Archive for October, 2015

10 Things That Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Do


Successful people have made a habit of having “To Do Lists.” They are organized and remember the things that they need to do. This helps them move forward and achieve their goals. Nevertheless, within this beneficial, ingenious, and effective habit, seldom are remembered the things that one should NOT DO, in order to be successful.

Successful Entrepreneurs, on the other hand acknowledge the significance, value and efficacy of a “NOT TO DO LIST.” They intentionally remember and utilize their “Not To Do Lists” along with their “To Do Lists” in order to achieve and render their success. There will always be something that comes in your way to slow you down on your way to success. Making the right choices and taking the right steps isn’t always enough, it’s what you don’t do that plays a key role. Here are 10 things that successful entrepreneurs don’t do, in order to achieve success.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t say “I Will Try,” they say “I Will Do” or “I Won’t Do.” “I will Try” is not in their vocabulary, they have replaced it with “Do” or “Don’t Do.” Entrepreneurs are always crystal clear about their goals and vision. They don’t believe in “trying.” They don’t attempt, they act. They don’t hope to get something done, they get it done. Entrepreneurs are committed to bring anything they start to fruition. They are in the business of getting the job done!

2. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t pay attention to the noise around them, they only pay attention to the voice within them. Entrepreneurs are “Laser Focused” on what they want to accomplish in life. They don’t let anything slow them down. They don’t listen to the excess outside noise, they heed their intuition. Entrepreneurs believe in themselves and are confident in their abilities. They do not waver or are easily swayed. Their inner voice is always louder than the outside noise.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t think that winning is everything, but they strive to win every time. For an Entrepreneur, being productive, proactive, and positive are more important than just winning. They want to add value to people along the way. Other people’s success is their success. They strive to be the best at everything they do. It’s how you win that matters versus simply winning.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t wait for solutions, they create solutions. For any problem, an Entrepreneur will have multiple options and solutions. Problems are meant to be overcome. Entrepreneurs don’t believe in a box, or thinking inside, outside, or alongside of the box. We create our own boxes, our own boundaries, our own problems. Why shouldn’t we be able to eradicate them?

5. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t like to be micromanaged, they micromanage themselves. They live with a no-excuse mindset. They have high expectations for themselves and others. True Entrepreneurs hate procrastination; everything is done in a timely manner. They are self-disciplined; this is the most important characteristic of a successful Entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t compete, they dominate. True Entrepreneurs don’t compete, they take charge, work hard to build a brand and take over any space they enter. They are charismatic leaders who set their sights on a destination, not on their competitors along the way. The future of Entrepreneurship will no longer be about competing, it will be about dominating.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t say “Poor Me,” they say “Why Not Me?” True Entrepreneurs never pity themselves instead, they provoke themselves. They ask themselves these 4 famous questions: Why? Why not? Why not me? And, Why not now? Entrepreneurs see an opportunity in any and every circumstance and situation. They believe in themselves and know their own potential. True Entrepreneurs can turn any size coal into a diamond; they are refiners.

8. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t fear success, they expect success. The biggest fear is not the fear of failure, rather it is the fear of success. Success comes with great responsibility, dependability and expectations. Entrepreneurs understand the demands of success, and are not afraid. They make sure to deliver what is expected of them. Many people would rather dream of success, than to dive into the reality of success. Entrepreneurs work hard and always pay the price for their success. They fail often, yet they fail forward, until they succeed. They always expect to succeed and are prepared for it.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t settle for mediocracy, they rise for excellence. They dream big, live big, and act big. Entrepreneurs recognize value in everyone and everything. They don’t want the ordinary, they excel to be extraordinary in all their endeavors. True Entrepreneurs practice intentional and consistent growth and get energized from it. They invest in themselves and don’t settle for less than remarkable. The standards you set for your self will become your norm; if you settle for mediocracy, then that will be your norm, if you rise for excellence, then that will be your norm.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t tolerate Low LID Leadership, they promote LID Lifting. Entrepreneurs are in the business of perpetual growth. Their sights are set in the sky and dream to soar. They appreciate high levels of leadership and growth. A low LID diminishes any chance for such growth and leadership. The past, present, and future of entrepreneurship is and will always be about adding value to others. Successful Entrepreneurs are lid lifters; they lift LID in order to help others grow and add value to their lives, which in return blesses them many folds.

Have you found yourself relating to any of the 10 things that Successful Entrepreneurs DON’T DO? If so, then you are one step closer to making your entrepreneurial goals and dreams a reality. Now you must have realized why having a “To Do List” just isn’t enough. Like so many successful Entrepreneurs, do you have a “Not To Do List?” If so, what is on there? What will you not do in order to be successful? “Not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for high performing entrepreneurs.

A Kick Start to Your Entrepreneurship


Do you feel stagnant? Are your days slow and lack excitement? Are you yearning for change, a renewal of your mind, soul, and body, even work? Are you aspiring for greatness but lack a catalyst? Do you dream of higher heights, deeper determination, and outstanding opportunities? Are excuses, lack of excitement or motivation holding you back from your dream career?

From this moment forward, cast all your uncertainties, weights, unhealthy pessimism, and worries aside. You can be a greater version of you. You can take a hold of your life, your circumstances, your work, and transform it from the inside out. You can be an Entrepreneur. All you need is a push… this article will be your push…remember that “even Eagles need a push”

Entrepreneurship is the future. It is a life style that practices intentional living, a no-excuse mindset, and strives to add value to everything and everyone. “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” – Anonymous. If entrepreneurship sounds like the right direction for you, then here are the Top 15 Entrepreneurship Quotes that will help kick start your new life.

1. “The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer. He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.” – Robert L. Schwartz

Entrepreneurs have clarity of their vision and their plan of action. They can see it before others see. They take action before others do.

2. “The greatest discovery of my generation is that people can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.” -William James

Entrepreneurs wake up every morning excited. They have the gift of enthusiasm. Their passion is contagious. Make sure yours is worth catching.

3. “You are to set your own value, communicate that value to the world, and then not settle for less. Sound daunting? That’s just because it takes you out of your comfort zone. You have got to stop being an obstacle on your own path to wealth and security and happiness. You must understand that valuing yourself is well within your control.” – Suze Orman

Entrepreneurs invest in themselves. If you don’t bet on yourself, don’t expect anyone else to bet on you. When you add value to yourself, you can add value to others.

4. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

Entrepreneurs love problems, they enjoy challenges. Problems are opportunities in which you can become a better, bigger, and bolder version of yourself.

5. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz

Entrepreneurs dream big, work hard, hustle, and take risks.

6. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs

When you face a challenge, as an Entrepreneur, you know the very first rule of success, NEVER QUIT and NEVER GIVE UP.

7. “When you cease to dream you cease to live” – Malcolm Forbes

Entrepreneurs dream big and live life. Dreams give you hope, hope gives you energy, and in return this positive energy gives you a better lifestyle.

8. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Entrepreneurs don’t have “I will try…” in their vocabulary, there is no such concept. They are movers and shakers. They get things done. They keep moving forward, no matter what.

9. “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”- Zig Ziglar

Entrepreneurs expect a positive outcome in all circumstances. They swing hard, swing often, and play to win.

10. “Success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom.” – General George Patton

Entrepreneurs do not fear failure. If anything, they fail more often, but they fail forward. They never accept failure as rock bottom, once they fall, they look and jump right back up.

11. “Remain authentic to yourself and your values as you build your business. Stand for something — never sell out for a quick buck.” – Cherylanne Skolnicki

Entrepreneurs make decisions based on their core values. Core values make tough decisions easy.

12. “Surround yourself with great mentors. They help when you reach a plateau in your business cycle and can shave years off your business development and growth through advising from their mistakes and successes.” – Thalej Vasishta

Successful entrepreneurs have Mentors, Coaches or Masterminds. They challenge themselves constantly in their life, family, business, and team. They see the value of the growth and aid that is offered by having a mentor or a coach. They attend mastermind groups to better themselves in order to better others.

13. Focus, Focus and Focus “Focus on ONE NICHE! And become the expert guru in that niche with your brand. Don’t get greedy! It’s the reason most quit by spreading themselves too thin.” – George Shepherd

Entrepreneurs never lose focus, they expand their brand daily.

14. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”- Zig Ziglar

Entrepreneurs know that Monetary Goals are not everything in life, instead, what you become by achieving them. Your hard work will get you to the top, but your character will keep you there.

15. “Entrepreneurship is the process of conquering fear with getting out of your comfort-zone and living daily in your God-given gift zone.” -Farshad Asl

If you enjoyed these Top 15 Entrepreneurship Quotes, then here is a bonus. Here are the Top 8 Characteristics that successful entrepreneurs all have in common.

If you have at least five of these characteristics, then you should seriously consider becoming an entrepreneur. Are you ready?

Top 8 Entrepreneurial Characteristics

Dream and Vision Clarity
Love to serve
Fail often, but fail forward
Add value to themselves in order to add value to others
Live intentionally
Expect to win

If these quotes have been able to resonate with you and you have been able to recognize some or all of these characteristics within you, then you are ready to kick start your entrepreneurship. You are your only challenge. Utilize these wise words of many successful entrepreneurs. If they made it, so can you.

Are You A Lid Lifter?


“Leadership is influence, nothing more…nothing less.”
– John C. Maxwell

My journey with leadership began about 20 years ago. During the last five years, I was fortunate enough to be mentored by Dr. John C. Maxwell, one of the best leadership coaches in the world. From his coaching, I have grown and developed as a leader significantly. I have learned many valuable lessons, and have developed key leadership skills and characteristics, few of which I’d like to share with you, but first I’d like to ask you a few questions.

Have you ever worked with a leader who held you back? Have you ever felt like your growth was limited? The fact of the matter is that it is not that your manager, boss, or coach has negative intentions for you; it’s more likely that they have become comfortable in their leadership style. We refer to them as “leaders with low lids.”

Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. Your leadership ability determines your potential impact on your organization. Raising the lid enables you to reach the highest level of effectiveness and have greater impact on people around you. Examples of low lids can be: fear, denial, jealousy, anger, doubt, impulsiveness, lack of confidence, lack of knowledge, and negative perceptions. Every leader has a lid, but any leader can become a lifter. Dr. John Maxwell who teaches the fundamentals of “Becoming a Better Leader” explains this concept of low lids wonderfully.

Understanding the “Law of the Lid” by Dr. John Maxwell

One’s leadership ability is determined by a person’s level of effectiveness. The lower an individual’s ability to lead, the lower the lid is. Therefore, the greater the desire to influence through leadership, the greater the effectiveness and ability to increase growth and direction is. The issue here is not that you have a “lid,” but instead, what are going to do to lift it? It is crucial to understand that you cannot lift the lid on your own; it’s based on the personal and organizational effectiveness of the leader.

If you are a leader who has become comfortable with “what works” you have limited yourself and everyone you influence in your team. As a leader, you should make the conscious choice to learn from the experiences of your past in order to provide effective leadership to the people you coach and influence. The heights that you set for yourself will be the heights that your teams will strive for too. The lid that a leader bears will be the lead his team bears. Here are a few of the key characteristics of a lid lifter.

  1. Lid lifters look for lid lifting experiences to grow their leadership capacity. They seek and cease opportunities for lid lifting to encourage people with their words, show commitment with their actions, and demonstrate their selflessness with their sacrifices. They strive to grow and add value themselves and others. A lid lifter is in the business of perpetual growth and value.
  2. Lid lifters practice and provide open and honest communication. As a leader, you must be able to practice a policy of honesty. By being able to communicate openly and honestly with your team, you have already lifted the lid of fear and judgment. Such leaders are able to change the culture and environment of a workplace. Honest communication results in honest work.
  3. Lid lifters coach people instead of telling them what to do. They lead by example instead of demands. They lead and coach others beyond discomforts and into success and personal development. Such leaders set high standards and pursues goals with purpose. By coaching a person, you have added value to them and have set them on the path of success. In lid lifting, coaching will lift other people’s lids.
  4. Lid lifters love people unconditionally. The love for other people should fuel your leadership. This passion will ignite wonders in your relationships and become success in your leadership. You can’t lead people without loving them.
  5. Lid lifters serve and help other as a daily practice. They want to help transform other people’s lives. This leadership service is beyond the self. Leadership is about the people you serve, not the title you hold. A life of service will serve you well.
  6. Lid lifters are trustworthy. They practice, value, and respect the trust they have in people and the trust people have in them. A leader with title without trust from its followers is futile. We refer to these type of leaders as “positional leaders.” They do not value relationship building, they decrease motivation, and they are a liability to the organization. A leader who is trustworthy and seeks to earn his followers’ trust is an asset to his team and organization. There is no risk or fear in his leadership. He is trusted to lift lids.
  7. Lid lifters lead and live a life of significance. In everything that you do, pursue significance. A lid lifter’s actions, motives, agenda, and goals are all in coherence with creating value. Such leaders strive to create significance in all that they does, in every relationship that is formed, and in every project that is produced. Lid lifters seek and create significance in all that they do.

These characteristics require discipline, self-awareness and dedication. A leader should choose to be a lid lifter. “Lifting the lid” is a deliberate and conscious choice that does not happen by accident or by chance. A good leader is not only self aware but also aware of others. Such leaders are able to gage any situation or circumstance and make the proper choices accordingly.

If you are a leader who is in search of self-betterment and would like to become successful, then I encourage you to implore these key characteristics of lid lifters. They will assure your growth and success as a leader. If you recognize that your lid might be too low as a leader, then make the choice to be a “lid lifter.” You are your greatest challenge. If you can overcome your own shortcomings and choose to change, then you are unstoppable.

Leadership is not a title, nor is it a position; it is a way of life. You cannot become a leader over night, but you can start your leadership journey over night. You choose the type of leader you want to be, you choose the environment you work in, and you choose the influence you have. The true measure of your leadership is your influence. Ultimately, you choose the lid you bare. The sky can be the limit. What do you choose?

They Walk Among Us…


Sometimes, we may find ourselves thinking out loud, not thinking clearly, or not even thinking. I am sure we all have experienced such occurrences. What is important in these moments is to embrace the humor and release the embarrassment. We must be able to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously.

I have discovered that humor is the antidote for successful leadership. A leader with a good sense of humor is received better and respected more than a leader who takes his or her self too seriously.

A good laugh quenches our souls and warms up a room. I use humor to break the ice in meetings and set my desired environment. As a leader, I need to be able to capture my audience and maintain a certain level of energy. I often refer to a collection of funny anecdotes titled “They Walk Among Us…” to achieve these goals.

In the spirit of Labor Day Weekend, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite stories from the collection. They always bring me a good laugh and I am sure they will do the same for you and your family. Here are some anecdotes of people who may have not been thinking too clearly, or may have not been thinking at all. These types of people walk among us on a daily basis. I like to call them the “Walkamongus”.

“Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.”

– Grenville Kleiser

” Top 10″
They walk among us…

  • While looking at a house, my brother asked the real estate agent which direction was north because he didn’t want the sun waking him up every morning. She asked, “Does the sun rise in the north?” When my brother explained that the sun rises in the East, and has for some time, she shook her head and said, “Oh I don’t keep up with all that stuff.”They Walk Among Us…                  


  • I couldn’t find my luggage at the airport, so I went to the baggage claim office and told the woman that was sitting there that my bags never showed up. She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and that I was in good hands. “Now,” she asked me, “has your plane arrived yet?They Walk Among Us…
  • While working at a pizza parlor I heard a man ordering a small pizza to go. He appeared to be alone. The cook asked him if he would like it cut into 4 pieces or 6 He thought about it before responding. He then relied, “Just cut it into 4 pieces. I don’t think I’m hungry enough to eat 6 pieces.”They Walk Among Us…
  • A man was driving when he saw the flash of a traffic camera. He figured that his picture had been taken for exceeding the limit, even though he knew that he was not speeding. Just to be sure, he went around the block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly, but again the camera flashed. Now he began to think that this was quite funny, so he drove even slower as he passed the area again, but the traffic camera again flashed. He tried a fourth time with the same result. He did this a fifth time and was now laughing when the camera flashed as he rolled past, this time at a snail’s pace. Two weeks later, he got five tickets in the mail for driving without a seat belt.They Walk Among Us…
  • My colleague and I were eating lunch in our cafeteria, when we over heard one of the administrative assistants talking about the sunburn she got on her weekend drive to the shore. She drove down in a convertible, but didn’t think she’d get sunburned because the car was moving.They Walk Among Us…
  • When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told that the keys had been accidentally locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver’s side door. As I watched from the passenger’s side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered it was open. “Hey,” I announced to the technician, “it’s open!” “I know,” answered the young man, “I already got that side.”They Walk Among Us…
  • An American was going for a job interview in the Scottish countryside and on his way out he asked a local farmer for directions, “Excuse me, dude, could you possibly tell me the quickest way to London?” The farmer said, “You driving or walking, lad?” The American replied, “Driving.” The farmer nodded, saying, “Aye definitely the quickest way.”They Walk Among Us…
  • I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: “Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don’t think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.”They Walk Among Us…
  • A woman orders coffee, but tells the girl at the window that she doesn’t want it too hot. When the girl asks her how she could cool it down, the woman says, “Just put some ice in it.” After waiting a while she asks why her coffee is taking so long. Well, the girl kept putting ice in the coffee but it kept melting.They Walk Among Us…
  • My sister has a lifesaving tool in her car designed to cut through a seat belt if she ever gets trapped in her car. She keeps it in the trunk.

“Humor reinforces the absurdity of rigid, inflexible behavior and misunderstanding, and helps us remember that mistakes are natural and widespread in all humanity”

– (Weinstein 1986; Berger 1993; Crawford 1994, 31).

Surely, we have experienced such occasions. Perhaps even, we were the “Walkamongus” of the story. It is crucial for us to be able to laugh at these times. We must be able to find the humor in our daily lives and practice to utilize a sense of humor as a prerequisite for leadership.

We all know the days of dictatorial leadership are gone. Humor breaks down the old industrial barriers of top-down leadership and lowers defenses, making your audience more receptive to your message. It makes you more likable and approachable. People become more willing to do business with you; they are willing to support you. A sense of humor solidifies your ability to build relationships, enhance your impression and reputation.

I have a question for you: Do you take yourself too seriously? Just remember…when you make someone else smile you will surely find yourself smiling too AND:

Laughter relaxes the whole body.

Laughter boosts the immune system.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins.

Laughter protects the heart.

“Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.”

~ Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.

A Leader’s Guide For Freedom


“What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man.”

-Robert Green Ingersoll

Freedom: the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity. The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

I was born and raised in Iran, a beautiful country rich in culture, history and tradition. I have been engrained with invaluable memories, lessons, and morals. Iran was once a country that thrived in its freedom. Nevertheless, due to a lack in proper leadership, freedom was not the priority of my time. Politics and power thrived at the cost of freedom. The freedom of the Iranian people was not protected or fought for by its leaders. This resulted in the diminishment of freedom and its blessings in Iran. As a result of these circumstances, the value and power I recognize and utilize in freedom, as a leader has been fundamental in my life.

When I came to the United States, I had discovered two types of freedom, external freedom and internal freedom. External freedom is freedom from political, social, or cultural restrictions. Internal freedom is freedom from personal, mental and emotional constraints. While I was in Iran, I was thirsty for external freedom. Living in this country, I have been blessed with every external freedom I could have ever imagined. I had soon realized that external freedoms were in abundance in this country, yet there was still something missing. I discovered that seldom did anyone practice or prioritize their internal freedom. Internal freedom bears fruit to self-awareness and awareness of others. It is a kind of freedom that produces enlightenment and value.

Nevertheless, this type of freedom requires intentional and disciplined living. Minister and author, Michael Beckwith, declares that the gift of self-discipline has the power to take you beyond the reasoning of temporary emotions into freedom. Think of how empowered you’ve felt on occasions when you didn’t given in to the “I don’t feel like it” syndrome and honored your commitment to yourself. Liberating yourself from laziness is one of the greatest deeds you can perform for yourself. The combination of love and passion for something with the willingness to practice discipline will result in your internal freedom.

While reflecting and reminiscing on the topic of freedom, I pondered the power, potential, and potency of internal freedom. With the immensity of freedom here in America, what does one do with it? How should a leader utilize and optimize his or her freedom? How does one render value from his or her freedom? As a leader, I believe that practicing both external and internal freedom requires self-conscious discipline. In response to these inquiries I have summed up the four major ways a leader should utilize his or her internal freedom to optimize its power, potential and potency. External freedom is given, but internal freedom is gained.

1) Use your freedom to practice your core values.

Freedom is a generality in this country, but with your core values it gains a personality. Not wavering in your core values in the face of infinite freedom proves your strengths, abilities, and self-control. Your core values come from your faith, beliefs, family, upbringing and history. These core values can vary for everyone. Maintaining your core values amidst the expanse freedoms of today solidifies the ground you stand on and simplifies difficult decisions.
Freedom with boundaries seems like an oxymoron but it is a necessary and relevant reality of our time. True leaders know their boundaries, and it is through their core values that these boundaries are implemented and built. Infinite freedom without definition that comes from one’s core values cannot hold value or significance in one’s life or history. Core values define your freedom.

Throughout history, leaders have been differentiated by their core values. For example, compare Adolf Hitler to Nelson Mandela, they were both powerful leaders, but their core values defined the freedoms they stood and fought for. Once you have combined your core values with your freedom, you will know where you came from and where you will be going. If you have your core values you will know what to do with your freedom.

2) Use your freedom to think, create and grow.

With your freedom you can move from success to significance. It gives you the opportunity to live a life of significance. With freedom you can think, create, and add value to any area of your life. My freedom allows me to grow and do what I want, pursue what I dream, and think and create what I imagine. Maximize on the opportunities and blessings freedom provides you.

Your mind, body, and soul are your essential tools. With the ability of making your own choices and living through your own will, there is no reason for why you cannot succeed in what you do. I have experienced that my freedom allows me to spend time on myself, to grow myself. I cannot give what I do not have. Therefore with such blessings from freedom, I have been able to add value to myself, and in return, add value to others.

Once I overflow in personal growth and development, then I can offer my help and service to others. When you pursue and strive for success, leading a life of significance becomes inherent. With the significance you have gained, you are filled with value. A true leader recognizes opportunities for growth, development, and creativity. He or she is not hesitant to act upon his or her freedom. A genuine leader sets an example. Appreciate, cherish and optimize the opportunities freedom gives you.

3) Use your freedom to liberate your mind.

Your freedom should not only liberate you and bless you externally but internally as well. What is a man who is liberated physically but is held captive by his own mind? As a leader, my greatest tool is my mind; with the right mindset and I am boundless. I have learned that true freedom ignites internally, then manifests externally.

I have a friend who was once affiliated with a gang. Even though his body was free, his mind and soul were held captive. He was following the wrong leaders, making the wrong decisions and lacked control over his life. While involved with some gang related conflict, he ended being charged as an accessory to murder. While in prison, he began to practice intentionality and self-discipline. There he met a pastor who introduced to him a different kind of freedom.

In prison, my friend was saved and gave his life to Christ. This change in his mentality had resulted in him experiencing internal freedom for the first time. He felt liberated while held captive in prison. His internal transformation set him free. Often we go through our lives as prisoners of our own minds, thoughts and emotions. The human mind is a powerful thing. With a liberated mind, the internal freedom that is experienced results in external freedom too. Don’t be a prisoner of your own mind, lean not on your own understandings, seek wisdom and freedom will be inherited.

4) Use your freedom to protect it.

With freedom comes responsibility. You should feel it as your personal duty to protect your freedom, and freedom in general. Freedom is a precious gift that offers many blessings. As a leader, stand up, even if you have to stand alone. If you don’t protect your freedom you will lose it. History will show you if you don’t protect or cherish freedom, if you don’t fight for it, you will lose it. A leader must recognize that freedom is both delicate and volatile; it needs to be handled with wisdom and discipline.

The presence of freedom bears fruit and blessings, its absence bears destruction and fear. This is self-evident worldwide. Countries like the United States or many European countries that have freedom, because they have fought for it and respected it, get to reap its blessings. Their nations’ blessings result from their wise and discipline leadership. Most countries in the Middle East are left with war, poverty and lack of wisdom due to a lack of freedom. Some Middle Eastern leaders have even abused and destroyed the freedom of the land because they did not value nor recognize the power and blessings of freedom.

These Middle Eastern countries once had freedom, but they had lack of leadership, respect, and wisdom in the potential and power of external and internal freedom. No one stood up for freedom. When a country has not tasted or experienced external and internal freedom, it is understandable why they may not fight for it let alone protect it. For such countries, notions of freedom have become incomprehensible because the conditions of their lives leave no room for fighting for freedom. In these circumstances, a leader is needed to rise up and deliver its nation to freedom

Without freedom, an individual, a country, or a nation is left without blessings. Those of us who have freedom must not only protect freedom, but also share its blessings. I have grown and developed as an individual because I have the blessing of freedom; it is my responsibility to share this with others and help them grow. As a leader, I find it my prerogative to protect freedom, share its blessings and add the value I find in freedom into others’ lives. We were gifted freedom by our forefathers and we must gift it to future generations.

Freedom is not free. It is paid for; we must continue its legacy. Throughout history, leaders, heroes, and martyrs have paid the price for our external freedom. Christ, paid the price for our internal freedom. He was the ransom for our self-invoked captivity. He set the example of how to gain internal freedom. Our job is not to mess it up for future generations. Freedom must be protected daily. As a leader, you must ask yourself “what am I doing with my freedom?” Do you utilize and optimize your internal freedom? Are you leaving a mark and adding value? Will freedom carry your signature into the future?

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:13