Frank Family 1999

What are your dreams?

17 years ago my husband walked in the door and said “What are your dreams?”   Wow, we’d been married 17 years and he’d never asked me that. I got pretty irritated because after all, shouldn’t he know my dreams? (right wives?)  So I threw out indignantly “I want to live near my parents and have more kids!” Of course the fact that our two kids were in jr, high and high school and I was 40 years old and we lived in California and Mike worked for Disney, shouldn’t be a problem, right?

We had lived away from my folks for 17 years, traveling around the nation and moving Mike up the corporate ladder. We got home to see mom and dad once a year, and then sometimes they would come to see us once a year. There were no cell phones, skype or internet, just good old fashioned letter writing! I think Mike about fainted with that answer and disappeared for a while. What I didn’t know is that God had touched his heart to ask his wife what her dreams were.

He had gone to a Promise Keeper weekend and coach McCartney asked

“Men, who’s dream have you been living?  Do you even have any idea what your wife’s dreams are?”  

Mike said he was stunned, he had no idea. And so the adventure began.

I didn’t know that something happened to his heart, I thought he was  just once again bringing that old wound out about the fact we weren’t going to have any more children and we weren’t going to live near my parents and then nothing would change. But what Mike did when he heard that was to go away and tell God “Now that’s something I can’t make happen. If you want this to happen, you’re going to have to do it.” Isn’t that the perfect prayer that God loves?

Within a week Mike received a call from a headhunter about some job in the Midwest. A small startup that involved telecommunications. Telecommunications? He had no idea what that was all about, but Mike agreed to go for an interview. Within a month we had moved back to Omaha near my parents and Mike was working at a job he loved more than anything he’d ever done, making more money than he’d ever made, and only 10 minutes from home! We were only 40 minutes from my parents and I was in heaven! and so was Mike. Turns out this little start up was backed by big money in Omaha, including Warren Buffet.

Within 2 years MFS sold the company and we were able to pay off all our bills, and we were pregnant with Christian on the way! Talk about miracles in the marketplace!  We even had another child, Lexie at age 44.

Many people ask us what is the secret to success? What tips do you have?  I like to answer “Obey God!”   That’s how simple it was. God touched Mike’s heart to ask his wife her dreams, and then told God He would have to make it happen, but that Mike was willing to do what it took. I think when we positioned our hearts to hear from Him, and then obeyed when He spoke, God opened doors that no man could open.  There’s no 12 step track to follow. Just read your bible and do what it says.  I have to tell you all that we were brand new christians.  We didn’t have intercessors, had barely gone to bible study, and I’m not even sure Mike had begun to read the bible. We just did the next thing God told us to do.

Challenge for this week: Men! ask your wives what their dreams are.  Mike says that’s the scariest question a man can ask. If she tells you, you’re going to have to respond. But don’t worry, you can just tell God “Ok God, I asked, now I need You to help me out!” Of course wives, maybe some of you need to ask your husbands what their dreams are.

And if you want to know “The rest of the story”, you can read it in Mike’s book, Prosperity with Purpose.  Hope to see you all at Frank Consulting at Friday this week for prayer for the marketplace. AND hope to hear some stories of how it went when you asked your spouse “What are your dreams?”

 

Burn the Ships

Burn the ships!

What does burning the ships really mean?  A few weeks ago, our pastor talked about it being time for our church to move forward and do it with the concept of needing to burn the ships that brought us here.  It really made me think about my own life and why this concept is a difficult one for me.

You see, I’ve spent most of my life operating with a Plan A and a Plan B.  Plan A was what I hope to accomplish, but Plan B was my escape route.  Meaning that, if things went wrong with plan A or times got tough, or I got offended, or  a change happened that I wasn’t happy with in my Plan A, I’ve operated my life on the premise that if that doesn’t work I can always bail out and move to Plan B.

The danger of this kind of thinking is that you don’t really commit and you hold back, you hedge, because you’re afraid of getting hurt, losing money, your reputation.  So this really led into another  thought for me which is “The reason I have a plan B is that I have fear.”  This fear goes really deep.  I have a fear that I’m not going to have enough money.  I have a fear that if Plan A doesn’t work that I’ll lose my good reputaton.  I have a fear that there’s going to be some major changes to the lifestyle I’ve so carefully crafted.  I have a fear that I’ll lose my voice and my authority in the spheres in which I operate.  And finally I have a fear that I’m going to lose my creature comforts, my things.

As I was writing this, I thought about a song that Misty Edwards put on her first album that kept repeating the chorus “Lay it all down”.  The song was really all about don’t be afraid of where this journey is taking you.  We need to surrender everything and lay it all down.  Fear is a powerful thing when it comes to burning ships.  The opposite of fear is trust.  This whole idea of burning ships is about trusting God and where He’s taking us and not being ruled by fear and not always counting on your Plan B, your escape route.

Burning the Ships, means it’s the point of no return.  It can be a very very scary thought or it can be a very motivating thought, depending on how you look at it.

The motivating thought is, “Hey, I’m all in.  I don’t have a choice.  I have to keep moving forward and there’s no turning back.”  This can apply to both your personal life, and or your business or organization that you’re involved in.  The place that we need to get to is to not let our thoughts and our energy get consumed by what we’re leaving behind but letting our thoughts being consumed by what’s ahead.

You could get stuck if you don’t embrace the good that could come out of this.  Imagine the men who have landed and the captain shouts “Burn the ships!”  Maybe some of the men froze.   They agonized over the fact that they were never going to be able to run back on that ship and head home if things didn’t go right.  Maybe some of the men were suddenly filled with bravery and this helped them to say “I’m all in!  Let’s conquer this land!”

Where have your thoughts taken you lately?  Do you have a Plan B?  Do you think about it often?  Or are you all in? Is this the time to burn your ships?

Mike

Note from Robbie:

Last Friday we held a baptism in our home for Michael and Melody Hickerson!  What a time of celebration and joy.  They took the dip in our pool, then Brian and Coleen Garcia’s daughter came to receive her baptism as well.  Then came another of their family member and then the Garcias’ decided to do a family baptism!  What a lot of joy we had and I know the angels were celebrating along with the Lord.  I’m afraid I was so excited I totally forgot to take pictures, but I’m calling all friends, to please send in any that they might have to add to the collage!

Hope to see you Friday at the office, as we pray for the marketplace and tell stories of burning ships and baptisms!  Isn’t this the most exciting adventure?

 

thumbnail_book

Prosperity With Purpose – A book by Mike Frank

An Executive’s Search for Significance

Our first ever publication is now available for sale!  Mike’s book is now available on Red Arrow in both hardcover or ebook format.  If you want to purchase on our site, click the BUY NOW button and we will have Mike send you a personalized copy.

Book Description

Starry-eyed young entrepreneurs often ask me, What s the formula for success? After they hear whom I ve worked for and the companies I ve developed, they want the holy grail business-extraordinary financial wealth. Each walks away dejected when I frankly admit, There no formula.

As a boy, I made a misguided vow that propelled me into becoming an ice man in the corporate world, a man who didn t care for anything but his own advancement. I was a high level executive at General Mills, Pepsi Co, Frito Lay TacoBell, and Disney. I helped build a company worth billions(MFS), and was a founder of another (Level 3 Communications) worth over 100 billion. In fact, the Internet largely sits on that company s infrastructure.

But at the height of my career, tragedy struck…and a terrible, wonderful decision had to be made.

If you want to understand the underlying values of success, my journey will assist you. If you have been debilitated by pain, my story will bring comfort.

If you are an executive that thrives on business but are thirsting for more, this book may be your story as well. I can t give you the formula for success, but I can show you how to live a life of relentless purpose. .. which may or may not include profound wealth.

Purchase Prosperity With Purpose through Paypal
Photo by Emilian Robert Vicol

Starting the fire of innovation- News article on Redding entrepreneurs

This article was originally published on Redding.com and Written By Silas Lyons

I’ve camped regularly since childhood and then went into journalism, so I’ve been starting fires for a long time.

There are many methods, but mine is simple and generally works, even in damp or windy conditions. You start with the driest and thinnest stuff you can get hold of — crushed newspaper or fallen leaves, generally. You place it in a small pile, then add thin kindling in a teepee shape, the pieces touching at the top. Bigger pieces of kindling layer on, then you light the whole thing from the bottom.

The worse the conditions, the trickier it is to start, and the smaller the first bits of kindling must be.

Throw a log on it at this point, and it’s all over. No matter how much your fellow campers whine, you can’t rush the process. It’ll get hot soon enough.

Why the lecture on campfires? Because they’re a lot like innovation, and I’m convinced that the careful nurturing of innovation is one of the only options for heating up the cold economy of our region.

This fire’s going to have to be built in a storm, making it very challenging but even more important.

The good news? The first bits of material are piling up, in no particular order:

Leadership. People like Mark Lascelles, the new head of the Economic Development Corp. of Shasta County, and Scott Putnam, owner of Apex Technology Management Inc. and this year’s chairman of the Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce, among a small group of other community leaders, are taking innovation seriously and tackling its challenges head-on.

Entrepreneurs. Dan Morrow, who grew up in Redding, has a growing global business that builds testing equipment for the fastest growing segment of the LED market. John Weise, who moved here recently from the Bay Area, is designing technology for smartphones that just might be the way you pay for things in the future. And so on. When local entrepreneurs make a global mark, the innovation space will start to be taken seriously both here at home and by those looking at us from outside.

People. Innovative companies eventually need employees — technical whizzes, mechanical geniuses, marketers, sales execs. One of the most promising, if controversial, sources right now is Bethel Church and its School of Supernatural Ministry. Local entrepreneurs with no connection to the church have repeatedly told me that the students it’s bringing (and that includes mid-career professional types, not just 20-somethings) have had an unmistakable impact on the local labor pool.

Networks. Remember those bits of kindling, which light best when they’re stacked so that they cross at the top. Leaders, entrepreneurs and potential employees need to connect with each other. Technology can be developed anywhere, so why do so many companies still flock to Silicon Valley? Movies, too, can be made anywhere — so why did it matter to have a place called Hollywood? One-time events like the EDC’s recent innovation luncheon are vital at this stage, but the real test will be the development of ongoing meetups.

Education. Frankly, this is a weakness. Except Anderson New Technology High School, there’s little focused attention on training up a skilled workforce for our region. But Shasta College’s new president, Joe Wyse, and Simpson University President Larry McKinney are well aware of the movement in this space, and one hopes they’ll take an interest in working directly with industry to design future courses and programs. Chico State University, too, can be an ally.

Funding. You don’t just go to a bank and ask for a loan for an innovative business. Trust me — I’ve tried. It was a little embarrassing. Mike Frank, a former corporate executive who moved here for Bethel, is starting a fund for the kind of smaller, early-stage cash investments that startup ventures need. Frank’s efforts are overtly tied to his faith (the fund name, Sons of Issachar, is a biblical reference), and that may turn off some potential investors and funding prospects. But the establishment of the first such fund here is significant, and is critical to future efforts.

So there’s some kindling. It’s way too early to pretend we’ve got a blazing fire going. What’s important is to keep at it.

It would be easy to take a passive approach to this, either with optimism or defeatism.

I’ve heard folks refer to our proximity to Silicon Valley (um, sort of) as if that somehow means innovation will just come to us. That’s like sitting waiting for an ember to shoot off your neighbor’s fire and set your wood alight.

Luck and outside forces do not constitute a plan.

And don’t give me the sob story about taxes, regulation, or who’s running the White House or the Congress. World-class companies have started and life-changing innovations have happened throughout American history under every imaginable sort of condition.

Building our economy is our job, as a community, and it’s the most important one we have. We’ll have nothing better to look forward to — whether in safety, schools, social programs, pothole repair, you name it — without that.