Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania
Did you ever have a brilliant idea that later seemed to turn bad? Three years ago I had a great idea for a book. Once I decided to take action and make it a reality, however, I felt at times like it was the worst idea I ever had. We have all had similar moments.
Since my bright idea became a published book (Coaching the Coach: Life Coaching Stories for Transforming Lives), I’ll share five things to remember when a brilliant thought flashes through your mind, and what to do afterwards as you try to bring it into reality.
1. Write Down Your Idea and Pray About It
Ask God for his direction. Ask people to pray with you and for you. Talk to people you respect and trust and ask for their advice and suggestions about your vision. If you feel God is leading you, then think about the first steps you could take toward making it a reality.
My idea was to compile a book of life coaching stories (think Chicken Soup for the Soul type of book), sharing the wisdom and experiences of gifted leaders in the field of Christian coaching. I prayed about it, and one morning in my quiet time I felt God’s peace to move forward.
2. Don’t Lose Sight of Your Vision
What seemed to me like the simple task of collecting stories quickly turned into an organizational ordeal. More than fifty Christian Coaches submitted their stories. When one coach emailed five versions in two days, I discovered I’m not as organized as I thought I was. And then there was the difficult task of picking the best stories as well as gathering written permissions from the authors to approve the edits to their stories. I began to wonder: Why did I think I could do this? Why did I think this was such a wonderful idea? And most importantly Why am I doing this at all?
Don’t be surprised if in implementing your brilliant idea you run into all kinds of obstacles.
3. Hold Tightly to Your Values
Identify your core values and list these along with writing your vision. Holding tightly to your values will allow you to make your dream a reality, and seeing those values written will help reinforce them in your mind.
When the times got tough, I always felt better when I came back to my core values.
Faith: I believed God called me to write the book and therefore I needed to be obedient. But I did think of Ecclesiastes 1:13: “What a heavy burden God has laid on men!”
Integrity: I told people I’m compiling a book for coaches. They wrote and submitted their stories believing theirs would be considered. I needed to follow through on my promises and do what I said.
Perseverance: When the manuscript was nearly completed, my publisher went out of business. Even though I wanted to quit because of big setbacks, I knew no matter what the personal cost I had to keep moving forward.
What are the character values you hold dear that will help you face and move forward through difficult situations?
4. Watch for God’s Intervention
Months and months ago, a friend told me about her new publishing company—Bold Vision Books (BVB). I wasn’t really interested at the time. Later, when my publisher went out of business, I realized God had a plan for me already in place. BVB published Coaching the Coach and did it within a short time frame.
Another big way God intervened was to bring one friend to help me manage the hundreds of details involved in completing the project. Then when it was finally organized enough to need some professional editing, another friend, applied her expertise to the project.
Pray and watch for God’s intervention in bringing resources and people to you to fulfill your vision.
5. Remember, It’s Ultimately About Pleasing God
I worry too much about what people think and seek their approval. Throughout the process as I wondered what the forty-nine leaders in Christian coaching, whose stories were accepted, would think of the final book, I reminded myself that is it about pleasing God, not people. The responses from contributors have been overwhelmingly positive and they are recommending Coaching the Coach to others. Their approval, however, cannot be my main focus.
Who are you focused on? Is making people happy or gaining their approval most important to you? Even if you gain the recognition you seek, it will never be as meaningful or fulfilling as hearing God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Next time you get a brilliant idea, remember to write it down and pray about it before you go full steam ahead. If you do sense God’s leading, then don’t lose sight of your vision and hold tightly to your values as you watch for God’s intervention when the inevitable difficulties come. Even through the twists and turns, never forget it’s ultimately about honoring and pleasing God.
About Georgia Shaffer
Georgia is an author, Christian life coach, and licensed Psychologist in Pennsylvania. Her books include Avoiding the 12 Relationship Mistakes Women Make; Taking Out Your Emotional Trash; and 12 Smart Choices for Finding The Right Guy. For more information on Georgia or on her coaching of authors and speakers, visit www.GeorgiaShaffer.com