We all have dreams and hopes but we un-dream every day by the things we tell ourselves. We carry narratives of unbelief, self-doubt, fear and insecurity that “puff” those dreams away. But what is the difference between the people that is successfully living at the top of the mountain or progressing towards their dreams and those who don’t? I have a one word for you: INVESTMENT!
Are you 100% invested in what you want to accomplish?You might say I am but I don’t see results… What is wrong? Where is my return on investment (ROI)? We’ll you might have embraced some lies that might have become excuses serving as a mindset that stops your progress and hinder your ROI. Its like a chain that pulls you down time and again.
I want to share with you the 3 top excuses that hinder our ROI:
I have no money
We tend to use this one a lot. I have used this one and at times I must shake it off. We all have this one! It comes in every form, extra expenses, breakages, you name it! We feel the crunch specially at the end of the month like a clock… But what if I tell you that this is not true… If you have an income; you have money. If you have a craft or an idea you have the potential for money. If you can serve or volunteer, you have the ability to gain skills that will translate into money.Yes, its all on the way you are focusing and seeing money. You must see money as a tool that allows you to gain access but is not the only tool.
You must look at what you have in your hand and work out a plan to invest it. Sometimes we must invest our money and one must become creative to do so but if you really want to attain your dreams you must risk!There is an old saying No pain No gain and its super true… When it cost you will show up engaged and you will value it more. Therefore, whatever you gain from your venture you will be eager to use it… Whether is knowledge, contacts, tools ect. You will want a return on investment, and you will search for one!
I have no time
Last time I checked we all have the same 24 hours a day.Yes, I have used this excuse as well. But the reality this is a matter of choice! A choice to invest your time wisely. Sometimes we must sacrifice to gain. Let me ask you something: What are some of the things that you are saying yes that consume your time and you should be saying NO? We are full of yes’s in our society. It’s hard to say no, especially if it comes in the form of self-gratification. We rather spend 2-3 hours at the movies than spend 2-3 at a meeting or event that will help us gain tools, knowledge or connections. Again, it as choice to invest our time! Don’t get me wrong; I love movies but what I’m saying is that for us to see our dreams manifested we MUST MAKE time and that comes with a choice.
Your ability to say NO to certain things will allow you to say YES to things that will help you build your career, business or ministry. Success comes if we put the time and effort into it.If we decide to put it off, we are putting off our destiny. I encourage you to take a good look at your life to identify the things that you are saying “yes” to; those commitments that are eating up your time and are not aligned with your purpose. You might have to sacrifice a movie or two in a month or something else, but it will give you the extra time you need to invest for your future.
I have no help
This one is also a big one and can come in the form of “I deserve an opportunity, and no-one is helping me” yes, we expect help and sometimes we do expect it because indeed we need help!But the reality is that we must create opportunities ourselves. As we do create them, we will receive help along the way. If we wait for it to come to us it will never come!
You need to determine to help yourself by identifying your areas of growth. If you can’t or don’t know how to do something learn how to! Yes, there are many tools available to us right know. Get connected with likeminded people, learn to ask questions, seek information and find answers to those things that limit yourself. We are all on the same boat. We do not know everything. The key here is to be vulnerable enough to see our limitations and put the work to overcome them. You will get help through the journey.
I have many stories but the one that comes to mind is one of my very first ones. On 2004 we have just moved to USA and we were living in Florida and only a month into this big transition my husband has just started working but not as a teacher as we thought he would. He stated cutting stones because he could barely speak English.(He has come a long way since then!) In the midst of all that we were planning a mission’s trip to Honduras. What? It’s crazy he just started this job? I still remember we decided we needed to go on this trip… Yes, you guess it! The “I have no money” excuse showed up in a big way! But we decided to take the risk. We decided to invest in that dream! We decided to move forward. We came up with a plan. (Plans are necessary) We were going to shrink our budget even more and we will use our credit cards and we will pay them off with our tax returns. Everything looked good we had our tickets and he miraculously had been granted two weeks off work without pay. We were on our way! It took us two years to pay off that debt, but we sowed a seed and we gained experience. You see, we took a chance and decided we were going to make it.
Then the “I have no time” excuse showed up, but we make time to take on the extra work and the long nights getting ready for this event. We had to say no to many things to make room for the Yes ahead. We chose to rearrange our schedule to make it happen. I remembered during the preparation we had to endure 3 hurricanes that hit Florida that year. One of them the day before we were scheduled to leave for the event. The whole team gather in one house for the final details, hoping we wouldn’t get our departure delayed. It was a stretch, but we made it!
We were part of a team but most of us never hosted this type of event. Each of us had a responsibility that stretched us and at points we felt it was too big for ourselves. At times we flirted with the “I have no help” excuse but as we move forward help came along the way. In many ways’ doors were opened because we created an opportunity by stepping out in faith out of our comfort zone.
What was our ROI? During that time, we were able to teach to more than 100 leaders in Honduras including a huge congress of over 2,000 people and a concert in the capital. We tapped into what I call a “Destiny Bubble”. A Destiny Bubble is when you get to do and see things you are destined for way before your time. You get a glimpse and you gain experience, knowledge and a new perspective that will feed your dreams for years to come.
I believe that because we invested in that opportunity, we were able to gain the necessary tools for the next phase we stepped into. Right after that we were able to oversee a small Hispanic church and co-host in a Hispanic radio program in Palm Bay, FL. This investment opened doors for us to have more experiences, gain more knowledge and continue building our ministry and eventually our business. It’s been a long journey, specially our transition to Illinois in 2007. (But that is another story!) The point is that we were stretched along the journey but each and every time we had to invest, time, money and we had to understand that we needed to create the opportunity rather than wait for it.
Well, I hope that this story blesses you today and inspires you to Invest in yourself and your dreams. Press on and position yourself for a ROI!
One more thing… If this resonated with you, I want to invite you to the Destiny Arising International Summit May 2-4 in St. Charles Illinois. We will have an event packed with opportunities to gain knowledge, experience and network with other men and women that like you are acting to seize their dreams and have an impact in their respective spheres of influence. It’s your choice, invest in yourself act and register now!
Can’t wait to see you and connect with you there!
The Reverend Barbara Velez
Barbara Velez is a wife and mother with more than 20 years of experience in operations management, planning and administration. She moved from Puerto Rico to the United States in 2004. After 3 years living in Florida, where she served as a Pastor and Co-host of a radio program, she moved to Illinois in 2007 where she now lives with her husband Jose and son Sam. She is an itinerant minister serving the Hispanic Community in the area and currently work as an Administrative Assistant for her area School District and she also serves at her son’s school PTA. She enjoys reading, cooking and gardening. Moving to USA has been the biggest adventure of her life!