Monday, April 21, 2014

{inspire me} Guest Post by Stephen Shives

This week's inspire me is written by a good friend of mine, Stephen Shives. Stephen might be one of the most inspiring people I've ever met. He is a friend, father, author, entrepreneur, dreamer, minister and just all around amazing person. When you hear his story of
success, it's evident he is both a hard worker and a man of faith. To be an entrepreneur you have to be willing to take risks, look a little crazy and be willing to see opportunity where others don't. 

Stephen has self-published three books, and owns Runaway Campers. After years of renovating RVs as a hobby, he began selling them at a profit and eventually developed his own model. He figured out a way to build campers from the ground up in an extremely cost-effective manner, saving money in production and passing that saving on to his customers while providing a superior product.

He also has a ministry called Life IS the Mission. His vision for being and entrepreneur has a lot to do with the mentality that we shouldn't have to wait until retirement or until we feel like we've earned enough to begin enjoying life and experiencing happiness. His most recent book is titled The Venturist: Finding Success When One Thing Leads to Another. I highly recommend you read it!

I asked Stephen to write a guest post for my blog that would be inspiring to others who might need a little faith to take leaps in their own lives to live life fully. Here's what he was inspired to share:

People spend their lives in pursuit of keys to success. There will always be some new seminar or book telling you how to grow a business; retire rich; raise your kids; organize your house, etc. The truth is, life was not designed to be so complicated that only the most educated or intelligent have a chance. 

Stop searching for the keys! It was once said that Houdini gave up in frustration at an attempt to escape from a prison cell, only to discover the jailer had never locked it. I cannot give you the “keys to success”, I can only point out to you that the door is already open; you just have to go through. 

Be satisfied with what you have. I believe the number one indicator a person is trying to be something they're not, is debt. And debt is not always about money; it is often just making promises you can't keep (over-committing) as a way of manipulating others. A lack of contentment will always have you looking outside of what God created you to be; trying to be something you're not, or get something you don't need. 

Do what works. I'm not going to tell you to do what you love. That can easily get you in trouble if misinterpreted. There may be some things you LOVE to do that are not healthy for you; or you may love to do something that you are absolutely no good at doing. Let's face it, some of us LOVE to sing, but we have no business even thinking about auditioning for “The Voice”! So whatever you find yourself doing... How's it working for you? 

If it's working, you should be able to tell by the fruits of your effort; the satisfaction in your spirit; and the acknowledgment of others. If it's NOT working, you have to decide very quickly whether to do something different; or to do it differently. There's no such thing as finding satisfaction... without action. 

Keep looking ahead. Refusing to live in the past, is understanding the rear-view mirror is not there so you can see where you've been; (that's what pictures are for) it's there so you can be aware of what's coming up behind you. Its OK to reminisce, but don't live in the past; learn from it and realize the wonder of where you are. Quite often, people are defeated by their circumstances because they spend so much time thinking life's not fair, or everyone else has it so much easier. Joy in the journey is found, when you embrace the challenge of whatever you face, as an opportunity to define yourself as a champion.

I say now is the time to live your dreams. Stephen constantly shares inspiring messages through his Facebook page, and if you're not following him, you should!

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