It’s not how much faith you have

“We don’t need to maintain perfect faith… We just need to show integrity toward the faith we do have. And then, through the Lord’s mercy, our mountains are moved.” – Daniel Blomberg

I received the following from a reader and thought it might help someone. So here it goes:

Hi Leslie,

How are you? …I still read your newsletter, and I still share your books with other people at any opportune moment. Hope things are going well for you and your family.

I just wanted to share a journal entry on the subject of rare faith – see below.

We just had a business miracle in April, and it merited a long journal entry—I want to remember this forever. Hope you enjoy it. Feel free to share if you think it could help someone.

Have a wonderful day!

Daniel

Background: We got back to Utah from the Middle East in August 2017. I tried life coaching and loved it, but it soon became clear that the Lord wanted me doing music—a very happy but scary proposition. I did my first songwriting session for a client in April 2018, and in March this year, after 19 months as an entrepreneur and 11 months in music, I was able to provide for my family exclusively through music for the first time.

It has been a grueling time, with way too many trips to the Bishop’s storehouse, lots of help from family, lots of advice to go get a job, and way too much self-doubt.

So after our March miracle, I was determined to keep this going. When the end of April came around and I still hadn’t made nearly enough to pay the bills, failure was just not an emotionally sustainable option.

What happened next is described below.

Journal, 2019-05-01

This is a precious thing that just happened. After March’s wonderful achievement, where we for the first time were able to make more money in the business than we needed to pay the bills, I really wanted to keep this going every month. Partly so we can prove that we are financially ready for the foster-to-adopt process, and partly because I need to know that I can provide for my family through music.

This month, I felt like I should take the time to build an online presence. Allie told me she wanted to build me a website for free! So I wrote some website content. And then Colleen wanted to tell people about me online. So I quickly bought a domain and put out the content, to have a place to send people while waiting for Allie….

Then, I felt like I should start running Facebook ads. So I did. It takes a few weeks to dial those in, so I haven’t seen any specific results from those yet. But I had to put together a business Facebook page to run ads from, and I didn’t want it to have 3 likes and look unprofessional, so I invited pretty much all my friends to like it. It crossed 100 page likes in the first 24 hours, and now has over 300 page likes, in less than two weeks! 🙂

Spending this much time building an online presence meant that I didn’t chase specific results a whole lot. I did read the sequel to The Go-Giver, Go-Givers Sell More, and learned to trust that as we give value to people around us, and not give sales pitches, most of our sales will come from “left field” – the 99% of the Universe that we have no idea about, but which God knows all about.

Come Sunday, which was April 28, I realized that we needed $2,485 more, plus Venmo and PayPal instant transfer fees, to cover April’s bills and buy my ticket to Sweden for Victor and Jessica’s wedding. So Monday morning, I set out to sell that much in services in two days. Technically, I realized I didn’t need $560 of those until May (the rest of the plane ticket), but I had my sights set on the whole sum.

On Saturday night at Allie and Zach’s wedding reception, I had mentioned to my client Greg that I would be going to Sweden for my brother’s wedding if we could swing it, and he had generously offered, without me asking, to prepay $700. That’s why we “only” needed $2485, or $1925 plus $560. I fasted on Sunday for help to achieve this big and worthy goal, for the sake of our family, including our future children.

A key piece of learning had also come on Saturday morning, as I went running with Vinicio. I was in a time crunch, and needed to complete 8 miles in about 90 minutes. I remembered as we ran and talked that Elder Holland teaches:

It’s not the amount of faith we have that is the issue, it’s the integrity we show toward the faith that we do have.

In this way, even partial faith, if shown integrity, is enough to move mountains. This applied to our running. I wasn’t sure the whole time that we would succeed, but I showed integrity to the faith that I did have by keeping running and not giving up. We finished on time. I felt that this principle should also apply to my big sales goal.

On Sunday afternoon, we got a text from Stephen and Emily, who asked if we wanted to come over, last minute. (We later learned Emily had felt a prompting to invite us over, kind of forgotten it, come home from some Church assignment, and her kids said, “We want the Blombergs to come!”)

We went, and had a lovely time. Partway through, Steven and Emily’s new neighbor, Amy, came over. Emily had invited her to come over that day, but not at any specific time. Amy, who had very recently felt that it’s time to pursue her music, was fasting and had just woken up from a nap. As she knelt to conclude her fast, she felt, “You’re not done yet. Go next door.” We talked about her music, and exchanged phone numbers. I had an appointment with her and her husband Tuesday morning, and she will be in Dave’s studio in July! 🙂 Wonderful news, but not any closer to the April goal.

(finished writing on May 10)

Since April 23 had been my one-year anniversary of returning to the music business, I had a 10% discount for all songwriting and production services until the end of April. As Shawna had 9 hours scheduled for May, I asked if she wanted the discount. She sent $688.50 on Tuesday, April 30.

With $1,853 left to reach my goal, and only a few hours left, I decided that the responsible thing to do for the business and my family was to swallow my pride and tell a couple of clients exactly why I needed the money. The foster-to-adopt process requires that families have “a little extra” money, and I felt we could claim that if we paid all our current bills and saved 4% in the business profit account. We did in March—time to achieve that goal again.

So I asked Art, who had scheduled a songwriting coaching session for his stepson for early May, if he would be offended if I asked for a prepayment so I could get it on the books for April. He prepaid $500.

I re-crunched the numbers, reducing for example our food and gas budget posts to actual money spent, not what I thought we needed for a month, and moving the plane ticket purchase to May. All of a sudden, there were only $39 missing. Or $44, if you consider that I had felt prompted to cut the car payment short by $5, even though I really wanted to pay in full.

So, while Kathryn and I were waiting to meet with a member of the stake presidency to renew our Temple recommends, I sent a message to Colleen, who is on a mission with her husband in Côte d’Ivoire, told her we are really close to our revenue goal to qualify for adoption, and offered to do her next song (a $170 value) for $60 if she wanted to prepay.

5 hours before midnight.

No reply, as she would likely be asleep until 11:30pm our time, or so I thought. (I was actually an hour off – Côte d’Ivoire was only 6 hours ahead of us, not 7.)

All things considered, a very successful two days of sales, even though we were still falling short. Kat and I went to bed at 9:30pm, and in our night prayer I thanked Heavenly Father for all the amazing success, and then poured out my heart and asked Him why:

How come we were so close to the goal, but couldn’t just have made $39 or $44 more? What was I supposed to feel and think about this?

After our couple prayer, I said my own prayer and laid down. But I felt like I should call my mother instead of sleeping. (This is significant, as I have felt for years that the Lord wants me to go to bed by 9:30pm.)

So I got up and talked to my mother in Sweden for almost an hour and a half – not much about the business goal, but about anything and everything. Towards the end, I got my answer—gratitude.

I was supposed to feel gratitude about what had just happened.

So after the phone call, I went to bed again, and laid there for a minute just feeling grateful. Then I considered some options. Would Heavenly Father want me to contact Colleen again? I decided to, and sent her a PayPal request for $60 in case she was interested, and then a note in Messenger to please ignore it otherwise. Pretty bold, I guess. By now, it was 11:35pm.

As I wrote the note, I saw that she had just read the previous message. She replied “For sure.” “It’s 5:36 here.” “We’ll get it done in the next 10 min”.

Turns out, she never gets up at 5:30am, but had decided to start the new month with an extra 30 minutes of scripture study – it was already May in Africa, but still April in the U.S. And so, with 8 minutes to spare, $60 arrived in our PayPal account, and the goal was met.

I cried with joy, told my sleepy Kathryn the great news, and went to sleep a very happy man.

We don’t need to maintain perfect faith the whole time. We just need to show integrity toward the faith we do have. And then, through the Lord’s mercy, our mountains are moved.

Daniel Blomberg is a Mindset Mastery Program Participant.

Learn more at www.ProsperTheFamily.com.

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Is There Money in YOUR Backyard? Prosperity and Tumbleweeds

Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

As I browse through our Mindset Mastery Program participant discussions, I really enjoy reading about all of the experiences and successes. Here’s a copy of one post that I felt compelled to share with you now:

One of the biggest lightbulb moments for me in reading the Jackrabbit Factor is that “there is enough for everyone.” God wants ALL his children to have abundance. There is not “the big ONE” just waiting to change your life.  There are “mountains of gold” to be discovered by all those who seek. I lived for years thinking that wealth was for the best and the brightest and the luckiest.  I was thinking competitively and not creatively. My husband and I acted shamelessly like crazy dogs on many occasions. To no avail, I might add.

One of the things that helps me overcome doubt and fear and push right through that terror barrier is a little game I have created for myself. It is like the Where’s Waldo of abundance. I actively look for people who are prospering and see that abundance can be born in many creative ways.

“For example, the other day I was on the internet and found an article on a woman who lives in Kansas making 40K a year selling……are you ready for this…….TUMBLEWEEDS! Those awful pesky things that blow across the road and get stuck underneath our cars on the highway, and she is raking it in. It started as a joke because she was merely learning how to create a web site and to her astonishment people placed orders! NASA, Hollywood, and many others. Her idea came to her because there are always so many of them blowing across her land. In jest she believed that was her greatest asset and it turned out to be true.

“I look for these stories now. And the more I look the more I find. The internet, newspapers, conversations I hear in public and so on. I hear people making money in the most amazing ways. The sad thing is that a few years ago I would have read that same article and had an internal temper tantrum because I didn’t think of it. Or that it is not fair that she could discover something like that I was not so blessed to have myself. Once again, competitive and not creative. Now I read it and smile, smile, smile and think that if God smiled down on her with tumbleweeds then there is MOST DEFINITELY something for me. It gives me hope. And for me, this little game helps my terror barrier. I look for the success in all those around me and I feel it for myself. Try really hard to not look for the possible failures, because it will be all you see. Hang in there! It is coming…….this is your time. God loves you.” – Amanda J., Mindset Mastery Program participant

Much gratitude to everyone who shares stories and feedback with me. Keep them coming! 🙂

Click here to share your experience, big or small!

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Feeling guilty – Moms and Money

Question from Wendy:

Leslie,

I have a question that I hope you can help me with. In reading lesson 13 or 14 [of Mindset Mastery] I found part of the answer in your “temporary imbalance”. This is a good analogy and seems to answer the question about juggling the needs of your children while trying to run a successful business.

[But] I am struggling with some baggage that I can’t seem to figure out what to do with.

The baggage is this– sometimes I let my children be my excuse why I can’t succeed – it seems to be like the “money is evil” thing for me. But it is “mom’s who make money aren’t as righteous as mom’s who stay home full time and take care of their children.” Logically, I have several problems with this. One being that I have an Aunt who has all her children grown and she is now trying to get into her married son’s business and insist they have a grand baby for her?? Ok, so that is too weird, certainly, but I can see that it is because she dedicated her whole life to her children, and had nothing once that they all left. Surely our ultimate goal as parents is to put our selves out of a job, but it seems that there is a very fine balance between being to involved outside the home, and not having a life outside of your children…

I am currently working full time as an RN while my husband is in school full time. This has been really hard on our family and although I love the work I do, it always pulls me away from my children. I went from being a full time stay home homeschooling mom, to full time work almost over night after my husband came home from work complaining of stroke-like symptoms. This, after multiple “smaller warnings” from his body that he was not doing well. Anyway, in the car with 5 of my children wondering what I will do if my husband dies (not a happy drive home), I decided that I would have to get my RN license back and start working again. We have chosen to only have one person working at a time, always trying to have a stay home parent. This has been good for my husband’s health issues and given him the needed time to go back to school and go into a field that I hope will bring him fulfillment and joy, as well as provide well for our family.

So I guess I am hoping you have some ways that (as an LDS woman who is striving to make money) you have overcome this conflict. I guess I assume you have had to deal with it as I have in relief society and in homeschool groups. Not that what they think is really important to me, except it is what my “programming” is already saying.

Any help you have and ideas that will help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Wendy

Here’s my Answer:

Hi Wendy,

I wish I had time to spill all my guts about this one… it’s been a wrenching journey of my own to come to a conclusion I feel good about, and I am pretty sure it’s going to be part of what comes out in the Jackrabbit Factor sequel [update: which it did – read it free at PortaltoGenius.com], but let me just say this:

I’m convinced that Beverly Cleaver did our society a disservice. Since when in ALL of history, since God created the world, has woman EVER been able to sit at home and dust the shelves and read to her kids all day? She has always worked the fields, and done all kinds of manual labor just to keep the home running. What have all of our conveniences done for us? Should they have justified our right to watch tv with the kids and fold laundry while we’re entertained? Or should it have freed us up to make a more meaningful contribution, not just to our families, but to humanity at large? For what other purpose was the Relief Society organized? To make crafts for our home so that it can be the beautiful place where we teach our children that it’s wrong for mother to work?

Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s always better if the mother can be the one who is home. But as the prophets have said, sometimes there has to be individual adaptations, and you can be grateful that you have a marketable skill that can help in your situation with an ailing husband. Either way, kids need a nurturing parent, and they need to SEE how we make our contributions to the family and to others. It sets an example of industry.

And (as you’ll see more completely in your Mindset Mastery lessons), what matters more that what you do is how you feel about what you’re doing, and how you talk about it with the kids. Things really changed when I stopped apologizing to them for being so busy, and instead rallied their help for the cause, because “this is what our family does.”

I also strongly believe that when women’s traditional labors were turned over to automatic machinery, that should have freed us up to follow and act upon the sparks in our hearts that God gave us to make a difference in society… to bring RELIEF to our SOCIETY, in whatever form or fashion we feel driven.

Yes, it’s easier to work outside the home sometimes. There are less distractions, and a great feeling of being appreciated. I’ve been there. It can lure a person into a permanent set up, which has in some cases lead to the disintegration of the family. You have to follow the Spirit and do the right thing for your family, no matter what anyone else may say or think. If you’re doing what the Spirit directs, you don’t have to worry about the outcome.

It’s not the easy thing to combine motherhood with the work we do. But it’s possible, and during those temporary seasons of imbalance, the children’s dormant abilities will begin to sprout.

For example, my kids have learned that sometimes if they want dinner, they have to step up to the plate and make it happen. When they are motivated by a need, it’s no longer an assigned chore, it’s a contribution to the family, and they feel the psychic reward that comes from stepping into leadership of their own choice. If they choose to go hungry instead, then they get what they choose. I know this sounds harsh, but it’s life… and where better to learn it than in the home? Even my 5 year old has learned that she can be responsible for feeding herself a sandwich or cereal if something hasn’t been made FOR her.

What about the family meals around the table? We do those as often as we reasonably can, because we feel those are important. Like I said, I’m talking about temporary seasons of imbalance – not permanent ones.

Well, this is already more than I planned to say, but hopefully it’s helpful. Believe me when I say I’ve felt guilty for working as much as I do, but I have to wonder, why on earth would God give me the ideas I get if he didn’t want me to do something with them? Every time I deny them, I feel the Spirit leave. Every time I honor them, and develop them, even at the expense of getting the laundry done or whatever, I feel the Spirit supporting and guiding me. I’ve had to come to the conclusion that it’s the adversary who wants me to shrink and NOT do all I know I can do.

Even my patriarchal blessing says: “Have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in your work as well, and you shall accomplish the purposes you have in mind.” When I got the blessing, that part really bothered me, because I didn’t want to have any work to do. I just wanted to be Mom. I had no idea that I had a work to do, but now I know it’s true, and I cannot let anyone else’s opinion of how I spend my time get in the way of it.

The scripture that has given me the most peace about it is this one from Proverbs 31:

10 ¶ Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She ariseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

To me, this means that the picture-perfect wife at home doing light domestic chores and coddling the kids cannot compare to a woman who is THIS busy. Thank heavens… because I wouldn’t want anyone to come take a picture of ME while I do what I do all day long! When you’re as busy as I am with seven children and an international business that we run out of our home, there isn’t time to keep my hair in highlights, or my fingernails in acrylic. I’m lucky if I get a shower sometimes. And I LOVE my life – wouldn’t have it any other way. There is so much joy in being industrious.

I’m not one who runs a perfect better-homes-and-garden household and struggles with the feeling of: “I don’t know who I am anymore”! Furthermore, when the kids are gone, I will not be left wondering, “So, now what do I do??”

Again, I love my life and I know I’m doing the right thing. I haven’t always been so sure, but I’ve scrutinized each step along the way, hoping I was making the right choice, and have been glad I did. I don’t question it so much anymore. I’m sure there is a “right” path for you, too. It may be different than what you think, so just stay open minded and ask for direction and peace of mind about it as you go.

Sincerely,

Leslie

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Going Debt-Free with Rare Faith

This stuff is real, folks.

Read feedback like this (below), and you can get some extra courage to test the Rare Faith principles in even more areas of your life than you might have previously considered. Check out this case study. Crystal writes:

I’ve struggled with the idea of money in this way, that if you choose a profession that makes a lot of money, you get it. If your passion is in a field that doesn’t make money, then you make do. That’s life, that’s how society works.

We live in a very affluent part of town… and so my neighbors, church friends, etc. are all medical or legal professionals. When we built our small home in the most expensive neighborhood (thanks to purchasing family land) I struggled with the idea that because my husband prefers not to work in the medical or legal profession, we were stuck.

So my inner battle began with why the Lord would make it so. Why do we have precious metals, diamonds, and luxury if all we were meant to do was survive and endure. My family growing up did ok, but not great. I felt a huge void and frustration, feeling the ‘piety mentality’ of our religious culture. I didn’t feel like anyone that did well was terrible, in fact, I believed all those I knew that had wealth were great and wonderful people. But somehow there was a disconnect with me, that I wouldn’t be a good person anymore if I had wealth. And then there was the guilt of feeling ungrateful that what my husband brought home wasn’t good enough. I am always grateful. We make double now than when we were in school, but we’d still be considered below poverty level on the national level.

In comes the game changer. We built our home in 2014, and it was a miracle of miracles on how that happened. In so doing, we had deferred loans from friends/family that would come due in 2015 that would be beyond our budget. In August 2015, my Stake President gave a challenge to get out of debt. He said to be out of consumer debt in 2 years and then completely out of debt in 5 years, because we can’t help others when we are in bondage.

We came home and immediately realized my husband’s income would need to double if we were going to make it. So logically, it would be impossible. And then I got REALLY excited! Because if this is a challenge from the Lord, HE would create the miracle and the means to accomplish it.

That same month, my mom called and handed over the family business. It immediately brought a little in that would pay the extra we needed for the family loans. Because of the family business, we were able to pay off $65,000 in 2 years. Completely unfathomable to our circumstances.

Then in April 2017, I found the missing piece to my puzzle. Both my husband and I are ‘number nerds’. Finance has always been easy for me to understand, and I found a platform and company that followed the same core values and interest in helping people. I had flexible hours, and could even work with my kids with me, and it has been an amazing journey. That was my first introduction to mentor-ship and leadership that cared. I felt like I was seeing in color for the first time, and everything in my life improved. My family relationships improved, my desire to be closer to God improved, and I was making money doing what I LOVED. The only hang up was that I was still struggling internally with the ‘piety mentality’.

I felt the abundance mindset take over [some] and that helped a lot … [but] I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I just needed to deal with it; however, I [also] knew [the piety mindset]… would be a major setback. …

Then a new entrepreneur friend talked to me, and she had been using a vision board for years and had success with her different businesses … We talked one day and she mentioned she just learned about a book called the Jackrabbit Factor. She had just started reading it with her daughter and thought it was pretty good. So I looked it up and lo and behold, I can access it immediately through a free download! WOW!

…I read it in two days and sent a huge thank you to my friend. She laughed and said ‘Wow, I’m still only halfway through, now I really want to get through it!’

Soon after I learned about the other books and read them. They filled in the void! They answered all my questions and silenced my fears / doubts / concerns. When 3 different sources explained the idea of the camel going through the eye of the needle and rich man scripture, I knew that the Lord answered my unspoken prayers through your work. I will be forever grateful that you followed through with the process and writing and sacrificing to share what you learned. And it’s a miracle to see how the Lord works through your efforts to bless SO many! Now with 2 years left, we know that we’ll be able to become debt free!!!

My mom came home from her mission to Brazil at the end of June and spent the rest of the summer with me. She is an incredible woman, but has dealt with a lot of hardship. She is my best friend, and when I read your works, I shared them with her. She is trying to reinvent herself (as most do in retirement) and I’ve seen a strength come through that hasn’t been there before. It’s beautiful to behold. The way you explain concepts, it resonates with her and gives her confidence to not give up and to continue to develop and create an impact in her new stage of life.

After learning the principles and laws, it was fun to reflect on past blessings / miracles / experiences and recognize that they followed the principles. For example, I have 4 brothers, no sisters, and I’m in the middle. I always dreamed of having a sister, but always wanted an older one named Catherine. That’s a tall order to give your mom! In 2012, my younger brother married a beautiful woman named Catherine, and she happens to be 5 years old than him, making her 3 years older than me! WOW!

Then we always wanted a play house growing up, but never got one. Then we have a house of our own, 4 young kids that would love one, but because we have goals to get out of debt, it’s not even close to the top of our list. It almost became one of those things that we didn’t think we would ever buy because there would always be something else that we’d spend our money on. Then our sweet old neighbors call me up one day and says ‘I saw the cutest playhouse, so I got one for your kids, it’s coming in a couple weeks’. I since learned her friend actually ordered it online because she doesn’t use a computer and didn’t know what our house looked like. I’m thinking its a plastic one. It shows up as a couple boxes of lumber, we get it put together, and it completely matches our house color, down to the same red door and color of our mailbox. My kids LOVE it and it’s better than anything I would have imagined.

Now I truly believe that we have miracles and blessings, I talk a lot about the Lord knowing the desires of my heart, even the unspoken ones, and fulfilling them. I really appreciate what I’ve learned from your books, podcast, and overall content. We are looking forward to doing your e-course and someday I plan to attend a 3-day course with my husband. I feel so empowered, and I see that in my mother.

I know I’ve written you a novel, but I wanted to thank you for working SO hard those years long ago, as you went through your own struggles and breakthroughs. I love to see how we can still bless others through our trials, it’s incredible. We also enjoyed the event your son hosted, it was wonderful. I feel a sense of urgency to figure out everything the Lord needs me to do, so that I can create the springboard for the intense positive influence our children will have in the world. Leslie, thank you for being you! All the best! – Crystal C.

Thanks so much for your amazing story, Crystal!

___________

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