Around this time of the year, my thoughts wander back to my father. I grew up with a father who believed in being the father. He was not always right, but what he said was law in our house.
Although not a very well educated person, my father knew how to use the Board of Education on the Seat of Learning for all of us children. He believed he had the right to be judge, jury and executioner concerning the things in his children’s life, with no appeal to a higher authority.
In the kitchen hanging next to the door to go outside was a very interesting parenting tool, at least in my father’s eyes: a paddle with a religious inscription, “I Need Thee Every Hour.” The inscription was quite true to the reality of life in our home.
Spanking was a routine exercise in our home. My father had the idea that if you were in trouble in school you were also in trouble at home. He had this fantastic idea that the teacher was right and I was wrong. I guess he knew me and that I could take a little bit of truth and spin it into a lie. I wonder who I learned that from?
Several times I got in trouble at school, which involved a spanking down at the principal’s office. The first time this happened, I well remember walking into the kitchen and saw my father standing there holding in his hand that infamous paddle. Within a few moments, the paddle was doing its duty and I was doing the “paddle dance.” Read More→
If you’ve been reading my blog posts religiously (and I know you have), undoubtedly you have drawn the conclusion that I am, to use a colloquial term, a geek. So far, I’ve watched the Star Wars 30 second teaser trailer, released this past Thanksgiving weekend, about a gazillion times — that should give you an idea of my geekyness. If you need further proof, I have a box containing a large amount of comic books. None of them are worth very much because I’ve read them, and still read them, periodically; they are really good comic books.
One, that has an exceptional amount of wear-and-tear, is a comic featuring one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Donatello. It’s a “how to” on using the wooden quarter ‘bo’ staff that he uses. As a kid, I reread that particular comic over and over using a broom handle to prepare for the possibility of a ninja attack. (And, read below, how it might actually have saved me from serious injury.)
One line that sticks out to me from the book, is this: Know your enemy, and know yourself, and you cannot be beaten.
It’s a pretty heavy and powerful bit of wisdom, especially being shared by a mutant reptile. I latched onto it because it sounded so wise, and, because I usually eat up any proverbs that are part of preparing for eventual ninja attack.
Us Dads should be prepared as well, and the quote from Donatello applies to us. Let’s break it down: Read More→
There have been times when I find myself stressing that I have all this work to do and I feel like I am not getting it done as fast as I would like to. I feel driven by the deadlines of clients rather than pacing myself out.
Or there are days with lots of interruptions from children, unexpected clients and the telephone. I have to guard against frustration because I tend to judge my day by how much work I am able to get done which translates into how much income I produce.
Let’s look at these situations in light of my vision (For more on having a vision for your business)
- Feeling pressured by clients. I find it is good to have a healthy amount of pressure because it helps me to get a task accomplished. However, when I begin to feel overstressed I ask why am I feeling this way? Most of the time I realize that I am trying to please man rather than God. I have put myself in the place of saving everyone’s last minute needs because of lack of planning on their part. Or because I underestimated the amount of time it would take to complete a task.
If I gauge this situation by my vision for the business I realize that my desire to work from home was to have an income and be able to be a mom. I intended for my business to work for me not the other way around. Refocusing on my vision gives the courage to step back and evaluate my deadlines. Sometimes I may have to call a client to tell them it is taking longer than expected.
- The days of interruption: These can be such a frustration because I start the day with an expectation of what I want to accomplish. When it is my children continually interrupting I find that I end up cross and grouchy. And again the question arises why am I doing this? Is it business first and mom second or the other way around? I am reminded that it was my intent to have my children come first. Some days they are needier than others, on those days I may not get as much work done but I have the opportunity to be the mom I want to be.
She let me have it.
The email was hurtful and hateful, and she held nothing back.
This woman called me every name in the book, explained in detail why I was unworthy of her following my blog, and gave me a laundry list of why I was irrelevant.
And I opened this email while on vacation with my husband.
When people lash out at us, it often reinforces those messages we already believe that remind us we’re worthless. Read More→
Let me ask a question: what kind of marketing strategy do you have? Or do you even have one? Is it more of the method of throwing something at a wall and hoping it will stick?
To make sales, we as business owners need to be consistent with our marketing strategy. Of course, first we need to have one, and then we need to follow it!
Marketing experts tell us it takes seven exposures to make a sale. You can’t throw something up once somewhere and then expect revenue to pour in. You need a specific plan of how to get the word out about your business across multiple platforms.
As the old slogan said, it’s really about reaching out and touching someone. It’s about showing up to serve. Not just flashing your opportunity over and over again, but giving your audience value. Read More→
Dr. Timothy S. Lane is the President of the Institute for Pastoral Care which was started in 2014. He is also a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), having been ordained in 1991. He is a member of Metro-Atlanta Presbytery. Tim is the author of Living Without Worry: How to Replace Anxiety with Peace, co-author of How People Change and Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. He has written several mini-books including PTSD, Forgiving Others, Sex Before Marriage, Family Feuds, Conflict, and Freedom From Guilt.
He has experience in both campus ministry (University of Georgia, 1984-1987) and pastoral ministry where he served as a pastor in Clemson, SC from 1991 until 2001. Beginning in 2001 until 2013, he served as a counselor and faculty at CCEF in Philadelphia, PA (Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation). Beginning in 2007, he served as its Executive Director until 2013.
In 2014, Tim and his family re-located to his home state, Georgia, where he formed the non profit ministry the Institute for Pastoral Care. His primary desire and commitment is to help pastors and leaders create or improve their ability to care for the people who attend their churches. For more information about this aspect of Tim’s work, please visit the website for the Institute for Pastoral Care. He continues to write, speak and travel both nationally and internationally. Tim is adjunct professor of practical theology at several seminaries where he teaches about pastoral care in the local church.
Tim and his wife, Barbara, live in Atlanta, GA. They married in 1989 and have four amazing children. Follow him on Twitter @timlane
As a new business owner, I must admit I struggled with figuring out how to balance my life with my business. As a mom of two children, and someone who has her foot in the world of part time employment, it’s often been a delicate balancing act. There is always the question of how much time to give to my business, while making sure I am engaged and present for my children, while also being a productive employee. My life also includes having time with God, serving in church, staying on top of household chores, being a good friend and all the other many things that clamor for my attention. Last but not least, practicing self-care so that I am around long enough and able to do all that God has for me.
Try as I might, I’ve never been very good at the balancing act. Instead I always felt I was just barely holding it all together. Trying to achieve some sort of equal distribution of time among all the moving parts that make up my life was all consuming, frustrating and exhausting.
But then I had an “A-ha” moment. One of those where clarity comes to you and things just finally make sense. It happened in church when my pastor was speaking from the book of Ecclesiastes. The simple yet profound statement he made went like this, “stop trying to balance your life and instead move with the rhythm of your life.”
Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, is one of those books in the Bible that is filled with practical wisdom about life, death, meaning, and work. It is also a book that clearly illustrates the seasons of life and how everything has its own appointed time. This is something I knew, but did not always put into practice. I was going against the natural timing of my life. What I found was trying to balance things did not work for me. The more I tried to balance the more I was out of balance. When I realized I was working against the rhythms that my life was producing I was able to start to make the shift in how I approached time. Read More→