culture Archives - M is Good

How to Prolong the Valley

By | culture

As we go through life we experience peaks and valleys. First comes a peak, and then comes a valley. It’s a rhythm that we cannot escape. One of the things that defines and forms our character is what happens to us in the valley. Integrity, perseverance, and grit are deepened as we work to apply rigor to get out.

However, if we refuse to limit ourselves to the first few layers of what happens inside of us in the valley and choose to take the deep dive, we’ll find that there are heart-level issues alive and well. We call them FLAP – Fear, Lust, Anger, and Pride.


Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. We deal with all sorts of anxiety and fears, which range from fear of failure or disappointment to fears of rejection and loss.

We all have a human propensity to be afraid and it started with the first man, Adam. When God finds him in the garden after he sins, the first thing Adam says is, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid,” (Gen 3:10). Fear comes by hearing and believing in the echoes of worldly promises. It is a product of something unholy, brings calamity and destruction, and results in stress, torment, despair, and anxiety.

Even though fear is normal, we weren’t meant to live in fear. It’s no coincidence that the Bible uses the phrase “fear not” 74 times. In fact, Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

In order to battle our fears in the valley, we must have deep, unmovable faith. Faith comes from hearing and believing in God’s Word, is produced by the Holy Spirit, it brings forth the promises of God. A simple Google search will give you the list of these promises. Put them around you – at your workspace, on your bathroom mirror, or in your car. When you do, say them out loud. It will result in wholeness and peace as you focus on letting God’s promises fight the battle for you believing that what He says is true.


Lust is a psychological force producing intense wanting for an object, experience, or circumstance fulfilling an emotion. Life is full of things to lust over like sex, money, power, or even food. Lusts are not needs. I don’t lust oxygen or lust my heart to beat, but I need those things to happen or I die.

We tend to get confused when we give in to the lust for something and lose control while forgetting its true purpose. Lust in indulgent and is solely focused on feeding the person doing the lusting, while taking advantage of the person or thing being lusted over. It manipulates for the purpose of meeting one’s own needs even at the sacrifice of others.

Lust doesn’t come from God. “For everything in the world, lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16).

Giving breaks the death grip of lust, and the best way to fight lust is when we give love. Focusing on love shifts our desire from meeting our needs to meeting the needs of others. As Bob Goff says in his book Everybody Always, “Loving people means caring without an agenda.” When we try to love with a list of things we’re trying to accomplish, it takes a new form of lust. We must love to give and give to love.


Anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Even reading that definition is annoying! It flows deep within our bones. But as it is with most things, anger is no different – there’s something deep down below that is causing the anger. It takes a patient person to dig and unearth its root cause.

People who are angry are really saying, “You owe me! I’ve been hurt. Something has been taken from me, and I’m in payback mode. If you get close to me, I will expect you to pay me back for what other people have taken.” Angry people overreact to unmet expectations and cannot give grace. They tend to punish failure and not coach people.

How do you combat anger? Good question. The first step is to figure out exactly what’s been taken from you. Once you do, your next step is one word – forgive. The people around you can’t grow without failing and you can’t grow unless you’re willing to forgive. Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.

Tom Watson, Sr., founder of IBM, once sat down with a junior executive who had just lost IBM $10mm in a very risky venture considered by company insiders. When Watson found out, he called him into his office. Upon entering, the young man blurted out, “I guess you’re going to want my resignation!” Watson responded,

“You can’t be serious. We just spent $10mm educating you! You’re forgiven.”


Pride is an unduly high opinion of oneself, a domineering spirit of exaggerated self-esteem and conceit, and a puffed up and inflated ego. Another word that comes to mind is haughty, but that definition is a bit different. It is a prideful attitude, disregard, and lack of respect for others. It is conceited, arrogant, a superior attitude, and an egotistical spirit. The difference is that pride is a false sense of one’s own excellence while being haughty puts others beneath you. The bottom line is that both are sinful attitudes, and both guarantee you will experience a fall. “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

It is easy to spot a proud person. They like to talk, especially about themselves or their opinions. They do not serve others voluntarily, because` it is beneath them, and they are too preoccupied with their own things. They reject advice or warnings. A proud person presumes on people, is disrespectful of authority, and brags about breaking laws. They always have an excuse for their bad actions, instead of a humble apology. The problems in their life are always someone else’s fault. They refuse to seek help. Do any of these ring a bell?

Humility is the opposite of pride. It is not thinking or saying you are humble. Instead it is obeying God and serving others without keeping score. It is not how you look or walk; it is exalting God and others instead of yourself.

How can you increase your humility? It’s not by putting yourself down all the time. Instead, pray and ask God to help you get there. He wants you to grow in humility and lose your pride. The second thing is celebrating others. Andy Stanley said, “Go out of your way to celebrate publicly the things that threaten you privately.” Find ways to encourage and prop people up because pride provokes God to judgement, but humility brings His blessing.

I hope these four areas resonate and that you were able to grab hold of a few things you can do right now to take action against your FLAP!

Let’s Chat.

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Well Done, my Good and Faithful Servant

By | culture, social media

We’re a marketing agency, but we’re more than that. 

We’re dreamers, partners, thinkers, and doers, with a driving passion for supporting you and your God-given vision and mission. We are a solution for people who want to live out their calling from God. 

We believe that what we do together is more powerful than what we do alone.

Proverbs 15:22 says without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors, they succeed. 

So, what does that mean? 

Yes, we know how to message, design, build, and optimize your site –  we’ve got it handled. Our focus isn’t just on profit and clarifying your company’s goal and strategy. We dig deeper. We look to the root of your purpose, vision, and strategy. 

We look at your calling, your passion, and your vision. Just like you, we have a calling from God. A passion to see the Kingdom of God grow. 

You have a vision laid on your heart, a vision for a better tomorrow, but you’re not quite sure how to make it all happen. 

At the end of the day, we have the same mission: 

we all want to hear the words “well done, my good and faithful servant.” 

You’re reading this with a vision in your heart of how the world could be a better place and you want to communicate your vision to the world. You desire to fulfill your God-given calling and feel fulfilled by purpose but are unsure of how to get there.

We have the solution: 


M is Good developed the R7 process to help organizational leaders and entrepreneurs with their path to “well done my good and faithful servant”. 

We start by helping you discover your destiny and define your vision for your future. With a clear vision, we can build a plan together. The work doesn’t stop with the map we created – we’ll continue to think, adapt, and innovate so that your vision is always moving forward.

Our focus during the R7 process is communicating your vision and creating a powerful strategy for your brand and organizational culture. 

Your vision and passion is your destination, and R7 is the vehicle that carries you there. It gives you the fastest route to cover the distance. 

The steps of R7 will combat the indecision, frustration, and exhaustion you’re experiencing. Giving you the direction to act on your God-given calling. 

R7 is the path

Through the R7 process, we help you find the tip of the spear for your vision and streamline it into an efficient strategy. 

With a strong and Christ-centered strategy, you can grow your organization and serve God. 

So ultimately we can all hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Click the button below to learn more about r7.

how to write a compelling vision statement

Cattywampus – How To Write a Compelling Vision Statement

By | culture

What Is a Vision Statement?

A vision statement is a great place for Satan to sit and wreak havoc and he is certainly doing a good job of it. This is why I use the word cattywampus to describe how the world sees vision statements, mission statements, core values and the mighty brand promise. So if you happen to be confused, tell Satan to get out of your business. I am praying that this article will help you gain some clarity.

A vision statement is a vivid idealized description of a desired outcome that inspires, energizes and helps you create a mental picture of your future. A vision statement is a short, portable, easy to understand, inspiring, empowering, detailed, people oriented, memorable, destination driven by demographic and a God-inspired target statement. Vision (Hebrew, chazon) is derived from chazah, “to perceive, to foresee.” It is sometimes a synonym for “dream.” The corresponding Greek word in Acts, horasis, means supernatural visions, usually meant to give a message to the public.

Go Big or Go Home

It is an oxymoron to say that vision is big; if it’s not big, then it’s not a vision statement. It is simply a statement. Or perhaps it falls into the mission statement category. Vision is the future while mission statements are the steps to accomplish that future. There are actually 7 types of vision categories outside of a vision statement and 6 of them are biblical. These categories include:

  • Dream or Vision in the NightActs 16:9 God gave Paul a vision at night in his dream. Dream was for him to move on to Macedonian
  • Trance VisionActs 10:10-16. Lord tells you symbolically what to do. Most common way God delivers a message to us when He can’t get through any other way.
  • Vision CastingSeeing outside ourselves with spiritual eyes vision-Acts 7:55. Seeing spiritual world with our spiritual eyes.
  • Spontaneous VisionSpontaneous on sought of an inner picture – Dan 4:13 light and gentle mental picture or name on your mind as you are driving home. Most common type of vision.
  • Open Eyes VisionThis is a place and a need to have they eyes of our heart opened by the spirit so we can see the vision of God. Usually happens during prayer and worship. Seeking the Lord and expecting Him To fill you with vision and revelation. Scripture places great emphasis on lifting up your eyes and looking to see.
  • Eyesight Vision: Seeing with your natural eyes “I have great Vision”
  • Vision StatementClearly written image of your future. You can’t create anything if you don’t first have a picture of it. God planted a picture in Abraham’s heart. Gen 15:6. God came with a vision. Habakkuk 2:2 gives us a structure to build the vision statement.
  • Seers VisionProphets were often called seers. These were people who saw into the spiritual world and future events. Daniel was a seers prophet as was Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

Vision Statements are Different from Mission Statements

As noted earlier vision statements are often confused with mission statements, but they serve complementary purposes. Understanding the different categories will clarify the context by which people express their comments. A vision statement checklist includes:

  • Simplicity
  • Comprehensibility
  • Portable
  • Inspiring
  • Empowering
  • Detailed
  • People Oriented
  • Memorable
  • Target: Demographically and Destination

15+ Examples of Great Vision Statements

The best vision statements transcend a person’s lifetime. The statement itself is usually 7 to 12 words with no conjunctions, such as and, but, or however. If you can’t remember your vision for your life or your organization then you don’t have a vision statement.

Over the years I have collected some great vision statements. Here are some examples:

Since mission statements are the steps to the vision, they can be much longer and you can have multiple statements. The purpose of a properly written vision statement is to create a mental picture of the future charged with inspiration that can serve to energize, clarify, and inspire you, your team, donors, clients and the community around your organization. The purpose of mission statements is to provide directional steps to achieving the vision. Mission statements are the “How” while vision is the “Why” and the core values are “What” is important to the organization. Core values can come from the executive team or the original visionary. An easy place to start with the core values is to ask the question “What makes you mad?”

Your vision statement should err on the side of inspirational not factional, and stretch everyone in your organization. This stretch will allow the gates of heaven to open up and allow the holy spirit to permeate your body, donors, organization, and community with clarity and growth. Contrary to popular belief, God and the Holy Spirit entering your life and organization is a good thing. He will help you see fractions of your vision coming together from the help of people all around the world. I have seen this happen several times, and it’s overwhelming.

When God gets involved, we become aware of what is possible. We begin to realize that dreams can be achieved, challenges can be conquered, and problems can be solved. A properly written vision statement backed by mission statements and core values unifies a team, opens up a completely new set of avenues and possibilities, which by itself is a tremendous source of passion and energy.

What’s Love Got to Do With It – 3 Critical Questions to Ask to Propel to the Next Level

By | culture

The word “love” is not popular in the cubes and offices of today’s companies and organizations. Don’t get me wrong; people still love things. I mean, who doesn’t love a good steak, working for a great boss, or even getting a raise? Things that benefit us are easy to love. But, what about the person sitting next to you…right now? Do you love them?

Leadership guru Steve Farber has been going down this road for the past ten years starting with his book The Radical Leap, challenging leaders to keep love in their leadership playbooks. His new book that comes out this fall entitled Love is Just Damn Good Business pushes the envelope on this idea of incorporating love in the boardroom.

Steve says that leaders are at their best when they are doing what they love in the service of people who love what they do. You can’t escape it, love is woven throughout our daily existence, and everywhere we turn in our everyday 9-5 life.

Most folks balk at the idea of loving the people they work alongside. I led a team years ago and challenged them with this idea. They refused to use the word “love” and said that was reserved for family, close friends, someone in their foxhole in a war, and the person next to them on a sports team. But the person in the adjacent cubicle? Um…NO.

The question I always ask is whether you want those people to experience the best life can offer. Do you want them to be successful at both home and work? Do you want them to be able to buy a nice car? Do you think it would be great if they were able to afford their dream house? How would you feel if their child were to get really sick? Would that bother you? How would you feel if they went through a tough, bitter divorce? How would you feel then? I bet you know what they said. If you answered YES, they would care, then you would be right. So, at that point, I acquiesced and started using the word CARE instead of love.

However you slice it, the right word is still LOVE. In episode 22 of the Apply Rigor Podcast, Steve Farber makes three key statements for why operationalizing love in today’s organizations makes all the difference.

1. “If we want to have a competitive advantage, we need to make products or provide services that our customers LOVE.”


Be honest. When was the last time you bought a product or experienced service and used the word “LOVE.” I LOVE my (fill in the blank). Go read some product reviews on Amazon or Trip Advisor. You will find that the L-word is used in most of the 5-star reviews. Why? Because we feel strongly about the things that BEST meet our needs.

Would you rather have your customers like or care about your products, or would it be better if they LOVED them?

When we design products and services for our clients, we want them to be loved. Customer satisfaction means something. If they don’t love what we do for them, there is no great likelihood that they are going to stay with us, come back, or talk about us. If our target audience feels strongly about what we provide, then it means repeat business and a sustainable model for success.

The mysteriously elusive question is, “How do I make products and services that people love?” Keep reading.

2. “If we want to create products and services that people love, we have to create a culture that people love working in.”


When people work in a place they love, they produce products and services that their customers love. Southwest Airlines is a place where people love to work. It is their love for their culture that bleeds over into creating a customer experience that makes them the most loved airline AND one of the best places to work in America.

Would you rather have employees who like or care about your culture, or would it be better if they LOVED your culture?

How many Disney Pixar movies have brought a tear to your eye over the years? Come on! You can’t tell me the opening montage of the movie UP doesn’t get you every time. Ed Catmull, president of Disney Animation and former co-founder of Pixar, helped create a culture so healthy that their team produced films that you and I LOVE. Those films are brilliant because Ed and his team created a culture that people loved working in. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to work in a place with a giant wall of cereal?!

To create products and services that customers love, you must create an environment that people love working in. Let’s push this one step further.

3. “If we want to create an environment that people love working in, we must love them, the business and what we’re trying to do first.”


This is the tip of the spear. Whether you like it or not, everything starts with love. You have to love your people, your business, and your vision. If you kind of like these things you won’t make it, and your business will never come close to its potential.

Love is like a waterfall. If you start at the top and love your people first and your culture second, your customers will love what you do for them or produce third.

Waterfalls don’t go up. You can’t hope your clients will love your products and services first, then that will somehow make your environment so healthy that your staff loves the culture, which will cause you to LOVE your people, business and vision last.

Where do we go from here? We must start with first things first. Do you love your people? If not, why? What needs to change? Who needs to change? Do you have a compelling vision that’s clear and gets you out of bed each day with unbridled passion, focus, and excitement?

If you already love your people and vision, how’s your culture? Do you love it? If you don’t love it, no one else will. Do you have a clear vision for your culture?

Finally, how do people feel about your products and services? Are your customer satisfaction grades through the roof? If not, why? Have you bought your products? When was the last time you called your own customer service group to see what it was like to work through an issue?

If you find yourself growing more frustrated as you answer these questions, please know that we can help. We serve people every day that are all over this spectrum to help them find a compelling vision, strategy, and comprehensive plan to launch them toward reaching their potential. Why? Because we love who you and your organization could become, and after all, as Steve said, “love is just damn good business.”

Listen to Steve on the Apply Rigor Podcast


The Lie of Balance – 6 Tips to Being Fully Present

By | culture

There is no such thing as balance.


More and more today, we hear that phrase. Is it true? If it is, then why do we seek after it with such intensity? Why is it that our minds house these scales of justice always trying to provide a countermeasure to time spent at work, on our laptops, or phone on the weekend? In the end, we want our families to know that they matter.

Maybe we need a different word because “balance” is just not working. Perhaps we need a whole new language! Seeking after balance is not a bad thing, but it’s also not the best thing. Let’s ditch being so concerned about what we aren’t doing and instead pursue what we can do. What if the focus were to shift to whether or not we are fully present wherever we are?

In today’s hyperspeed and technology-centric culture, being fully present is challenging, but also necessary. If balance is a mirage, then being present is the actual earth under our feet. It is possible.

There is an old Zen thought that says, “Chop wood. Carry water.” The idea is that when it’s time to chop wood, swing that ax! When it’s time to carry water, carry that bucket! So do not try chopping water and carrying wood! Stay in the moment. Too many times, when we try to balance, we end up trying to chop buckets of water, and it just does not work.

Being fully present carries some distinct advantages:


  1. Calmness – When you focus on what’s in front of you vs. what is swirling around you, it provides a sense of peace.
  2. Clarity and Focus – You do your best work when your mind is clear, and you can hunker down and focus. Being present means that all of life’s distractions are put away.
  3. More Meaningful Conversations – If you can focus on listening without a mind packed full of distractions, you will take more away from it and also deposit more into the other person.
  4. Appreciate the Little Things More – When you do too much, you cannot appreciate the small, little amazing parts of life. Being fully present allows you to slow down and see colors, smiles, and the things that help make life amazing.

If these are the benefits, how do we become fully present?


Good question. Natasha Barton, contributor on, provides a few tips.

  1. Breathe – When you notice you’re feeling stressed or anxious, structure your breath like Navy Seals. Take a deep inhale for 4 seconds and then do a deep exhale for 4 seconds. Do this for a minute, and you’ll notice a sense of calm, looser muscles, and decreased heart rate. You will be amazed at how much better you can focus.
  2. Put the Phone Down – Technology robs us from connecting with people. Park the phone and focus on those around you. Being present requires your full attention.
  3. Call a Short Time-Out – Chiropractor Michelle Robin, D.C. suggests, “If you’re rushing to a meeting, pause outside the door and take a breath or two before going in,” she says. “Before you start hustling to get dinner on the table after a long day, pause to take a breath and let go of the time before now and be present while you lovingly prepare food for your family.” This will bring you back to the present so you can give that activity or person your full attention.
  4. Set Reminders – I use reminders in my mobile device every day. I have reminders to help me focus on how I lead and serve others. I also have ones that remind me to pray for my wife. Use technology to your advantage to help pull you back into the present. Set up questions like, “What makes you smile right now?” or “What do you appreciate the most right now?”
  5. Be Grateful – Find a few things every day that cause you to be grateful. Having an attitude of gratitude forces you to slow down and appreciate others and what is around you.
  6. Start a New Tradition – Shelley Henderson, co-founder of Henderson Properties in her book, Starting from Scratch, encourages people to start a new tradition. You may have moved to a new town, started a new job, or perhaps even your son or daughter is heading off to college. When life change happens, start a new tradition. Pick a night of the week to do something fun, or start a new habit like exercising. Maybe you already do. Find a way to try a new routine and see how your awareness of being fully present in the moment grows.

In the end, it is not about balance. It is about being fully present. Give these tips a try and leave a few comments. We would love to hear how you apply rigor through your pursuit of presence, and who knows, maybe we’ll send you a new, awesome, super soft, “Apply Rigor” t-shirt! But remember, you must be PRESENT to win!