quoteTHIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR when we talk about planning and goal-setting.

Which is a wonderful thing.

But we have to recognize that longing for a better future and even planning for it is not what creates it.  At the end of the day, it’s about action.

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ARIANA FRIEDLANDER IS A MISFIT.

In fact, she’s made a business out of it!

I met Ariana a few years ago, and was inspired by her energy and creativity.  But it’s always been a bit of a struggle for me to describe what she does.

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THIS IS AN AMAZING, wonderful day for Christians.  But if you don’t have a particularly Christian business, why is this important?

Because we’re real people.  And our employees.  And customers.

The human things matter.  It’s not like business is a machine we can set in the corner and ignore.

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THIS TIME OF YEAR tends to get a bit slower for me.  More reflective, thoughtful.

For others, it can be crazy season.  Especially if you’re in retail.

But it’s still important to have a time when you can pull back from the details and look at the bigger picture.

thoughtful

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seasonTO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON.

One of the biggest challenge that we have in directing business is to know when to hold the course steady, versus changing things up. In fact, you’re probably doing both simultaneously in different aspects.

As you know, I’m a fan of cycles, seasons, holidays, and the general rhythm of life.  Not because I’m easily bored, but because it helps to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.

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interview-1018333_960_720THIS LAST WEEK I had a chance to help out some high school kids in a very special way. Every semester for the last few years they’ve held “mock interviews” for some of the students, giving them a chance to find out what a job interview is really like.

Some of them are terrified.

But of course you’d expect that.  They’ve heard all the scare stories, a grade is on the line, and they’re putting themselves out into totally unfamiliar territory.

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fearWE SPENT THE LAST SIX MONTHS focusing on, and often dreading, the outcome of the US presidential election.

There really was no reason to be paralyzed, but it seems that’s where a lot of business owners went to.

So it’s time reflect.  In business, stuff constantly changes.  New competitors come on the scene.  Technology advances.  Regulations shift.

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FARNSWORTH GROUP is a very special kind of company.

A few months ago, they were recognized as a Great Place To Work, an award that isn’t at all easy to obtain.  But in a very real way, it’s something they’ve been working on for their entire history, over 110 years.

Many people equate a great place to work with the high-tech snazziness of foosball tables and idealistic millennials.  But here we have an engineering and architectural company with an honored history spanning multiple generations.  Their focused innovation is inspiring.

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WE JUST SURVIVED the most contentious election cycle in my lifetime.

There’s a lot of people who feel injured right now.  But our strength as a country is being able to pull together for the good of the nation after each election.

What we’re seeing is directly applicable to running a company.

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REFUGE COFFEE is an amazing business based in Clarkston, Georgia, in the US. I’m going to let this video speak for itself:

 

 

They’ve structured this as a non-profit, but they don’t necessarily have to.  I’ve seen others who go the for-profit route, in order to maintain more freedom of operation.

What’s their true mission?  Selling coffee, of course.  But also job training, social network, and job creation for the huge diversity of refugees in the local area.  Coffee is the product, but social benefit is the purpose.

Go check them out!  www.refugecoffeeco.com

If someone were to create a video telling your deeper story, what would they focus on?