This is my challenge to you…

Here are two types of challenges that I’m facing in my work, and you probably are too.

1. Character-building challenges: I’m convinced that some things we face, some projects we tackle will produce character, and little more. These are the things that we’re asked to do and we have no earthly idea how to do them. They require new approaches and thought processes, and usually bring little fulfillment. Example: Several years ago, I worked on a farm. Beginning my first day on the job, I was thrust into new tasks that I had never done before. I was incredibly awkward in many of these situations, spending long amounts of time on tiny projects. There were plenty of days when I felt like walking off the job, but I didn’t. Challenges like this help us to dig deep. Sometimes we find stuff we don’t like. We wished we were more naturally gifted, we wish we could quit, etc.

2. Strength-building challenges: This happens when we’re working in our element, doing something we’re good at, but someone pushes us to make it better. In my case, the video that looked fine to the untrained eye, is picked apart by the producer. Someone with more experience has a bigger, more elaborate vision for what we’re doing, and they want us to take it to an HNL (hole ‘nutha level). These challenges can be frustrating too, but in a way, it’s completely different. What we’re learning in the strength-building challenges may require some character, but we end up adding a few more tools to our skill set. In the process of doing something we’re good at, we’re learning how to do it better.

Even though I learned a lot of stuff working on a farm, I’ll never be a good farmer because I haven’t put the time into learning and applying that knowledge. But every time I work with video professionals, I’m challenged to raise the bar, and, without fail, my skills grow as a result.

So, my encouragement is to learn the difference between these challenges. Identify them in your life. If you only face challenges outside of your God-given strengths, you’ll grow frustrated and quit. And if you never expose yourself to people who do what you do better than you do it, you won’t grow in your abilities, and you’ll be average (at best). So, grow in your character…and your strengths!


I’m selfish…but I’m working on it

Visit my blog

An interesting dynamic in having my own business is the idea of self-promotion. Let’s face it, if you can’t convince people that your business is worth investing in, most won’t bother. It doesn’t matter whether that business is 100 employees, or just you. While learning to self-promote may come naturally to some, it has been a little more difficult for me.  And, like it or not, self-promotion can very easily lead to selfishness. I’ve seen this in myself over the past year. And it can happen to any of us, no matter our position. Here is a picture of what happened to me…

1. We have a God-given talent (which we can take no credit for)
2. We work hard, and gain skills to enhance our talent
3. People think we do a good job.
4. As people praise us and encourage us, we gain more confidence
5. We begin to take credit for all the good stuff that’s happening
6. Downward spiral into a self-centered existence, helping others only when it’s convenient or costs us nothing

The idea is to stop after step 4, and be confident, not in ourselves, but in the gift that God has given us. When we view our lives in this way, nothing is ours, so it’s easier to give it away. The more we think that something is the fruit of our labor, our sweat, the more we’re going to want to hold onto it. Let this be a reminder to us all to live for something bigger than ourselves and bigger than our jobs. Live to serve.

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,” –Mark 10:43


wake up

(this is not me)

My second day on the job was nothing like the 1st.  Yesterday I woke up at 4:15am (uncharacteristic) and worked until 4pm. Today, I woke up at 11am, and am wrapping things up right now at 7:30pm.

One of my goals this year is to work as if I had a normal 8-5 job. Of course, weddings, and other events that I’ll be filming may throw this off to a certain extent, but after finding myself working until the wee hours of the morning throughout November and December, it is time for a change.  There are a few things I’m doing to help me accomplish this goal.

  • Get an office. I have one now at Harvest Church, which I’m definitely thankful for, but I’ll be moving into a different one soon. This will help provide a clear distinction between being at “work” and being off.
  • Go to sleep before midnight.
  • Get up even when I don’t have anything on my calendar. This will be a difficult habit for me to form. But I know it will pay huge dividends of both time and money.

I’ve heard some theories about different types of people having different “creative times” during the day. Some for example, may be most creative from 10am-Noon, while others from 10pm-Midnight. I’ve always thought of myself as the guy whose brain kicks in from 11pm-2am. But I want to challenge that. For the sake of my social life, and for the sake of trying to run a business on my own.

Do you have any thoughts on your best time to work? Is that whole theory even true?


Day 1…

For years I’ve debated starting a blog. Actually, I did start a blog, or a couple of them. But I failed to stick with any of them for more than a couple days. But this time is different, (he tells himself). This time I actually have something to blog about. And that is huge!

Today was Day 1 of me being 100% self-employed. And though it’s official now, my business has been in the works for a couple of years. While it still feels like I’m in the developing stages of Lifehouse Productions, I’ve come a long way from that day in 2006 when this was all just a daydream.

My blog will primarily focus on my story as a small business owner. More than a few people have told me that seeing me start Lifehouse Productions has been an inspiration to them. So, maybe this blog can serve as an inspiration to even more people (myself included).  And trust me, once you begin to understand how I’ve awkwardly stumbled upon so much of this, you just might go out and do the same.

So, please join me in the adventure!

this is me:

I grew up in Iowa, but have lived in 5 states since then. About 12 years ago, I made the decision to place my life in the hands of one far more capable than myself. His name is Faithful One, Jesus Christ

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