I Don't Beg...
Joanne and I were recently in Chicago for our annual pre-Christmas excursion. The weather was bitter cold and the streets were bustling with the usual shoppers. And as usual, the sidewalks had all too many people with quickly constructed cardboard signs who were hoping to capture the sympathy of passing shoppers.
We saw tons of the normal “Homeless Please Help” signs. But one sign grabbed my attention as being much more creative. The young guy held up a sign that said: “I don’t beg. I tell jokes for $.25.”
Even when life is hard we need to be creative, to let people know what are best talents are, and to be remarkable with how we share that with the world. Isn’t there a major difference between “Homeless Please Help” and “I don’t beg. I tell jokes for $.25?”
Recently we were in Kenya, Africa. Obviously, we saw thousands of poor people. But I don’t recall anyone just sitting with a sign that said “Homeless Please Help.” Rather, we saw thousands of people offering some small project they had completed in exchange for a few shillings. Joanne and I enjoyed talking to these people and evaluating their work. We came back with cases loaded with gifts for family and friends who were thrilled with the unique items.
When things are difficult it should cause us to take a fresh look at how God has gifted and prepared us to offer something special to the world. Don’t beg... just shine in what it is that you do better than anyone else.
If you were in fact homeless, what would you write on your sign to get people to share their resources—without resorting to guilt, obligation or pity?
And another question. Once you move past just having a creative cardboard sign, what product or service could you offer—even if you had limited funds? As soon as you identify your unique area of competence you are prepared to find a match in a job or start your own business. You can hold your sign on a busy street, carve birds to sell to those passing by, create a resume to align yourself with a company, or start your own business and make $100,000 this next year. It may be a broad continuum of possibilities but the principles are the same— whether you get a cup full of change or a windfall of profits.
So here are the questions:
1. If you were in fact homeless, what would you write on your sign to get people to share their resources—without resorting to guilt, obligation or pity?
2. Once you move past just having a creative cardboard sign, what product or service could you offer—even if you had limited funds—that could open the door to $100,000 this next year?
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