Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FIRST Wild Card Tour: Do Great Things by Aaron Broyles

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Deep River Books (September 10, 2012)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Aaron Broyles is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Aaron has launched several start-up companies and has grown them into multi-million dollar organizations. He currently owns, manages and sells businesses in many different industries including software development, rail and transportation, technology consulting, fitness, and sales training.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Often we are intrigued by high-profile people and entrepreneurs who have done great things. Perhaps it's a desire to experience greatness firsthand. It's easy to recognize the accomplishments of others, but have you ever considered your own capacity to Do Great Things?
Entrepreneurs excel at vision-casting and inspiring others. They're driven, efficient and passionate. They're able to overcome and to use their fears to their advantage. They have the ability to turn defeat into opportunity, and so do you!

Author and speaker Aaron Broyles points you to a foundation of self-discovery based on God's principles and truth. He shares entrepreneurial methods that will reveal your potential and unlock your ability to achieve success in everyday life.

Desire to know your purpose. Stop putting limits on your life. Your definition of great things is about to take on new meaning.


Product Details:
List Price: $16.99
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Deep River Books (September 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937756505
ISBN-13: 978-1937756505
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Great Things

“One of the main weaknesses of mankind is the average man’s familiarity

with the word ‘impossible.’ He knows all the rules which will not

work. He knows all the things which cannot be done.”

NAPOLEON HILL



I’ve always wondered what it would be like to do great things. I’ve watched

countless History Channel specials and biography broadcasts about famous

people in history who have done what the world generally considers to be

great things. I’ve always admired the founding fathers of the United States, like

George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton,

James Madison, and John Adams. I’m amazed at the incredible accomplishments

of these leaders, in addition to the countless others who fought for and established

the great nation of the United States.



I’m also amazed at the presidents over the years who successfully led our

country through good times and bad. Presidents like Washington, Jefferson,

Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Reagan have intrigued me. Our

nation continues to honor and revere these great leaders from our past, and rightfully

so.



Likewise, I am inspired by the great accomplishments of people who have

changed our world with their intelligence, talent, bravery, leadership, sacrifice,

hard work, wisdom, and resolve. I think of Mother Teresa, Thomas Edison, Albert

Einstein, Harriet Tubman, Neil Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Warren Buffett, Billy

Graham, Babe Ruth, Sir Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill, Charles Lindbergh,

Helen Keller, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Jr., Henry Ford. How’s that for

a list of amazing people?



I have played guitar for years, and I’ve always been fascinated by Eric Clapton.

I am absolutely blown away when I see Clapton in concert. I am amazed at his outstanding

talent for songwriting and singing, and by his incredible guitar-playing

abilities. I have personally witnessed Eric Clapton doing great things as it relates

to music and artistic expression.



I’m not alone in my fascination with people like these. But why are we so

intrigued and obsessed with those who have done great things? What is it about

their amazing accomplishments that we find so compelling? Perhaps there is a

desire in each one of us that longs for greatness, something deep within our souls.

Have you ever considered your own capacity for great things? Do you believe

you have the potential, ability, and will to capitalize on life’s opportunities in order

to fulfill your purpose?



Let me ask you another question: if you knew you could do whatever your

heart was designed to do with complete fulfillment, excitement, passion, and

adventure, without the possibility of failing, would you do it? I’m referring to the

idea of living out of your true purpose, drinking from the well of real life. Keep in

mind that I’m not asking you what others think you ought to be doing. No, I’m asking

you to really ponder the idea of living life as you were designed to live it. I’m

not suggesting a life with no difficulties or trials, and I’m not implying that it’s possible

to live in perfection. I’m describing a life grounded in authentic fulfillment.

If your answer is yes, then let’s explore this idea further.



In the movie Forrest Gump, many lives were transformed because of the

impact Forrest had on them, especially Jenny and Captain Dan. I think what I love

most about the movie is that Forrest is an unlikely hero. Here’s a man who has

grown up with the odds stacked against him. He’s not intelligent, and he has no

father figure in his life. He didn’t grow up in a wealthy home, and he struggles

with several disabilities. Yet, despite all the setbacks, Forrest Gump lives an

extraordinary life. He does great things, and he makes an enormous impact on

the lives of those around him. Forrest finds himself in some devastating situations

that include war, disaster, riots, personal disabilities, and a hurricane, and yet he

emerges with incredible success while those around him can only see the negative

circumstances. What a phenomenal story!



When we consider our heroes and amazing people, we don’t typically think

of people with the profile of Forrest Gump. No, our heroes and doers of great

things should be attractive, intelligent, well educated, exciting, wealthy, privileged,

and famous. John F. Kennedy, Jr. was the epitome of this description.

Throughout his childhood and into adulthood, the press followed him, and many

speculated that he would be a great leader, possibly even president of the United

States. There are many who to this day question what amazing things JFK would

have accomplished had his life not been cut short.



Why were such incredible expectations placed on this man? I believe it had

more to do with his last name, wealth, background, and looks than it did with

anything deeper.



How could such expectations be placed on anyone for such superficial reasons

as those?



When I was growing up, there was no speculation from the media regarding

my future. Reporters did not follow me to school and discuss what great things

I might do in the future, and I would venture to say that they did not do so with

you. In fact, at the time of writing this book, I am virtually unknown by any aside

from my family and friends and acquaintances in the community where I live.

I grew up in an average, middle-class, blue-collar working family. I am a man

of average intelligence and average looks. My grade-point average in grade school,

high school, and college is not worth mentioning. I played soccer, but my athletic

ability was average at best. My parents never attended college and were very

young when they had me, so I did not have a wealth of resources at my disposal.

Yet, having stated all those facts, I consider myself every bit as qualified for success

as JFK was.



There are many in far worse situations than mine, with virtually no hope for

a future, and there are millions in between with varied backgrounds, abilities,

and potential. And then there are those with everything in the world at their disposal,

including resources, talent, intelligence, and connections. This is the category

we tend to expect the most from. The JFKs of the world. But the truth is

your potential for success has very little to do with your background and abilities.

In fact, your potential for success is determined by what you will do in the

future as opposed to where you came from in the past.



In the following paragraphs, I’m going to outline a few scenarios, with reallife

examples, of success or failure as they relate to roots and background. There

is a great lesson to be learned in carefully examining background and its potential

determination of a person’s future.



Scenario 1: A person is born into a virtually hopeless situation and yet emerges

in success.

Isn’t it fascinating when those with humble beginnings and virtually no hope for

a future go on to do amazing things? It seems like a miracle when someone comes

from such devastating circumstances and makes meaning out of his life. while

those who have everything at their fingertips amount to very little in terms of

contribution or personal fulfillment.



Abraham Lincoln is an excellent example of a man who lived an extraordinary

life despite the fact that he was born into a very poor family. Lincoln was

born in a one-room cabin in rural Kentucky in 1809, and he had a hard life growing

up. He lost his mother at the age of nine, and he was not very close to his

father. He was a self-educated man, and it goes without saying that Lincoln is

considered to be one of the great US presidents. He was an inspiring leader who

achieved great things despite many hardships and difficulties.1



Oprah Winfrey is another example of a person overcoming great obstacles.

Oprah was born into poverty, and she was passed from family member to family

member throughout her childhood. She was sexually abused multiple times by

family members. At age fourteen, Oprah became pregnant, and she delivered a

son who only lived for two weeks. Despite the terrible circumstances of her childhood,

she went on to become one of the most popular and successful media stars

in history.2 Other examples abound. Richard Branson, a multibillion-dollar entrepreneur

with over three hundred fifty companies under his control, was a highschool

dropout, and he has dyslexia.3 Michael Jordan, who many call one of the

greatest basketball players to ever live, was cut from the high-school basketball

team his sophomore year. Despite that setback, Jordan went on to win six NBA

titles, one NCAA title, and two gold medals.4



Scenario 2: A person is born into a virtually hopeless situation and never really

emerges from the difficult environment.



Some people live out a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure and defeat. They never

pull out of the environments they start from. They believe that there is no hope

for them to go beyond where they are today, and they choose a life of fear, defeat,

and emptiness.



We are typically not surprised at this situation—certainly not as surprised as

we are when someone from such a background succeeds—because it seems more

feasible that a person living in a negative environment will not have the means to

rise above it. Some believe that the power of a person’s environment is so overwhelming

that it is nearly impossible to escape it.



During my childhood, I knew a boy from grade school who lived in a very

troubling environment. He didn’t know his father, and his mother didn’t seem to

care very much about him. He would wear the same clothes for months, and he

did not bathe for days. He never did his homework, and he was always in trouble.

He really didn’t have anyone in his life who was providing him with any

direction or hope for the future.



I got to know him a bit in seventh grade. He was a good kid despite his terrible

circumstances, but unfortunately, he could no longer cope with his life, and

he ended it with a gun one evening in the summer before our eighth-grade year.

This example is one of millions that exist in the world. I’m sure you can think

of someone who has lived and possibly died in a similar fashion.



Scenario 3: A person is born into (or eventually enters) an amazing environment,

and yet chooses to squander it away.



Perhaps such people were born into a loving, caring family, or into a successful

family by the world’s standards. Despite having every opportunity and resource

at their disposal, they waste their potential by living lives of “ignoble ease,” as

Theodore Roosevelt put it. In fact, President Roosevelt once said, “I wish to

preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.”5

I’m sure you’ve seen examples of children born into famous and wealthy

families who end up addicted to drugs or who find themselves in and out of jail.

Unfortunately, too many examples of this situation are playing out around us

every day, and it seems to be growing more common.



There are also those who attain initial success or notoriety and go on to dismantle

it later.



Whitney Houston is an example of someone who achieved a great deal early

in her life. She is the only artist to chart seven consecutive number-one Billboard

Hot 100 hits and seven consecutive multiplatinum albums. Whitney’s combined

albums, singles, and videos sold during her career with Arista Records totals 170

million. Her Bodyguard soundtrack is one of the top ten biggest-selling albums of

all time at 17X platinum in just the United States alone, and her version of Dolly

Parton’s song “I Will Always Love You” is the biggest-selling United States single

of all time. Whitney was born into an amazing musical family. Her mother was

the well-known singer Cissy Houston, and her cousins Dee Dee Warwick and

Dionne Warwick were both successful artists. All had an influential impact on

Whitney. Whitney found success as a singer in her teenage years with performances

in the 1970s and early 1980s with stars such as Chaka Khan, the Neville

Brothers, and others. When she was twenty-one, Whitney’s first album debuted

with over twelve million copies sold in the United States, and it set the record as

the biggest-selling debut album by a solo artist. Music historians say Whitney

may have had the greatest voice of our time.6



Whitney Houston was fortunate to be born into such an amazing musical

family. She was also born with an unbelievable voice, and she had the advantage

of musical connections and influences. She experienced amazing success early in

her career because she took action and capitalized on her potential. She worked

extremely hard, and she did not waste any opportunity. However, she came to a

point in her life when things began to change. Allegations of drug use and unpredictable

behavior became the headlines in the news in place of the accolades and

stunning reviews. In an unfortunate series of events, Whitney’s career and life

came to a premature end. I wonder what Whitney could have continued to do

had she not wasted such amazing potential.7



In addition, it seems like you can’t turn on the news without hearing about

a child of a celebrity going terribly wrong. Celebrity children seem to struggle

more than the rest of us with drugs, alcohol, arrest, and suicide. Marie Osmond,

Paul Newman, Art Linkletter, and many other celebrities have lost children to

drug overdoses or suicide. True, whether it’s really a benefit to be the child of

someone famous can be argued, but it’s certainly difficult to make a negative case

against a backdrop of children who are born with no family or into extreme

poverty.



Scenario 4: A person is born into a great environment with outstanding

opportunities and resources at his fingertips, and he chooses to

do great things. He decides to commit to things greater than himself.



Steve Forbes is an example of a man born into great promise and potential who

capitalized on that potential. His grandfather founded Forbes, Inc., in 1917.

Forbes was well educated and took over a flourishing business that had been

established for some time. There are many who wish for an opportunity like he

had. Others do share his advantages, yet, perhaps due to the intimidation of high

expectations, they never step to the plate and really make the attempt. Steve

Forbes, on the other hand, has done great things. Forbes’s career and accomplishments

speak volumes. Under Forbes’s leadership, his company has launched

countless publications and businesses across the world. Forbes magazine has

become the nation’s leading business magazine with an international audience in

excess of six million readers. In addition, Forbes served in the Reagan and George

W. Bush administrations as chairman of the board for international broadcasting,

he has authored several books, and serves on several prominent boards. I

recently attended a luncheon at which Steve Forbes was the guest speaker, and I

was impressed with his knowledge and perspective on capitalism, politics, and

the world in general. He has certainly done great things.8



Other examples of people born into amazing environments who go on to

accomplish great things include Peyton and Eli Manning, sons of the great football

player Archie Manning, who have become pro players as well. Michael Douglas,

son of the famous actor Kirk Douglas, went on to become a star in his own

right. Actress Kate Hudson, the daughter of Goldie Hawn and Keifer Sutherland

(himself the son of Donald Sutherland) is another example.

The point I am making in these scenarios must be understood as a foundation

for your life. It is a concept and worldview that can transform your very life

and the way you live it. Simply put, your circumstances, your background, your

experience, your intelligence, your family history, your mistakes, your accomplishments,

your education, your lack of education and so on do not and cannot

dictate what you choose to do with your future.



I don’t care if you were born into excellent circumstances or extreme poverty

or abuse, you have the potential and possibility to do great things. You have the

power to shape your future.



Many people have already made life decisions about themselves based on

bad data. They have already decided who they are and what they are capable of.

There are many who have made these decisions quite early in the lives, as if their

lives are predetermined in some way. The amazing thing about this mindset is that

most people are unaware of the fact that they have it!



Scenario 5: This is your scenario. You were born into a unique situation and

environment that is not exactly the same as anyone else’s who has

ever lived. It might be similar, but it is not exactly the same. But

even more than that, you have the potential to do great things.



Your potential for greatness has very little to do with your background

or where you came from.



My junior year in college, I had the opportunity to apply for an internship with

a large, successful, and well-respected company that was headquartered near my

school. There were two positions available, and these two positions were the

highest paying, most prestigious of all the internships available in my field. Several

of my classmates were applying, and there was a lot of discussion about who

would be chosen for these two positions. I found out that there were several hundred

applicants, and they would have the opportunity to interview over the

course of several days.



On the second-to-last day of interviewing, one of my professors approached

me on campus and asked if I would be interviewing for the internship. I was

surprised—shocked, in fact—by her question. I had no intention of subjecting

myself to the interview. I was a C student with no credentials or promise of attaining

such a position. Considering I had attended several of her classes, she should

have known that I wasn’t qualified! I had barely passed her classes in the past, and

I wasn’t doing so well in the class she was teaching at the time.



Do you see how I had already made decisions about who I was and what I

was capable of? I was only twenty years old, and I already had strong limiting

beliefs about who I was and what I could and could not do. If you’d asked me

outright about those beliefs, I would never have admitted them. I really wasn’t

fully aware I believed them, yet I was making decisions based on them.

My professor encouraged me to interview on the last day. She even wrote a

recommendation—I needed it because my grade-point average did not meet the

required standard to be accepted for the interview. I reluctantly agreed to take it.

I was reluctant because I didn’t want to put myself in an embarrassing situation.

I didn’t want to be let down. Maybe there was part of me that did not want confirmation

of what I already believed to be true.



How about you? Are you taking yourself out of the game? Are you thinking

to yourself, “You can’t lose if you don’t play”? As I look back on it now, I know

that’s what I was doing: I was taking myself out of the game as it related to my

performance academically. It was much easier to take a C grade knowing that I

hadn’t really tried that hard. You too may be taking yourself out of the game, and

you may not even realize what you are doing or why.



When you put yourself on the line and give it everything you have, then you

truly know if you have what it takes or not. I was afraid to know that answer.

On the last day of interviewing, I showed up and did the interview. I was

shocked when I was called back for a second and then a third. A week later, I

received a phone call: they had selected me to make my choice of the two positions.

I couldn’t believe it. My professor and several employees of the hiring company

believed in me more than I believed in myself. I had the internship!



My professor later shared with me that she knew I had potential, but I needed

to start trying or else that potential would be wasted. She asked me if my gradepoint

average truly reflected my abilities and potential. They did not. But my

future was not to be dictated by my past. I had established a new belief about

myself, and that is where real change and accomplishment begin.



To accomplish great things in your life, I’m not asking you to be become

someone different. Make no mistake about it. I am not encouraging you to

become someone else. How many times have you looked at someone else and

thought to yourself, “I wish I could be more like that person”? Have you ever

dreamed of changing your personality and morphing into a completely different

person? How many times have you quietly said to yourself,

• If only I were smarter

• If only I were funny

• If only I had different parents, or a different spouse, or a different job

• If only the economy were better

• If only I had more money



To do great things, you do not need to become someone you are not. Rather,

you are about to embark on an amazing journey and incredible adventure, starting

with a foundation of self-discovery that will lead to accomplishing great

things. That foundation is based on principles and truth, and while we will

explore techniques and exercises aimed at shaping your potential, our foundation

will be on truth and God’s principles. Techniques have value when they are practiced

on a solid foundation of truth; however, when used outside God’s will, they

are simply gimmicks and tricks that will ultimately fall short.



I recently purchased a 1960 Corvette. It has been my dream car since I was

a small child. I’ve spent years looking for the right combination, and during that

time, I’ve looked at a lot of 1960 Corvettes. One day I thought I had found the

perfect car. On the outside, the car was in fantastic condition. The paint was

incredible; the interior was perfect. It was a real “head turner.”



Before I would purchase the car, I had an inspection to ensure it was in good

working condition. After a thorough examination of the car, it was determined

that the frame was not solid. This car was rusting away from the inside. Even

though the exterior was flawless, the car could be dangerous on the road because

the integrity of the frame was in question.



Many in the world today are living just like that Corvette. They are great at

looking good on the outside. As far as appearances go, they’ve got everyone thinking

they’ve got it together. But while they’re occupied with appearance, status, and

what other people think, they struggle to find real meaning and purpose in their

lives. They’re living in fear of others finding out who they really are. They’re doing

just enough to get by, and they’re afraid to ever really take a chance on anything—

especially on themselves.



I could have purchased that Corvette with the rusty frame, and I might even

have made some modifications, like a new stereo system or custom interior or

different wheels, but those improvements would have been a complete waste

without a solid foundation. What difference does it make if you have an awesome

stereo system in a car that has broken in half?



So the question becomes, what is a solid foundation? (And I’m not talking

about a Corvette.) What does that even mean? Is it self-confidence? Is it a lack of

fear? Is it peace? Is it real understanding of myself? Does it mean that I’m willing

to take chances? Is it a belief in myself?



We’ll explore this question in more detail as we go, but in a nutshell, the

solid foundation for your life is a belief system based on truth and the discovery

of who you were designed to be so that you can realize your purpose, potential,

and abilities as designed by God.



I have found that the things which I learn on my own, those things which I

internalize and truly understand, revolutionize my life in a dramatic way. Why?

Because I am the one who made the discovery. Dr. Howard Hendricks, a great

professor of theology, says, “Knowledge that is self-discovered is stored in the

deepest part of the mind and remains the longest in memory. There is no jewel

more precious than that which you have mined yourself.”



I promise that if you are willing to open your mind and seek the real truth

of who you are, you will make a discovery that will dramatically change your life.

You will understand the foundation upon which an amazing life can be built.

You will go on to do great things. These things will be the fruit of that foundation,

and they will impact you and everyone around you in a dynamic way. This

will be an epiphany of enormous proportions.



Once you have the foundation, great things will flow naturally from your life.

You will not miss it if you desire to know it, though your definition of “great

things” might change as you continue to read. Let’s take a moment and define what

great things are. I’ll start first by defining what they are not. Great things are not:

• Fame

• Fortune

• Self-gratification

• Accumulation of things

• Power

• Popularity

Our culture today has confused and twisted things around. Although fame

and fortune and power are not inherently bad, they are completely irrelevant to

authentic great things. Many in history have obtained fame and fortune and power

and popularity, but they did not do great things. Adolf Hitler is one example of this

truth. I think most would agree that these things are not the ingredients to greatness,

although they are confused for greatness every day.



You currently have the potential to do amazing things in the situation where

you reside. I am talking about things of real value and meaning. I’m talking about

things that get you excited, those of great adventure, risk, and danger. I’m talking

about things that scare you to death and thrill you all at the same time.

As I already shared, I am the quintessential average person. However, I am

living an extraordinary life. I’m not doing so because I’m somehow more special

than others. I’m not a great or amazing person, but I am doing great and amazing

things. I’m fulfilled, I’m happy, and I live an adventure every day. Oh, I have

my moments and struggles like everyone else. Things do not come easily to me.

I have to work extremely hard. I’m an imperfect person with many flaws, but I

am doing great things.



I gave my life to Jesus Christ at a very young age, and I grew up going through

times of obedience and times of rebellion. I married my high-school sweetheart,

Angie, and I am more in love with her today than I ever was when we first married.

I can’t wait to get home and see her at the end of the day. I love sharing my

deepest thoughts with her, and I love hearing what she thinks.



We have four children, and I have the opportunity to be their daddy every

single day. I make a lot of mistakes, but they always forgive me. I love my family,

and I just love spending time with them. Each of my children absolutely amazes

me. They are all different in their own way.



I am blessed with many great friends. My friends stand by me even when I

mess up, and they are the first ones to point me back in the right direction.

I have the opportunity to serve in many ways at the church I belong to.

Despite my shortcomings, I am involved in people’s lives, and I love it. I have the

opportunity to teach an adult Sunday school class. I serve in various capacities

within the church where my strengths and abilities are the strongest. I thoroughly

enjoy serving even though I’m not a natural “giver.”

I also serve in my community in civic service, and I’m able to contribute back

to the wonderful city that we call home.



I’m an entrepreneur. I love to take chances. I’ve started several businesses

from scratch and built them up, and I’ve had the opportunity to sell them. There

are many people out there who are much better at business than me, but I’ve

had good success despite that fact. Although I’ve been fortunate in my business

dealings, I understand that I can fail at any time. Failure doesn’t paralyze me anymore.

My self-worth has nothing do with my successes or failures.



I’m the average Joe who’s living a life of great things. I’m blessed beyond

measure, and I wake up every day thanking God for everything he has done for

me. I’m genuinely happy, although I have my share of bad days. My circumstances

have little to do with my joy. I’m confident in myself, but that confidence

does not rest on my abilities, strength, achievements, or anything that I do. It’s

tethered to something far greater.



That something is the real foundation of success, the real foundation of a life

worth living. Take a moment and consider that God does exist. If God does exist

and he created the entire universe, including you, then he knows exactly how you

are wired. He has knowledge regarding what can truly fulfill you. He knows better

than anyone in the world, including yourself, what makes you happy and

what makes you tick. In fact, not only does he know what makes you tick, but

he’s the reason you are wired the way you are. It was his design from the very

beginning.



Think about it. Aren’t there things that you thoroughly enjoy doing today

that you never could have imagined enjoying years ago? I started playing guitar

my freshman year in college. Through the years I’ve played in a few bands, and

I have loved every minute of it. If you asked me in high school if I would enjoy

playing guitar in a band, I wouldn’t have even considered it. I had no idea at that

time in my life that I would enjoy making music or playing a musical instrument.

In fact, several years ago I really immersed myself into blues music, and I even

played in an exclusive blues band for a couple of years. I didn’t even know what

blues music was in high school, and I would never have guessed I’d be that passionate

about it. On the other hand, God knows exactly what you will love doing

in the future. He knows the very things that can fulfill you completely, even

though you are completely oblivious to those things now.



Now imagine for a moment that you could access that information. Your self discovery

would be off the charts. I’m not saying that things would be easy or perfect,

but most great things aren’t easy. I’d also like to point out that God is more

interested in your character development and who you are than he is in your

level of comfort. I can truly identify with this concept after becoming a father. I

enjoy watching my kids have a great time, but I also know that it is important that

they learn and grow and acquire the necessary skills for success. It is essential for

their future.



A few years ago, two of my sons were fighting with each other, and I stepped

in to break it up. The younger brother was doing everything he could to annoy

his older brother, and I must say he was very successful in this endeavor. I pulled

my older son to the side and gave him some advice on how to deal with it. I had

a younger brother growing up, so I had some experience in this area.



A few hour hours later another dispute broke out, and I could see the

younger brother was back in full stride. I could have stepped in immediately and

broken it up, but I waited. I wanted to see how my older son would handle the

situation now that he was armed with my advice.



God does the same sometimes. He allows us to go through a trial or difficult

situation, because he cares more about our character than our comfort.

So if God knows exactly what makes us tick, and he loves us, doesn’t it make

sense to align with his plan for our lives instead of stumbling around on our own

like a blind squirrel in search of a nut?



Stephen Covey writes, “Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day,

task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination.”9

God will not always reveal his entire plan for us upfront, so it will not always be

possible to have clear understanding of your destination, but I guarantee you that

his plan is the only way to be fulfilled. His plan is the only one that will lead anywhere

meaningful. Significance outside of God’s plan is a myth, and you will

never know God’s plan without a relationship with God.



With that relationship as your foundation, you can use the principles of God’s

Word to live an extraordinary life—a life that only you are designed to live.

Over the last decade, I’ve spent considerable time researching the great entrepreneurs

of America. I have been fascinated by the idea that each entrepreneur

is unique and creative in his or her own specific way. Every great entrepreneur has

a unique style, background, ability, and approach. I was amazed to discover the

varied personalities, experience, and education in their stories.



As I started to look deeper, I began to discover common threads of behavior

present in the great entrepreneurs. I realized that there were certain principles or

methods that these great entrepreneurs were employing in their ventures that

were instrumental to their success, regardless of their background, experience,

education, or personality type.



I also discovered that these entrepreneurial methods could be applied and

used in one’s personal life with remarkable results. For example, the great entrepreneurs

are able to see opportunity that others don’t typically see, and they have

an ability to capitalize on those opportunities in creative and trailblazing ways.

The great entrepreneurs are excellent at creating vision and inspiring others to that

particular vision. They are driven, efficient, and passionate about what they do.

They are able to overcome their fears and actually use fear to their advantage.

They have a sense for what’s really important, and they tend to focus on the right

things. The great entrepreneurs are good at evaluating options while minimizing

risk and maximizing opportunity, and they have a sixth sense for anticipating

trends. They have resolve and persistence, and they are great at turning defeat into

opportunity.



Throughout this book, you will learn the process of applying these entrepreneurial

methods in your own personal life. You will be amazed at the potential

that you already possess when you start to apply these amazing methods.

While these entrepreneurial methods have incredible value, they are simply

a collection of contrived techniques without the foundation of Christian principles.

I can provide countless examples of great entrepreneurs who have amassed

outrageous fortunes only to find that they are not fulfilled and are living a meaningless

existence without an authentic foundation.



If you build your life on techniques and manipulation in a self-serving

approach to get as much as you can, I can assure you that a great awakening will

occur in your life at some point. Unfortunately, this happens for many people

near the end of their lives when it’s too late. The Bible says, “What good is it for

a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”10 John D. Rockefeller, perhaps

one of the wealthiest men in history, was once asked, “How much money

is enough money?” Rockefeller replied, “Just a little bit more.”11



If you have no interest in God and spiritual things, I would like to make a deal

with you as you continue reading this book. I encourage you to complete the

book on the basis of learning and applying the powerful entrepreneurial methods

that are presented. The value of these methods will pay significant dividends

in your personal life. As you encounter the references to God, consider the possibility

that these references represent an area you should perhaps reconsider.



Keep an open mind and really think through these areas of your life. You may be

surprised, and you might possibly make a discovery that could transform your

entire life. Think about it for a moment: if what you are believing or not believing

right now is not true, do you want to know the truth? If your answer really

is yes, you owe it to yourself to keep an open mind.



What you are about to read will light a fire for change in your life, because

you are about to embark on a journey. Maybe you find yourself escaping to a

world that does not resemble reality. Many people escape in their own minds

where they live out their fantasies and dreams, never knowing or realizing those

thoughts as reality. Perhaps you spend more time daydreaming about who you

want to be than really living.



Incredible opportunity exists for you as you read further, and I am excited for

what you will discover. My mission in writing this book is this: I seek to inspire,

motivate and equip you to find authentic fulfillment, passion, and meaning by

truly discovering the exact person God made you to be while applying amazing

entrepreneurial methods in your life.



I believe every person on earth has incredible value and potential, and when

a person understands his or her purpose, potential, and abilities as designed by

God, that person will accomplish and experience great things.



The amazing thing about this journey of great things is that you are the only

person in the world right now who can accomplish your purpose. There is no one

else who can step into your shoes and be you better than you can be you. At this

very moment of your life, you must decide. Who are you? What is your purpose?

What are the great things that you’ve been called to? I’m so excited about the

adventure before you.

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