When I Win the Lottery…

I quit my job. Yes, I resigned from a great job with great pay. Did I win the lottery? Come into an inheritance from a long lost relative? Find buried treasure? Not in the conventional sense.

Just about a year ago Laurie and I attended the Collyde Summit where we heard many motivational speakers, spent time with inspiring leaders in our community and met many people who are actively living the life that they have been called to.

In particular, there were two people that had an incredible affect on me. Tiffany Bryant from World Vision Micro, a charity that we believe in and Jonathan Golden, an Anglican priest and CEO of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee. Both made a profound and lasting impression on me.

Jonathan Golden, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

Jonathan is a doer. He has a vision; he knows what is right and he is working to do good in this world. Land of a Thousand Hills coffee is good, really good. It’s produced by cooperatives in places like Ethiopia and Rwanda. The communities that Land of a Thousand Hills is working in have been transformed. Incredibly, in Rwanda, the cooperatives have been the path to forgiveness for communities that have been ripped apart during years of civil war and genocide. Jonathan is a hero. I want to be like him.

Tiffany Bryant, World Vision Micro

Tiffany Bryant, on the other hand, on the surface, appears to be ‘ordinary’. She is a wife and mother who has, for the last 20 years, worked for World Vision, a charity that is dedicated to improving the lives of children and their families all around the world. She is a good person, no doubt about it. She is inspirational. Her passion for the people that benefit from her work is contagious. She knows that what she is doing has a direct benefit on the lives of individuals, families and communities. She is changing the world for the better through her hard work. She speaks with passion about how important even a small gift is. I want to be like her.

The Road to Good Intentions Trap

It is important to me that we don’t wait until we are a success until we give back.

So, what does any of this have to do with winning the lottery and quitting my job? Everything. I had a conversation yesterday with Rev. Willie Alfonso, chaplain to the NY Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and the program manager of Urban Impact. We spoke about his life, his work and the work that we are doing. In the conversation Willie referred to something that I wrote to him a little while ago. When talking about our company, Hot Sauce 4 Good, I said “It is important to me that we don’t wait until we are a success until we give back.” We don’t know what the future has in store for us, but we do know that we have been blessed with gifts and talents that we need to put to use right now, not wait until we are ‘successful’.

I have been in many conversations that start “when I win the lottery I am going to…”. The litany of items that will be purchased, trips that will be taken and charities that will be supported fluently rolls off of the tongues of my friends and colleagues. Why wait? Have we not learned anything? We never have “enough”. There is never going to be a time when it is “easy” to give. There can always be an excuse that we will find. I like to refer to this as “the road to good intentions” trap. The only way to avoid the trap is to be present in the moment. Don’t wait to win the lottery…you have already been given what you need. Use what you have, commit to giving back, find an organization that needs YOUR help, that can use YOUR gifts, that will benefit from YOUR talents. Make a call, write an email, volunteer.

My eyes are open, my arms are ready to work and I am learning from those people in my life who have shared their stories. Better than any monetary award, that’s for sure. A lottery winner, an inheritance, buried treasure all wrapped up into one.

The Future of Hot Sauce 4 Good

What’s next? May 31 marks a milestone in my life and the life of Hot Sauce 4 Good. We have been successful as a part time endeavor. Starting on May 31, I will be working full time to make this venture a success. We are committed to our mission of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, supporting entrepreneurs in developing countries and educating children. We will use our hot sauce to do this.

Bits & Pieces

  • Thanks for praying with and for me Willie – I can’t tell you how much that meant.
  • June 5 marks another big day for us – we will be submitting the next three hot sauces to the FDA. Hopefully we can start production in the middle of July when the peppers are ready!
  • If anyone has connections at any supermarkets (especially in management) or local stores that you would like to see carry our hot sauce, PLEASE give them my contact information. (bob@hotsauce4good.com)
  • Only a few days left in our Kickstarter campaign - please consider backing us.

Luke 12: 13-21
The Parable of the Rich Fool

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12: 32-34
Do Not Worry

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.