Partnering For Profit

I’m stubborn.

Sometimes, that’s a good thing. If I’m right and I’m fighting a righteous cause, it’s a very good thing. Nearly every successful person I know has credited at least part of their success to persistence.

If I’m wrong, or what I’m doing isn’t even important, let alone right, stubbornness is a liability.

I once heard a very rich man say “Skeptical and Broke is a bad combination”. He was talking about how thankful he was that he took a risk on something he wasn’t convinced would work. And how now that he was rich, he has turned his skepticism way up.

Just about everything we do is a partnership. We need to recognise what are good partners and what aren’t.

Some people just bring out the best in me. Then there’s the others…

Partnering can be tricky. In business as well as marriage, the right partner can multiply your effectiveness. The wrong partner can block your effectiveness entirely.

And profit is always a partnering thing.

Jesus questioned whether gaining the whole world was profitable at all when the loss was too high – your own soul.

The bible talks about how powerful the word of God is (Hebrews 4:12) but then says it can be rendered completely ineffective by tradition (Matthew 15:6).

Scriptures tell us that faith is the one thing that is absolutely required to please God (Hebrews 11:6), but is not profitable – in fact it is as useless as a corpse – if it isn’t partnered with works (James 2:14-26)

I recently worked in the political sector for the first time. So I studied political books. In Alan Behm’s memoir “No, minister” he quotes the perfect maxim:
“He knew nothing but thought he knew everything; making him perfectly suited for a career in politics”.

Ignorance can be bliss when it is partnered with an insouciant innocence or even a voracious curiosity. But when it is partnered with arrogance it is dangerous at best, and too often completely destructive.

So if you’re mixing it up, how do you find good profit partners?

I look for people that can profit from my knowledge.

I look for situations that can profit from my expertise.

I look for opportunities that will profit from my passion.

I look for projects that will profit from my strengths.

If you do that, you should continually grow in profits.

And it’s just as important to avoid those situations where the losses will be too great. I was reminded again recently how vitally important it is to avoid partners (people, situations, opportunities and projects) that don’t value my knowledge, expertise, passion or strengths. Saying no to those things might make people think that I’m stubborn. And they’re right.

 

Pic Credit: @andrewroblesphoto

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Master of Scale

One of my favourite podcasts is Masters of Scale, where Reid Hoffman (Venture Capitalist and co-founder of Linked In) interviews entrepreneurs about how they scaled.

There’s lots of great lessons every episode, that I won’t try to recreate here – it’s worth a listen.

But it always reminds me what a BIG thinker God is.

No, for all the nations of the world
    are but a drop in the bucket.
They are nothing more
    than dust on the scales.
He picks up the whole earth
    as though it were a grain of sand.
Isaiah 40:15

Just picture that for a minute…. God picking up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand balancing on the tip of his finger….

The truth is the journey for most entrepreneurs involves growing your capacity so that things that used to seem way too big for you to handle, become so easy to handle, it’s like flicking a grain of sand off the end of your finger.

You have to stretch your mindset, exercise your faith, grow your skills, enlarge your ability to deal with finances and much more.

The area that I see first-time entrepreneurs struggle the most is with people skills. Leading a team of people ain’t easy. It just ain’t. But the way you steward people is often the most limiting factor in the scale your business grows to.

Allow your team members to be late, annoying, sick, make mistakes, lacking in talent and disappointing. Because guess what? That’s how you got here, too.

I’m really good at spotting talent. And I’m good at recruiting and developing talent. Mainly because of all the mistakes I’ve made in these areas!

One of the best techniques I’ve learnt, is to look at the other person and repeat in your mind “We need you”. And smile. We are one body. We need each other. Any other mindset is truly a deception.

Often, the reason people seem to be “more trouble than they’re worth” is because they’re not yet in the right spot. An eye is really useful when it’s helping you to see. But if you’re trying to walk on it, it will seem really painful just to be around.

Jesus knew that leaving the 99 to recover the 1 was the only way to ensure His flock would grow into a multi-generational, global flock. We need that cheeky little sheepy baa baa on board. We’re all the better for being together.

So it might be time to do a team audit. Is everyone displaying they’re worth? Are they providing value to others? If they’re not, it’s up to you to unlock their value. How? Usually, by assigning them to a new project, a new team, a new context. How do you choose that new role?

Wait for it. It will shock you. Ask THEM!

And then LISTEN to them. And give them honest appreciation and feedback.

The writer of Hebrews doesn’t say “Don’t neglect the gathering of yourselves together…” He says “Don’t neglect the assembling of yourselves together.” Hebrews 10:25

If you’re the key to growth (and you are), your role is to approach the organisation like an orchestra. You have to make sure all the violinists are sitting together so they’re not poking out the trumpet player’s eye every time they play.

Even if growth isn’t your role, if you are answering phones but you’d rather be blogging or coding a website, help yourself, your organisation, and everyone else around you, by letting them know. There maybe some timing issues, but the sooner you let your team leader know, the sooner you can become a functional part of the assembly.

Success is funny. It’s like putting together a Swiss watch. Your assembly shouldn’t have even one screw loose. You might need to use tiny tweezers and a magnifying glass. Assemble it to be a finely honed machine – not losing a second – “working like clockwork”.

That’s the irony of thinking big. Scale is about being able to handle the whole earth as if it is a tiny, delicate, detailed grain of sand. Getting the details right is what allows you to go global at staggering speed.

Jesus commissioned us to go into all the WORLD = BIG thinking….
and make disciples = SMALL doing.

On the first episode of the Masters of Scale podcast, the co-founder and CEO of global growth Godzilla AirBnB, Brian Chesky, summed it up this way “In order to scale you have to do things that don’t scale”.

 

Priceless Advice to Profit

One of the best things you can do to profit, is to step away from your business.

I heard a preacher last month say “I love those big red double-decker buses they have in London. I took a photo of one for you!”

Up on a giant screen flashed a completely red screen. And he said “Sometimes you’re too close to see what is right in front of you!”

So, getting some distance is often the first step to getting wisdom.

Have you ever met someone who only ever sees problems (even when everyone else is awestruck by a miracle)? They think they’re so clever they want to put floaties on Jesus because they think they alone understand the difficulties that Jesus just can’t see.

Even if you’re not surrounded by problems or problem people, take some time out from listening to your own thoughts and from seeing what is up close. Listen to the advice of others who have already beaten their own path to profit.

Often, they’ll tell you how profit is the worst place to start (but a great place to end).

One of the unique things about entrepreneurs, unlike other business owners, is that they are usually creating something brand new. So there’s not necessarily going to be technical advice of how to solve your specific problems.

But there are clues left by other entrepreneurs about what might be even more important – people like Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs.

The point is, there’s always help. This video helped me – I trust you are at least inspired to pursue your own pathways to profit. And hopefully also learn something that you can put into action today to help you see a double-decker busload of profit heading your way!

 

Why do Shepherds shepherd?

Sheep need a shepherd – that’s a no brainer in marketplace terms. But Shepherds surely have lots of other choices, especially these days; brand ambassador, social media manager, youtube star – all just as soul-enhancing as shepherding, right?

So why do reasonably sane people with lots of other choices become shepherds?

Now, if you’re a pastor, forgive me, but you’re probably way off track, already.

You see, pastors don’t seem to even hear the word shepherd when you say shepherd, they hear “pastor”. They start thinking about God’s calling, commissioning, anointing.

They think about people.

But, just try for a moment, to think like a real proper shepherd. King David wasn’t pastoring people, he was shepherding sheep.

Why?

Okay, yeah, his dad probably made him. But then why did Jesse choose that?

Real life shepherds, look at you weird if you ask them that question.

They look at you the same way my niece looks at me when I ask her why she hasn’t got her PJs on and brushed her teeth ready for bed even though I’ve asked her three times already.

Like, it’s a dumb question.

Like, I should know the answer.

Profits.

VALUE – MONEY – INCOME – PROFIT – Marketplace.

Is this why Jesus chose marketplace disciples??
Because they would NOT think like pastors?

Maybe the reason Jesus and all of his disciples were the best people to grow the church were because they thought like business people not church people.

Maybe Jesus wanted His church to be… wait for it, pastors, brace yourself… profitable!

Now – you’re going to be shocked because I won’t think like you think.

You’ll probably even think I’m way off.

I’m wrong …

But ask yourself – seriously.

Am I perverting the way God made things?
or am I just saying it the way God made it?

Because if I’m perverting or twisting God’s ways then you can call me demonic…

But if I’m just pointing out God’s ways to you, you have to at least listen to what I say, right?

Even if you don’t like it.

It’s going to HELP you.

When King David wrote about God, he wrote about a Shepherd who provided ALL the needs of his flock (Psalm 23). That Shepherd needed to be pretty well resourced, right?

This Shepherd didn’t just let us hear his voice on Sundays, but he got in the kitchen and laid on a feast for us (even when our enemies were in our face), who was with us during our worst times, and who made sure our cup was overflowing.

Shepherds were the ones who got the call from the angels at the birth of Christ (Luke 2)

More than one.

OUT at night … living where the sheep lived.

24/7 shepherding.

They weren’t namby pamby “Sunday is like a work day for me” pastors.

They were doing the long hours, the midnight shift.
Why? Because sheep herds need more protection during the night than during the day.
How many night shift pastors do you know?

I don’t mean the occasional late night phone call.
I mean spending EVERY NIGHT with your flock? You know, like small business marketplace people usually do.

Most pastors I know are working way too hard and simultaneously not hard enough. They’re working too hard at shepherdy things and not nearly hard enough at helping sheep get their sheepy things done. Some are so out of touch with sheepy things they barely know what functioning like a sheep looks like anymore.

Is this why Paul continued in the marketplace?
To protect against church-think?

How do you do it?

Add value to sheep.

Forget “hear my voice” – they’ve been doing that.
And it hasn’t helped you or them that much – really, has it??
Well, has it?

Give ’em good pastures, an environment with:
– good location
– rotation

Get ’em breeding – duplicating themself – that’s the number 1 skill a profitable shepherd ensures his sheep maintain. Lambing season is the highlight – and it’s not just because lambs are cuter than most sheepy baa baas. A good shepherd will intervene in all sorts of unnatural ways to get sheep doing what should come naturally!

Take your sheep to market, let them see demand and supply in action, up close and personal.

Even if they’re not producing lambs for you, at least fleece them!

Hello, pastor? Remember, how I said to stop thinking like a pastor…

Yes, I am seriously suggesting you fleece your flock. That’s what they’re there for.

Shepherds know that when they take value from the sheep, they are actually giving value to the sheep. Did you ever hear about Shrek, the kiwi sheep that got lost for 6 years. His fleece was so heavy it could have caused chronic issues:

  • The weight was so heavy he could barely get up
  • The wool covered much of his eyes, he could barely see
  • The thick coat could’ve caused heat stress

Shrek continued growing on his own, but no-one benefited from it until his Shepherd found him. Shrek was growing, but worse off. There were no woolly jumpers for customers those 6 winters – the marketplace was worse off, and no payday either – the shepherd was worse off.

You see, when you take value from sheep, you do three things:
1. take burdens from them, and

2. bring provision to yourself, and

3. bring value to the marketplace.

All marketplace people know that customers have two choices when dealing with your business.

They can either keep their problem, or keep their money.

They can stay hungry, or buy food from you.

They can stay bored, or buy a movie ticket from you.

They can get frustrated trying to write a blog piece that sells, or get you to write for them (call me ;-).

Taking their money helps them function better. They get better results. They literally feel better about themselves. And they start to grow anew.

I’m not talking about gouging them for your own selfish benefit. I’m not talking about short-term opportunists here. I’m talking about the natural way, the way things are, and always have been, designed to work. I’m talking about a fair, mutual, exchange of value here.

 

Good shepherds help protect their value. They invest in sheep dip. They weed out the thistles in the paddock and fertilise the clover and alfalfa.

And they fence sheep in. Jesus called it a door (John 10:7).

Sheep without a shepherd, or sheep with a shepherd that is just a hireling, are like sheep with a wolf.

Scattered.

That’s the kind of future we don’t want for our flocks (yes, I’ve started talking about people, now).

Scattered – distracted. Shepherds remind us of what is important, they focus us. They intervene when we are going astray.

Scattered – disparate. Shepherds fence us off from disunity, and directionless wanderings. They unify us. They show us the quickest path to provision.

Scattered – unproductive. Shepherds make us work together, so we, well, work. We reproduce another generation. We know how to grow a fleece – on a timetable. Our milk flows (mmm goat’s cheese). Eventually, our Shepherd might even chuck us on the barbeque on Australia Day!

Sadly, many pastors are scattered, too. My hope and purpose for this blog post is that it helps us all start fleecing and focusing and stop scattering.

Marketplace shepherds need to know these skills, too.

We all need to be reminded of Jesus’ words to Peter.
Do you love me?
Feed my sheep.

Feed them real sheep food; help them focus on growing profits, regularly, so that yielding their annual profits to you is not only a natural part of life for them, it’s a real weight off their shoulders.

Otherwise, you’re just leaving them useless and helpless, like youtube stars to the slaughter.

 

Fastest Path To Online Profits

Many of you know me personally and know my story; how I started my Internet business the first month that commercial internet traffic became legal in Australia, in June 1994, and have been earning money online ever since.

But this blog post is about what I would do if I was just starting out today (9 January 2017).

If I was starting now, the choices might seem a little overwhelming. I know a lot of people in the industry – I know who is credible, and I know there are a lot of sharks out there. I’m also pretty savvy about the tricks the shysters use to “borrow credibility” and I’m diligent about researching and actually testing before I recommend anything to anyone. But I’m not going to pretend I haven’t thought that something looked good, only to be disappointed.

That’s part of the value of what I do – I invest my own time, money and experience in finding, testing and comparing the results of online solutions – and help others avoid the time-wasters, money-wasters, and experience makers 😉

When I first started, especially, but even today, some of the systems and tools have cost thousands of dollars or require ongoing monthly costs in the hundreds. The learning and time investments on some of these systems are horrendous. Just the other day someone asked me to commit to working everyday for the next hundred days. I don’t know about you, but I don’t commit more than three months of my life to total strangers.

Forget that! I’m not afraid of commitment, but I want them to prove themselves, and their solution first, before it costs me three months of my life I won’t get back. And I certainly don’t invest thousands of dollars in unproven solutions. After all, Jesus never said to the hungry multitude, if you keep coming here everyday for the next hundred days, and you invest hundreds of dollars, then I’ll feed you some loaves and fishes.  No! Jesus provides instantly, without qualification, for multitudes – and that’s the kind of kingdom principles I love helping people with.

Other online “opportunities” require a lot of preparation time. You have to think, research and write your business plan; including identifying your target market or ideal customer, developing your strategy, creating marketing funnels, adopting a profitable business model. And that’s just the planning part.

Then you have all the practical things that can take days if not weeks and months just to learn how to do, let alone actually do:

  • choosing and registering a business name
  • establishing a bank account
  • obtaining a tax file number
  • buying a domain name
  • web hosting
  • blogging platform
  • email address
  • facebook page
  • twitter/instagram/snapchat/pinterest/tumbler account …

This can all get a bit overwhelming. And quite frankly, it can turn what looked like a profit at the beginning, into a loss.

The good news is you don’t have to do any of that – and you can start creating online income today even if you have no knowledge, no experience, and no money.

When I first started, I had lots of hard slog occasionally interrupted by major financial breakthroughs.

The first night that I earned $10,000.00 in one night – was the first big breakthrough. At the time my father, who was a Research and Development Engineer at the prime of his career, was earning $32,000 yearly.

The realisation that I had earned in one night what it took him nearly four months to earn, blew my mind. Here I was, still in my twenties.

My pay packet for the day was more than 100 times what his was.

I started doing calculations on how quickly I could earn a six figure income – in ten days!!

Then God stretched my thinking… if I could have a $10k pay day one day, why couldn’t I do that everyday?

A few quick sums later and the calculator was staring me in the face with an annual income of $3.65 million … all online, without leaving my home.

That’s what got me really excited – and helped me earn my first million dollars online so quickly – and why more than twenty years later, I’m still excited about helping people do what I did.

But my friend Phil made me realise recently, that just because it’s all so easy for me now, doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone else. We were in a bar at the marina, on a hot day between Christmas 2016 and New Years Day 2017, having a few refreshing drinks, and I told him one quick technique I use to make money online. Before we left the bar, within a few short MINUTES, he’d made money online too. He kept saying “this works!”

To say he was happy is an understatement. I had to resist saying “I told you so” … I was about to tell him he should read my blog more often, when I realised I hadn’t even shared this technique with you, my lovely blog followers!

So -to help you avoid the hard slog parts, and skip straight to the financial breakthrough parts – here’s what I’m going to share with you:

  • The fastest path to make online profits without any knowledge, experience or money.
  • How to make your first $200 online TODAY
  • Top 3 tips for making it even more profitable
  • How Google, Facebook, Apple, Uber and AirBnB have created Billions of Dollars of wealth for their owners
  • The number one online profits mistake – and, more importantly, how to avoid it
  • The only decision that matters
  • Pay Day Timeline – when EXACTLY you’ll get your money to spend

In Psalm 112: 3 the Psalmist tells us “Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.” Righteousness and riches often go together, but this scripture also teaches us that riches and real estate also go together. You have wealth and riches in your house. The simplest, cheapest and by far the fastest path to unlock the wealth that is already in your house just waiting for you to profit from is through AirBnB.com.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, I did a quick live YouTube video (feel free to share on your social media, too). Fastest Path to Online Profits.

There are no startup costs at all. It’s free! They do take a tiny commission when you make money, but you can benefit from all their global systems for free before then.

I’m a firm believer that ANY lack can be overcome with partnership. The bible says that those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. (Psalm 34:10). Most of the people I help don’t need more money, they just need a good partner. So I teach them how I partner with profit giants – multi-national, multi-billion dollar, global, online companies who provide online profit systems to help you prosper.

If you make just one room in your house available for booking at just, say, $30 a night – all it takes is one person to book for one week and you have made $200 online income TODAY. One week is my average length of stay – but I’ve had guests love it so much that they’ve wanted to stay longer. One guest even wanted to stay for six months!

I have a restriction now so that guests can only stay for a maximum of two weeks because I can make more money in other ways and I like having maximum freedom with my time. But that’s another great thing about this solution is that you have total flexibility and control over your listing. You can literally turn it on and off at any time just like a money tap. If you want cashflow turn it on, if you want to stop it for awhile, just “snooze” your listing to switch it off for a while. It takes less than 30 seconds to make those changes. And, remember, both Phil and I got our first booking within moments.

Everyone wants to go on holidays and find somewhere to stay – this is not something you have to get all “salesy” and “pushy” about. Those are hunter strategies where you go out and chase down your prey. This is the kind of technique Jesus said He would teach his mates – fishing strategies – where you have to think about what is attractive to a market of hungry fish? What can I offer that they will enjoy taking?

With AirBnB not only are there no startup costs, a global network, and no selling involved, there is a really small learning curve. If you can fill out a form and upload a photo, you can start using AirBnB. Either download the app to your mobile phone or open the browser on your desktop and you are half-way there already.

But the biggest benefit by far is the speed with which you can make your first money online. Not only can you do it from home, you can also do it in a few minutes from a bar at the marina when you are in the post-Christmas relaxation mode. Or without leaving home, whilst you’re still in your pyjamas before you’ve even had breakfast. It’s fast!

Look, it’s not the perfect online business. For a start, you don’t own or control the business platform. But if I was starting out, even if I intended building my own business platform, I would start here, and let AirBnB provide cash flow my future, ideal business. Your future, ideal business will definitely need cash, and even if you intend to get investors, they will want to see that you know how to fund your business without them.

If you want to avoid the number one online profit mistake, you need to hear something you probably don’t want to hear; Your future, ideal business is very risky. All ideas are. Most new businesses are. AirBnB is proven to work. Jesus taught his mates to make sure they were building on a firm foundation, by doing (Matthew 7:24) – not a risky, unproven, unstable idea. You’ll probably surprise yourself at how much you can learn by actually doing – creating online income – than you will by dreaming.

Too many people make the mistake of waiting for the ideal business. They want all the details before they start. Wise old Solomon said “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” (Eccl 11:4, The Message). A good plan today, is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. When God called Abraham he told him to go to the land He would show him (Genesis 12:1)… He didn’t even tell Abraham where he was going; He just wanted him to start!

Another common mistake people fall for is trying to be a solo-preneur on their own. Firstly, it takes way too long to do it all on your own.

Time is the asset. You only get one life.

SYSTEM stands for Save YourSelf Time, Energy, Money. If you don’t have a system, I can guarantee that you are wasting time, energy and money. Don’t do that!!!

The smart solo-preneurs partner with profit giants like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, Uber and, of course, AirBnB, who have created billions of dollars for their owners. If you are still thinking of Facebook as “such a time-waster”, can I encourage you to see these companies with fresh eyes? They are valued at billions of dollars by the stock market because they provide real commercial value – they have global online profit systems that help millions and millions of people create wealth and riches. And they do it by letting you get started quickly. Did you know you can learn some things just through association? The bible says “He who walks with wise men will be wise” (Proverbs 13:20). If you want to be profitable, you’d be wise to partner with profit creators to build your own profits.

You can even make AirBnB more profitable. You can start building a list of contact details from your guests. Follow them on social media, ask them to introduce you to more of their friends and build a global network of people who like and trust you and can tell you how you are helpful to them. You can provide tours and experiences and earn money from those other services on AirBnB now too – so you don’t even need to have a room to rent out!

There’s other ways you can amp up your AirBnB profits, too. Contact your guests before they arrive and give them all the information they need. You can add value by letting them know about tourist facilities and fun things to do in your area. I always try to welcome my guests in person. And then I take them on a quick walk down to the beach and marina to showcase the natural beauty in my backyard. I leave a tourist brochure to showcase tourism partners in the region, like where they can see the koalas and kangaroos, go on a whale-watching cruise or hire a kayak and so on.

On their first morning, I do a quick check with them to make sure they have everything they need to enjoy their stay. There’s often little things, like they forgot to pack a toothbrush, that you can help them with quickly and cheaply and thoughtfulness makes all the difference to how they feel about their stay.

Okay, I know this has been a long read, but I wanted to give you as much value as I can. And we’ve arrived at the only decision that really matters: Which bank account do you want your income to go into? Make sure you check and double-check the account details you give to AirBnB, because all of this post has been about this result – getting money into your bank account. Do you want to put it into a personal account or a business acount? Do you want to pay it straight off the mortgage? Or credit card? Or put it in a savings account so you can go on holidays yourself and check out how other AirBnB hosts are using the platform to create profits?

You can even use part of your harvest of income, to sow seeds that will improve and increase your AirBnB business. (If you want some tips on increasing your online profit systems, I talk about that in my latest book, Atmosphere).

So once AirBnB have advised they’ve sent the first deposit to your account, watch that account like an eagle, until your money is there. The good news is, the sensationally awesome news is, that once you can see it, you can spend it.

The timeline to pay day looks like this:

Day 0 (today): Add your Listing, get your first booking, AirBnB tell you how much you’ve earnt.

Day 1 (tomorrow): You could be checking in your first guest as early as tomorrow – especially, if it is a busy tourist season when you first add your listing.

Day 2: AirBnB will advise that they have sent payment to your bank account.

Day 3 – Day 10: Payment might arrive on Day 3, but if there are weekends and/or public holidays, the longest I’ve had it take is a week from when they send it.

If you think this online profit system could work for you, it’d be really cool to leave a comment. Comments from my global readers are part of the feedback I analyse to help me decide how I can help more people. If I get a lot of comments, I’ll do more in-depth posts on how to make a profit online – not just the starting strategies like this, but the more advanced strategies that are a lot more profitable. So your comments will be helping future readers, too.

It’s over to you.

Go make a profit (after you’ve left a comment)! 🙂

 

 

 

Costly Technology

Seventy-Five years ago, America was attacked, by Japanese forces, at Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona alone lost 1,177 souls. The attack cost a total of 2,403 American lives. A further 1,178 were injured.

I visited Pearl Harbor earlier this year and of all the many lessons we can learn from this terrible tragedy, the story of technology perhaps tells the wider story of America’s entry into World War II the best.

Code was a big part of the wartime strategies. Yes, there were coding and decoding machines very similar to what we would now recognise as computer coding. But there were also simple codes – like secret names for operations.


One of the most effective codes of the day, was essentially a code of conduct – silence. The strategic non-use of radio technology, helped to deliver the crucial element – surprise.

“Tora! Tora! Tora!” was like the facebook status of the day – a signal to everyone in the know that the goal had been achieved.

The biggest technology failure, and it was much worse than this year’s census debacle by IBM, was the failure associated with the new technology of the day – radar. The US Army was only using it for 3 hours a day, and because it was a new technology all the operators were inherently inexperienced. Even so, the operators trusted their new tool and told management of their concerns – but the manager dismissed their warnings. It was his first day on the job.

The ability to escape detection was one of the key “success” factors in the Japanese attack. And it is still a strategy widespread in technology wars today. For all of the blatant attacks by hackers that you hear about, there are many more which go undetected, let alone publicized.

One of the key lessons of Pearl Harbor is the recognition of an investment in technologies that aid in detection. Radar had been considered “a toy” before the attack; there isn’t an airbase anywhere in the world that would operate without it today.

Technology investors and managers today would do well to remember these lessons that came at such a high cost.

Whilst radar was a disruptive leap of innovation, it was a less radical incremental technology which did the actual damage. Pearl Harbor was too shallow for traditional torpedoes. But the Japanese had modified conventional torpedoes by designing a fin, which turned them into brutally effective shallow-water aerial torpedoes.

It’s always less risky to make a proven technology better, so don’t discount the power of a simple design tweak – it could mean a simple strategic advantage – or a matter of life and death for thousands of souls.

And in that context, as well as the more mundane day-to-day uses of technology, we’d all do well to remember the best technology decision you can make is summed up in the original slogan of tech giant, Google; “Do no evil”.

 

 

 

My Dream Thief

A thief steals but he isn’t a robber.

A robber takes something by force or threat. A robber will walk into the biggest bank in town, in broad daylight, and demand that you give him all the money he wants.

He is brazen, direct and often brutal.

He may try and disguise himself with a balaclava and arm himself with a shotgun.He doesn’t care if he is the lead story on the evening news  – it all adds to the intimidation and fear he wants to create in you. It might even make his next robbery easier.

You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’ve been robbed. If you survive the ordeal, and you have enough remaining courage, you can tell the police exactly what time you were robbed and what was taken.

Compare that with a thief. He wants to conceal the robbery, not just his identity, at least until he has made his getaway, but often much longer.

A thief aims to be so sneaky that you may never even know you’ve been robbed.

Sometimes, sadly, these thieves have not only stolen, they have also murdered and destroyed.

When I help people with their finances, I often find that there is a hidden thief at work, and they have no idea.

Sometimes, they are even co-operating with the thieves.

Sometimes, they didn’t notice anything was missing because the thief has replaced the real thing with a fake. The stolen goods may not even be financial, but are still very precious; hope, laughter, peace, love, relaxation, friendship, innocence, romance, confidence, trust, integrity.

I know too many people who get to a certain age and realise their dreams have been stolen, killed, destroyed. And they have no idea when or how it happened. When I was young, I used to dream of standing in front of an audience of people who loved what I had to say. In fact, I didn’t just dream about it, I did it. If someone gave me a doll, I wouldn’t play with the doll, I would add the doll to my audience. But pets and pot plants were just as good 🙂

If I had to explain to myself as a child that I didn’t speak to audiences anymore, because no one invited me, or no one paid me, no one supported me, or no one thought I was any good, child-Shaz wouldn’t understand. Because child-Shaz knew she did it for the pure joy of just doing it.

For many years, my pay packet was actually the fake thing that stopped me from realising I’d been stolen from. I ignored the desires of my heart in exchange for mere money. My bank account was prospering, but my soul certainly wasn’t. Money was my master, my dream thief.

It took me a long time to realise that my job is not my life; my life is my job. Now, I’m following my dreams (yes, Mum, even when I don’t get paid).

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Jesus only mentioned one enemy of an abundant life.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

The work of a thief is hidden. Judas was not a robber, he was a thief. The mask he chose was not a balaclava, that would’ve been far too obvious; Judas was devious.

He looked like He was supporting Jesus, but when no one was looking, Judas was stealing from Him. While Judas was kissing Jesus, he was betraying him. He seemed one thing on the outside, but on the inside, he was the exact opposite. He looked like he was raising funds, but he was depleting them.

Judas had control of the money box “and he used to take what was put in it” (John 12:6).

Judas not only took money from Jesus, he also got the thirty pieces of silver from the priests. But in the end, he realised the money was a horrible substitute for life. (He tried to give back the thirty pieces of silver, before he hanged himself – Matthew 27:3-5).

Some of the things and people that may have supported you at one time, may now be sneaky thieves robbing from you.

  • Distraction can rob you of time, it kills focus.
  • Debt can destroy freedom, it often brings slavery.
  • Fear can kill faith, it often brings containment.
  • Criticism can steal joy, it often brings shame.
  • Procrastination can rob you of productivity, it often brings barrenness.

I encourage you to take an inventory, actually write a list of things that have been stolen. Check out if everything you have now is genuine, or have you accepted a poor imitation of the real thing? Are you living your dreams, or has someone or something stolen, killed and destroyed the abundant life that Christ came to give you?

Hawaii Five Oh

In my head, it seemed totally ridiculous; I wanted to spend thousands of dollars to travel to the other side of the world, for what? Because I was inspired by the name of a television show, Hawaii Five Oh!

Nevertheless, I did. 

And it made my heart happy.

I celebrated my 50th birthday by  lulling around by the pool, drinking Frozen Pina Coladas and reading books. 

Classes to learn local skills like hula dancing and lei making were followed by afternoon naps.

Tours exploring local geography and history like Pearl Harbor reminded me of expensive lessons and the value of peace.

Days of shopping – including my first ever purchase at Tiffany & Co – meant I came back with so much more than I arrived with.

And of course, the utter joy of catching up with old friends and making new friends.

I also spoke at the inaugural Righteousness, Relationships & Riches conference. #R3Conf

It’s amazing the way travel literally reveals new perspective to you. And how nourishing for the soul fresh revelation can be. Sweeter than even Hawaiian fresh pineapple on Waikiki Beach.


Thank you to Qantas for flying me there and Hilton Hawaiian Village resort for hosting me. 

If you’re celebrating your 50th birthday anytime soon, my only advice is -Book ’em Dano! 😉 

Positioning Strategies

Developing a positioning strategy for a startup business, is always deliberate and can be a very involved and daunting process for the first-time entrepreneur.

A positioning strategy helps a business communicate to the market the best benefits of their product.

It involves analysis of your customers, your competitors and of course, your own strengths, weaknesses, resources and so on.

You may decide to position your product as a premium provider that is associated with high quality and may be considered expensive compared to other options.

Or you may want to be the cheapest, the quickest, the most Australian, the most environmentally friendly, the coolest, etc.

As a business matures, it may re-position itself away from a niche product towards a more mainstream position. Or it might go the other way.

When things change, businesses will sometimes respond with a different positioning. For example, McDonald’s responded to healthier eating patterns by re-positioning themselves not just as a burger restaurant, but as a fast-food provider for all tastes.

But it’s not just businesses that are concerned with positioning.

The bible is full of stories of God maneuvering people into and out of positions. Unlike the deliberate planning of business positioning, the bible stories show protagonists completely unaware of the positioning process.

Esther was forcibly removed from her homeland into a foreign palace “for such a time as this”. Often these people spend significant time with no idea what is going on… until the moment reveals the significance of where they are.

I had one of those moments this week.

I found myself perfectly positioned to talk to Australia’s first female Muslim member of Parliament, Anne Aly. It was a surprisingly emotional conversation as she shared her anticipation at the diversity of voices in the upcoming parliament. And I shared how my idea of heaven is where every tribe and every voice is included.

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29 July 2016 Anne Aly, Australia’s first female Muslim Member of Parliament, with myself and DRO for Cowan, Yvonne Masgai at the official Declaration of the Poll.

When I said yes to “Project Double D” all I knew was a Double Dissolution election would more than likely be called. I didn’t know which candidates would nominate. I certainly didn’t know that in a few short months, I’d be positioned as an eyewitness to political history.

The thing is the project was not one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever been a part of. So next time, things aren’t going as well as I’d hoped – I’m going to try and keep in mind that it may be positioning me for something way more significant than I could ever understand, let alone be aware of beforehand.

I feel like there’s a lot of people who are going through major changes this year in preparation for new positions after this. You may have tried analysis of your own strengths and weaknesses and resources … and still have no idea now what is happening or why, yet.

As they say in the entertainment industry…. stay tuned!