Authentic Conversations with Andy Mason
037 How to Get Practical Wisdom for TODAY

037 How to Get Practical Wisdom for TODAY

April 21, 2020

How on earth do I know what to do today? In this episode I go behind the scenes giving you my process of how I hear God on a consistent basis that gives me PRACTICAL WISDOM and guides the decisions I make on a daily basis.

This was actually a conversation I had with Ray Edwards as part of our 30 Day Hope Challenge. Every day for thirty days, Ray and I connect at 7am PST on his facebook page and we dialogue over one chapter of my new book: Finding Hope in Crazy Times.

This particular day we called an audible. We didn't just dialogue over the chapter, but HOW I come up with the ideas, solutions, strategies and wisdom that BECAME the book. Actually it's my lifestyle.

And it was LIVE. I wasn't a scripted, planned out interview. It was simply, "This is what I do, this is how I do it, and this is what it means TODAY."

I trust you will enjoy the conversation and it will help you too!

036 How to Avoid Frustration

036 How to Avoid Frustration

April 14, 2020

Welcome to the conversation. In this episode I talk through how I have been distracted and what I am doing about that. I have learned that there are two issues going on: 

1. Issues over which I have a direct influence and concern and can do something about

 

2. Issues that I am concerned about, that I am worried about, that affect my bigger world, but over which I have zero Influence.

 

If I focus on the issues in number two, then I only get frustrated, irritated, wound up, angry...

 

But if I adjust my attention to the things that I have control or influence over, I become powerful and productive and fruitful, regardless of the external situation and circumstances.

 

So what will you do?

035 How are you REALLY doing?

035 How are you REALLY doing?

April 7, 2020

Last Friday I had an interview with my friend Ray Edwards. We talked about the current situation, how we are handling the extremes of clients and community facing loss amidst others whose businesses are growing in spite of it. 

What about conspiracies? 

What do you do when you are empty... when you have nothing left to give? How do you recognize that and what do you do about it?

What is hope? 

How do you get hope? 

What does a disaster do to a community? We can we expect on the other side of this? 

The new book - what is it about? How did it come to be? How did this happen?

And then.... Ray spontaneously proposes we launch a 30 day challenge around the chapters of the book. One per day. Thirty days.

I propose five days a week... starting in a week's time. 

Ray says, "How about now?" "How about Monday?" "How about 7am?"

The world is looking for us to lead with hope. Hope doesn't take the weekend off.

So we launched. Daily. 7am PST on Ray's page. Live. Free.

Here's the link. Join us tomorrow!

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034 How Do We Do Family In Midst of Crisis?

034 How Do We Do Family In Midst of Crisis?

March 30, 2020

In this episode, my wife, Janine and I openly talk about how we are leading our family, making decisions and navigating the range of emotions of ourselves and our four teenagers in the midst of uncertainty. 

To give you context, I am just out of self-isolation (literally three days ago). It was the weirdest experience ever - being isolated from my family who were themselves isolated as a result of the "Shelter-in-place" order of California governor. (Hear the story behind this from a previous podcast). This means we are working/schooling from home and have access to essential supplies such as medical, food, home supplies and outdoor exercise (and apparently hunting supplies, essential here in Northern CA). 

So how are we leading our family of four teenagers (13, 16, 17, 19)? Here, we reflect around seven areas of life. As you read or listen, consider your own area's to be intentional SO THAT over this period of time you will ADVANCE and INCREASE. The alternative is to run and hide or simply survive. We sincerely believe that in spite of what is going on, there is always something we can do to grow. So here's what we are doing...

Spiritual

- Sunday church online together. Our oldest daughter (19) goes to a different church so is doing their online service and bible study.

- Communion together a couple times a week

- Encouraging one another

- Journalling and scripture and praying individually

- Respecting one another's different approaches in connecting with God

Intellectual

- Kids doing school (1 x 8th grade, 1 x sophomore, 1 x senior, 1 x online college)

- Andy listens to audible books and podcasts and is reading John Adams

- Janine is reading novels... David Baldacci

Emotional

- Walking

- Digging a hole (Ben - 16!)

- Playing with puppy and other dogs

- Hugs

- Getting into the 'wild' - running somewhere beautiful

Physical 

- Walking

- Biking and mountain biking

- Digging

- Running

- Pushups, lunges...

- Ping pong

Financial

- Investing in book launch

- Updating financial accounts

- Ideating about what we can do if this crisis continues beyond another month

Relational

- Family meals, together

- Family games in the evenings - Nertz, Clue

- Family meeting weekly to talk about how everyone is doing and upcoming week

Relax-tional...

- Watching Blindspot on Hulu

- Playing ping pong

- Walking around the block

- Sitting in front of fire and reading a book or listening to music/audible

- Routine (get up, get dressed, do your hair, clean your room, do your dishes... school)

- Invest in something - project, learning (here's 450 Ivy League School courses for free!) and here's a TON of educational resources for kids (fb group).

So what about you? What are your goals for yourself, your marriage, your family at this time? 

And what other ideas do you have for any of these area's of life?

Brought to you by Gulf Coast Recreation, your playground expert.

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033 How to Turn Chaos into Opportunity

033 How to Turn Chaos into Opportunity

March 24, 2020

Are you going through a significant challenge and want to know how to see an opportunity in this? Do you feel like your business has just burned to the ground and you have no idea what to do next? Well, welcome to the conversation! In this episode I interview Ryan Spitz of Shasta Trail Runs and California Untamed. He moved his family from San Diego to Redding in 2017. In 2018 he purchased an events business and after investing six months of time, effort the Carr Fire burned his business to the ground... literally. 

What he did next turned that chaos into the biggest opportunity of his life. 

Listen, learn and be encouraged!

To find out more about Heaven in Business and the growing online community, check out the free 14day trial at HeaveninBusiness.com/online

Remember: NEW BOOK - Finding Hope in Crazy Times, is coming out April 12th on Amazon and you can listen and read a free chapter on our website by clicking here.

Brought to you by Gulf Coast Recreation, your playground expert.

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032 It’s Not MY Risk to Decide

032 It’s Not MY Risk to Decide

March 17, 2020

Last week I travelled to Europe... then everything changed. Here's what happened, what we did and how we decided. AND bonus content, my wife (Janine) joins me and we talk through how we are managing our family at this time, the balance of wisdom and faith and the steps we are taking for the short-term foreseeable future. #crazytimes

I was booked in to be keynote speaker at the first Heaven in Business Ukraine conference. They were expecting 250 people on the first day and double that at the public meetings the following day. On the way, I had planned a stopover in Germany staying with business friends and speaking with a local faith-based business group in Stuttgart. But after departing USA and arriving in Germany we received word that Ukraine government was cancelling all public meetings. BOOM. What would we do now? How would we even decide?

1. What are my options?

First step is to consider what I COULD do (bearing in mind, I have two international students at Bethel's Ministry School traveling with me).

A. Travel to Ukraine anyway and meet individually and/or with small team of leaders. Keep existing itinerary?

B. Travel to Netherlands and stay with business friends who were going to meet me in Ukraine. This couple are also instructors at our Heaven in Business Bootcamps?

C. Stay in Germany and serve the local business community?

D. Cancel all travel and return home immediately.

2. Who are the stakeholders?

In this situation the people concerned are primarily my wife/family, the team with me, and my German hosts. The Ukraine host had already communicated we will reschedule when the situation changes. 

Will the borders close? Will we be quarantined somewhere? Did we 'miss-it' even traveling this far? So many unknowns yet after meeting and praying with our German hosts and seeing what God immediately did, we definitely sensed we had made the right decision to come this far. 

3. What does God say?

I spoke with my team and our German hosts and we stood around the kitchen and prayed. All of us had the sense to stay in Germany to do the planned meeting there the following night and then talk to the local pastor if there was any way we could serve him over the weekend.

4. Make the decision keeping ears open...

My wife was in full support of us making the best decision in staying in Germany. At this point we were thinking until Monday (it was still Wednesday, and the business meeting was Thursday evening).

As I talked further with my wife we sensed it would NOT be good to stay over weekend and serve local church on the Sunday - they needed to hear from their own team and not a visitor/stranger at this time. So we made the decision to change our flights to return home to USA Friday evening. We let the pastor know and offered to minister to him and his team if the timing would work for them.

At the time the Friday flights were 90% empty. Our airline tried to charge an $1800 change fee but on asking to speak with the manager and having an amicable conversation, they dropped the fee and confirmed the flights. We would arrive back in USA at 9pm on Friday 13th.

What happened?

We woke Thursday morning to news that USA was closing the border to foreigners at midnight Friday 13th. Our decision just 12 hours earlier meant we would arrive just 3 hours before the policy change! Not only that, the plane was now filling up FAST and the price to rebook or change seats suddenly doubled.

Phew! Thank God for wise decisions!

The Thursday evening meeting was excellent. The topic was last weeks podcast: 7 Keys to Find Hope in Crazy Times.

We arrived back in USA after reading the Center for Disease Control guidelines and expecting to be given information or told that we need to self-isolate. But... nothing. It was the OPPOSITE of what we expected - no information, no handout, close proximity lines as per normal airport navigation. I was confused. If this is so serious, why is the gateway wide-open and ZERO management in place???

So what did we do next - AT HOME?

I was shocked at the contrast between Government and CDC statements and what I experienced at the airport. 

What should I do at home? Do I follow CDC self-isolation guidelines or interact with others as normal? Was I REALLY any threat to my community? Here's my process:

I am part of a large organization in my city and I have a daughter with a heart condition… so I will be self isolating in my own house for the next two weeks. I am not happy. This is not fun. This seems absolutely crazy. But this is not about me. It’s not my personal risk. It’s about slowing down the spread of the virus as best as possible to protect those vulnerable and to allow the medical profession to get a handle on how to control it. It is very highly likely that I am perfectly healthy. But that 0.01% chance of introducing the virus to my daughter…who works in the food industry... or to the husband of my employee… or to the grandmother of my neighbor… is not worth the risk. In other words, my discomfort and isolation for two weeks is a lower cost than the cost of my daughter or community member being affected through me.

So here we go. Two weeks from my bedroom (and forays into the recreation area behind my house...).

Stay healthy, stay hope filled, stay wise. 

Finally here's your daily prescription:

READ and PRAY Psalm 91.

SHARE communion with family - Jesus blood paid for this in full!

CALL a friend or colleague and encourage them in midst of this.

You are not alone. 

Brought to you by Gulf Coast Recreation, your playground expert.

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031 How to Find Hope in Crazy Times

031 How to Find Hope in Crazy Times

March 10, 2020
We certainly are in crazy times! I understand there is a virus, but the extent of fear and paranoia (and Aussies stockpiling toilet paper) is more of a virus than the virus! So how do you maintain hope (a positive view of the future) when all things around you are crazy? Good question! And even better, Ive got a book coming out next month to help you with just that. But for now, here's some practical keys to find hope in crazy times...
 
In crazy times people do crazy things. It's also the greatest opportunity to grow, to advance, to establish. What will you do?
 
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
"Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him."
BUT WE ARE NOT OF THOSE WHO DRAW BACK TO PERDITION, BUT OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE TO THE SAVING OF THE SOUL.
Hebrews 10:35-39 (NKJV)
 
Hope sees a better future and SOLUTIONS for now. Faith acts on what hope sees. Faith is anchored in hope. I see a better future. I believe in a good God. I know there is a solution. This is going to be ok. This is going to work out for my good!
 
And even if I die, I get to see Jesus face to face. My eternity is secure. You cannot scare me with death.
 
So how do you find hope (perspective, belief, courage, comort...) in the midst of crazy times?
 
Practical Keys to Find Hope in Crazy Times:
 
1. Daily word - Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. What is He saying TODAY for my TODAY?
 
Prayer = LISTEN
Pray in the spirit AND with understanding.
Communion.
 
2. What do you see (God doing)? What do you hear (is happening)? What do you REMEMBER (if nothing else, remember what He has done in the past)?
 
Testimony of Ryan and flu 103.5F temperature gone in 60mins.
 
3. Worship
 
2 Chronicles 20 tells a story of being outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered and outplanned and it wasn't George Washington! The Israelites were completely overwhelmed and didn't know what to do. So they asked God and He gave a strategy seemingly bizarre: "Send in the worship team first." Crazy matches crazy huh? 
 
But God. Worship changes atmospheres. It reminds you how big God is. It makes room for Him to move and for you to advance.
 
So worship until your song lines up with His.
 
4. Wise counsel
 
See previous post on the best way to maximize your life
 
5. Family, team, covenant friendship - we are in this together. Iron sharpens iron. Better a friend nearby than a brother far away.
 
6. Hope for TODAY - what will you do TODAY. I cannot control tomorrow. What will i do TODAY? Prioritize. Act. DO THIS.
 
7. Necessary Endings - what do you need to stop doing, start doing, keep doing? See Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud

 Here's the book launch team I mentioned - check out the details HERE

Brought to you by Gulf Coast Recreation, your playground expert.

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030 Coronavirus Decisions: Fear or Faith?

030 Coronavirus Decisions: Fear or Faith?

March 3, 2020

This episode is a truly messy intersection around faith, family and business. I am supposed to travel to Europe in a weeks time. Coronavirus is spreading around the world. Depending on who I listen to I could bunker up inside my home for the next couple months. How do I decide what to do? 

First here's a really cool RELEVANT testimony of what happened last week:

Advisor (me) had a scheduled call with business client who imports and installs playground equipment. Client sounded terrible and turned out he had fever since 2am. He hadn’t used any medication and felt like a punching bad - aching all over. Client had to work anyway as best possible because of workload. He had eaten very little but drank lot of water and coffee. He had been predominately working from the couch in his office. The call with the advisor was at  6:00pm. They Prayed at 6:05pm. His temperature was 103.5 (F). The conversation was all about the supply chain in China and the impact of Coronavirus in clients business. 
 
At 635pm client noticed he was feeling better and temperature showed 99.1. 
 
At 7:05 pm temperature was 98.8. Client said he was “Feeling good! 80-90% pain gone. Just feels like worked out. Feels like too much energy - feeling wired!” 
 
He then Walked into office next door and his wife exclaimed, “You look like a different person!” Business man went home and played with his kids.
 
Boom. That's a good way to remember God has power over all disease. THAT'S the way I want to live my life - from a confidence of knowing that I serve the God who paid for every sickness and disease.
 

So how do I make a decision in the midst of all this?

Do I just blindly travel or something else? Here's my process:

1. Make the decision from faith not fear

First set your confidence and security on what does not move - Christ and His Kingdom. Become more aware of Him and His victory and dominion, than of the problem or pain. This is not avoidance; it is establishing perspective and priority.

I do this by remembering testimony. I vocalize gratitude for who God is and His influence in my life. I thank Him for His full and final victory over every disease and even over death. My eternity is secure.

2. Make the decision with stakeholders

I am healthy. I eat healthy (mostly). I exercise. The virus is most dangerous for elderly and for infants and for people with health vulnerabilities. This means I am highly unlikely to be adversely affected... individually.

However, it's not just my decision to make. I am part of a family with a daughter who has health challenges. I am part of a community that hosts students and events and guests from all over the world. What happens to me, affects those around me. I need to take that into consideration and be aware of my stakeholders.

3. Make the decision with facts

Faith is not ignorance or denial. It is knowing the situation and confidently making a decision, regardless of what that decision may be.

The Center for Disease Control website has a ton of facts. My travel insurance policy and website has a ton of facts. My host in Europe has local facts. The media has a ton of fear. It doesn't take a genius to ascertain where to find the reliable information.

4. So what will I do?

I don't know yet. At this point I will be traveling unless there is a major increase in disease where I am traveling and/or travel advisory warns against travel. I have some alternative options. I have a plan. I am 100% in unity with my wife. I am confident. Regardless, this will work out for my good.

What about you? How are you making your decisions? Where do you need to realign from faith to fear, or include other stakeholders, or seek facts rather than cheap opinions? What will you decide?

Brought to you by Gulf Coast Recreation, your playground expert.

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029 What is God Up to - Florida?

029 What is God Up to - Florida?

February 25, 2020

This week I got to be in St Petersburg, Tallahassee and Destin, Florida. We did two Heaven in Business workshops and one day going office to office praying for state representatives and staff. Here's a summary of what I learned, the highlights of what we did and what happened as a result...

My Key Learning

1. Don’t be afraid of small beginnings - 12 people turned the world upside down...

We expected 100 people in each place and was initially disappointed with 50-60. BUT then realized the people in the room were the RIGHT people - people who are influencers and who are engaged in the city. Don't be deceived by the numbers. Don't despise small beginnings. See how great a forest fire a small spark creates.

These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Acts 17:6

2. Don't wait for the change, BE the change

In each place we went, we were hosted by everyday people who had simply stepped up to engage. None of them would have said they were 'qualified' for this. Yet EVERY one of them was being followed by many others. 

When you see a need or opportunity or great cause, don't sit back waiting for someone else to step up and do something or say something; the world is waiting for YOU.

3. Look for patterns or clues God is up to something then JUMP IN

I noticed that there were a number of people in cities lining up from Chicago in the North, down to to Destin, St Petersburg in the South. it was almost a straight line. It stood out to me in such a way that I perceive God is up to something (with me) in this area of the USA. So I prioritized invitations and opportunities and took risk to invest time in these places. In the last three months we have already done workshops in Indianapolis, Cincinatti, Lexington, Destin and St Petersburg. And Birmingham and Chicago are lined up shortly.

So far the results are repeating in each place: relationships restored, people physically healed, answers/solutions/turnarounds happening WHILE we are still praying... AND a fire of what is possible with God at work is being kindled in each location. I call this awakening - where everyday business people are being rekindled in their pursuit of God in all of life, resulting in fresh passion for serving people through business and spilling over into seeking the wellbeing of their city.

If you want to see where we are headed next, or join us at an event in our home-town of Redding, CA, check out HeaveninBusiness.com/events.

 

Brought to you by Gulf Coast Recreation, your playground expert.

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028 Behind the Scenes: How to Publish

028 Behind the Scenes: How to Publish

February 18, 2020

In this episode I give you a sneak behind-the-scenes look at how we put together our new book to launch March 29 PLUS a sample chapter 22 - Divine Connections are Waiting for You.

ANYONE can write a book and it is cheaper than you thought. It is also a GREAT way to grow your business, influence or legacy. Imagine 100 years from now, your children's children's children getting to read what you wrote! 

Here's the link to our blog post Seven Steps to Publish Your Book for Less than $500! Below are updated notes of the current process and how you can get a $250 discount if you wanted to access Chandler Bolts Self Publishing School (a lot more pricey than our process but VERY helpful if you want a step by step process from book idea through to book marketing).

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 So what have we done differently this time in publishing Finding Hope in Crazy Times - Daily Stories of Hearing God? AND what am I learning about book publishing?

1. Self-Publish or Traditional Publish?

We went with self-publishing route again in order to retain 100% rights to the book and any derivative of it (future workbook, future series...). It's also a fun experiment to learn from previous books we have self-published and keep improving on the process. Other major reasons for self-publishing are margin and marketing. With a traditional publisher you do get an up-front payment which is book commissions paid in advance. The amount depends on their expectation of overall book sales ie. your existing platform and reach (in other words, YOU are still the primary marketing machine - there's no shortcuts). A traditional publisher will then pay you around 10-20% royalty on sales. Self-publishing is 8-10x this. So you have to weigh up number of books sold compared to $/sale and make your own choice which route you will go. We chose to invest in the marketing training in Self Publishing School. I need to sell an additional 500 books to pay for this (should be easy from what I've already learnt). I do recommend Self Publishing School if you are serious about the investment of time and money. If you are serious about this contact me for a $250 discount.

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2. What has it cost us to self-publish?

Here's the breakdown so far:

- Write the book. Cost: HOURS and HOURS of evenings and weekends!

- Edit the book. Cost: FREE to self edit and get your spouse / friend to proof read

- Edit the book again. Cost: $320 through Fiverr.com. Make sure you choose someone with an English literature qualification and lot's of great reviews.

- Edit the book AGAIN. Cost: FREE self edit. Every time you read your copy you will spot necessary edits. One of the best ways to find edits is to record it as an audio book. That way you have to read it slowly so you NOTICE how many little errors there are.

- Design a cover. Cost: $500 to ??? We paid between $500 and $1,000 depending on how many revisions. Don't skimp on this as it is the first thing people look at and an average cover communicates 'home-made' - only read this if you like your cousins home-made pumpkin pie.

- Format the interior. Cost: $500 to ??? We have built relationship with a local graphic designer that we are happy with. Check out Fiverr.com also for this. Again, don't skimp on quality - make it easy for people to read.

- Format e-book. Cost: $150-200. Check with the same person who formats your book whether they can also do the ebook conversion. Otherwise check fiverr.com or other professional services - Ingram Spark.

- Record audiobook. Cost: FREE. I setup my bedroom as a make-shift sound studio. This looked like closing the curtains, sitting under the duvet and surrounding myself with pillows - all to dampen the sound. I then used my Rode lavalier microphone (thanks Andrew Montesi) that plugs into my iphone 7 Plus and used Voice Record Pro app (free - thanks Cliff Ravenscraft). 

- Format audiobook. Cost: $500-1,000 sound engineer. I used Ryan Opfer of Recorded Word for this.

3. Next steps

We are waiting on our foreword from Kris Vallotton due this month then we will put together a lauch team (marketing/reviewing/spreading the word) then LAUNCH March 29. If YOU are interested in being part of our launch team (we give you free audiobook and you purchase e-version for $0.99 plus take the time to read and post a honest review) then contact us through team @ AndyandJanine.com with LAUNCH TEAM in the subject line.

4. What am I learning?

Marketing. Marketing. Marketing. I used to think that getting the book published was the largest part of the job. NOT SO! I'm learning that I could have the best product/service/message on the planet but if I don't do my UTMOST to let people know about it, I am not stewarding well. I MUST MARKET. For me that looks like investing in the marketing component of the Self Publishing Course and applying what I am learning. If I had a bigger budget I would employ someone to help. Maybe that will be the next book?

Brought to you by Gulf Coast Recreation, your playground expert.

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