Dean Rhodes was a man who missed opportunity after opportunity, but chose to dig in his heels and not give up until he succeeded. In John Maxwell’s book Failing Forward, he tells the story how Dean Rhodes met a guy named Dave Thomas, long before Dave ever opened his first Wendy’s fast food restaurant. Rhodes admitted that he always knew the young Dave Thomas would someday do something big. But when given the opportunity to invest in Wendy’s in its infant stage, he turned it down. As of March 2010, Wendy’s was the world’s third largest hamburger fast food chain with approximately 6,650 locations!
Later, Rhodes met an older man named Colonel Sanders. Again- he was given an opportunity to buy stock in his company before it went national. But he turned that down as well because he didn’t agree with some of the colonel’s ideas. Later, Colonel Sanders founded Kentucky Fried Chicken which now operates more than 5,200 restaurants in the United States.
When Dean Rhodes was in the restaurant equipment business, he often had equipment salesmen in his office trying to sell him on their machines. One of them was a guy named Ray Kroc. Dean Rhodes admitted Kroc was a pleasant person. However, he chose not to invest in his little “hamburger stand” called McDonalds.
A few years later, on a cruise, he met an attorney from the Pacific Northwest who suggested that Rhodes invest in his son’s brand new computer company…on the GROUND FLOOR. It had a funny name though: Microsoft. Dean Rhodes declined!!!!!
Most people would pull their hair out and complain if they missed only one of these amazing opportunities. They would give up on ever trying to succeed at anything. But Not Dean Rhodes! Maybe he knew Micah 7:8 – When I fall, I shall arise! He saw his mistakes for what they were and focused on pursuing his dreams and goals and simply would not give up! Eventually he saw his name at #289 on the Forbes list of the 400 most successful business owners in America.
No matter how many opportunities you’ve missed or mistakes you’ve made, dreams that have gone unfulfilled or goals never reached, dig in your heels and refuse to give up!
To dig in your heels is an idiom meaning “to refuse to change one’s mind”. I want to urge you to not give up on your dreams no matter what! Don’t give up on those goals you’ve set and the changes you want to see in your life.
Whether it’s in setting a goal to lose weight, to start a business, to finish college, to pass an exam, to get out of debt, to open your own shop, to save money…don’t give up! Don’t let Satan play that game with your mind that YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO KEEPS FAILING!!!!
President Theodore Roosevelt said, “He who makes no mistakes—makes no progress.”
What actions are you taking this year to be different than last year? What is God dealing with you about? Is God wanting you to get that article published? Is he wanting you to get that degree? Is he instructing you to get in shape physically? Get that weight off? Is he nudging you to pay off those debts? If you were told you have 6 months to live, what would you change right now that you’ve been procrastinating on?
Part of the success of changing is realizing that it doesn’t happen over night. I recently heard about a lady who set a goal to lose quite a bit of weight. She would set unrealistic goals for herself year after year and get so discouraged every time that she would just end up quitting altogether. So one day: SHE MADE UP HER MIND. She dug in her heels and said, “I’m going to focus on making progress a little at a time. My goal is to lose one pound a week!” She ended up losing more than 52 pounds that year!
Instead of changing everything at once…focus more on changing a little at a time. Robert Collier said, “Success is the sum of SMALL efforts repeated day in and day out.” It’s what you do on a DAILY basis that will lead you TO your GOALS or AWAY from your goals!!!
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Develop a routine.[/quote]
John Maxwell says, “If I could come to your house and watch you for 24 hours, I could tell in what direction your life is headed.” He goes on to explain that the secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine. If you want to see change in your life, change something in your daily schedule. I’m convinced that your life will never change until your routine changes.
For example, it’s not one three-hour work out that will help you lose weight. It’s walking 15 minutes a day – six days a week that will bring change in your body. It’s not one long prayer time on your knees that changes your life. It’s daily appointments with God. Sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 10, sometimes 30, but you’re always mindful of His presence and you daily spend time with Him. It’s not depositing 1 paycheck into your savings account that prepares you for your financial future. It’s a portion of every paycheck going into that account that changes your life.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Focus on small changes. A little change goes a long way.[/quote]
Years ago, Rodney and I started saving our change. We had a large piggy bank that we just tossed our coins in a little at a time. It was a few pennies here, some nickels and quarters. Months went by and it looked like we probably had about $50.00 saved. But we kept on and kept on. One day, when I was pregnant with our daughter, Kassidi, we were in need of $348 for our 1st doctor bill. We had NO extra money. So, we thought, “Let’s take the change up to the bank and see how much we’ve saved.” Before we walked in the bank, I guessed $78.00. Rodney guessed $92.00 We were absolutely amazed as we watched the change spin around the bin and the bank teller handed us $372.00 cash! We had more than enough! Change adds up little by little.
It’s the same thing in every area of our lives. Every ounce of change you make… adds up! Let’s say you set a goal to get out of debt, and you’re not making any progress. As David Bach puts it, “Most of the time the problem is not how much we earn, it’s how much we spend. He said, we waste a lot of what we earn on small things, and most of the time, don’t even realize it.
In his book, The Automatic Millionaire, David Bach illustrates small changes adding up with his “Latte Factor” example. For instance, if you have a latte a day, that’s $3.50/day. A latte a day/month = $105.00. A latte a day/year = $1,260.00. A latte a day/decade = $12,600.00!!
In my case, it could be a burrito a day! No matter what it is that you spend money on each day, think about that debt you’ve been carrying the past 10 years and possibly, mad that God won’t show you a way to reduce it! Or give you a raise! The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine. What small change could you make in your daily routine that would benefit you towards reaching your goals?
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Weak desires bring weak results.[/quote]
You can tell a person’s TRUE DESIRE by the RESULTS in their lives! If you DESIRE to lose weight but you’re NOT losing weight, then that’s probably not your strongest desire. Your stronger desire COULD BE to eat what you want without gaining weight. Your stronger DESIRE will always win! You can tell a person’s stronger desire by the RESULTS they have.
If you DESIRE to get out of debt but you’re not making any progress, then it could be that your stronger DESIRE is to eat out whenever you feel like it, rather than save that money and put it towards the debt. Your stronger desire will always win.
Years ago, when Rodney and I were getting ready to build our first home, we only had $1,000 in our savings account. When the builder told us how much the house would cost and how much our monthly payments would be, there was no way in the natural we could afford it. The only way we could get the monthly payments at an affordable price was to put $48,000 DOWN! Like I said, we had $1,000!
We both swallowed real hard and said, “We will have the $48,000 at closing!” With six months to raise that money, we dug in our heels! We refused to change our mind on getting in that house! We desired to be in that house more than any other competing desire! And we went to work pursuing our miracle!
First, we recognized that when you’re experiencing your greatest need, that’s when you sow your greatest seed. We decided to sow the $1,000 from our savings believing God for this impossibility! Next, we wrote our vision and made it plain on paper (Hab. 2:2). I made a big sign that read: $48,000 with increments all the way down to $1,000. I taped it to the refrigerator, put one copy in my day planner, and one copy in Rodney’s. Every single day (not once a week or once a month) we prayed over that vision. We began asking God to bring us “God-given opportunities to make money.”
Because we were so focused on this vision, we began recognizing opportunities. Having a degree in French, I thought it would be fun to teach little kids French right in my home. So, I printed some fliers, and had class! Every bit of money we raised went straight to the goal of $48,000. I did some ghost-writing for people wanting books written and made some more money.
As soon as Rodney got off work at 5:00, he would drive through neighborhoods with a small bucket of paint, a paintbrush and some stencils. Knocking on door after door, he offered to paint address numbers on the curbs charging $5.00 per house. Sometimes he would come home with $30. Sometimes it was $200. Every dollar added up!
One day Rodney attended an auction and bought an old pinball machine for $75.00 and later, sold it for $150. That enabled him to buy two machines and double his money. Even though it looked like we weren’t even making a dent in that massive goal, little by little, it was adding up!
We sold our current house making $22,000! That was fun marking through those thousands on the vision paper! By this time, we had raised $38,600!!! With about 10 days until closing and $9,400 short of our goal, we met with the bank and they informed us that our down payment was reduced by $10,000! We had “more than enough” to get in our house!!
If you don’t like your results, change your desires! How do you change your desires? Change what you give attention to! In our example, we ‘dug in our heels’ or refused to change our mind on what we wanted. We gave our house more attention than relaxing on a Friday night. Instead, I would be sitting in my study editing books for people. I put all my Birthday money towards the goal rather than purchase much-needed maternity clothes at that time. When you dig in your heels, you absolutely refuse to change your mind no matter how you feel, no matter how impossible it looks, you stay determined! That’s when you see your dreams come to life!
If you want this year to be different than last year – you’re going to have to do something different! Make up your mind that NOW is the time for you to DO those things you’ve been putting off. Dig in your heels no matter how it feels! Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Don’t look at the whole staircase, just focus on the 1st step.”