An organization has only 100 percent of its resources and energies to spend. I have no idea what is meant when a manager says, “Let’s give it 110 percent!” There is a finite amount of energy, and the question is simple: is it directed toward internal, political issues, or toward external, client issues?
In the best companies I’ve worked with (or observed), the ratio is about 10/90. That is, 10 percent of the energy is abraded away internally, but 90 percent of it is directed toward sales, service, retention, market share, and so forth.
Alan Weiss, Million Dollar Coaching
There are times I have to leave the house and socialize with other people. As an introvert, that isn’t my natural state. Occasionally, it happens that I have to engage a group of people that I don’t really know (aka “strangers”), adding a level of emotional awkwardness. If I’m physically uncomfortable on top of that (i.e. my chair is at a weird angle, or personal space is limited, or I have a headache, etc.) where do you think the vast majority of my personal energy is focused?
Obviously, in those circumstances, most of my energy is going to go into coping with the situation. Very little will be reserved for making new acquaintances, smiling, or being friendly. I’ll want to use my wife and kids as a shelter, rather than be aware of how they’re feeling, and I’d be filling my time by checking the clock and eyeing the door.
And that’s just one event in a lifetime filled with thousands upon thousands of various such twists and turns. In each of those moments, I’ll only have a limited amount of resources to fall back on. Each day – each hour – each second only has so much energy to expend. That time I spend at work, or at church, or at home, or volunteering – how will I use it? Where will it be focused?
It’s important to understand that. It really does matter.
See, organizational energy is a byproduct of individual energy. We each contribute a portion of the greater whole when it comes to directing the energy of our places of business, or service, or worship. Whether you’re in a family of five, a church of fifty, or a company of twelve thousand, your focus makes a difference on the internal to external ratio of that organization.
Do an audit of the energy being spent by that sleepy church in the Midwest with a slowly shrinking membership. Are they busy trying to keep the people within the walls happy, or are they zealously focused on serving their neighbors and beyond? How have their members affected their ratio? It might be helpful to do an audit of each of them.
And when we’re criticizing the organizations we’re a part of, maybe we need to do an audit on ourselves.
Just a thought.
How many times have I referenced the Wheel, and yet I’ve never really explained it or why I value it so much.*
Ziglar’s Wheel reminds us of the importance of leading a balanced life. Seven categories, all valuable and all needing a portion of our attention. You can’t spend too much of your time in just one area without repercussions. Ignore any one category entirely, and be prepared to suffer loss well beyond it.
Think of each area of the Wheel as the sides of a container – like a barrel or a cistern – that you’re trying to fill. You’re going to find capacity limited to the height of the side that you’ve built up the least. And if you spend no time building up any one category, you won’t be able to fill it at all, no matter how tall the remaining sides are.
Now, at the risk of sacrificing that analogy, I do have one criticism of the Wheel. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great tool, and you would do well to implement it just as it is. When I’m setting up goals for the future (whether it’s for one year, five years or thirty years) I always use the Wheel as my primary structure. But there’s a danger inherent to it’s design that requires me to make one change when I think about it:
Everything is spiritual. Being spiritual isn’t something that can be contained within four poorly drawn boundaries. And it’s true that each category can overlap with the others here and there, but, if you dig down, being spiritual actually encompasses every category.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
– Colossians 3:17
- Career – When we are working, the products and services we produce are serving other people, even when a profit is earned. Being diligent and honest and glad in our work is pleasing to God. Finding and pursuing the career that best suits you is a spiritual endeavor. (Proverbs 22:6)
- Financial – The money we have been given throughout our lives, no matter amount or the source, is a responsibility for us to manage and improve. Being financially responsible to our families and the future is spiritual. (Matthew 25:14-30)
- Social – Other people are in our lives to give us opportunities to serve one another. To be generous. To challenge one another and grow together. Becoming amicable, and having a growing circle of friends is spiritual. (Proverbs 18:1)
- Intellectual – Becoming wise doesn’t come from being anti-intellectual. We should be constantly learning. We shouldn’t fear math, or science, or literature, or art, or history. Just like money, our mind is a resource to manage and grow. Seeking wisdom and knowledge is spiritual. (Proverbs 18:15)
- Physical – And our body is a resource we’ve been given to manage, too. Being physically strong and healthy is spiritual (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- Family – Is your spouse a healthier, better, holier person because of your marriage? Are you serving them? What about your kids? Do you know why they’re in your life? Being a responsible parent, and fulfilling your role in marriage is spiritual. (Ephesians 5:33)
Of course, that doesn’t mean we can neglect spiritual things and just build up each of those other categories. We have to spend a equal amount of time focused strictly on the spiritual in our lives. We need to make some goals around growing spiritually. It can help, though, if we teach ourselves the right approach to each of the other areas of our life, so they can accentuate that growth.
So, go build your life. Be honest about which categories could use some work, and set some goals to improve them. Gain some balance and become a fuller person. And remember that it’s all a part of loving God.
* No, really. How many times have I mentioned it and linked to it? Go find out and post it in the comments.
I’m ramping up to coordinate my second Financial Peace University session for the year. The Spring session I had the privilege to coordinate was amazing, with 20 families completing the material and over a $100,000 turn around of their finances. It’s great to be able to be a part of a life-changing event for so many people.
If you’ve never taken Financial Peace University, I recommend it. It’s a great first step for families who are struggling with money issues and don’t know where to start. If you’re in the Tucson area, and you’re interested in joining a class, you’re all welcome to join mine.
We’ll be starting with a short orientation meeting for anyone interested in finding out more about FPU. We’ll be going over the class schedule and format, talk about what we expect from class members, how childcare will be handled, and answer any additional questions. That will happen on May 21st at 6:00 pm, and it shouldn’t last more than forty-five minutes.
The schedule breaks down as follows:
- May 21 – Orientation
- June 4 – Super Saving: Why you should save money, and why you need to start now.
- June 11 – Relating With Money: Why families must work together to achieve financial goals.
- June 25 – Cash Flow Planning: How to develop a monthly budget that really works.
- July 2 – Dumping Debt: What myths we believe about debt, and how to become debt free.
- July 9 – Buyer Beware: Why marketing is so powerful, and how to reduce it’s influence.
- July 16 – The Role of Insurance: What insurance you need to have, and what to avoid.
- July 23 – Retirement and College Planning: How to plan for the future.
- July 30 – Real Estate and Mortgages: How to buy or sell a home.
- August 6 – The Great Misunderstanding: Why you should live a generous life.
All meetings, including the orientation will be held at Saguaro Canyon Church at 10111 E Old Spanish Trail. Childcare is provided each time with a suggested donation.
If you want to find out more information or register for the class, you can check out the class page on DaveRamsey.com for all of your answers. Hope to see you this Summer!
Have you taken FPU? What was your experience? What was the most important thing you learned? How did it change your life and your finances?
This is the lesson that makes all of the difference. You can do everything covered up to this point, and it’ll work, but you won’t be half as successful as you could have been. How can generosity possibly play a part in building wealth? Below are my notes from the lesson, including the key points that I highlight from the video when leading the class, and some supplemental material that I think could help the class go further on this topic.
Lesson 9, The Great Misunderstanding
The great misunderstanding is that we believe the way to have more money is to hold on to what we have tightly. The truth is that it’s just the opposite. When we hold our money with an open hand, instead of a closed fist, it’s able to flow out and in more freely. Generosity is a tool for wealth building.
We are not owners. We are only managers. We’re stewards. This is the hardest thing for us to accept. Everything we have is there for us tend, cultivate and grow, but not for ourselves.
Giving makes us more Christ-like. God is a giver. A spiritually mature Christian gives. If you have dedicated your life to following Jesus, but you’re not generous with what you’ve been given, you’ve missed something.
The Parable of the Talents. From Matthew 25, and it has become one of my favorite passages. It covers the major points of how we need to approach money:
- Everyone is given something, each according to their ability. There isn’t any room for envy. We each have what we can manage.
- Grow what you’re given, no matter how small. Don’t bury it.
- Be ready to give it all back to the one who gave it to you.
- Being responsible with what you’re given right now prepares you for more in the future. In the end, how you grow what you’ve been given reflects on how you are growing. We all want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
This is only the beginning. You might still have months (or years) to go before you’ll see huge progress. Remember that you’re trying to be the tortoise, not the hare. Be committed to continue educating yourself about money. Read at least one financial book every year.