image: Getty/CEO’s major lesson after cancer diagnosis/I Am A CEO With A Stage 4 Cancer. Let Me Tell You About Life.
As the CEO of US real estate company, Keyrenter Franchise, Aaron Marshall spent around 60 to 90 hours per week at work. That all changed when he was diagnosed with stage two and stage four cancer in his appendix, colon and liver.
“After a diagnosis of cancer, it changes your entire thinking,” Marshall told Yahoo Finance. “It helps put things in perspective, and things that once were a priority were no longer so.”
I Am A CEO With Stage 4 Cancer
In the beginning, Marshall considered stepping down from his role as CEO, but his wife urged him to stay on.
“My wife gave me the advice I needed – she said, ‘you need something to get yourself out of bed in the morning’,” he said.
As a CEO, it can be hard to take your foot off the pedal and allow your staff to do the hard yards. But this is exactly what Marshall had to do if he was going to continue.
“I knew I needed to focus on healing my body, but I also needed something to get me out of bed. I re-prioritised my days and delegated many tasks to my capable team,” he said.
And this is one of those that always seems impossible. “I empowered them to succeed in their roles. And now, I meet with them one-on-one each week to ensure they are confident in what they are doing. The company has a vision and each team member is part of that.”
But while Marshall finally learned the importance of having a great work-life balance, he said his biggest lesson through it all was this: “Life is precious.”
“Even more so now, I encourage people to find their passion and follow it,” he said.
Live Like There’s No Expiration Date
Despite his cancer diagnosis, Marshall said he doesn’t believe in expiration dates. He believes everyone should live the same way, cancer or not.
“Growing up, my parents always said they would vacation and do more things once they retired and had more time,” Marshall said.
“Shortly after retirement, my mum was diagnosed with a disease that put her in a wheelchair. They have made travel work in their retirement, but it’s not the way they envisioned.”
So, Marshall made a decision early on not to wait.
“Life is about the journey, and we need to enjoy it. We need not wait until some future day that may never come,” he said. “Since my diagnosis, this drive has only increased. I want to make memories with my family, and spend time with them, enjoying life and guiding them as they become of age and make decisions on their own.”
His one piece of advice? “Enjoy life.”
I Am A CEO With Stage 4 Cancer – And I Know Being Positive Is A Choice
Marshall said he’s become something of a mentor to his peers and colleagues, and the one question they always ask him is, “how do you stay so positive?”
And the answer is simple: positivity is intentional.
“I have had many challenges throughout my life that shaped me to be the man I am today,” Marshall said.
“From birth, being born with a cleft palate, the surgeries, the speech delays. I had a drive to overcome these challenges. As I look back, I realise these were all lessons that are helping me today with my current cancer challenge.”
And while his cancer diagnosis might be out of his control, the key to staying positive is to focus on what you can control.
“I don’t just take what my doctor tells me. If I did, it would be hard to stay positive,” he said. “Instead, I focus on what I can control – my diet, my attitude, exercise, life balance, and I am not afraid to change directions if needed.”
“I still have bad days, and sometimes we need to feel those feelings, but I don’t dwell on them. I let them come and then I get up and get moving.”
Work can be a daily grind; a hard, monotonous set of thankless tasks. In the midst of the toil, many are plagued by a lack of purpose, confused as to what to do and who to become. And while some of our vocations may seem more overtly meaningful than others’, the truth is that most of us work because we have to. It is a means to an end―survival. So a person of faith can rightly ask the question, how does my work life and faith in Jesus connect?
Every kind of work is a sacred calling. However, again, how does my work life and faith in Jesus connect? How does Sunday relate to Monday? What difference does the gospel make when I am stocking shelves, turning wrenches, or answering phones?
“The priesthood of all believers did not turn all Christians into pastors. But it did turn every kind of work into sacred calling.”
These are the types of questions that commonly haunt the everyday, ordinary Christian. For those who are serious and sincere in their faith, but who are not part of a pastoral staff or religious nonprofit, what role do they play in God’s kingdom on a day-to-day basis?
Connecting the dots between the Christian faith and missionary work is easy. Connecting the dots for truck drivers, politicians, union leaders, the police and dental assistants is hard. They are therefore entitled to ask, over and over again, how does my work life and faith connects?
How Does My Work Life And Faith Fits Every Kind Of ‘Sacred’ Work?
Gene E. Veith’s book God at Work has quickly become a classic in the Faith and Work titles. Written in 2002, Veith approaches the conversation, employing the Lutheran framework for vocation that emerged amidst the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.
The Reformers, especially Luther, sought to reclaim the notion of calling (vocatio in Latin) for the Christian laity.
Veith writes, “In scrutinizing the existing ecclesiastical system in light of the Gospel and the Scriptures. The Reformers insisted that priests and nuns and monastics did not have a special claim to God’s favor. But that laypeople, too could live the Christian life to its fullest.”
Work (Vocation), Life (Family, Citizenship, Church), And The Priesthood
This dovetailed nicely with the well-known reformational emphasis on the priesthood of all believers. The doctrine that “all Christians enjoy the same access to Christ and are spiritually equal before Him.”
“The doctrine of vocation, though it has to do with human work, is essentially about God’s work. It is also about how God works in and through our lives.”
The “priesthood of all believers,” Veith clarifies, did not turn all Christians into pastors. But it did turn “every kind of work into sacred calling.”
Building upon this foundation, Luther and the Reformers recognized multiple callings for every Christian. This includes the calling to work, family, citizenship, and church.
Two-Kingdom’s Model: The Super-Efficiency Of One Compared To Another
Each of these vocational categories receive a chapter in Veith’s book. But, before diving into these, he considers “How God Works through Human Beings.” There, he employs the Lutheran Two-Kingdom’s model to explain how God works through means.
Following Luther, Veith puts forward distinct spiritual and earthly kingdoms. He explained that God uses the spiritual kingdom to restore sinners and to rule in their hearts, equipping them for everlasting life.
Just as God uses the means of the church to accomplish the purposes of his spiritual kingdom, he also works through means of the earthly kingdom, especially natural law, to accomplish his plans.
He as well works through the so-called “secular” vocations of people in the earthly kingdom. “That is, He institutes families, work, and organized societies, giving human beings particular parts to play in His vast design.”
How Does My Work Life And Faith Addresses The Purpose of Vocation?
Veith also addresses “The Purpose of Vocation,” “Finding Your Vocations,” and “Your Calling as a Worker.”
He writes that vocation is played out, not just in extraordinary acts, the great things we will do for the Lord. And not in the great success we envision in our careers someday. But in the realm of the ordinary.
He then encourages that we demonstrate our ‘vocation’ in whatever we face in the often humdrum present. Which can be while washing the dishes, buying groceries, going to work, driving the kids somewhere, or hanging out with friends. He believes this is the realm into which we have been called and in which our faith bears fruit in love.
Connecting Work-Life, Faith, Today’s Misery And Tomorrow’s Greatness?
This emphasis on the “ordinary” is right and beautiful and has gained greater traction in recent years. An arguable extension of the “faith and work” movement has been the revival of interest in everyday liturgies. This see all of life as sacred and holy, purposeful before God, despite how extraordinary it may or may not be.
Veith goes on to say, that “the doctrine of vocation, though it has to do with human work, is essentially about God’s work and how God works in and through our lives.” If there were a one-sentence summary to the book, this would be it.
He repeats this idea at the end of chapter five, reflecting on those who responded to the planes crashing into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Those responders insisted their bravery was simply, “doing their jobs.”
Veith responded this way, “That is the doctrine of vocation. Ordinary men and women expressing their love and service to their neighbor, ‘just doing our jobs.’”
Veith’s God at Work made a deep impact upon its release in 2002 and continues to occupy an important place in the ongoing conversation on faith, work, and vocation.
May God at Work remain not only on the shelves of those teaching and preaching about Christian vocation. But may it find its way to the bedside table of all Christians, that each may become a mature and ministering worker of God.
Welcome to WorkLife Feedarticles and site-files indexing and adaptation series.
ERLC Editor’s Note: The original article is part of ERLC’s primer series on Christians ethics. It is where a respected leader and thinker recommends and gives a summary overview of a book that helps orient readers to a certain aspect of ethics and philosophy. This series is designed to equip the local church to engage foundational texts of Christian ethics. Find the entire series here.
It is not about infidelity, but it is lonely when the one you love most puts work before your relationship. If you are considering what to do if your main squeeze is putting work before your relationship, take a deep breath. In this article, you will be presented with suggestive steps that you can take.
Your main squeeze could have failed to appear at family gatherings too many times because of work. At other times, she may have promised to spend more time with you and not delivered because work comes first.
But has he said, “I’ll quit tomorrow,” but tomorrow never comes? Or has she stood you up or kept you waiting because of work? If you answered yes to these questions, your partner may be suffering from work addiction.
What To Do If Your Main Squeeze Is Wedded To Work
Kate’s work obsession became like a weekend lover.
She lied to her family so she could rendezvous with work at the office: “I’d tell my family I was going shopping on a Saturday and I’d end up in my office working. Or I’d tell them I was going to my girlfriend’s house. After calling my girlfriend’s and not finding me, they’d call the office and say, ‘I thought you were going to Dottie’s.’ I felt like I’d been caught with my hand in the cookie jar.”
If you’re the mate of a workaholic, like Jena, you probably feel alone as a partner and parent, as if you’ve been left with the responsibility of holding the family together.
You feel unimportant and minimized, even innately defective, because you get so little attention from your partner. You might even harbor feelings of anger, resentment, sadness, and guilt.
Or you may live under a distinct set of unwritten and unspoken rules. Rules dictated by your mate’s work habits: Handle everything at home. Don’t expect anything from me, because I have enough on my plate at work. Put me at the center of your life and plan the household and family and social life around my work schedule. I’m depending on you to do your best, be perfect, and not let me down.
image: Andrew James/ Remote Work Is It, As New COVID-19 Wave Hits
Millions of United States parents have been working from home since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March. And since then, they have been attempting to strike a balance between work, school and family time.
Gina DeRosa was thrilled when her year-long internship at the Department of Education in Pennsylvania in the United States turned into her first full-time job out of college.
But two months into her role, DeRosa has never met her colleagues in person. Trained entirely online by her supervisor, who she had met prior to Philadelphia’s COVID-19 lockdown, DeRosa interacts with her coworkers exclusively over Zoom.
“When you work with your colleagues right there, you can just ask them a question and walk [over] to them,” DeRosa, 22, told Al Jazeera. “It was definitely an adjustment.”
Remote work has also been a challenge for many. This is so especially for workers juggling caring for babies or managing remote learning for school-aged children. Young people eager to go out into the world and build a name for themselves are also finding it tough.
“For young people, you just wanted to go out there – you want to meet people. You’re graduating from college, you want to extend your social circle. This is a time when you were going to do that,” Lynn Berger, a New York City-based career coach, told Al Jazeera. “If you’re young and you’re living by yourself, you might really [be] missing that.”
Remote Work Is It And Working From Anywhere Is Okay
When workers were first sent home from the office in the early days of the pandemic, some found silver linings.
Andrew James, 47, a senior account executive for an enterprise software firm, flew from New York City to Miami, Florida. That was in March, to be with his long-distance girlfriend of three years.
“This pandemic, weirdly, has made me a father,” James told Al Jazeera of his new living arrangement with his partner and her three children.
James said not having to take the subway every morning, wear a button-down shirt every day and pick up the dry cleaning every week has freed up time for other things. And this is leading to a new work-life balance that he is enjoying.
At a tender age, I took over the family corporate business empire from my dad, that was at twenty years of age. Jeruslab Incorporated has been a great success, and I was CEO at the global headquarter for sixteen years. That was after I had my education at the best schools you could think of. Before then, I did not know any worklife frustration, desperation or any thing of such.
I did not however follow in the footsteps of the great CEO’s before me.
Ignorantly, everyone thought I was expanding the business empire and increasing our wealth. Preparing the ground for the next generation. However, wrong steps happen at every level of life and leadership.
Worklife Frustration And Desperation Happen To All
Once the crisis started, Jeruslab incorporated competitors swarmed us. Alternative products poured into the market segments that we have dominated for decades. Our dominance was challenged. It was initially difficult to understand what was going on.
The Arameans defeated us, one contract bid after another. They then head hunted many of our top talents, and big percentage left with our trade secrets and know how.
What amazed me most was the battle from within. It came from one of our former subsidiary companies that has gone to be an independent company of its own.
They launched a ferocious and direct advertisement campaign against my reputation. This inflicted a heavy damage on the value of the companies shares on the stock exchanges.
Depression set in for me. The unfolding worklife desperation and frustration made sleep to depart from me. Anxiety cannot lay with sleep, not even on the most expensive bed, or any lavishly furnished room you can think of. Desperation made me to take more wrong steps.
A Danger Spiraling Out Of Control – Work-Life To Death-Life
In one day, several government agencies raided our offices across major cities all over the world. Frantically, Jeruslab employees were shredding and burning company papers to hide information from the authorities. Others were making a run to escape arrest, and a few jumped from the high rise building that accommodated one of our offices in Asia.
By the end of the week, several arrest had been made – wives, sons and daughters of my senior managers and directors in Europe had been taken into police custody for interrogation.
Nightmares do happen during day time, it happened to me when hackers started another war front. Bitcoin, hidden foreign reserves, gold reserves and all forms of investments stashed away from the preying eyes of the tax authorities were exposed and plundered.
Not a joke taken too far, but I got a message from the hackers.
“Take heart, because it is the God of your ancestors that is angry with you, he gave you into our hands. However we have done more damage than we should in our usual greed. We’re sorry and cannot continue, we are also harming our own community and going against our interest, code and relationships. Our group cannot take your loot as looters.”
There was a sense of relief. But worklife frustration, desperation and anger had already overtaken me.
Seeking Help From Enemy Foreign Government
The presidential election was coming close. I wanted to take revenge, create an upset and fight back.
Rodsia was a willing tool. The Shinomites had attacked Bathington and carried away patents, high value data and innovations. I was humbled. My country was humbled among the nations. Things seems to be in disarray.
The president of Rodsia finally took my call. But he gave me trouble instead of help. Frustrated the more, I sold off my core investments in major corporations in Rodsia. I presented them to the president of Rodsia, but that did not help me.
Wrong Way to Respond In Trouble – Don’t Become Belligerent Or Unfaithful
Faith in my strength, invincibility and accomplishments faded. The century old organization that my ancestors have built was crumbling in my hands.
I offered the president of the Republic of He-Ran to sell their export goods and provide urgently required imports. This is to alleviate the economic embargo and blockages that the country was under because of their supposedly investment in nuclear energy and missiles.
My assumption is that, if I He-Ran can survive in the midst of the global sanctions, maybe I can learn a few tricks from them. I was willing to learn even from the devil to survive.
The calculation is that there must be tactics and strategies that they have adopted, which if I can follow, they can also take me out of my present predicaments.
This also became my downfall and the downfall of Jeruslab. I cannot go into details, but it did not work out.
We then gathered all the remaining last pieces of wealth that we have. We repackaged them into small separate companies. Our thought was that if Jeruslab falls completely, the smaller companies may survive. We scattered the companies into different countries under different ownership. Bribing our way to form dubious alliances with locals wherever there was opposition.
Worklife Frustration, And Desperation Are Not False Alarms But Wake Up Calls
Sitting idly one night, I wondered, where did I get it wrong? My parents did well during their own time. Did I take inspirations and learnings from my own generation and did not follow the precepts that I was taught from my youth? I failed, it was failure from the top. And with that, I spread despondency that was felt on the streets and in the lives of those that were close to me.
Being so blinded by my fights and battles, I did not realize that other companies were also suffering similar challenges. And some others were growing in exponential proportion and having a good ride. Releasing perfect products one after another, especially, during a time when we are all in locked down, and have to work from home.
The story started with a fourteenth century duke named Raynald III, in what is now Belgium. Raynald III had a violent quarrel with his younger brother, Edward, who then led a successful revolt against him. Edward captured Raynald, but didn’t kill him. Instead, he built a room in his brother’s castle, and kept him there. Edward then promised Raynald that he could regain his title and property as soon as he was able to leave the room.
Of course, this shouldn’t have been difficult for the average person. The room had several windows and a door of near-normal size, and none was locked or barred. The problem was Raynald’s size: he was grossly overweight.
For Raynald to regain his freedom, he had to lose weight, by choice.
Not Everything That Does Not Kill You, Will Make You Stronger
But Edward knew his older brother, and each day he sent him a variety of delicious foods. Remember the story of the monkey that holds a peanut inside a jar. The choice is simple, hold on to the peanut and continue to be held captive – a prisoner to choice. Or release the peanut and be free.
Instead of dieting his way out of prison by resisting those tempting foods, Raynald grew fatter. When Duke Edward was later accused of cruelty, his reply was, “My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills.”
But, of course, his brother was a prisoner – of his own appetite. He stayed in that room for ten years and wasn’t released until Edward died in battle. By then his health was so ruined that he died within a year (adapted from Leadership [Spring, 1984], p. 44).
In reminiscing on this tory, Steven J. Cole said that there is in every human heart, a perverse and powerful attraction for that which you know cognitively will destroy you. Like bugs drawn toward a light that will kill them, humans are drawn toward the evil that will enslave and ultimately ruin them.
The Worklife Choices Of Before Or After
There was absolutely no need for the wrong steps that I have taken. An adversary could have charmed me, and rebellion may have encouraged me. But I made the choices and decisions. The wrong steps were not forced on me, it was desperation that made them look like great solutions.
The lessons of life are hard and brutal. It only takes a few steps, and a continuation in those wrong steps, for any one to go further down and out. When we experience worklife frustration or desperation, we still have choices. We still have the power to make right decisions and avoid taking wrong steps.
For those interested in a similar story: 2 Chronicles 28: 1-27; 2 Kings 16: 1-20; Isaiah 7: 1-25
image/David Rodrigo/unsplash/Do Overseas Remote Working In Dubai With Residency
Dubai has launched a new residency programme that allows overseas remote working professionals to relocate and live in the emirate. They will be allowed to come along with their families while continuing to work remotely for their overseas employer.
Individuals and their families can apply for the relocation programme, subject to renewal every year.
The relocation programme will be valid for a year. Thereafter, it can be renewed successively for a similar duration each time.
The programme costs $287 plus medical insurance with valid UAE coverage and processing fee per person.
Once in Dubai, the remote working professional and the family will be able to enjoy benefits similar to that of other residents. The benefits available includes access to local telecoms, utilities services, and schooling options for their children.
Applicants also stand to benefit from the UAE’s zero income tax policy.
To be eligible for the programme, individuals must fulfil the following conditions: – Possess a passport with a minimum validity of six months. – Have health insurance with UAE coverage validity. – Show proof of employment from their current employer with a one-year contract validity. Have a minimum of $5,000 monthly salary, and must furnish the previous months’ payslip as well as three months of bank statements. – If the applicant is a company owner, then they must show proof of ownership of the company for at least a year. They must also show proof of an average monthly income of $5,000 supported by three months of bank statements.
“The global pandemic has changed how we live and work. As multinationals and leading start-ups across the world accelerate their rates of digital adoption, the need to be physically present to fulfil professional responsibilities has been redefined,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
Helal continues, “Dubai is uniquely positioned to offer a safe, dynamic lifestyle opportunity to these digitally savvy workers and their families. This is possible while they continue to work remotely, whether it is for a couple of months or an entire year.”
image credit: Squarespace/Words and Vision/ Why Does My Relationships Makes Me Cry?
I cry because I feel a pain. But I also thought that I cried because I needed to unburden myself, free the load I carried. Exactly six days ago, I had felt very different about this same issue. That is, crying over my relationships. But now, I do not have the same level of pain or emotion.
So what went wrong six days ago that made me to shed tears?
I knew I felt real anguish deep within me. That was the reason why I cried and prayed in partially audible groans. Why I wept, uncontrollable.
“I cry because I care. Yes, I cry because I don’t feel heard. I cry because you only hear my cry (complaints you call it), but do not see the care.”
If I had asked you my friend, Craig, why does my boyfriend keep making me cry? Naturally, you would have said it is because he did something that I don’t like or appreciate. And you may also have asked if it is something he does unintentionally. Or perhaps if he doesn’t know that I am being hurt by him.
I felt hurt and cried because of many things that day, my relationships issues and needs. That was not the first time and I am definitely not a cry baby. Why does my relationships, our relationships, makes us cry?
How do I stop being so emotional or stop my relationship emotional dependency?
First, I do not know if I am emotionally dependent on my partner. I have never thought deeply about this or go back at any time to understand the root cause of some of my crisis.
I recently read that emotionally dependent people aren’t just insecure, they have an obsessive need to be close to and attached to other people. In my estimate, my need to be close to and be attached to my partner is right and normal. When does it become excessive or a demonstration of insecurity?
I mean, we all experience some form of insecurity. No one knows the future, and no matter how confident we strove and climb the mountains, we all have a silent fear about the future.
What I still do not understand is this stuff called, an ‘obsessive fear’ of losing love. I did not start a relationship to lose it and neither do I want to jump from one relationship to another.
I need to take extra note of some words as I try to understand better, why my relationships make me cry.
Dependency seems to be when this normal things are in the extreme, obsessive, almost-insane etc. For example, dependent people have an almost-insane fear of not being good enough.
Then comes the issue of deep-rooted childhood traumas and disappointments.
Dependency, happiness and building a castle on shifting sands
In all, no matter the source or cause, depending on others for our happiness is like building a castle on shifting sands. It is more alarming to realize that emotional dependency isn’t just a state of mind, but a verifiable psychological disorder. A state of being where a dependent person can be sufferings from “dysphoric moods” or sudden mood changes making such unpredictable and difficult to deal with.
Even though emotional dependency is said to be serious and require professional help from someone with experience in relevant trauma treatment, a few tips can initially come handy. E. B. Johnson, NLP-MP, recommends the following;
Practice being there for yourself.
Stop giving away your responsibilities (especially self care) to others.
Recognize your own emotional cruelty.
Identify and let go of self-destructive patterns.
Detachment as liberation.
Develop some patience.
Let go of idealistic expectations.
Stop confusing your needs with someone else’s responsibilities.
Avoid letting your desire get carried away.
Letting go of the need to control others.
Why does my relationships makes me cry, what can I do?
My partner makes me a wreck, not that he beats me. But I am just tired and not happy in the relationship. You ask me to confront him, yes I have. You think maybe talking to someone about it will help, sharing with someone how I feel. I have done that too. And thanks to a loving gentleman who guides and coaches me. If not for him, many times, I would have taken very wrong steps.
“I am stretched and tired. Not only that, I have given up but cannot give up.”
The issues have been identified, and they are not likely to go away. He has even raised his hands in the air and declared that he cannot help himself. He said he does not have the skills or ability to do what I am asking him to do. But this are mere responsibilities that a normal husband or man should stand up to.
Quite all right, he does far above average in the area where he is lucky (sic!) to have a comparative advantage. But even at that, in those areas, I have had to double down to assist and guide him in some critical decisions and actions. Putting my feet down on critical decisions that he ought to take. And even adding my own resources, and that for his area of comparative advantage.
An expert thought on crying
So I cry, because it is frustrating. I am doing more than my bit, so I think.
“I am crying because they serve a purpose. Tears don’t come easy, so I cry because I hurt.”
According to Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine, “crying is an excellent way of releasing emotions and processing difficult situations.” Woman’s Day break down twelve possible reasons, experts says are the psychology behind constant crying.
These includes built-up emotions, emotional empathy, learned associations, neuroticism, depression and anxiety. Others are, early trauma, stress, personality, hormones, socialization and the PseudoBulbar affect.
“I am better,” isn’t better? “My cry bottle is fuller,” perhaps feel better
When Rose told told HuffPost, “I can’t remember an argument in which Ihaven’t cried, but then I’m generally a crier.” I said to myself, good girl, at least you are not a crier, but what am I?
Funny, many times, I have also been angry with my relationship with God, and that also makes me cry. Why is He keeping quiet. How come He is allowing me to go through this pains and hurts? For how long will He test me before He redeems me?
Should I be called a cry bottle filler? I am crying because they serve a purpose. Tears don’t come easy, so I cry because I hurt.
I cry because I care. I cry because I don’t feel heard. But for how long?
Why does my relationships makes me cry? I cry because I care. Yes, I cry because I don’t feel heard. I cry because you just hear my cry (complaints you call it), but do not see the care. If you want to know, I am stretched and tired. Not only that, I have given up but cannot give up. My journey have been very long, I have invested so much into this relationship and cannot let go now.
But for how long? And will it ever get better? Especially for a fundamentally flawed incapability in a partner. This I know, God is for me. In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man created situations and circumstances do to me?
Is it possible to make sense of what is senseless?
I was introduced to Beth Kinder by chance, and she asked me to go back thousands of years and read where a king gave an order to murder every Hebrew baby boy by drowning them in the river.
She said God described the Israelites during that time as His people. Yet mothers were having their babies ripped from their arms and murdered. Senseless… Where was God? Did those Hebrew families not honor God?
Beth then fast forward my mind to several thousand years later when another king ordered the senseless slaughter of all male children, ages two years and younger. She asked, “where was God?” After all, weren’t they still His people? Had they, too, removed God from their lives, their homes, their world?
I sense what my ‘comforter friend’ is trying to explain, but I do not agree with him.
What I do agree with is that we are all in this life bubble and are facing very different and sometimes related challenges.
When Beth said that her greatest victories, and her most catastrophic defeats have come from her little unit, called family, it resonates with me. Like her, I appreciate that there is beauty exchanged in the growing pains of family, where we must fight hard to make it work, when we would have rather quit.
Like Beth, I can no longer do any lesser.
I am promising myself that I would be for others, including my partner and friends, what I could not always find or receive. Hopefully, I will find out during this process of self discovery, that everyone has something for someone. I may have to search deeper, clean off more dirt’s, to find the hidden treasures in my life and possibly, also in my partner.
Many successful companies were born in people’s dorm rooms, garages, and basements. So what is it about success start-off in basements, garages, and bedrooms? Possibly nothing.
Perhaps it is just normal for new or young entrepreneurs with big ideas and little money to spend, to just start from where they are and what they have. Not just wisdom, but prudence that comes out of constraints, and determination that some expenses (including a proper office space) should be out of the question in the early stages of building a business.
Amazon Online Book Store – Jeff Bezos (Home Garage)
Amazon began as an online book store in Jeff Bezos’ home garage. In 1994, Jeff Bezos decided to take advantage of the internet’s potential. He quit his New York hedge fund job and drove to Bellevue, Washington, where he rented a house.
Bezos spent a year programming the site which initially sold books out of his garage, and in July 1995, success start-off for Jeff and Amazon.com went live.
In a 1998 interview , Bezos said, “I know why people move out of garages. It’s not because they ran out of room. It’s because they ran out of electric power. They have so many computers in the garage that circuit breakers kept flipping … we couldn’t plug in a vacuum cleaner, or a hair dryer anymore in the house.”
“It’s not where you start but where you finish that counts.”
Facebook Idea – Mark Zuckerberg’s (Harvard Freshman Dorm Room)
Mark Zuckerberg created a website called Facemash in 2003 while studying at Harvard. The site let students judge other people’s levels of attractiveness, but was quickly taken down after two days.
Keeping the momentum going, a year later, Zuckerberg and his friends Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes created The Facebook. Thereafter, success start-off and the social networking site quickly spread to colleges across the country.
In the years since, Facebook has come under attack over privacy concerns. While testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Commerce Committee during the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, Zuckerberg often cited his humble roots, explaining , “The history of how we got here is we started off in my dorm room with not a lot of resources.”
On a visit back to Albuquerque, Gates said, “There’s no better symbol for the entrepreneur than the humble garage. Of course … we founded our company in a garage to preserve the pile of money I got from my parents, but I assume other people do it because they’re poor.”
“Things are never quite as scary, when you have a best friend”
Google – Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Susan Wojcicki’s Garage)
According to a Business Insider profile of Susan Wojcicki, in 1998, Wojcicki and her husband, Dennis Troper, bought a four-bedroom home in Menlo Park, California, and rented the garage out to two Stanford doctoral students to help pay their mortgage.
The students happened to be Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were working on their new company, Google. Wojcicki eventually became the 16th employee at Google, which later moved to an office space in 1999.
In 2019, Page and Brin stepped down from the company, writing, “We could not have imagined, back in 1998 when we moved our servers from a dorm room to a garage, the journey that would follow.”
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people”
Apple – Steve Jobs (Parents’ Garage)
Back in 1976, Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage in Silicon Valley played a role in the early stages of Apple. However, Jobs and his co-founder, Steve Wozniak, quickly outgrew the space, Wozniak told Bloomberg Businessweek.
According to a Washington Post article, Wozniak has dubbed the idea that Apple was “founded” in a garage “a bit of a myth,” but he also admitted that the garage is part of the company’s story.
In 2014, he told Businessweek, “The garage represents us better than anything else, but we did no designs there. We would drive the finished products to the garage, make them work and then we’d drive them down to the store that paid us cash.”
The garage, from where success start-off for Jobs, is attached to his childhood home in Los Altos, California, and has since been designated as a historic site .
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Walt Disney – Walt Disney(Uncle’s Backyard Garage)
In 1922, Walt Disney created “Alice in Cartoonland,” which were seven-minute bits combining animation and live-action. But Disney was cheated by a New York film distributor and eventually had to move to Hollywood to find other work in the movie industry.
In Hollywood, Disney lived with his uncle and set up shop in his garage drawing cartoons. According to Encyclopedia Britannica , after hearing that his “Alice” cartoon was still popular, Disney and his brother Roy purchased a $200 used camera and set up Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. From there they created the entire “Alice Comedies” series and success start-off for them.
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure”
Under Armour – Kevin Plank (Grandmother’s Basement)
According to a Business Insider profile of Under Armour, In 1996 , Kevin Plank founded the company with the goal of creating athletic wear that was able to wick away sweat and be worn as a base layer for intense activity.
At the time, Plank was living in his grandmother’s townhouse in Georgetown, where he used the basement as his office.
In an interview with The Washington Post , Plank said, “I remember the guys from the NFL called me up one day and they said, ‘Kevin, we’re going to be in D.C. today, we want to come by the office and see you,’ which had me looking around Grandma’s house thinking ‘Oh my gosh, don’t do that.'”
“Quitting employment is the best decision I ever made in my adult life. There is a lot of contentment in building your own empire. It is step at a time but with so much satisfaction as you climb the growth staircase.”
Spanx – Sara Blakely (Her Apartment In Georgia)
Sara Blakely was working as a door-to-door fax machine salesperson when she came up with the idea for Spanx. While wearing open-toe shoes, she decided to cut the feet off of a pair of pantyhose and realized she was on to something.
As explained in a story by Forbes , Blakely spent two years carefully researching and preparing for the launch of Spanx while also working a full-time job. She then went to a pitch meeting and convinced Neiman Marcus to give her product a chance. Using Neiman Marcus as leverage, Blakely was then able to also convince Bloomingdale’s, Saks and Bergdorf Goodman to give Spanx a shot.
But even then, she had no corporate space. She’d package and ship the Spanx orders from home with the help of her boyfriend , and took phone calls from her bathtub or bed, according to the Forbes article.
Laurie Ann Goldman came to help Blakely, becoming the fifth employee and eventual CEO. In an interview with Forbes , she recalled her first office being the kitchen in Blakely’s Georgia apartment.
According to Forbes, as of June 2019, Blakely had a net worth of $1 billion.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
Tumblr – David Karp (Childhood Bedroom)
In 2007, David Karp founded Tumblr, the micro-blogging and social-networking site. At the time, Karp was working from his bedroom in his mother’s small apartment in New York. According to The Guardian , on the night the site went live, it gained 75,000 users.
In an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune about Karp’s love for computers, Karp’s mom said, “David would come running through the apartment saying, ‘Mom! Mom! There’s this and this and this!’ And I didn’t know what the heck he was talking about. Because it was a whole other language.”
The Washington Post reported that in 2013, Tumblr sold to Yahoo for $1.1 billion. But in 2019, WordPress bought the blogging site for a rumored mere $3 million.
“If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to help build theirs”
Dell – Michael Dell (University of Texas Dorm Room/Garage)
In 1984, most computers were mailed in separate parts, with consumers expected to assemble them themselves. Michael Dell wanted to sell custom-built computers designed for individual company’s specific needs.
The original company name was PC’s Limited , which he started in his college dorm room at UT Austin. Needing more space, Dell moved to his nearby garage, eventually dropping out of college to pursue Dell full time and his success start-off after.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”
Harley Davidson Motorcycle – William Harley (Wooden Shed)
In 1901 , William S. Harley drew a blueprint for an engine that could fit inside a bicycle. In 1903 , William and his brother Arthur built the first Harley Davidson motorcycle in a 10-by-15-foot wooden shed.
The shed’s door had “Harley Davidson Motor Company” written on it.
Today, Harley Davidson is valued at about $2.8 billion. In 2019, there were an estimated 1,569 dealerships around the world.
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed”
Yankee Candle – Mike Kittredge (Family’s Kitchen)
In 1969, the then 16-year-old Mike Kittredge melted crayons and canning wax to make his mother a candle for Christmas in a milk carton.
A neighbor was also interested, eventually inspiring Kittredge to design and craft the candles in his family’s kitchen, where the company known now as Yankee Candle was eventually born. That was from where his success start-off.
“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you”
Hewlett Packard – Bill Hewlett and David Packard (One-car Garage)
After bonding on a camping trip, Bill Hewlett and David Packard began renting a garage in Palo Alto and working there part-time. In 1938, the duo created Hewlett-Packard’s first product , the resistance-capacitance audio oscillator, which was used to test sound equipment.
Mattel – Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler (Garage)
In 1944 , Matt Matson, a skilled craftsman, was working out of his garage in Southern California when Elliot Handler asked if he could build some of his picture frame ideas. Handler’s wife Ruth then took the samples and sold them for $3,000 at a local photography studio.
In October of 1944, after the frames were a huge success, Matson and Handler decided to combine their last names, and Mattel was born.
While building frames in the garage, Handler also made dollhouse furniture out of the leftover wood from the picture frames. The furniture became a huge success and the company eventually pivoted towards making toys. The pivot paid off, their success start-off and as today Mattel is valued at about $3 billion.
“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical”
Empires From Sand Castles Or Side Hustles – Get The Passion Out
Two billionaire brothers raised in a terraced house in Blackburn are on the brink of buying supermarket giant Asda. Mohsin Issa, 49, and sibling Zuber, 48 could rubber stamp the mega money buy-out soon with a deal to take over the supermarket giant Asda.
Mohsin and Zuber Issa, self-made tycoons are part of an expected £6.5billion takeover of Britain’s third biggest grocer.
It would cap a remarkable rise for the brothers whose mother and father came to Britain from India in the 1960s with little to their name.
Billionaire Brothers Started Out In A Garage
Mohsin, 49, and Zuber, 48, the billionaire brothers started out in a garage which their dad, who had worked in a woollen mill, bought.
They branched out on their own, first renting a petrol station for two years. Then in 2001 buying their first forecourt, a derelict freehold site in Bury, and formed Euro Garages.
Their empire, the EG Group, now has almost 6,000 sites across 10 countries, from the UK to the US and Australia. They run outlets for Greggs, Starbucks and KFC, and employs 44,000 people.
In 2017, it bought 77 Little Chef roadside restaurants.
Zuber said: “We grew (EG) from nothing.”
“We’ve been on the pumps, we’ve been stocking the shelves, cleaning the toilets. You do everything.”
“And once you do the foundation work, it’s no different wherever you go in the world. It’s a petrol station; you’re selling fuel, you’re selling coffee, you’re selling convenience.”
Mohsin said the company “makes more money selling a cup of coffee than we would do on an average tank fill-up”.
Mohsin, who is married and with two grown-up children, runs the business day-to-day. While Zuber is responsible for strategy and acquisitions.
A Strong Giving Connection To A Starting Root
Sources describe the low-profile brothers as humble, with a strong connection to their Blackburn roots.
They have just opened a £35million HQ in the town and in 2012 set-up local football team Euro Garages FC.
The brothers also set-up the ISSA Foundation which funds projects promoting health, educating and tackling poverty in the UK and abroad. The foundation also bought an MRI scanner for Blackburn Royal Hospital.
Starting Off On A Billionaire Wealth Journey From Blackburn’s Terraced Streets
In 2017 they bought a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse in London’s Kensington for £25million, which is now being converted into a luxury home.
Meanwhile, it is just a 10 minute drive from Blackburn’s terraced streets to wide open spaces of the town’s millionaire’s row overlooking the rolling Lancashire hills.
It is here that the siblings are building five giant homes for themselves and their relatives.
As their petrol station business started to expand after the turn of the millennium, Zuber and Mohsin wanted to stay in the same area and moved with their families to a newly built large detached home.
Their parents still live in the area, close to the local mosque. But now it seems they will be joining their sons in a row of five incredible mansions, complete with basement swimming pools, on the edge of the town.
In a barber shop on a sloping street where they used to live in an end terraced house, the family are fondly remembered.
“They are good people, a very nice family” said one man. Zuber used to come in here to have his hair cut. They are good people who worked hard.”
A man strolling along the Issas old terraced street said: “They have done very well for themselves but they have stayed in Blackburn. “People have been talking about them buying Asda and are pleased for them. “They are well like people and have done well. Good luck to them.”
Billionaire Brothers Funding Model Of ASDA Deal
However, the money for the Asda takeover is coming from their personal fortunes. Private equity firm TDR, which owns half of the EG Group, is expected to put in a big chunk.
And it is believed Asda’s parent company, US giant Walmart, will retain a stake. Although the rumoured sale price is £5billion less than it paid for the chain in 1999.
Worklifefeed – Web Index 3: Investing In Corporate Quality of Worklife
By periodically investing in an index, the ‘know-nothing’ investor in Work-Life can actually outperform most professionals. There are other Worklife – Index from Worklife Feed. Here, we discuss Investing In Corporate Quality of Worklife
A number of companies are investing in corporate quality of worklife for their employees and they are letting them know about how to maximize them.
Your Work Life At Emory University
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