Let me get in front of this and say I took this title from my pastor’s sermon this morning (I’m writing this on Sunday night). Really, I’m just going to paraphrase what he preached on today. To get the full scope, click and watch/listen the link below and begin at 30:30.
As my friend and pastor Dr. Byron L. Benton prepares to transition into his new role as Pastor of Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, SC, he spoke to the fact that, if there is no movement, there is no growth. Now, whether you’re religious or not, you can’t refute that. Though it may be challenging to let go of your comfort zone, you have to do it. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Serve the purpose you’re meant to serve for the season you’re meant to serve it in. But do yourself a favor and move when it’s time.
I hope you start this week with this message and contemplating how you need to prepare to move to the next place in your life. It’s imperative that you grow not only for yourself but for others. It’ll be painful at first, just like all growth is, but it is a part of our human experience.
Dr. B said a lot more during that his sermon about what to do during your sedentary seasons. Check out the sermon here. You can start at the 30:30 mark if you’re not looking to capture the worship side of things.
Make growth a priority.
You can never stop building your brand (until you stop working and then maybe you can, but I’m nowhere near there and I’m assuming you aren’t either if you’re reading this so let’s settle for the word “never” in this case). Last night I had a beer with a new friend of mine, Doug, who I was introduced to by a mutual friend. Doug is a couple years my senior (years enough to provide reliable wisdom but not so many years that I can’t comfortably joke with him). We chatted about everything from Duke School to L.A. (he recently moved here from there) to my trip to his home state of Massachusetts when I decided it was a wise idea to sport my Yankees cap (which was, in fact, a very unwise idea) to life, wife, and kids. It was great. Before we got together, he had checked out The Reader and said he liked it and the content I put out on it. Though I put a ton of effort into this, I’m always humbled when someone, especially an established professional, says they enjoy reading it. Just in the past week, I’ve had a website designer say it’s visually appealing and a state’s attorney say that it provides great insight for young professionals who sometimes know the stuff but need a reminder. Doug provided a suggestion though. He asked about my logo. And I showed him my logo for Daniels Professional Development Company. He asked “But what about for The Daniels Daily Reader?”
Wow. I had never even thought about it. I push branding every day of every week with every breath. From the social media work I do for Berean Baptist Church of Raleigh to the fundraising I do for my school to my own brand, I am always pushing branding. But my blog, though well-branded and extremely visual, is missing a key element: a logo. So, this morning, I hopped on it. When you don’t realize something, you just don’t realize it. But once you know, inaction is a sin. We all have blind spots. That’s what makes us human. But thank the people who point the blind spot(s) out to you and make sure you do what you need to in order to fix them.
And, no, the header photograph on this post has nothing to do with branding or even my blog but you can’t deny that it’s a beautiful view.
Make professional development a priority.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to serve as the official photographer for my first major event. Mind you, I don’t claim to be a photographer. I own a camera. For my birthday, my wife got me (us) an additional lens. I’m very much a novice. But I’ve taken a liking to the hobby and developed a bit of raw skill (see yesterday’s post, Raw Material and Raw Potential), so she decided she would invest in my happiness (sidebar: invest in the dreams of your significant other. It will pay off tenfold in you all’s collective joy.)
Anyway, I digress. This weekend, I was able to shoot Berean Community Center‘s Abolition Day service at Shaw University. The Community Center, a branch from my church, The Berean Experience (also known as Berean Baptist Church), had North Carolina NAACP president Rev. Dr. William Barber as the keynote speaker (you may recall him from this video at the 2016 Democratic National Convention), United States Congressional Black Caucus chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield as the master of ceremonies, and Supreme Court of North Carolina Justice-elect the Honorable Mike Morgan speak on the historical perspective of the event. All in all, it was a powerful celebration of black freedom, black excellence, and America’s bite at the apple of redemption. And I was there for it all. From the private meeting of these and other names that are known locally and nationally to capturing moments from angels that everyone else was unable to see, I was present and ready. Why? Because I was asked to serve. I had no idea when we got the camera that I would fall in love with the attention to detail required to shoot a manual shot and get it just right but I’m glad I did. My hobby allows me to serve in church on Sundays, keeping me both engaged and active, but it also is opening doors for me to meet people who have changed the social fabric of our nation and communities. That is important to me.
During his time at the pulpit, Justice-elect Morgan said, “When you find yourself surrounded by excellence, it can’t help but become a part of you.” The funny thing is, you never know what it is that will put you in the room with greatness so be open to more than one avenue to success.
Make professional development a priority.