I wanted a breakthrough in my life. But, how desperate was I? This was the question that I faced 12 months ago. While I had been praying for open doors, honestly, they seemed elusive. Yes, I experienced successes on many levels. For that I’m grateful. But, I still felt trapped—unable to spread my wings. I felt I was putting out a lot of effort. But, the returns were somewhat disappointing. I longed to know what would it take to unlock the door? In Part I of “My Vegetarian Breakthrough”, I explained how this desperation led to my resolution to become a vegetarian as a way of consecration and focusing on what God desires for my life. Over the past 12 months, I’ve learned that breakthrough is not a place. It’s an attitude of commitment for personal and platform development.
In Part I, I outlined the six lessons I learned for my own personal development. In Part II, I address the final final six lessons as well as some spiritual insights I’ve gained.
When the fast began I had expectations about what breakthrough would look like. I expected more invitations to speak. I hoped for a windfall of creative ideas to create new products. I looked for new relationships that might be mutually beneficial. After 12 months, some of these desires came to fruition. But, I realized that none of them really define breakthrough for me or anyone else.
I’ll say it again “Breakthrough is an attitude.” So, in a very real way my 12 months as a vegetarian was really about my own attitude adjustment. This adjustment started with three spiritual insights that I have to internalize into my core fabric, not just head knowledge. I’m still working on these. But, I’m trying.
Spiritual Insights for Breakthrough Influence
- Trust wholeheartedly that God is working everything together on my behalf even when I can’t see or feel it
- God is not impressed (or moved) by many of the things that impress me
- The more I do, the less room I leave for God
With these spiritual insights as a backdrop, we can now examine the final six lessons for breakthrough influence. These lessons orient around the unique purpose that I (and you) have on this earth—the reason why we were created. You and I were created for influence. In this sense, we are each leaders.
I like the way John Quincy Adams says it “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
You and I need breakthrough influence to be the best leader that we can be. The influence that you and I wield changes lives. But, you have to breakthrough the resistance.
Take a few minutes to read the first six lessons from Part I as these focus on personal development. Then you’re ready for the final six.
My prayer is that these final lessons will be another catalyst to unleash all that God has for you to become.
The Final Six Lessons For Breakthrough
Lesson #7: Expand Your Platform
In order to get your voice heard, you need a platform. In his book, Platform: How to get noticed in a noisy word (affiliate link), Michael Hyatt masterfully presents how each of us desiring influence must build a platform that allows us to be heard. So many stimuli are vying for the attention of those around you that unless you have a platform, nobody will hear your unique voice. If you have a message, I strongly encourage you to get this book.
Over the past several years, I’ve been doing a number of leadership development and relationship education initiatives and products. I sat by my phone, waiting (and waiting) for it to ring for my next invitation. I had fallen into the trap of adopting a very passive approach to getting my voice heard.
During this breakthrough year, I came to realize that I had to adopt a much more assertive approach if I wanted to be the best steward of what God has placed in my hands. I had to build a bigger platform—one that allows me to better project what I’m called to say.
In that vein, I redesigned my website into a weekly blog format that allows for better community engagement. During this breakthrough year, I have produced weekly podcasts that speak my message around the world.
Over the past year, I’ve also gotten a glimpse of another product line that will dove-tail nicely with my leadership branding—allowing my platform to reach an even broader audience. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting initiative.
Lesson #8: Give More Away
During this breakthrough year, I became familiar with this famous Zig Ziglar quote, “You can get everything you want in life if you help enough others get what they want.”
This quote has become my rallying cry. I am constantly thinking about how I can help others be successful. Whether writing reviews for their products, inviting them on my podcast, offering an encouraging word, or producing weekly blog posts and podcasts, my intent is to help others get what they want–to meet a need.
As I seek ways to better engage and grow my audience I’ve come to realize that these giveaways create trust. Trust, of course, is the foundation of all successful business and ministry relationships.
During this breakthrough year I’ve learned that the more quality material and relationship that I build the greater influence that I will ultimately have.
Lesson #9: Offer Exceptional Value
In an era when the Internet has made delivery of information so easy and inexpensive, there is a deluge of it to consume. Email inboxes overflow with the latest scheme and top 10 list. Social media buzzes incessantly with the latest and greatest status updates from those we follow. But, how much of this truly adds value to your life?
During this year of breakthrough, I’ve been reminded of the importance of staying focused on how to offer values to others. In order to offer value to my consumer, I must understand who they are, what questions they struggle with, and how to package a solution that will resonate with them. How do I scratch where they itch? This is no small task. But, it starts with remembering that every blog post, podcast, and social media encounter should be constructed in a way that offers value for those consuming it.
Without offering value, the strength of my voice and the size of my platform are irrelevant.
Lesson #10: Follow the Experts
An ancient Chinese proverb says that “when the student is ready, the teacher will come”. This proverb has become yet another point of enlightenment in my breakthrough year.
I, like so many others, was waiting for that mentor to come that would take me under his or her wing. Or maybe it would be the perfect self-help book that would show me the clear path to my goals.
During this breakthrough year, I have learned the importance of leveraging technology to consume expertise and wisdom from those who I may never meet in person. A wealth of information exists in blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, and other social media channels that can teach you practically anything. If you want to hone your voice, there really is no excuse.
You just have to follow the experts. Watch how they do it. Consume everything that you can. This is another way to raise your average (lesson #4 from Part I).
During this year, I’ve listened to several podcasts every single week. I’ve joined a membership site (Michael Hyatt’s Platform University) to engage with others with similar interests. I read and support the material developed by others. Take a look at my homepage and see a section dedicated to relationship experts that I follow. By doing this regularly, I’ve become more of an expert myself.
When you do that you’ll be amazed at how many other teachers will appear to you.
Lesson #11: Think Like a Business
For years, I thought of my voice and passion as a ministry. And, it certainly is that. But, that isn’t all that it is. If your goal is to maximize your influence you have to think of your passion as a business. I didn’t.
I have a business degree and I work full-time in marketing research. But, I’ve been remiss in treating my passion like a business. Many of us who use our voice to bless others are actually doing those very people a disservice because we fail to give it the same attention to detail that we give businesses in which we are engaged.
We don’t develop marketing plans for our passion. So, we have little insight into our target audience or their needs. We don’t think carefully about monetization. So, we have limited resources to reach more people. Our branding is inconsistent. So people are never sure exactly what our voice speaks.
During this breakthrough year, I have been challenged to treat my passion more like a business. Brand better. Market better. Think about how to drive traffic to the resources that will be most valuable to them.
We are the entrepreneur of our passion portfolio. Treat it like an investment portfolio and it will give you better returns.
Lesson #12: Be the Breakthrough
Well, here we are on the final lesson. Actually, this final lesson is the culmination of everything else. Oddly enough, this is the message that God placed in my spirit within the first couple of months of my fast. I was asking God for a breakthrough. But, the message that came back to me was to “Be the breakthrough”.
When I first heard it, it felt like a cop out. After all, what does “Be the breakthrough” really mean.
Over this breakthrough year, I’ve come to understand two things that “Be the breakthrough” means for me personally. The first one is what I indicated at the beginning of this post. The second one is the ultimate purpose for which we all exist.
- Breakthrough is an attitude not a destination
- My life is the breakthrough catalyst for others’ passion portfolio
The answer to my simple prayer twelve months ago is there in the final lesson. My direction is to “be the breakthrough”.
Rather than focusing so intently on reaching a certain destination or goals, focus on my attitude and ability to help others.
Breakthrough is a state of continuous movement towards who God calls us to be.
My simple prayer asked God for a breakthrough. God’s simple answer was “be the breakthrough”. It took me twelve months to get there. But, as the scripture says “some things only come through prayer and fasting.” (Matt: 17:21)
Blessings on your own efforts to “Be the Breakthrough”. I look forward to hearing about your journey and successes.
I would love to hear your thoughts about these 12 steps. Which one best resonates with you?