Journal

Why My Wife and I Chose To Start A New Business Together

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“Work can convince you that you are working hard for your family, while you are being seduced through ambition to neglect them. Don’t let it happen. Don’t sacrifice the most important thing in your life for your dreams.”

– Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor

I’ll never forget the cloudy January day, when I finished Every Good Endeavor, a manuscript blessed with the wisdom of New York City Pastor Tim Keller (Redeemer Presbyterian).

This book pushed me to realize that my work is temporary, but my life is eternal. I walked away from it with a challenge to myself, to not let the “law of diminishing intent” win, as it does with most continuing education or personal development attempts. You know, when you read or hear something and get excited, only to do nothing with it in your own life.

I chose to push myself a bit, by thinking about ways I can further leverage my gifts from God, to be a blessing beyond any monetary score or career accomplishment that the world would hold high. Instead, using those relationships to share my personal story of faith with others, giving them a chance to hear about the greatest hope we have – Jesus.

“How can I dream without making my dream bigger than the relationships God has blessed me with?”

– My Internal Question after reading Every Good Endeavor

For those who know me well – let’s face it; I am a passionate dreamer who likes to architect an idea into a plan that I am willing to carry out as the mason [if possible].

This is something the world celebrates. This is something I embrace. But is there a point where this is an idol and not only a distraction from my relationships with those I love, but also a distraction from my faith?

My answer was and is an astounding “Yes”.

So my conviction when I read this back in January 2013, was that I must use my work to attempt to further impact everyone I lead or come in to contact with; this includes customers, team members, friends, family, and especially my wife and children.

Let’s read it again;

“Work can convince you that you are working hard for your family while you are being seduced through ambition to neglect them. Don’t let it happen. Don’t sacrifice the most important thing in your life for your dreams.”

Seduced? Am I actually seduced? Am I neglecting my loved ones but blind to it, because of my addiction to the ambition and intense passion for which I dream?

Tough questions to ask yourself. Tough questions I asked myself.

I began to set better parameters in my life, while still passionately dreaming, but for a greater purpose.

I am still setting these parameters every day and getting feedback on where I fall short. Feedback from my business partner, Forrest. Feedback from my Leadership Team. Feedback from my wife. Feedback from friends. Feedback from my kids.

It’s not always easy to hear, but it always gets through my head in a way that makes me better.

It will be an everlasting challenge for a guy like me to disconnect from my dreams and enjoy the present moment with those relationships God has blessed me with.

To “be where my feet are,” as Dr. Kevin Elko so simply puts it.

During these past few years of praying, reading, writing and digesting these questions, my wife Yazmin has been building a side business in our garage. Women from throughout our Ross Bridge neighborhood here in metro Birmingham, let alone from neighborhoods all over the city, have been coming to our home to get their hair, makeup or spray tan on a regular basis.

You see, my wife has dreams too. And as much as she respects my dreams; they aren’t her’s.

She has been building this beauty business in our garage, while giving birth to and raising our three children, Savanah, Sofia and James IV.

Pretty incredible!

Yazmin and I share in the passionate dreaming we do for our marriage, as we have dreams for our lives together. We also share in the passionate dreaming we do for our kids, and the things we hope they get to experience in their own lives.

But, as I saw her building her new business, I thought about what it could look like for us to share in a business dream together. Because I love everything about being an entrepreneur and she loves everything about what she gets to do for her female clients with the beauty services she so wonderfully provides.

I also thought about what it could look like for our children to see us starting and growing a business together, and how they could contribute, learn, and the natural ways our relationships with them could grow through this experience.

After lots of prayer, ideating and journaling; GLOW was born.

Yazmin originally fought for a brick and mortar salon concept, offering these hair, makeup and spray tan services, amongst others. Although I thoroughly enjoy the brick and mortar route we’ve taken with Iron Tribe, I felt like the opportunity for GLOW was more in line with the recent growth of the tech industry’s “on demand economy”.

Together, Yazmin and I designed a plan to pair two key groups through a mobile app we would call GLOW; the existing network of trained professionals who want to deliver these hair, makeup and spray tanning services when their schedule allows, and the other group is the marketplace of women who need to access these professionals in an on demand format that makes it easy to research and schedule an appointment to come to their home, place of work, hotel, or even for the customer to visit the professional’s place of work.

The past eight months have been intense, with lots of work amongst our existing roles as parents and my existing role as President of Iron Tribe. We’ve had to fund the business, which has meant sacrifices in other areas of our lives.

And the blessing of Matt Landers, CEO of Platypi, along with his wonderful team of co-founders and staff, has been the key to getting GLOW branded and designing our GLOW marketing plan together to the point where we’ve SOLD OUT our brand launch party.

In addition to the branding and digital marketing, Platypi is building the GLOW app, which launches on the Apple iTunes and Google Play app stores later this summer.

Ultimately, Yazmin and I are dreaming together, as a family.

It’s a blessing that God has given me, to be able to do something like this. And, one of many things my leadership position at Iron Tribe continues to teach me, I can use this blessing to bless others.

GLOW will follow in our Iron Tribe footsteps to “Connect God’s Blessings With His Purpose”, as we will bless others with our hopeful growth as a brand here in Birmingham and beyond.

I’m so excited to be able to embark on this journey with my wife.

 

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Habits, Seven Takeaways

“I am better today, than I was yesterday.”

JIMMY C BLOG
Each day, when I rise, I say my affirmations. Sometimes I say them aloud… sometimes I say them in the shower… sometimes I just write them down… But each day, I’m best, if I begin with my daily affirmations and then prayer time based on each affirmation statement I make, or a specific Psalm I am praying through.

 

My second-to-last affirmation is I am excellent, I am transparent, I am coachable, I am aware – I am better today than I was yesterday.

 

I love this statement, because it is not only what I live by personally, but it is also my “WHY statement” for my existence here on earth. I want others to be the best versions of themselves, through being the best version of myself. I want to grow myself each day, so that I can impact others, so that they can grow themselves and impact others!

 

A big part of this best version of myself that I long to be, is my daily consumption of continuing education in all genres, through multiple senses of intake – listening to audio, reading books and articles, watching videos, etc.

 

Another big part of becoming this best version of myself, is the network I’m always trying to expand and develop, as well as the people I choose to spend my time with.

 

While I could write further about the network I’m working to continue expanding, as well as the people I choose to spend my time with, I suggest that you check out this article I previously wrote on networking, until I address this topic again soon with an article I’m working up that I’m very excited about sharing!

 

However, in today’s article, I want to share seven of my favorite continuing education sources, for you to check out and follow, because I think you will benefit from each in a specific way that can only enhance your growth.

Tim Ferriss

His book, The Four Hour Work Week, put him on the map, leading to other New York Time Best-Selling books in the “Four Hour Series”, such as The Four Hour Body and The Four Hour Chef.
You can buy those books at www.FourHourWorkWeek.com, along with reading some awesome pieces he has written and listening to his podcast (iTunes download link here), that I highly recommend you follow and consume weekly.
When you visit his blog, opt-in with your email address so that you can receive his awesome “Five-Bullet Friday” emails, to learn the five new tricks, tools, apps or tips he is sharing from his experiences in each given week!
I listen to his podcast every Monday and Friday, on my 25-minute commute to the office and my 25-minute commute back to my neighborhood. These episodes are usually 90 to 150 minute in length and quite meaty, but it’s a great learning tool.
My favorite part about Tim is that, even though I don’t agree with some of his viewpoints, is that he will bring on all types of minds from all types of backgrounds, to figure out what he refers to as their “brain hacks to achieve such a high level of success.” These guests include Glenn Beck, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Jon Favreau, Robert Rodriguez, and a plethora of Silicon Valley CEOs, executives and investment bankers.
These “brain hacks” are exposed for you and I to hear and apply in our own lives. Tim also takes phenomenal notes, which he then posts on his blog for you to read after or during listening.

EntreLeadership

This is a podcast born out of financial guru Dave Ramsey’s organization, Ramsey Solutions (formerly The Lampo Group). It’s directly born out of Dave’s book EntreLeadership, which now has a series of educational and networking events that you can attend, from their annual Summit in May, to their annual Performance Series and Masters Series in November.
This podcast (iTunes download link here) has had such an impact on me, that we’ve sent our management team to the Performance Series, my business partner and I are taking our wives with us to the Masters Series, and I’ve even been a guest on the actual podcast!
If you want to hear from the best leaders, both from business (ie. Jack Welch) and from other realms like sports (ie. Mark Cuban) and television (ie. Mike Rowe), to once again steal their “brain hacks of success” and apply them to your own life, than I highly recommend you listen to this show weekly!
I listen on Tuesday of each week, as it’s short enough for me to consume on a car-ride to and from work in one given day.

Darren Hardy

Read his book The Compound Effect (amazon link here) to understand why I love my daily affirmations, and how we all can be more intentional with each action and action plan we put in place, to create massive results in our life.
Also, I highly recommend you subscribe to his SUCCESS magazine, where you not only receive a great monthly set of articles in print (yes, a printed out magazine), but also receive a CD (yes, a CD) with phenomenal audio interviews between Darren and his monthly features from each respective SUCCESS magazine issue. His guests range from entrepreneur to Hollywood celebrities (ie. Magic Johnson, John Maxwell, Jamie Foxx, Ryan Secrest, Martha Stewart, etc..).
For me, this is weekend consumption material, both from a magazine reading and CD listening standpoint.

Tim Keller

This guy is absolutely the best communicator of The Gospel of Jesus Christ that I’ve ever heard or seen. I recently had the pleasure of attending three of his church campuses in Manhattan, to hear a sermon, and it was just as good of an experience as I anticipated.
His sermons are always around 30 minutes, with a unique mix of the truth that lies in The Bible, and secular stories, history or analogies that will resonate with both believers and non-believers in The Bible.
If you’re like me, a faithful follower of Christ and His Gospel, yearning to grow closer in your relationship with Him… OR…  you are a skeptic, atheist or agnostic… Regardless, I highly recommend you check out Tim’s sermon library (click here to check it out).
From a book perspective, this guy has authored so many that I couldn’t list them all. Some of my favorites, however, are The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (amazon link here), Counterfeit Gods (amazon link), Every Good Endeavor (amazon link here), and The Reason For God (amazon link here).

David Platt

Four years ago, my wife and I decided to switch our Birmingham church home from Briarwood Presbyterian to The Church at Brook Hills. While Pastor David Platt was not the reason for the switch, it was pretty rewarding to be lead as a church by this guy, until recently when he left to take the President role over 50,000 churches nationwide, for the International Missions Board (IMB).
His web site Radical.net is based on his New York Times best-selling book Radical. In addition to encouraging you to check out David’s web site, his books (Radical, Follow Me and Counter Culture), I highly recommend his Radical podcast (iTunes download link here).

Dave Ramsey

This guy is a legend when it comes to financial planning and true personal fiduciary responsibility. This is a place where I hope to spend a lot of time developing myself in my 30s, so that I can build a life for my kids that is limitless, while also putting myself in a position to give in an intentional way that impacts many different groups of people through God’s provision.
I’ve recently read his book The Total Money Makeover (amazon link here), but he has many others I have not read, that other people highly suggest to me frequently. I was recently at his Financial Peace Plaza offices in Nashville, only to visit the bookstore and see piles of new books I’m ready to check out and take massive action from reading!
Dave also has a highly successful radio show, which you can listen to through his iTunes podcast (download link here). It’s a daily show, so it’s tough to keep up with, but it’s worth having on your podcasts. His slogan is Live Like No One Else so that you can Live Like No One Else, which I love because that’s the way I want to think when I make decisions as a steward of God’s blessings.

Phil Jackson and Arnold Schwarzenegger

I’ve read more than 20 books this year, but Phil’s book Eleven Rings and Arnold’s book Total Recall, were two of the funnest and most motivating reads.
I firmly believe that, if you are out to be the best version of yourself, you not only need to learn from educational books and podcasts from people in MULTIPLE realms with MULTIPLE viewpoints [that your religion, culture of political party might not agree with], but you also have to read [auto]biographies from those who have lived incredibly impactful lives.
For me – it’s all about diversity – if I can create a diverse network of people that I surround myself with (age, race, religion, socioeconomic, etc.), and I can consume a set of educational material that comes from a diverse set of experts, I believe it will lead to a personally original approach that can impact a wider audience of people!
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