The most important decision you’ll ever make…

We spend most of our lives working.

I think it’s a travesty that school going kids are allowed so little time to build worthwhile skills that will actually help them in real life…

They spend hours at school doing academic work– then hours at home doing more school work – the rest of the time away from all the tedious repetition is spent preparing for more school the next day- all in the effort to, hopefully, get them good jobs one day.

Our lives are so wrapped up in work that for most people work is where we spend most of our time and energies.

I’ve written a lot about chasing dreams, living out your true passion etc… this post is not about that. This is about something far more important because getting this right will give you that push you need to pursue a joy-filled life.

This morning my phone was giving me hassles… Eventually I called my husband to help me – he did. And as happens sometimes, we argued due to misunderstanding – I think it drives him insane how little I know about technical stuff- or perhaps it’s how little I choose to know that irks him… It drives me mad how impatient he can get with me sometimes – but in the end, despite the riff raff, we got the software my phone needed and I was well on my way to breathing life back into my precious gadget- with his help.

And so it’s been over the years with this guy. Regardless of our ups and downs – what I know for sure is that my husband celebrates me.

He champions me on even when I don’t feel so fantastic about myself.

There are times I’ve embarked on quests he has no interest in and yet he still supports me wholeheartedly in and through them.

So often I’ve felt beaten by life – and sometimes badgered by other humans – in those times when I’ve questioned myself, my intentions and if I really am who I think I am – My husband has been at my side cheering me on helping me believe I’m way more than I imagine of myself.

It’s a powerful thing to partner with someone who believes in a greater you than even You envision.

When we had our first child I wanted nothing more than to stay home and be with my boy. My husband supported that.

Later I felt the tug of my profession and I wanted to work. But I was conflicted because I didn’t want to leave my son– I remember sitting in the living room pondering, wracked with indecision… My husband sat next to me holding our son… I received the freedom to go with what my heart desired (without guilt) when I heard him say: “Luke, it’s important for all of us that Mommy’s happy.”

When again I wanted to quit my job and “just find myself” he supported that too – He assured me he’d take care of me.

When I shared with him my ideas for the business I envisioned– He was there not only supporting me but helping me make it happen.

There are times I’ve asked him for his thoughts on successful women and men who find them intimidating.

His response: “I don’t get it,” he’ll say. “If your wife is up there kicking serious butt, why would you not want that? Why wouldn’t you be proud of her and go “Hey that’s MY wife up there!”

Billionaire businesswoman, Sheryl Sandberg, who’s mostly famous for being number two at the Facebook organisation (she’s the COO) says truly partnering with your partner (spouse) is vital to a woman’s career.

It’s just as important for a woman’s man to be at her side and him be totally supportive of her as it is for a man to have his woman at his side, utterly supportive of him.

When I had a regular job my husband never made me feel that his job was more important than mine. It wasn’t a given that when someone needed to stay home with our son that someone would be me.

I honour my husband for a time he specifically took leave to look after our son while I did a gig I really wanted to do.

I cannot forget a young woman I met years ago. She was distraught because her boyfriend was extremely anti her success.

And of course she was miserable. As she spoke I could hear how torn she was.

She told me how she loved him but didn’t know if things would work out for them because he seemed to hinder any progress she tried to make…

I knew she’d have a hard time being with him. And if they ended up choosing to spend their lives together it was guaranteed she would be frustrated, depressed and bitterly unhappy.

Dreams matter no matter who’s they are.

I started this post talking about how much we invest in work.

Even before children can make conscious decisions to invest in their careers we parents are already grooming them.

I think the logic goes as follows: Learn to read and write so you’ll do well at school, so you’ll get good grades, so you’ll have tremendous career opportunities, eventually find an awesome job- and work the rest of your worthwhile life doing it.

If it were up to me a significant amount of time invested in raising children would be helping them understand the importance of the marriage relationship.

Many of us come from broken homes so marriage is an extremely sore part of our lives. But I believe God heals.

Recently I heard a young woman say she believed in God to give her something far better than what her parents had. She’d witnessed so much pain as a result of their broken relationship and yet she believed in better for herself.

I have faith that she will begin a new legacy.

Last week my husband and I listened to Joseph Prince’s teaching on parenting. Yesterday in conclusion to his message Joseph said he heard Father tell him to tell husbands that the way for them to have influence over their children was to love their Mommies.

I pray we would live the kind of lives and marriages that help our children make that all important decision of who they choose to partner with for life.

If it were up to me this issue would be quite significant too in Sunday school… we can’t just teach about God parting the Red Sea and the five loaves and fishes – yes those are VITAL teachings of our faith in God but God Himself talks a lot, A LOT, about marriage in The Scriptures – should we not explore those teachings too?

And as for mainstream school – at every single level of education (if it were up to me) I’d have this topic explored- an MBA study should have a whole section on choosing the right life partner!

This stuff really matters people…

It’s not ok that the one thing that matters most (beside Salvation) is left to chance and hormones.

I know my husband has dreams. But sometimes when I ask him what they are he’ll say: “Ah babe your dreams are enough for me. I just take such pleasure in all the guys that had an opportunity with you, one day, knowing they blew it!”

Of course such words bring a thousand smiles to my belly and are honey to my soul…

Sheryl says: “The most important decision you’ll ever make is who you’ll marry.”

And yet we spend most of our parenting and schooling grooming kids to work, with very little impartation for the most important decision of their lives: A decision that will impact them (and others) for good or for really-messed-up for as long as they live.

Most girls are groomed from a very young age on how to take care of their men.

While I think this to be important (and I agree with it) here’s my problem with this picture: Why are (far too many) boy children not groomed to look after their women? And why are (far too many) girls not taught that their dreams matter and they shouldn’t settle for anyone who doesn’t believe that!

One of the questions, every person, man or woman, should ask themselves when delving into a romantic relationship is: “Does this person care about my dreams? And do they support me achieving them?”

Before we even commit to the extremely serious matter of marriage we have to ask ourselves again: “Does the person I’m choosing to spend every day of my life with care about my dreams? And do they support me achieving them?”

It’s not just about career dreams – it’s about all that you believe will bring you joy. What will bring you joy in this life? Does your partner care and do they support you?

The most important decision you’ll ever make (beside Salvation) is not what job you’ll do when you grow up; it’s who you’ll marry and stay married to for all your life.

My husband talks about me being big one day with such conviction as though he’s seen the future and knows for sure it’ll happen.

The day we made it legal...
The day we made it legal…

I don’t know if I’ll be “big” one day – For me the life I live every day tells me I’ve arrived. It may seem mundane to some, and it’s extremely stressful, but it’s joy I didn’t imagine for myself.

Big for me has come to be a state of mind. It’s being absolutely content with right now and being joyful about what lies ahead with excitement and hope.

My husband’s idea of “BIG”, is, I believe what most people believe it to be: mind-blowing success that sheds awe on all that encounter it.

I don’t know if I’ll ever attain that level of Big – but my husband sure does believe it for me.

I cannot express fully here what that means to me and how it fuels me on.


Anointed for Business

So, for my birthday, a friend of mine bought me the book: Anointed for Business by Ed Silvoso.

This friend had shared with me her desire to enter politics which I’d (initially) vigorously discouraged her to do! But as I begun to delve into the book I apologised to her for not having been supportive of her aspirations. And I encouraged her to read the book too.

I think she was surprised by my change of heart – well at least that’s how she sounded to me. I know she’d no idea that her gift would open my heart and mind to her own aspirations. She’d bought the book to perhaps cement me further in my journey and yet it also shed some light on how I am to respect and honour other people’s dreams even when they don’t fit into my idea of “right”.

Anointed for Business

So, you may ask, what does a business book have to do with politics?

The point Ed tries to make in his book is this: The highest calling when serving God is not limited to going into ministry as a Pastor or missionary or other roles in the church. God can and should be served in industry outside the church too. How else will the gospel be preached “to all corners of the earth”?

When my friend told me she wanted to go into politics I was flabbergasted!

Why would anyone (especially a Christian!) want to enter a field that most of us believe is corrupt and rotten to the core?!!!

Before my change of heart what I’d said to her was: “As Christians I don’t think we’re called to get involved in politics.”

Says who?

I mean it’s ok for us to comment on what politicians do, criticise them – support one party or the other – vote – but it’s not ok to get involved where it really matters? That doesn’t even make sense Hannah!

And this is what Ed’s book is teaching me. The field of politics (like every other field there is) needs Jesus.

This morning I was encouraging my cousin who lives, walks, dreams soccer. Nothing else in his life brings him as much joy as playing the game. At the moment it really does seem to be his only reason for being.

He has a fire in him for soccer I pray never goes out. This morning I reminded him that our talents, and gifts, our dreams and passions, our hearts’ desires… have all been placed in us by God for His purpose and His glory.

We enjoy them because that is another testament to how amazing God is: He sends us on missions we will enjoy all the way. He is just as concerned about our joy and our sense of fulfilment  as He is about His mission being achieved. And His mission for all of us is this: That we would live abundant lives.

I really believe that when people go into careers that are not in their hearts they are failing themselves and ultimately rejecting God’s gift of an abundant life.

Parents who force their children to pursue vocations that are not their desires rob their kids of an abundant life. May we who have been entrusted with this very important mission be wise and discerning to what makes our children’s hearts pump with joy.

Success is living a joyful life.

What is money when you loathe what you do so much it makes you physically ill?

Research shows that unhappy employees are a drain on any company. They are unproductive and off work often. It’s a no-brainer that when your soul is unhappy it will manifest in your physical body. The key to getting better is getting joy. And getting joy for you means… well only you know that.

Dreams are the most precious things we have. Dreams are hopes for something. Dreams are so crucial that did you know that if you don’t dream/hope for anything God cannot do much in your life?

Don’t believe me? Ok check this out – for you Bible people who want Scripture “proof” what are we told faith is?

We are told that Faith is the substance of… yes say it with me: Faith is the substance of things HOPED for.

So if you have no hope faith cannot work. And if you don’t have faith then it’s virtually impossible to have the fullness of God in your life and yeah – it’s impossible to please Him.

So dreams are crucial.

And don’t worry about people that don’t get your dreams – your dreams were given to you and not to them.

Don’t worry about who leaves you while you’re on your way to realising your dreams – some people gots to go if you’re to get to where you’re going. Some folks you may get rid of yourself, some will abandon you but know this they didn’t abandon you – that was an all-wise God removing people who would only hinder you and He had to get them out of the way.

When I was a kid, especially in my teens, my mom made me get rid of friends she didn’t like. I can tell you now that I resented her for it. But I obeyed her albeit with much attitude and gave her the cold shoulder for weeks on end. But today I know what my mom was doing then: she was protecting my destiny. She knew that friends had great influence and they could derail the greatness she saw in me. So if my mom, an earthly parent, could be that protective of where I was going what more the Father who created me and gave Himself, even to death, so that  I could live?

Yeah people this is some hectic stuff.

Joseph’s brothers resented him for his dreams. They mocked him, even his own father who loved him and adored him got angry with Joseph for his dreams. You know the rest…

Then there was Naomi. She lost everything. Her home, her husband, her kids – the loss was so overwhelming I can’t imagine the courage it took for her to go on. The pain of everything she’d endured compelled her to tell people to call her Mara which means bitter.

But God was not done with Naomi. He was not going to let her go out like that! He restored her and made a her a Somebody again. He even restored her youth. Don’t believe me? Go look at that story again – what old woman do you know gonna breastfeed a baby huh?

So it doesn’t matter how old you think you are or what you’ve lost – If you are still breathing there is still time to make your dreams happen.

For you young folks I suggest you make those dreams happen now though 🙂

Then there’s David. We all know the story so here’s what I want to highlight – God made people go and look for David so he could be anointed to be king.

So wherever you are God will send the right people to find you and connect you to your destiny. And this is exactly what I told my soccer loving cousin. And I told him he shouldn’t worry about naysayers who may not believe the greatness in him – even David’s own father didn’t believe that his youngest, smallest, sheep herding kid would be king of Israel. But you see it wasn’t up to David’s dad to make him king – it was up to God.

So while you’re dreaming and thanking God for the massive dreams He’s put in your head and heart – tell the naysayers to please step aside cos God isn’t talking to them about you. LOL!!! Oh I love that one!

And when you pray and people hear you speak about your great dreams – don’t worry about the doubt-ridden looks on their faces, as T.D. Jakes would say, just tell them: “I wasn’t talking to you!”

It’s up to no one but you and God to get where you’re going.

And where you want to be is where He needs you to be.

So whether your heart is to get into politics like my dear friend, or you want to play soccer like my beloved cousin or you want to stay home with your kids or your heart is to get into business – go for it! That desire is you being drafted for your mission.

The world needs Jesus. And the people that need Jesus the most are not sitting next to you in church; they are in government or on the soccer field, or their kids go to school with your kid or they are work colleagues or business associates – the point dear friend is this: you’ve been drafted – will you answer the call?

Ever the dreamer…

My brother Michael quit his job last year to pursue a dream.

The fantastic part is it was his dream.

B&M Entertainment, the business he co-owns with our brother Brighton, is hosting a party this weekend. The DO is sponsored by Jack Daniels. I’m not a fan of booze but I am a fan of my brothers. A fan because I know what it’s taken for them to get where they are. And because their story inspires me.

Michael and Brighton Wanjelani. Co-owners of B&M Entertainment.
My brothers: Michael and Brighton Wanjelani. Co-owners of B&M Entertainment.

I’d love to tell you about both my brothers but this morning I’ll focus on Michael.

Before Michael left his job there were times I’d call him to find out how he was doing. By then he’d already decided to resign. When we discussed his prospects he’d laugh that laughter you allow yourself when you feel completely mad. Mad because you know that what you’re about to do is insane!

Before he finally let us, and perhaps himself, know he was going to quit, I remember a conversation we had: I asked him what he wanted to do with his life. He was quiet for a while and then answered: “Not this.”

I knew then that he was decided and nothing would change his mind. Not a pay raise. Not a promotion. Nothing. I could hear in his voice that his dream had become too big for him to ignore. When I had the opportunity to speak with him face to face I could see that his dream had utterly consumed his existence and he couldn’t stay in his job any more. Doing so would kill him. Literally.

There were times I was nervous for him for leaving his main source of income. He didn’t have a financial net to fall back on. The three of us: him, Brighton and I had joint family responsibilities that required all of our incomes. There weren’t rich folks he could go shack up with if he didn’t succeed – in the grand scheme of things he had nothing if he failed. And yet I knew he was going to take the plunge – parachute or not – I knew he’d rather hit the ground and have his guts splatter to all corners of the earth rather than continue flying on someone else’s plane.

Michael is the embodiment of cool. He has a contagious breezy air about him that is quite remarkable. When he walks into a room it’s like someone turned the aircon on – it’s lovely. His personality has this swagger that draws you in and makes you giggle like an idiot in his presence – you giggle around Michael cos you’re just so happy but don’t know why.

So when he was going through his transition it was hard to tell what was really going on inside him. His cool would never allow you to see him sweat.

I know from experience that quitting a job that is your main source of income to plunge into the unknown does not go without inner turmoil.

After I quit my job there were times I wanted to call Michael and ask him how he stayed on the path to realise his dream. How did he manage to get through each day without calling up his boss and asking for his job back? Instead of ask I decided to watch him instead.

Here’s what Michael has done that so few people do. Michael is doing what he set out to do.

Due to my work as a personal brand coach, often I’ve been approached by individuals who pour their hearts out to me about changes they want to make in their lives: they either want a new job, or career or business and yet they are unwilling to even make the slightest changes that might help them get to where they want to go.

In my mind there is only one thing – one thing only that separates the “ever dreamers” from the dreamers who actually get to live their dreams. Doing.

Your business doesn’t grow because the number of your facebook friends is ever increasing. Watching Michael has taught me that your business grows because you get off your butt and go and look for clients – find them and sign them up!

It doesn’t matter how many people are following you on twitter or how many connections you have on LinkedIn. If you’re not going out there and making some marks in the real world, and marketing like crazy in the real world then all you’re doing is playing games. And chances are you will continue to dream and might never really realise the dream.

This is something I’ve noticed watching Dragon’s Den too. The entrepreneurs that win over the Dragons are those whose businesses are already on the path of success. It’s the entrepreneurs who are already doing something that get the investments they seek.

I’ve written many times that great ideas mean absolutely nothing. All of us have fantastic ideas at one time or other. An idea only acquires meaning when you actually execute it.

So anyway I was going to tell you about my other Brighton too. But I’ll save him for another day.

I hope a glimpse of Michael has inspired you some. I know he inspires me.

I also hope you’ll make a turn at his DO this weekend.

Michael used to work like crazy when he had a job. He’s busier than ever now but this time it’s for himself. And even better it’s toward the achievement of his own empire.

Last time we spoke Michael told me that it’s completely possible to create the job of your dreams. He’s proved of that.



Jack Daniels Do FB