Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rework... secret of intercession

by Dale Shumaker

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, deviate from traditional business views and have built intentionally to stay small and stay profitable. They question a lot of the notions that are popular in the business world to succeed. They succeed in that they built a business they want to live with and have a life. In writing this book, they decided to un-build and then rebuild the business from scratch. Here's some of their advice. In business or going into business they feel this will shed some new light on how to do this thing called business.

That will never work in the real world some may say. Ignore that. It may be real for them, but you don't have to live in it. You don't have to keep your secrets for success a secret from others. Failure is not a rite of passage. You can build success as you grow. When small, you can't afford failures repeatedly to learn. Build small successes and learn from them. Planning is guessing. Plans over a few pages long end up as fossils in your files. A week is long enough to plan out, and make your decisions right before you need to. It's okay to be small. If it's sustainable and profitable you should be proud of your business. Workaholics are not heroes. Real heroes figure out how to get things done faster, and be home on time. Be a starter. Get the idea, have confidence and start.

Make a dent in the universe. Make it valuable. Do something that matters. You don't have to conquer the world but make the world better for many. Scratch your own itch. Make what you need. When you solve your own problem you fall in love with what you're making, that you can be happy making for years. Ideas are cheap, what matters is how well you execute. What you want bad enough you make time for, and want to do it well. What you offer doesn't have to be loved by everyone but be loved immensely by the ones who use it. Your mission statement should be a statement of what you live, not a bunch of nice words on paper. It's believing and living it. Plan Z may be the cash flow plan. You can make it on less than you need, and less from others you think you need. Start a business not a startup and make one you will love to do all your life. Not just to build it and sell it. Live with less mass, small leases, smaller space, lower inventory, less staff.

Live with less and create self-imposed restraints. Make a great half a product and not a shoddy full product. Keep in the epicenter of your business. Ignore details early on and get rolling. Over concern with too many details slows it all down. Make decisions early as you go. It keeps you moving while keeping you motivated and keeping momentum. Throw less at the problem and focus on what won't change. Sell your by-products. Get it out there, launch now, keep quality there. Find out what really works by doing it, and not guessing it.

Being productive is getting real. Chisel out distractions and what's not relevant. Interruptions kill personal momentum... find places to work where you can stay in the flow. Meetings are toxic. Meet and discuss the problem where you can see it, and with people directly involved in it. Use judo solutions that are quick and to the core. Momentum fuels motivation, so get something done and move to the next, quickly. Don't be a hero, quitting may be the best answer. Get sleep, you think better and work better when rested. Estimate small chunks, most long term estimates suck. Make small to-do lists, and tiny decisions repetitively.

Don't copy, be original. Pour yourself into your work. Take a stand for who you are and if you pick a fight, it creates distinction and loyal followers. Under do the competition and be proud of it. Focus on you instead of they...

Give new ideas some days to rest and then move on the right priorities. Let your customer direct you. And choose the right customer for who you are, some will outgrow you so let them go.

Some don't know you now. That's great. Stay in the shadows and make your mistakes. Build your audience. Don't out-spend, instead out-teach your competition. Let people in behind the scenes and see how you do things... they'll love you for it. Be real and personal. Send notes not spam emails. Call and talk to them, see them. Be like the drug dealer... a taste of you will get them hooked. And everything is marketing, that's everything you do. Overnight success comes with years of steady audience captivating.

Hire when it hurts, until then do it yourself. Pass on great people, if you don't need them. Hire slowly and trust your gut. Hire better writers. Today so much of what we say is in emails. Test drive employees. Use in projects first to see how they work.

When you mess up, apologize. Be honest, sincere. When you build rapport your customers will be forgiving. You don't create work cultures, they happen by all you do. Avoid Rock Stars, but build a great environment for all to star. Encourage everyone to get things done and everyone knows they will leave at 5. ASAP is poison. Use emergency terms for true emergencies.

When inspired do it while inspired. Inspiration is fleeting. When inspired you get a lot done in short periods of time keeping the inspiration in what you do.

Rework has short chapters, proverbial quips graphically illustrated before each very-short section (only a page or two each). An enjoyable, enlightening, fast read, with more at 37 Signals. They have many other websites with biz tools to power up your business.

The Secret of Intercession by Andrew Murray expounds on the impact we have in peoples lives through prayer. The Glory of intercession is so much greater when a man is bold and asks from God what he desires for others. The Intercessor seeks God so God will bring down on hundreds and thousands of souls the power of eternal life with all its blessings. Intercession is the very holiest exercise of our boldness as God's children. It is the power of being used by God as His instruments for His Great work of making men His habitation and showing His Glory. Above anything else we should seek to cultivate this gift in all of God's children, the gift of unceasing prayer for a wavering world.

God will certainly avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him. All powers of Heaven are at the disposal of this intercessor, this person who prays. May God open our eyes to see this great power and its availability to us. May God's children seek the hidden treasures of Heaven, to bring them down in blessing on the world. By this intercession they do come down from Heaven to earth.

When Jesus left the earth physically, He imparted this right to ask as you will and that whatever you ask for His will to be done for them. God regards intercession as the highest expression of His people, to yield themselves to the mighty power of God. God waits for us to do our part. As we plead for this Heavenly power, God will send it down to meet our requests on earth. May we realize our position, and the extension of God's Hand is put in our hands. God calls for intercessors. He has made His work dependent on us.

We are God's channel, and it is the highest privilege we have. It's not a passing interest. It becomes our intense desire. Too long we have thought of prayer as the means for supplying our needs in life. It's higher calling is to join with God to bring the Kingdom of God down to earth. It opens the way on earth for the blessing God delights to give. When Christ ascended to Heaven the disciples knew it was their place to pray in one accord. One accord in and now as Christ represented body on earth. They were bonded together by the love and Spirit of Christ into one body. It was this that gave them their wonderful power in heaven with God and upon earth.

Christ meant to teach us that however large the field may be and however few the laborers, prayer is the best, the sure, the only means of supplying the need. We remain confident that as we intercede for the Kingdom of God to advance on earth as in Heaven, our prayers are heard, our prayers are indispensable for the coming of God's wonderful Kingdom.

(I am available for additional sharing at and 417-224-3517.)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

How Successful People Think... Experiencing God

by Dale Shumaker

How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell outlines the how and why of successful people's ways of thinking. Maxwell explains why you should change your thinking. It is not automatic, it is difficult, but worth the investment. And he says how to be a better thinker is to expose yourself to good input, to good thinkers, think good thoughts, act on good thoughts, allow your emotions to create new good thoughts, and repeat the process. Put yourself in the right place to think... to think your thoughts, shape your thoughts, stretch your thoughts, land your thoughts and fly your thoughts.

Maxwell explains the why's and how's in each area of thinking. I will focus on the How's for each. Maxwell is very extensively thorough in explaining the why's and how''s.

Cultivate Big Picture Thinking. Look beyond the bridges you will need to cross, learn to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity, learn from every experience, gain insights from a variety of people and give yourself permission to expand the world.

Engage in Focused Thinking. Remove distractions and do first things first, make time for focused thinking, keep items of focus before you, set goals, are you making true progress.

Harness Creative Thinking. Value ideas, explore options, embrace ambiguity, celebrate the offbeat, connect the unconnected, don't fear failure and venture out. Remove negative influences and ask the right questions, and hang around creative people.

Employ Realistic Thinking. Develop appreciation for the truth, do your homework, think through pros and cons, picture worst case scenarios, align thinking with resources.

Utilize Strategic Thinking. Break down the issue, ask why before how, identify the real issues and objectives, review your resources, develop your plan, put the right people in the right place, repeat the process.

Explore Possibility Thinking. Focus on possibilities not impossibilities, stay away from experts or people who know it all, look for possibilities in every situation, dream one size bigger, question the status quo, find inspiration from great achievers.

Learn from Reflective Thinking. Set aside time for reflection, remove yourself from distractions, regularly review your calendar and journal, cement learning with actions.

Benefit from Shared Thinking. Ask these questions. Am I emotionally secure? Do I value people? Move from competition to cooperation. Have an agenda when you meet. Get the right people around the table. Compensate good thinkers and collaborators well.

Practice Unselfish Thinking. Put others first. Expose yourself to situations where people have needs. Give quietly or anonymously. Invest in people intentionally. Continuously check your motives. Give while you live.

Rely on Bottom Line Thinking. Identify the real bottom line which is what your really want. Make the bottom line the point. Create a strategic plan to achieve the bottom line. Align team members with the bottom line.

Final thoughts: "Life consists of what we think about all day." (Emerson);
"The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts." (Locke)
"You are today what your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where
your thoughts take you." (Allen)
"Nothing limits achievement like small thinking." (Ward)
"Whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, think on these things."
(The Apostle Paul)

More from John C. Maxwell at

In Experiencing God through Prayer, Madame Guyon emphasizes that you must learn to pray from your heart. She says prayer is entering the Presence of God and remaining there for Him to speak, heal, console and just be with you. Start by digesting the Word of God, and then pray the Word of God. The Kingdom of God resides in His Temple and we are now His Temple. We can enter that most Holy and Powerful place.

Look at the Lord's prayer and dwell on these words. Our Father... we are His child. Let Him know your heart's desire. Remember, what a Father does and especially our Father in Heaven, creating of us and everything we see and don't see. What can this do? Ponder on what just, "Our Father" means. Let Him reign in you, and His right to rule over you.

Then continue as you ponder and reflect on Thy Kingdom Come and Thy will be Done on Earth as in Heaven. Ask God to accomplish His will through you on earth as it is in Heaven.

"Give us this day our Daily Bread." See yourself as a sheep before your shepherd. Look to Him for your food. Tell Him about your needs and family's needs. God is within you, walks with you, so He cares for you and your personal needs. Simply yield to God's operations in you until He completes His work. It's all attainable for those who seek God, simply begin.

Enter in His Presence. Stay silent and simply enjoy God and who He is. The road to perfection is abandonment. It is the key to enter the inner court of Spirit, to abandon oneself to God, casting off all selfish cares in order to be at His Divine disposal. Guyon says you must want only what God has willed from eternity. Remain steadfast in God and all things will be done to perfection. Put your confidence in God and remain quiet where He has placed you. Forgetting your faults when in His Presence is proof you have been purified in them.

Be led by the Spirit. When you are not being led by the Spirit you will feel either forced or constrained. When under the Spirit your actions will be free, easy, and so natural that it will almost seem as though you have not acted at all. When your spirit is centered on God, all activities He initiates will be noble, full of peace, natural, and so spontaneous that it will appear to you there has hardly been any activity at all. God's attraction is both a perfume to allure and an ointment to heal. Yet each soul is given freedom without constraint to follow Him. God never uses force, instead He attracts us by His powerful sweet presence.

God assures us that we need fear nothing. He promises to take very special care of us.
"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she would not have compassion on the son of her womb." (Isaiah 49:15-16)
After reading these beautiful words of consolation, how can you ever again be afraid of abandoning yourself wholly to the Guidance of God!

The Spirit will increase in proportion to as you lose your self hood. By departing from self-hood, you will have acquired the purity and innocence of God. Gold cannot be purified except by fire, which consumes all that is earthly and foreign. Our earthly part must be melted and dissolved by the force of fire. It must be cast again and again into the furnace until it has lost every trace of pollution and every possibility of being further purified. You must be purged through the fire to be purged of self. It may last a long time. But do not become discouraged. Yield yourself to the Divine Spirit until you are wholly absorbed in Him.

Press on, press on, press on to know God.

(You can personally contact me at 417-224-3517, ...and I also do courtesy on-site presentations of biz book summaries with a Spiritual spin.)