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THERE ARE TIMES when it’s good to step back outside my business.

A great example is the discussion I had with someone this week, where we were talking about the larger picture around our country.

Despite all the anxiety this last year has produced, I find that we still have an amazing and unique form of government.  It’s not perfect by any means, but I have deep respect for something which has lasted well over 200 years.

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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?

On a missionLATELY I’VE BEEN WORKING with an increasing number of business owners who are out to change the world — in great ways!

For instance, I spoke with the head of a local medical clinic who is tackling the rapidly escalating costs head-on. They’re using a different model that relies much less on insurance companies, helping to give patients the tools they need to keep themselves healthy.

I can point to the rapid growth in what had been called “alternative medicine” but in fact is now quite mainstream. Chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists and naturopaths abound.

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Happy_Holidays_(5318408861)HOLIDAYS like Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr and Passover are important at multiple levels.  We enjoy them perhaps as cultural touchstones, but even more important is the core grounding of each event.

These examples happen to be religious, but you can find similar secular examples.  In the US we’ve adopted Memorial Day and Labor Day as the unofficial beginning and end of summer.  And like everything in this country, it seems they’ve also been overtaken as consumer events.

But the core behind these remembrances is quite deep, based on the loss of lives in military battle, and the conflict between management and labor in the Industrial Revolution.

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TODAY IS THE Procession des saints de Bretagne - diocèse de Vannes, cathédrFEAST OF ALL SAINTS in the Catholic faith.  It’s a remembrance not only of named and recognized saints, but all who have achieved eternal life – whether we know them or not.

It’s a great time to ponder the ultimate purpose of what we’re doing here.

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Photo from Tax Credits on Flickr

Photo from Tax Credits on Flickr

LET’S FACE IT: You spend most of your career doing what others want.

You’ve probably felt hemmed in by obligations, the need to support your family’s lifestyle, and a desire to amass retirement savings.

But now what?

I’ve been working with people who now want to take their considerable expertise and build a new consulting business, mentor in the community, or be on a non-profit board.

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WE ALL GET DISCOURAGED.  It’s a part of the human condition, and a constant struggle.

PersistenceBut the fact is that those who reap great rewards are not so much those who are smart, talented, or lucky.  It’s those who are persistent learners and adapters.

“Rewards” in this case might be monetary goals, fame, impact, or spiritual development.  Doesn’t matter.

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ONE OF FORT COLLINS’ claims to fame is Sign guyTim Farnsworth, the M&E Painting sign dancer guy.  He’s been working for the company for six years now and is an energetic asset to the community.

He cares deeply about his job.  He’s an expert and puts his whole heart into what he does.

Let’s contrast this to, oh, the other twenty sign flippers around town.  They stand there.  Maybe they wave their sign around a little.  It a fit of inspiration, they might even turn it around for ten minutes.

You get the impression that it’s just a job, a way to make a few bucks before moving onto something which will pay 50¢ more.

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DO YOU PRAY for your business?Pray flower  I know that I’ve struggled with this question over the years.

In our society, we try hard to separate our religious lives on Sunday from our secular lives the other six days of the week.

But God has asked us to be focused on him at all times, not just for an hour or two.

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THERE’S A WELL WORN STATISTIC below-257882_640which states that 95% of businesses fail in five years.  Or something like that.

I’m not even going to bother looking it up, because it doesn’t matter.

This is just a way to discourage people, to make me somehow feel better than you because I was able to land a real job while you’re … frittering your life away trying to do that “start your own business thing.”

It’s not real.

And it doesn’t matter.

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