface on rare occasions.
This dream of yours will probably take years to reach. Sadly, I wasn’t on stage at this year’s Business Boutique! But I am in the process of organizing my first event, albeit a small one, and especially when compared to the 3,000-person Business Boutique I attended.
Yet, my small event is a big step in reaching my outrageous goal. (I keep telling myself - be brave and faithful in the small things. They add up!)
This leads to the second challenge. Set goals for THE NEW YEAR. Write them down. Remember, you can’t cross a finish line if you haven’t defined it.
Lastly, celebrate what you’ve done this past year. Jot down your accomplishments. We often focus on what we have NOT done. Yet if we take time to truly consider what we have accomplished, it’s pretty amazing. You realize you’re one step, ten or 25 steps further than you were last year.
And, friends, it's in these small steps that great, big things are accomplished.
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