How to Start Something Big: Step 3

The past several installments I’ve been talking about switching from a work for the man mentality to a mind my own business attitude.

In the brave new world that’s being constructed around us we must become, like it or not, more responsible for our own lives.  Attendance-based employment which simply means, show up and we’ll give you a paycheck, is on its way out.  Performance-based, need-meeting reward is now taking its place.

So far I’ve talked about to start a business, to develop a mind my own business mentality, you need a core set of beliefs about how the world ought to be.  You need a calling, which gives you a sense of internal motivation as to what you care about.  And that gets further extended into the third thing you need, and that’s a cause.

A cause is something that matters to you. It gets your blood pumping.  It will get you up and get you moving every Monday morning for the next 40 years.  A cause is something that’s wrong or lacking that you care enough about to move into, to dedicate your life to try to plug up that hole.

Your cause may be justice, it may be healing, it may be making life easier for someone.  Your calling may push you to be a songwriter, a poet, a doctor, a professional, even a ditch-digger, because we do need ditches and somebody has to dig them.  Or, like my father, a road-maker.

Cause is something that you’re willing to dedicate yourself to the education, preparation, and dedication to be great at.  It’s as Malcolm Gladwell said in his latest book, Outliers, it’s the area you’re willing to spend 10,000 hours to become great.

So ask yourself, “What wrong needs to be righted, what load needs to be lifted, what gaping need needs to be met?”

For me and Paula, our passion since the day we got married at 18,  has always been to help people connect to God in a real way.  We set about giving real hope to real people in the real world, helping people grow great relationships over time, helping people find ways to get in on what God’s doing in our world. It’s been a constant, ongoing passion.  It’s moved us several times, we started two churches, and after having been in the people-helping business, we’re as passionate today as we were the first day we started over 38 years ago.

This decision on what your cause in life is going to be is important because it needs to match up and come into alignment with your calling.  This is important because if your calling and your cause are in alignment, firmly founded on your core beliefs, then you will never, ever, (get this, this is the good news, listen, write this down) ever have to retire.  You’ll never have to move to South Florida, buy a small condo, and wander around the mall looking for the latest soft-serve yogurt.

You want to be employed the rest of your life with something meaningful, important, and most of all, rewarding.

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