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About this time last year it dawned on me that I needed new ideas. I was doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. I needed new ways of thinking. I have a BA in Christian Ministries and I continue to read, but I had never put serious thought into career direction or plans. I've always worked hard, but I was stuck. I was a roofing contractor in my early 20's and did well at that but it was not a long term passion of mine. I spent four plus years in the electrical trade with absolutely no regrets. However, there I was about this time last year at age 34 and I realized I needed new ideas and new ways of thinking about my career. 

Once that 277 volt light bulb went on in my head I immediately purchased Dave Ramsey's book, Entreleadership in the audio format. At that time I was finishing out the basement in our house between work hours so I devoured the audio book and wrote down everyone Dave Ramsey referenced. He mentioned Earl Nightingale, John Maxwell, Dan Miller, and John Acuff. These are the ones that stand out. Somewhere in there I ran across the quote from Jim Rohn, "you become the average of the five people you are around the most." Not bad, I can do this digitally. Well, that's partially true, but with that I started a mastermind group modeled after Dan Miller's 1+1=3. That's the context now for the past six months where I have my tangible, local group of men each week where we go through books and dialog on current things in our respective businesses. I know if you are part of this web community you don't lack vision and action, but maybe you are still hiding in the shadows. Make a phone call today or download Dan Miller's 1+1=3. Read that thing before you select who you want to meet with weekly. Then go through a book like Timothy Keller's Every Good Endeavor or a Seth Godin book or 48 days to the work you love. Who wants to look back and wonder what if...? Take action now and then take a glance in your rear-view mirror next year and you will be amazed.

Below is a picture of my basement construction (completed now) where I consciously began to tackle finding new ideas and how to think differently in order to achieve different results specifically with my work. I wanted to get inside the minds of great thinkers and doers. My favorite podcast is Dan Miller's 48 days podcast and right up there is John Lee Dumas' Entrepreneuronfire podcast. I recently discovered Cliff Ravenscraft, a great technical resource for podcasting. You guessed it, I have a podcast brewing. Yea, I can plan to monetize it, but I have something I want to share regardless of that aspect. Keep your ears peeled this summer. 

Dan Miller's podcast has been a weekly highlight for most of the past year and while I wish I had discovered these men sooner, there's no looking back. Dan Miller has mentioned that too many people live their life looking back. Here's a word picture I've shared with people on more than one occasion: Think of your car. What size is that rear view mirror in relation to the windshield? pretty small. It's there but it's meant for head checks, not the main focus. We can't erase where we came from but by all means look forward. God put our eyes on the front of our head for a reason. Look out!

My God bless you all with true vision for who He is and how he wired you. What would happen if you thought less of yourself and more of others? Now there's a new idea. I'm not talking about false humility. No, recognize and embrace your skills, gifts, and abilities and then put it into use without worrying what people will think. Serve people by adding value and using your gifting. You have them, don't doubt it for a minute.  

1, 2, 3, ship. I admit my influence from Seth Godin here. I'm hitting "publish." It may not be pretty, but I'm sharing what I have and I hope to bless one person by this. 

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Tags: bulb, fear, idea, influence, insanity, light, new, ship

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Comment by Ed Barnett on March 6, 2014 at 9:17pm

Thanks Chris. Let me know what you think of Entrepreneur On Fire.  

Comment by Chris Conley on March 6, 2014 at 3:42pm

Ed, nice message. I'm always looking for new ideas as well. Most of what you wrote I'd heard of but I did write down John Lee Dumas to check him out. I'm always looking for something better. I agree with you as well to do what we love and if it makes money down the road that's great but not the reason for existence. good luck

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