Have a Plan! Change is about to happen!

The problem with the statement, ‘Change is about to happen,’ is that by the time we notice it’s arrival we can do very little to affect it. We have to ride the wave of change but only if we have not prepared for it.

Change has momentum and power. Change is not evil, good, or bad. The results of and our actions towards that change, however, can be.

Since the seasons change we can assume life changes. Where we work, how we work, live, play will also change.

Some change we see coming and some we do not. Change can bring fear and often does. Peace, however, is a great combatant against fear, but only if grounded in a great foundation of truth. Hope, that is real hope, breaks the fear of change. But it takes courage …and lots of it to endure that change- especially when it is something we had not seen coming or the road before us just go so foggy you can only see inches down your path.

If peace is the great combatant against change, How do you find peace? I gained peace by surrounding myself with certain internal as well as external guards. I completed my will. Then my estate plan, then finances were gotten in order… all the while I increased my attitude upward and began a deeper relationship with my heavenly father. It spiraled upward and became very well defined once I found a little book by Michael Hyatt.

Michael Hyatt has a wonder e-book on Life Planning that you should go check out. It’s FREE, and I love FREE! Also go review his site and Dan Miller’s site about Master Mind groups…

It’s so simple to gain peace in a changing world, we just have to take those actions we know we need to take. Now more than ever, is the time to gather stability that remains stable even when everything around you is falling, shifting, moving…

Question: Would you be any worst off if you made a plan and change never came? But change is coming… If you have gotten Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan book and filled it out I’d love to hear the effects it has had in the peace of your life- Please leave your comments below!  Thanks!! 

Back to the Basics…

In reading on the lives of millionaires, biographies of historical icons, and listening carefully to those who are far more wise than myself, there is one common message that rings true over and over again– ‘go back to the basics.’

Getting back to the basics may be translated differently in different environments. Terms like, keep your eye on the ball, watch the ball in, and soft touches are all terms that athletes hear day in and day out from coaches who understand the importance of ‘the basics.’

Off the pitch, the court, and the turf the terms are different. These are terms frequently overlooked and forgotten because they are hard to spot at times. At times these terms mean less revenue in the short term but render millions in the long term. They are tough to see right off because they are, when in their purest form, woven into our character. The fiber of our make up. Most who possess them and have honed them stand out from the crowd in one way or another.

In The Millionaire Mind, The author Thomas Stanley looks at hundreds, if not thousands of millionaires and successful business owners. The number one word that more successful people attribute to the backbone of their success is of the basic of basics: Integrity.

Webster’s defines the word as a “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values:  incorruptibility; an unimpaired condition:  soundness; and the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness

Integrity does not know your family any different than it knows your business dealings. Integrity does not know about your job any different than it knows about your wife or your husband. Integrity fails to see anything different than itself; Firm, Incorruptible; Sound; Complete.

So how does your integrity stand up? Is it time to return to the basics? What would happen if you did? Would it be worth a potential short-term loss for a long-term gain? If the answer is Yes, to any of these, you are a welcomed traveller in a new journey that will yield its fruits in due time. Take courage, this road is hard, but you have what it takes, because you got back to the basics.

It Might Take Some Time

If you have ever wanted something now, rather than later, you are not alone. Most of us have and honestly, I cannot name anyone who has not. Delaying gratification is hard, not fun, and frankly something we’d rather not do most of the time.

This conversation is more than an encouragement to not eat the extra piece of cake or read the last chapter first in a best-seller, which both could be seen as superficial. Rather this conversation is one we all wrestle with over the long-haul; weeks, months, or even years.

I have developed a practice of reading (rather listening) through the bible each year. I simply start at the introduction and finish in the maps. This morning, while still in the Old Testament, something struck me. It seems that each leader, Abraham & Moses for example, appointed successors long before their deaths. This practice was even seen with King David when he was anointed King long before (years and years before) he ever took the thrown.

This is what would happen, the priest would stand with the passing leader (or on behalf of God) in what seems like a semi-private affair, pray a blessing over the successor, offer sacrifice and…. that was it. No party, no celebration, nothing… except a long silent wait to ascend to position.

Joshua would not lead the Hebrews for months or even a year; King David was a boy when anointed and he, after his anointing, simply returned to the fields as a shepherd for the next near- decade.

Such is the story sometimes in our own lives; we have a dream or goal or passion and then we start down this road only to find it longer than we thought… and darker …and bleaker …and fearful.

Something of note that should brighten your path, and something that brightened mine was this: Moses was in preparation some 40 years before ever seeing the burning bush; Joshua was being prepared for his greatness by being the admin’ assistant to Moses for decades; and David was killing lions and bears long before his encounter with Goliath.

That silence you hear, that emptiness you feel, that is insurmountably huge, might be the preparation you need before you step into your own greatness…your calling. These just might be your prep-years. It was for Moses, for King David, and it definitely was for Abraham, who waited about 100 years for his prep-years to come to an end.

While I hope we don’t have to wait 100 years to step into our calling, waiting until the prep-years are over is critical to your success once those years are over. You would never skip out on practice in order that you might win a game, so don’t do that here. Do not harbor hatred or resentment in these years of preparation. Run the extra-mile, do the extra push-ups, read the additional book, take the other class, …say the additional prayer.

Be encouraged, even the calling on the life of Jesus as a man was only three years, but 30 of those, in human terms, were in preparation for an eternity. Those 30 years of prep-time changed the world. Why cannot this also be you?

Your calling might be huge and freakishly unorthodox, but if your fellow man or woman were at stake would you dare to try to accomplish it? If your family was at stake would you do it? If your why is bigger than your hurdles, then Yes, you would do this. But take heart and stand strong; enjoy and endure the prep-years, your calling coming, but it just might take some time.

Making the Commitment

Making the commitment is hard.

Committing to anything is an act of courage. There is always a struggle, a balance of good and evil, that pulls and challenges your commitment. Many times, it is an everyday battle. But how you deal with it determines everything.

Perhaps you, like our family, have a coin jar. This jar seems to fill up all by itself. Day after day, week after week, the loose change piles up and soon the wide-mouth Mason jar overflows its rim and then we know it’s time to the count dough! This is actually a fun event where we all guess how much is in the jar – the winner is lavishly rewarded. It’s fun and we make a really big deal of it. But we are always surprised to see how much builds up over time.

Investing in your family, your church, your synagogue, your community, yourself, your retirement account, is no different. It takes time and energy. Some days are fun and others are not. Some folks laugh at you and others support you. You fight throwing in the towel and wish you could give up.

But fortunately, that’s part of the deal!

In the book of James, the author implores the reader to consider it joy, whenever you face trials, because you know that the testing of your faith (or commitment for that matter) produces perseverance. He goes on to say, to let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I understand the feeling like you do not have the income to invest or the time to spend with friends. I really do. It’s hard. But when you Make the Commitment, the commitment the choice has been made. All internal arguments now have permission to stop their torment! And you, you have the freedom the do those little things that will yield the person you are trying to become.

A quick principle: Little things over time will produce a harvest.

Christian or not, the idea of not lacking because I stayed true to my commitments, even under fire from my friends and foes, sounds like a program worth trying.

So go ahead and Make the Commitment.

Take Courage, I’ve been this way before

Joshua was Moses’ right hand man just next to Aaron. He was with Moses when God spoke on the mountain, when Moses raised his arms over the embattled People of God when Moses was seemingly controlling the battle from afar. Joshua was there looking on when Moses broke the original tablets known as the Ten Commandments. Bottom line, Joshua was very much in mix from the beginning. So much so, that when Moses passed away, Joshua was assigned as the leader of the Hebrew Nation. That’s a big deal!

Joshua was a rightly freaked out. The book bearing his name opens with a story of God saying, ‘Take courage! Do not be afraid!’ The new leader only needed to hear this about three more times before he started to understand that he needed to take courage. But what Joshua really needed to know was that the God of his fathers was the real leader of this ragamuffin band called God’s Chosen People and that he was in the fight with him.

Unlike the flannel-graph depiction of Joshua talking to a blue-eyed, blond haired, massive angle on a hill who was delivering a message from ‘gawd,’ there is little doubt that Joshua had some legitimate fear and the God of the Hebrew nation was there to help him figure things out.

Massive amounts of books and articles have been written on fear. Several will speak of doing one thing and others will say do another thing. But in the beginning, the message was simple and clear: Be strong and courageous! [It’s worth to note that the message Joshua heard from the angle, it also carried with the message of WHY he was to be strong and courageous. There is always a WHY behind the reason of taking courage.]

No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. (Joshua 1:5-7 ESV)

So why the Sunday-School lesson? Simple. Like Joshua, our fear seems very real and at times really spooky. It’s a legitimate emotion, validated by our shaky knees and sweaty palms and sleepless nights. It’s only when we take courage and join forces with someone else that the edge is taken off.

What fear do you have? Where do you need to take courage? Is it in that talk with your teenage daughter, your wife, or your boss? Or is your fear in your investments and you need courage to hold or sell that stock?

That “someone else” may be God, it may be your spouse, it may be a friend. But the the truth is, we all need to take courage because we all have a fear. We are not alone in this fight despite what we may feel and see.

So, Take Courage, the path you are on has been trodden before and will be trodden after. Be strong when you feel weak, run when you want to walk, laugh when crying is easier, dig deeper when others say, ‘enough.’

How true it is that this journey may not led you where you thought it might; things may be different on the other side of fear and the other side of courage.

But then, maybe weeks or many years later, you can stand with someone who is frightened and afraid and render the same advise- “Take Courage, I’ve been this way before.”

Green: THINK

This week I have the honor in presenting a guest post from Daniel Howell. Please let us know if you enjoy his post!

Daniel Howell is future computer game designer and app developer who goes by the handle “Green.” He is without a doubt a servant leader and a creative brain that will challenge the way his generation thinks about their world. Green is a man to be watched in the upcoming years.

DHH Pic for blog

During an interview with Daniel, he explained what he does to help him cope with mental noise while trying to be creative. He suggested something that would benefit us all!


Noise is everywhere, he said, this is what I do that helps me out:

Don’t fight the noise- While silence will help you reset your mental queue, embrace what you hear at first and keep a notebook handy to write down any good ideas you have. You may find this is a good way to get a to-do-list started on a great project!

I took Green’s advise, made a to-do list, listened as the noise died out, and went on to think with wonderful clarity.

Bottom line is this: by taking action on the noise, you lessen the volume, which will allow for your greatest creativity to begin!


Question: There are many ways to cope with mental noise. How do you cope with your noise to become more productive and creative?

Why a Legacy?

Over the last several months my wife, Lesley, and I have been focused on leaving a Legacy. In fact the next several posts will be focused on Legacy. We will all leave a legacy, but we want to leave a Legacy that counts–a Counter Cultural Legacy. We knew that doing so was important but also knew that if we did not land the WHY first, everything else would simply just not stick.
RADM Hugh Howell Jr.

RADM Hugh Howell Jr.

I’ve been fascinated with the legacy our great grand parents—mine here in Atlanta and Lesley’s along the Zuurberg Pass in South Africa. Just like you, we knew landing the WHY would open the doors to HOW!
Here are just a few of our Why’s leaving a legacy was important us:
     -We will influence to the second and third generation – we should really try to get this right!
     -We get to set the stage of what others will think about us when we pass on
     -We will start living our lives with intention and purpose
     -Leaving a legacy will help guide our priorities and goals–A filter in which our actions can be ordered
     -Our kids will thank us and be better for it
These are just some of our Why’s… 
Our Legacy will either be great or small. At the end of our days, none of us want to be remembered as the ancient King Jehoram. History simply remarks that he was a bad king, died a painful death, and none regretted his passing. We want to be missed, but not in a ego-centric kind of way. We want to leave a stake in the ground not just a tombstone. We want others to wish they had more time with us; that we could live on through our family and friends, our outreach programs; we want influence in others lives; we want to know we made a difference. And that answer, you can only answer while you are here-now.
Why is leaving a Legacy important to you? Would you dare leave one worth calling of Great? Worthy, Counter Cultural?  Tell us your WHY!


Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”

There is never a bad time to be grateful. Platforms should be used from time to time to render proper thanks and appreciation to those well deserving folks who practice such a fleeting trait as gratitude. As such, I wish to dedicate this post to two, of the many, who have blessed me with instruction, mentorship, friendship, & great honor.

LTC Thomas H. Carlisle Ret. (US ARMY): No manner of words could ever express the amount of gratitude I have for this man. Separated by time and distance, this man still stands as a bastion and pillar of what a Soldier, a Man, Father, Husband, Christian, Leader, Giver, and Teacher should strive to become. While in the throngs of service under this personal icon, I doubted myself countless times only to find this 6’6″ giant standing aloft whispering (and sometimes shouting) you can do it! roll with the punches… take the heat-round… serve your men well. I am glad to say, I did just that. His is a legacy that will never be forgotten. I am where I am today because of the leadership, mentorship, and prayers of this man.


Staff Ride – Vicksburg, MS – LTC Carlisle, Center Front

Anthony DeKarski: I had the honor and privilege to work for him for two years. In this two years we were able to develop a roofing program that would be first in class. We established programs and units of measure that would be used in several other trades and industries. Under Anthony’s leadership and guidance the roofing program grew a list of solid companies that bought into our brand / model of business and both parties have become better for doing it.

But that is not who Anthony is.

Anthony DeKarski

Anthony DeKarski

Anthony is a quiet guy who does great things for others. He see things for what they can be and makes them that way. He is the linch-pin in which the door swings. With no promise of gain and with no expectation of returned favors, Anthony is an ultimate networker who loves to give; he is a servant leader who loves his family and his friends and the work he does. His belief in me has lead to no shortage of blessings for which even the term ‘gratitude’ might be found lacking.

The Vendor Base: Recent events demands an equal shout out…

Like most, I ware multiple hats in my life. Upon a recent event I found myself the recipient of many congratulatory phone calls and e-mails. Baffled at how the information in one area of my life leaked out to so many; I found the primary culprit–Anthony DeKarski.

With that, a special shout out to several folks who congratulated me for a recent accomplishment. Without some very key folks in the following companies, headaches would be bigger… a lot bigger, and the roofing program would not look as it does today. Please know you add value to yourselves, your companies, and to me. My roofing world is made better because you are in it! Many others should have knowledge and experience of your value and drink-deep the service there of. Thank you again for all you do!

Retail Construction and Signage, GAF, Batten & Companies, Rogers Electric, Simon Roofing, Baker Roofing, IRWPR, B & M Roofing, Dowell Roofing, Superior Structures, NRP, Brighter-Image, North American Roofing, Merit Roofing, SRA, StormBlok, DOC Maint, Lutz Roofing, Peck Brothers Roofing

Do Over!

You are allowed a DO OVER!

You are not a Robot – Stop trying to be one!

You are not a Computer – Stop trying to be one!

You are not a Machine – You have not fooled anyone!

You are not The Super Dad – You have short comings-and know it!

You are not The Super Mom – The real Super Mom is a myth! You are excellent at who you are and what you do– just the way you are!

You are not the greatest boss – You completely lack people skills and forget where you came from!

Congratulations – Welcome to Earth! You are human and as such you come flawed!

But all is not lost!

You are allowed to hit your Re-Set button and start over.

But start over with the wisdom you have today. Live your life as if today, you actually allowed yourself to start it all over. Kiss your wife, your kids, the dog (ok, skip the dog), attack that goal, project, punching bag as if today was the first day you ever encountered or experienced them. Baked in wisdom and past experience you did not have the first time, you will win, and it will be sweet!

Now have a Do Over!


I’d love your feed back: What is your do over?

Trust through a Wealth of Relationships

I found myself sitting in a room of folks listening to them talk about the number of projects they cranked out since the first of the year. Some of these groups had completed a lot more than others. They spoke of bottom-line numbers and then rewarded themselves for meeting a number. Good for them… I suppose.

As I silently left the conversation I started to compare their projects with our team’s. It was cut and dry, we run our business  completely differently and have completely different results; We do more than hit our numbers, we duplicate excellence, and always plan past the objective. We do this by taking an entrepreneurial approach to everything we touch.

To quote the Savannah based law firm of Bart Meyer & Company, “We Build Trust through a Wealth of Relationships.”

The number one resource you have is People; trust them, build them up, and treat them well.

Here are a few steps we take in the successful management of our projects:

  1. We take ownership and full responsibility of our projects.
  2. We find what is working right and duplicate it, no matter how simple or silly it may be.
  3. We ask lots of questions in the planning process. Our philosophy is that a well planned project is about 60% complete.
  4. We don’t make Elephants climb trees. We ask what our vendors can do, share our vision of the project, lay out all the requirements, and ask again if they can meet the criteria. If they cannot, we ask how we can help them.
  5. We see our vendors as PEOPLE first. They, like us, have kids and colds and homework. They have families, marriages, funerals; some are fighting cancer others helping elderly parents. Some days are good and others have plenty of opportunity for improvement. Our team is no different.
  6. Our team knows a lot but our vendors know more. …so we ask more questions

These are only but a few steps that have been the secret to our success. Success will breed success. Share information with your vendors. Help them succeed even outside of your business. Recommend them to your neighbor,  the car dealer, plumber, accountant. You will win every time.

Question: How have strong relationships helped you win in business? Personally and Professionally.