By T. D. Jakes
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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around August 14, 2018. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
In Inspired to Soar!, Bishop T. D. Jakes’ 101 daily readings will motivate you to kickstart your entrepreneurial drive. With the practical business sense of a successful CEO and the soulful encouragement of a life coach and pastor, T.D. Jakes will challenge you to unlock your God-given potential. Whether you’re a busy professional or just beginning your career, each of these readings is designed to fit into your schedule, while providing Biblical wisdom, reflections, and inspiration. Buckle your seat belt; you have been cleared to fly beyond your fears and absolutely soar!
I’ve written Soar! Build Your Vision from the Ground Up with the young entrepreneur as well as the successful business leader in mind. I want to help you create a business that will take flight and then soar. I also want to share with you from my experiences as an entrepreneur ways to keep growing and sustaining your flight.
I use the analogy of flying because launching and running a successful business is a lot like taking off and flying. In order to fly—and start a business—you need to overcome the inherent fear of leaving the safety of solid ground to defy gravity, navigate through unexpected variables within predictable patterns, and soar.
In this book, I use the stories and information from my book Soar in bite-sized pieces, prepared in daily readings to help you digest the information regularly. I’ve included scriptures to match the themes of the readings to give you a Biblical perspective, which can further undergird you and prepare you for what is ahead.
You will see that the Wright Brothers, the inventors of the first airplane to actually take flight, are one of my favorite examples of successful entrepreneurs. What they did back in the early 1900s changed our lives forever. Their model of innovative, relentless tenacity is one we can all glean inspiration from. These brothers made the seemingly impossible become a new reality.
And I believe that’s exactly what every entrepreneur does. So with your ideas in mind, don’t give up on creating what may seem impossible. As you work through this book, I will offer my thoughts and suggestions on this journey. I hope to help you catch the vision, build your wings, check the weather conditions, launch, and soar to new heights.
You’ve been cleared for take off… so let’s go!
He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
(Psalm 103:5, NLT)
Do you remember your first time flying in a plane or even seeing one take off? If you had a similar experience as I did, you were captivated by the huge plane that was able to lift off of the ground and enter the air. Once the wheels of the plane were tucked in, you felt the plane pick up speed and sustain itself in the friendly skies. It was and still is amazing.
You, thousands of feet in the air, are able to see the beautiful, puffy clouds just outside your window. What were once far away are now so close you may think you can reach out and touch them.
Flying for the first time is a lot like creating your own business, launching a start-up, or establishing a nonprofit organization. In order to lift off, you have to overcome the inherent fear of leaving the safety of the solid ground behind. The journey to entrepreneurship is filled with unexpected variables and it requires just a bit of crazy and a lot of courage.
The Wright brothers are a great example of what it takes to get a business off the ground. Orville and Wilbur used scrap materials from a bicycle shop to build wings that would change the transportation world forever. Their curiosity and vision drove them to try and fail and try some more. They passionately pursued innovation and eventually transformed inspiration and perspiration into aviation.
You too, my friend, can take off like an airplane or even an eagle and soar into the sky. If you are willing to put in the work, follow your heart, and take a risk, your dreams of owning a business can take flight.
Are you ready to take off?
Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
(Ephesians 4:23, NLT)
As you prepare to launch your business venture—or take your business to another level—I encourage you to take a look inside of yourself. You can’t fly high without checking your internal gauges and ensuring they are ready for your flight.
I believe the ascendancy on the outside begins with the transcendence of a personal vision for what you can be. This starts on the inside so look at yourself. What do you see? What do you want to create to solve a problem or issue? What do you think people need? Why do you want to launch out on your own?
Your dreams begin internally and serve as the fuel to bring them into reality. Don’t let go of the reason you have decided to take a leap and do something different and new. You will need this internal desire to keep you moving when things get cloudy and difficult. What drives you today can keep you moving forward when everything else says to stop.
Spend time trying to capture in words how you feel and why you are launching. You may need to refer back to your thoughts in the middle of this journey. Don’t underestimate the power of your own words to motivate you.
And don’t forget the power of God’s Spirit can renew you and provide you with energy and insight. Keep your thoughts and attitudes focused as you prepare to take off.
Why did you start your business—or why do you want to launch?
Solve a Problem
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
(Romans 5:3-4, NLT)
What needs fixing, changing, or solving? This is a great question to ask yourself as you look to build a business. It’s a great idea to offer a solution to a problem. Lots of people want solutions—and your providing an answer can not only help others but yield profits for you and your business.
Look outside in and isolate a problem or condition that may currently be affecting the social and cultural climate around you. Is there a need for a new product or invention that can help people with a certain lifestyle due to changes in technology, the economy, or perhaps migration patterns? Have environmental or political changes caused problems for those around you? Find a solution to assist them and you have found a viable business idea.
To turn your idea into a business or to expand your current business assess the time, talents and treasure that have been placed in your life. Use them to the fullest to employ strategies that can solve problems and provide a need for your community.
We often get frustrated from problems—in our personal lives or in our business. But changing your thoughts to focus on the solutions rather than just the problems can inspire innovation that can transcend into a successful business. It’s all in how you see it.
What problems do you want to solve?
Change for Good
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33, TLB)
As we continue to look at how you view problems, I think it helps to take note of what is happening in your life. Are you exhausted from dead-end positions, pointless relationships, and indifferent environments? Often times because of these circumstances, you are forced to make a change. And that change can bring about good.
Successful entrepreneurs have learned not to curse the dark but to look for opportunities to share the light. Do not allow times and circumstances to derail you. Use them to push you to greater heights of innovation and invention.
You can use the blunders from your past to set a new course if you view them more as stepping stones than as failures. Bad models you’ve observed can push you to create change and do something differently. Use the wisdom garnered from what you’ve experienced and observed along with your talent and drive to arrive at a new destination. It can happen, depending on how you view the trials and sorrows you inevitably encountered in life.
What trials have pushed you toward entrepreneurship?
Face the Giants
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession of it; for we will certainly conquer it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people [of Canaan], for they are too strong for us.”
(Numbers 13:30-31, AMP)
If you are serious about pursing your dream as an entrepreneur, you no doubt can see 101 reasons why you shouldn’t move forward. You may feel like the scouts, or spies, from the Israelites sent to check out the land God had promised His people in today’s verses. The land was filled with milk and honey, which meant it was fruitful and prosperous and filled with great treasures. However, people who looked like giants to the scouts also occupied the land. In fact, compared to the people in that land of Canaan, the Israelites looked like grasshoppers (Numbers 13:33).
When you stare at the obstacles between your reality and your dream, you too may feel like a helpless grasshopper; your bank account may seem miniature compared to the expenses you will incur. Your staff may seem invisible compared to the amount of work greeting you in the face. Your courage can be like a speck compared to the job at hand.
But there is hope. If you have the faith of Caleb (and Joshua) you will not only see the beauty in the land, but you will remember the promise in that land. If God has told you to go, then get moving. Stand tall and take one step at a time. Declare that you are well able to conquer whatever stands in your way.
Do not be discouraged about the size or number of obstacles in your path. I’m a witness; God can do things you could not even imagine. Use the gifts that God has put inside of you, rely on God’s strength, and activate your creativity to soar above any obstacles you encounter.
Instead of staring at the “giants” in front of you, rely on God and the giant ways He is able to accomplish what seems impossible.
What do you see: giants or God’s promised help?
Faith and Fear
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1, NIV)
When you decide to launch a business or expand it, there’s one thing you’ll surely need. It is faith. You can do all of your homework—and I urge you to; you can write an excellent business plan, study the conditions, employ the best help, test your market and product, but you can still be fearful. Taking the next step is often scary.
I encourage business developers to feel the fear and move forward any way. If you’ve done your homework, you are ready. Pick up some faith and move on.
When you have faith, you decide to believe in God’s plans for your business as well as in yourself. You realize that everything you’d like is not always right in front of your face. You have to trust and believe that things will come or work themselves out eventually. Wise entrepreneurs know they do not have all of the answers and resources, but they make the decision to build their faith and go for it.
Oftentimes there’s no safety net. Going after your dream requires that you take a leap—and jump into it. Working with risk is a part of building a successful business. You will need faith to take a risk in the beginning—and even more faith to keep soaring.
Learn to get comfortable with risks. They go hand-in-hand with success. Get comfortable with risk and growth’s relationship, for the biggest risks can yield the best results.
Build your faith!
What’s in Your Hand?
Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. “Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back.
(Exodus 4:2-3, NLT)
Oftentimes when we set out to pursue our dreams, we want to start off at the top. We want to be an overnight success, producing excellent services and goods that impact the world. And that’s not a bad goal—always shoot for the stars.
However, young entrepreneurs—those who are just starting their business ventures—need to be reminded to begin where they are. If we are not careful, we can become paralyzed because we do not have everything at our disposable to make our dreams come true. We can wonder if we have enough money, enough expertise, enough influence, etc.
New business owners can sound a lot like Moses in Exodus 4. If you read the beginning of the chapter, you’ll see that Moses was filled with doubt when he was given his assignment from God to deliver the Israelites from the taskmaster Pharaoh. Moses wondered if anyone would believe that he was sent by God. Moses wondered if he had what it took to be successful.
But God had an answer to all of Moses’s questions. God simply asked Moses what was in his hand. Moses, I’m sure looking at his hand and seeing only a staff used to guide sheep, answered God.
Then, God showed Moses what He could do with a simple shepherd’s staff. God turned the staff into a snake.
I think God was telling Moses to start where he was; to use what he had to begin his venture.
And that’s what budding business owners need to do, too. You won’t have everything at the starting point, but take assessment of what you do have and use it to get started. Your skill with faith in God can produce much more than your excuses.
What’s in your hand?
Use What You’ve Got
One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.”
“What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”
“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.
(2 Kings 4:1-2, NLT)
In Soar! I tell the story of Robbie Montgomery, whom many of you may know as the owner of Sweetie Pies. Miss Robbie has restaurants in St. Louis and Beverly Hills and she also starred in her own reality show. People rave about the down home cooking you can get from Miss Robbie’s establishment, but here’s an even better story behind her success. Miss Robbie had a successful career as a singer—she was a backup vocalist for Ike and Tina Turner and worked with Dr. John, Joe Cocker, Stevie Wonder, and Barbra Streisand.
But her music career ended because of a lung condition. But as you can see, that didn’t stop Miss Robbie. Yes, she had to give up her dream career in music but she didn’t give up on herself. She searched for another career and her love of food led her to the restaurant business—and that’s how we have Sweetie Pies.
Life can be rough and tough. Dreams can be deferred and shattered, but true leaders dig deep and persevere. It’s just like the story of Elisha and the widow. This woman was at the very end of her rope, left with her dead husband’s debt and two sons to care for. She didn’t know what to do, but thankfully, she turned to the prophet Elisha. He asked her what she had in her house. She said she only had oil—and that’s where her sweet spot was. Elisha told her to get some jars and keep filling them with oil, her product, her brand, all that she had. She obeyed and she had a profitable business—so profitable that she was able to pay off her debt and care for her sons (2 Kings 4:7).
What you need to start your business may be right in front of your eyes. It may seem like a simple talent to you, but when you mix it with faith and perseverance, it can become a blessing to you and others.
What’s in your house?
Count the Cost
But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?
(Matthew 14:28, NLT)
Most entrepreneurs I know are big dreamers. After all, it takes vision to make things happen. You have to “see” a goal before you realize it. But there is a time and place for everything. And sometimes it helps to start small and employ a measured approach to our dreams.
When our dreams exceed our resources and our vision transcends our present opportunities, it is okay to start small—or even re-strategize. I don’t think it’s a lack of faith; I think it is similar to what Jesus taught in today’s verse. You have to count your cost, think about what you need to get to where you want to be, and observe your current situation as well. The example Jesus used was of a man building a house. Before he starts building, he has to see if he has enough money to complete the project. He doesn’t wait until he’s laid the foundation to see if he has enough money for the roof. No, the builder estimates how much he’ll need before he gets started.
When thinking about starting your business or taking the next steps, be practical and consider how much money you will need to invest in your dream. Also, think about how much time you have available to you. Do you still need to work a full-time job while starting your business? Do you have the responsibility of caring for children or elders?
Modify your strategy to fit your reality. And keep going. Don’t let your circumstances make you stop dreaming or moving forward—just do it with wisdom, knowing what you are dealing with.
Have you counted your costs?
Know the Conditions
- On Sale
- Aug 14, 2018
- Page Count
- 112 pages