Thursday, May 12th 2016
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.
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.