Thursday, January 22, 2015

Excellent performance: 9 Secrets towards optimizing your passion power

By Virginia Mburu

Mwakazi, The Passionate Entrepreneur and owner of Makao Interior Designers……..In his family is his wife Pendo, Son Jabali and daughter Waridi. 

Now we see him in a meeting- A lunch date with one of his mentors and friend- Kizito Stua.  They also happen to have been in the same secondary school. Currently, Bwana Kizito is a Passionate Entrepreneur-the owner of Funguo Developers , a  “must go” to brand in the property development  business .

One of the   traits Mwakazi admires in Kizito is the zeal he has for his work. The results are pretty obvious- His business was voted the fastest growing property development business in the county! Good for Mwakazi too, for he gets to design the interiors of those properties!

Today, Mwakazi wants Kizito to share the secrets behind this zeal. Kizito does not disappoint. Kizito learned early from his one of the many stories his CRE Teacher narrated in school. On this particular day, the lesson was based on Exodus 35: 30 – 35 . This is the day he learned that everyone has been given a particular talent and one only needs to discover what that talent is.  He then set out on a road to self- discovery. 

Looking back, he realized that he was lucky to be in primary school when art and craft was an examinable subject. How he loved building those huts! He was really disappointed when the examination body removed art and craft from the examinable subjects. How were students who had a non-academic passion like him discover their gifting?  

In college, he revisited the Exodus 35 story and discovered that more lessons were hidden in the story. This time he dug in the following secrets that formed the foundation of his zeal.

Secret 1…..Every one of us comes packaged with certain gifts/ passions/talents 
These passions are naturally endowed, God breathed talents- which means that it should be easy to perform tasks related to your gifting.  Should you find that you are struggling in what you are doing, think again. Have you really discovered your talents?

 In Verse 30 we see Bezalel was called by name and his passions clearly spelt out. “Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.”

Secret 2…..The talents are given towards the fulfillment of a certain noble purpose
In this case, Bezalel was to make artistic designs to build the ‘Ark of the Tabernacle’ …..a dwelling chest for God’s presence and power.  Kizito loved building excellent human dwelling places whereas Mwakazi loved making those dwelling places habitable, useful and pleasing to the humans.

All of us are gifted differently for a particular purpose to enable each person to fit in as a piece of the universe puzzle.  What is your purpose?

Secret 3…..You are gifted with various abilities so that you achieve the purpose
You have been given the physical and mental power needed to fulfill your purpose. You only need to explore those abilities that are hidden inside YOU.  For Bezalel he was to ‘work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.”

Secret 4….Gather Knowledge in all skills necessary to achieve your purpose
Time to sharpen the skills!  For you to make optimal use of the skills, you need all knowledge that you can get from teachers, books, mentors, on-line, experience etc.   

Whereas God equipped Bezalel with all the understanding of or information about the craftsmanship necessary, you may have to gather the necessary knowledge to succeed in your purpose. Kizito did not miss an opportunity to learn the current best practices in property development plus expected future applications.

 Secret 4….Master the skill
Continuously practice the various skills in that line of work- craftsman, designer, embroider, weaver etc.  and  be the best there is.  In Exodus 35 :35  we are told that Bezalel and Oholiab were master  craftsmen and designers. Work towards being the ‘go to’ expert in your line of work.

Secret 5….Be willing to multiply
Now that you are a master, you need to multiply your skill through sharing the knowledge that you mastered. This gift was also bestowed as indicated in in Exodus 35: 34, “And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others”. Bezalel and Oholiab   were master craftsmen.

They taught, apprenticed, coached mentored, encouraged, corrected, and desired that the other artisans be “all they can be” - to become masters in their own right. This meant that the designed work would be done fast as well as continue in their absence. Not only that but they certainly left a rich legacy!  

Secret 6….Join a coalition of the willing
Exodus 36:2- “Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work”.  Put together a team of skilled workers and partners who are willing to work together irrespective of their backgrounds.  Bezalel was from tribe of Judah and Oholiab from the tribe of Dan.

Add those willing to support and provide for the cause just as the rest of the Israelites had been asked to contribute willingly. No one was to be coerced to contribute to the noble cause of building a dwelling place for their God. You are more likely to excel if you work with similarly passionate team members. Choose your team members/ associates passionately.

Secret 7…..Make optimal usage of resources
When there were enough supplies, the workers reported the same to Moses and in Exodus 36:6, “… Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.
This follows that we all need to be faithful stewards of available resources, no wastage,-more so when generously and willingly given. What about optimizing the limited resources?
Secret 8…..Know your customer needs
The passions, gifts, talents are geared towards fulfilling a certain customer/s need. Bezalel and Oholiab followed a certain design that God had provided.  There were detailed ‘customer specific’ instruction manuals as to how the work was to be done.

They followed the manuals to the letter. Do you have clear understanding of your customer needs? Are your policies plans, designs and systems geared towards supporting those needs? Ask Kizito… He gets them detailed and in a customer approved written document.

 Secret 9….Apply Wisdom when executing the passion
You may have data which is translated to information which leads to knowledge but you need the wisdom - that ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgment.  

Wisdom to know when to identify and accept constructive criticism, admit correction, change course, listen to advise , add more knowledge etc.  

We are whole beings and wisdom is to be applied when making decisions regarding other roles in our lives such as education, spiritual, finance, health, family, social, artistic, pleasure etc. Moses led Bezalel, Oholiab and other skilled workers in applying wisdom and the results were certainly pleasing.

This particular customer was happy with the outcome as we see in Exodus 40: 34-38. “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels.”

Over to you Passionate Entrepreneur;
How did you discover your gifts/ talents/ passions?
How are you making the most of those talents?

Share with your experiences us in the comments section below and possibly mentor another Passionate Entrepreneur.

Whatever you do, make sure it results in less work, more money and positive impact.


Virginia Mburu
Passionate Entrepreneurs Coach
Virginia empowers and motivates Passionate Entrepreneurs to realize their purpose and pursue it. She then assists the entrepreneurs to clarify, prioritise and focus on management and marketing strategies and action plans that will get them to work less, make more money and positively impact within one year.  Download some of her gifts- absolutely free lessons on

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Goal Progress: 11 ways to overcome obstacles

By Virginia Mburu


 Something that blocks you so that movement, going forward or action are prevented or made more difficult…

Who would want something that makes progress more difficult? However though obstacles make target achievement challenging, the process becomes more thrilling and motivating. We will now look into how we can manage obstacles by taking some lessons from one short, wealthy, chief tax collector Zacchaeus found in Luke 19: 1-10.

Step 1….Your target must be crystal clear

Zacchaeus’ goal was outlined in - Luke 18:3; ‘He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd’.  

Jesus’ popularity must have preceded his visit to this town of Jericho—His radical preaching, the innumerable miracles, the frequent run-ins with the Chief Priests, Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. More so for Zacchaeus- that he could accommodate the tax collectors and sinners.

He had  even recruited a tax collector (Matthew) to be one of his 12 disciples! So,  Is your target clearly as spelt out as that one of Zacchaeus?

Please note that the goal statement included the obstacles he faced. " I Zacchaeus- the short get to see Jesus Today". 

Step 2….Adjust priorities

This is especially so if this happens to be one of those impromptu targets arising from an impromptu visit by Jesus in Jericho. Take time to adjust priorities. Zacchaeus must have moved some of his tax collection appointments from the day’s schedule!

 Step 3…..Get a tight grasp on your emotions

Stop seeing the obstacle from the eyes of a vertically challenged, wealthy, chief tax collector who was resented by fellow Jews. Analyse the obstacle from a logical perspective. No blame game, No search for sympathy votes… Be Zacchaeus -focus on end result rather than perceptions! 

Step 4.….Map your way to the target but be flexible to allow for changes from lessons learned on the way

What solution exists? Adopt the attitude that every problem has a solution. We usually talk about going round an obstacle. What about going over or under it or even climbing it like Zacchaeus?

Thoroughly assess the obstacle, have a mindset that every obstacle is surmountable and your good brains will furnish you with unexpected alternatives. Be creative and persistent in your solution search. Think differently, question assumptions, norms, generalizations etc. How would other people view the obstacle? 

It would not be surprising if Zacchaeus borrowed the ‘climbing’ tip from some young boys around.  What about seeking help from mentors, coaches or experts to assist you craft the solution? 

While at it, desist from blame game or search for sympathy votes which make us operate from a point of weakness and unable to control our fate and destiny. Imagine Zacchaeus going like “Woiyee you guys, can’t you  allow the bilikimos (short people) to take the front row?”

Let’s take full responsibility over the obstacle even as we invite assistance.

Zacchaeus crafted a solution that was sure to attract Jesus’s attention. He defined where (he must have enquired to know the route Jesus was to take), which tree to climb to improve his height (Sycamore fig tree which was high above the crowd but low enough for him to be seen).

He must also have picked on the right time to run ahead of the crowd and climb the tree. What if you had a brainstorming session and wrote out all possible solutions until you have a winning formula?

Step 5..…Expect and identify obstacles in your journey

 If you averse to obstacles, then you better take note of this quote from Frank A. Clark- “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere”. And as mentioned above, you may decide to mention them in the goal statement.

      A.  Personal Obstacles

Physical attributes, thought patters, habits, behaviours, career, knowledge, skills etc. For Zacchaeus, his height and being an agent of the oppressor (Roman Authorities) were major obstacles. He must have been viewed as a sellout and ostracized.

It was an open secret that the tax collectors enriched themselves by collecting more taxes than demanded by the Roman Authorities. No wonder when Jesus decided to visit the home of Zacchaeus, the people “began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner’” (Luke  19:7)

B. Financial obstacles—Lack of or too much thereof
Whereas most people face the former, Zacchaeus fell victim to the latter -the wealth that was acquired through dubious means. 

C.    Social Obstacles
Are too many of you reaching for the same target necessitating that you run ahead of the crowd like Zacchaeus? How do people perceive you? Do they resent you like they did Zacchaeus? Are people discouraging you?

You may find out that like Zacchaeus, people around you or the culture you operate in is not conducive, is out-rightly sabotaging you, or the people are simply not capable of assisting you get over the obstacle. 

You may need to build better or new relationships. Correctly diagnose the scenario and effectively communicate what you want, how you want it done and expected result while ensuring they also achieve the other party’s desires in the process.

D.    Environmental Obstacles
Along the way, you may come across unexpected conditions, occurrences and circumstances that are beyond your control. For Zacchaeus, the crowds were huge. Do some scenario planning in advance and set up action plans which can be adjusted as you move along.

Step 6…..Set and stick to deadlines

Zacchaeus could have opted to wait for next time but then would he have seen Jesus again? Not on earth as Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem  where he was soon crucified.  This would have resulted in another unrealised personal target…

 And by the way, why would you be missing your own deadlines unless you are busy assisting other people achieve theirs? Mind you, you might end up with a dangerous procrastination habit in your success journey. Not good, right?

Step 7…..Marshal the necessary support or resources 

What do you have and what’s missing? Zacchaeus could not rely on the support of the crowd. They detested him anyway but having criss-crossed this town many times, he knew a certain tree that  would do the trick.

So- Passionate Entrepreneur, what are the necessary tools, strategies, knowledge and the support we need to help us overcome obstacle successfully?  Keep an open mind…..even to a sycamore-fig tree…….

Step 8…..Execute your plan-Fast…

Watch out for Henry Ford’s quote that "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. " Wealthy Zacchaeus took this to heart and quickly gathered his robes and raced down the street ahead of the crowds and climbed the sycamore fig tree. Remember Jesus was passing through on his way to Jerusalem and time was of essence.

Step 9…..When one obstacle is resolved, another one comes knocking

Zacchaeus got more than he bargained for…. Not only did he attract Jesus’s attention but Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus home!  Luke tells us in Luke 19:5  “When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” 

Next was a spiritual obstacle –his sin LUKE 19:7 says that
“All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.'"
He was known to be unjust in his tax collection and now was time to change his modus operandi which he quickly did in Luke 19:8  “Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Step 10…..It pays to assist others achieve their goals and gain a double victory

Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree because he was seeking Jesus whereas   Jesus was seeking to save the lost. Both Jesus and Zacchaeus reached their goals. Can your solution assist the other person achieve their objectives as well?

Step 11…..Don’t Quit

 When the going gets really tough, you may want to take the advice of this unknown author who says that “Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer”. What would have seemed impossible did  happen to Sinner  Zacchaeus and other Jews  for in Verse 9, “Jesus Said to him “Today Salvation has come to this house….”

Over to you Passionate Entrepreneur;

  •  Which obstacles have you faced in your progress journey
  • How have you overcome these obstacles?

Share your experiences, suggestions or questions in the comments section below. Who knows- We might as well  share a joint victory……..

Whatever you do, make sure it results in less work, more money and positive impact.


Virginia Mburu

Passionate Entrepreneurs Coach

Virginia empowers and motivates Passionate Entrepreneurs to realize their purpose and pursue it. She then assists the entrepreneurs to clarify, prioritise and focus on management and marketing strategies and action plans that will get them to work less, make more money and positively impact within one year.  Download some of her gifts- absolutely free lessons on