Brave, Bold and Strong…

Sometimes you have to be strong when you don’t feel strong.
If you’re going through something right now, know that it is because
the opposition knows your potential. Do you?

Hey there again Legacy Lovers,

Hope you had an awesome week.  I admit it’s been a bit trying for me… but more on that in a second.

Last week, I expounded on the idea of #thelove2lead – having enough self-love to love those around you and benefit the world in which we all live.  I used the example of Moses, a biblical prophet and his work with water.  I noted that though Moses is indeed a great biblical figure, there were some things about his legacy that often go overlooked.

True, he was so favored that God spoke to him face-to-face, something he’d never done with any other prophet before nor has He done since.  And yet, Moses – for all his favor – was not permitted to enter the promised land, the land of milk and honey. For all his favor, Moses didn’t get it exactly right – but you know who did?  Joshua.

When Moses was old and graying, he appointed Joshua to succeed him as leader of the Isrealites.  It was Joshua who would take them through the Jordan (on dry ground) into Canaan. It was Joshua who would have the Isrealites march around the city of Jericho seven times until the walls fell down.  It was Joshua who would lead them in battle to annihilate the Amalekites to near extinction. And it was Joshua who would lay the foundation for many years of peace in this new land.

For all Moses’ favor, it wasn’t Moses… it was his protege.

Like Moses, Joshua would part waters – but the people would camp in houses they didn’t build and eat from vineyards they didn’t plant… unlike their parents and grandparents who would wander in the desert after crossing the Red Sea.  Like Moses, Joshua would wage war – but he would lead the men into battle, fighting valiantly alongside them as their general. And like Moses, Joshua would doubt himself and his ability.

Though it is primarily implied in scriptures, we can presume that Joshua doubted himself because of how often God has to tell him “Don’t worry. Be strong. Be of good courage. Fear nothing.” I mean, come on, it’s likely Moses didn’t infuse the kid with confidence considering he was often lacking it himself.

And yet, even afraid and likely concerned, Joshua still managed to do incredible, improbable, implausible things.  Somehow, despite the fact that he needed the reminder that he was capable and qualified he still managed to make it.  Quite likely, given God’s consistent pep talks, Joshua didn’t feel strong. But he was strong!

Sometimes we have to be strong even when we don’t feel it.

Remember earlier when I said I had a trying week?  I’d been displaced from my home with son just before his scheduled operation. I’d been passed over for a contract – income I needed given our newly emergent emergencies.  Being me, I started hustling immediately and managed to find myself some housing and some quick income.  However, when my sitter told me that her kids were drastically contagious, there not only went my childcare but my most recent money-making opportunity. To top it off, my tornado weather swooped in on the day of his procedure so my out-of-town support never made it due to grounded flights.

The stress of it all began to wear on my health.  For a minute, I wondered if I was bouting fatigue or depression.  It wasn’t just that I couldn’t get out of the bed, at times I genuinely didn’t want to.  I was worried, weak and worn. Why was all this happening?  It seemed like every time I got one thing under control something else would crop up.

I felt done.

But you know what? I had to be strong.

I had to get up out the bed because someone was depending on me. It took me longer than usual, but after I’d done it a few times it became easier. I would get up before him instead of being shaken (or incessantly poked) awake. I got on the phone and the computer, I made phone calls, marketed workshops and organized future opportunities for collaboration and contracting. Though we weren’t in our own space, I made it as much like home as I could with what I could salvage, and gave my son extra “mommy time” after waking and before bed.

I didn’t feel well, but nonetheless I had to be strong. And I was.

I meant I had to pull deep.  Like I told you last week in The Love to Lead, you have to focus on something beyond yourself and draw from something greater than yourself.  The result?

When I tell you that my son thought these were amazing adventures, smiled and sang his way into surgery and made friends at the local medical facility that housed us until he was cleared from recovery!!!

I don’t share all this to brag but rather to make my point.  Sometimes you have to be strong when you don’t feel strong.  Since my son was old enough to understand fear we’ve been discussing the importance of being “brave, bold and strong.” What I look like telling him to do something I’m not willing to? And yes, that point was so good it warranted bad English. I’ve said before, and will say again, a good example is better than the best advice.

So be brave, be bold, be strong. Know that if you are going through something right now it is because the opposition is well aware of your potential. The question is, are you?  Do you know that this is temporary?  Do you know that where you are is not a reflection of who you are, or even how you are right now?  Do you know that there is an X-factor in your life that undermines your every effort be better, have more and do good?  Do you know that the only way to defeat it is to arm yourself? It’s time you learned this because it’s not just for you; heck, it’s not even about you.

But here’s the best part, when you TRY, when you keep going.  When you are strong even when you don’t feel like it, when you move boldly knowing that there is also a Supreme God that has your back and is fighting alongside you (and even fighting/winning battles before they can make their way to you), you start to see the outcomes of your efforts. What’s happening around you begins to align with what’s going on inside you. What you do (and even what you don’t do) generate success!

Now, this is not me saying, “Oh, I’ve heard about this and how it work. My cousin’s sister’s boyfriend’s groddaughter’s hairdresser’s niece did it. If she can, you can too.” This is me telling you I know because I have walked in these shoes and – even rundown, run over and leaning – they’re still functioning just fine.

In other words: I’ve been here.  I am still here. Right now! With a recovering little guy an all, and we’re still making it. So I urge you, if this is where you are:

Be brave. Be bold. Be strong.


The Family Factor
Looking beyond yourself, drawing upon something bigger than you, doing what’s necessary despite your feelings about it – that’s maturity.  We need mature leaders in the family not only to show others how it’s done, but to lay the groundwork.  Joshua laid the groundwork for the Isrealites in the Promise Land. Your children, siblings, mentees…parents, the people in your life need to see how you handle adversity; they need to see how you weather the storm.  Building an empire is no easy task. People need to know that. When you’re done, they’ll want your glory… so make sure they know your story.  They’ll want to share your testimony… so show them how you aced the test. Share your experiences.  Don’t shelter people from your process. This crucial component is practically non-existent in families today.  People are buckling, so families are crumbling.  If you want to leave a legacy you have to be different. Be the builder and the bridge. Lift as you climb. You can tweet that!



Live, Laugh, Love & Legacy,
Akima Aiken Brown


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Build It and Brand It

For some, [change] will mean falling into an entirely new category,
whereas for others it will mean operating in the same category but at a higher level.
Consider where you are and respond accordingly.

Happy September you Renegade Legacy Leaders, you!!


As always, I’m glad to be here with you. I’m looking forward to wrapping our introductory posts, so we can get to some nitty-gritty application.  We’ve got just one leg of our foundational series, and then it’s off to the races.

Over the course of these past few weeks, we’ve been discussing the groundwork for creating and living your best life; in short, how to manifest everything you claim you want.  My goal of course, is always to help you build the best of everything for yourself and for those you love – and of course if it serves the world in the process, I’m all about it.

So with that said, we begin this week with the follow-up to our personality groups.  Last week we discussed Visionaries and Analysts.  This week it’s all about the Builders and Implementers.

Just as the Visionaries draft the concept and the Analysts revise the structure to make things better, Builders lay the framework for how everything will be done and Implementers make it all happen.   Builders set the goals, but Implementers are the brand.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – it’s important to understand that everyone is important to the manifestation process.  A vision is nothing without those to bring it to life.  All parties represent different parts of the same body, the one machine.

Something else to keep in mind, no one person embodies any one trait in its entirety. As you grow and change, you can expect to shift gears and change directions.  For some, this will mean falling into an entirely new dominant category, whereas for others it will mean operating in the same category but at a higher level. Consider where you are and respond accordingly.  This is all about finding what works best for you, so you can your family can have a limitless legacy.

So with that said, let’s jump right in…

The Builder
Optimal Function: The only way I can explain Builders is to reference The Lego Movie. I cracked up when I saw it because that is precisely how I see Builders. They look at everything and see the plan right there before them.  They know all the parts and pieces and how to make it work.  A Builder is in her element when surrounded by all the other groups. If visionaries offer the why and analysts offer the how, Builders are the when.  They can tell you the order things need to happen in and who should be responsible for it.  The most successful businesses have Builders working as their COOs and people managers, they understand the importance of a timely launch and getting folks to buy-in.  When you see systems in place where people WILLINGLY give up evenings, weekends and holidays it’s usually because there are Builders at the helm giving them a reason to. If you’re a “Master Builder”, as they say in The Lego Movie, you don’t see things the way others do but you get the job done in ways they wish they could.

Median Function: Builders at the median level are typically missing one very viable component of their plan – the vision…the why.  A Builder who doesn’t have a clear “why” for what they are creating might be great at his job, but feels exceptionally unfulfilled.  A Builder without a solid foundation to build on is simply keeping busy.  Busyness is often the number one killjoy of Builders. Builders like to be actionable, they can translate an action plan into a measurable goal like nobody’s business. If you find yourself Building without a clear vision, stop and regroup. First, create an inventory of your skills and assets, then get on sites like LinkedIn, X and XX to investigate start-up companies and contract grantors in need of your expertise. Why spend another day unhappy and unfulfilled? You’re a builder…you make things happen.  Start with you!

Frustrated Function: A Builder of Frustrated Function (BOFF, not to be confused with BFF) is easily idenitified by his/her cyclical life. A Builder’s life revolves around how things work.  And a frustrated Builder’s life doesn’t work. Frustrated Builders are often running from something. A mistake made in the early days of learning their craft. As you can imagine, if Builders build – then a mistake for a builder could mean something fell apart.  In my experience, most frustrated Builders are often adult children of Divorce (ACODs) who were unable to “fix” their parents’ marriages.  They feel responsible for the dissolution of that union and the residual after effects. If this sounds like you, I urge you to look into some books about reshaping your ACOD legacy, self-forgiveness, and forgiving others. Considering finding an external support source; like a group, religious leader or paid professional. You’ll likely find as many have that “running toward that which scares will make it flee from you.”

The Implementer
Optimal Function: Before I get too deep into the ideal Implementer, I first want to take a moment to say that you guys (and gals) often get a bad wrap.  You’re loyalty is mistaken for misguidance. People underestimate your gall, your resilience, your tenacity and your shine. Folks don’t get how brilliant and forward thinking you are.  An Implementer operating in her prime is precisely why companies win awards.  You are the service-oriented, the people’s people.  Implementers are the bread and butter of any organization, the heart and soul of every industry.  Without you, there is nothing else.  Union organizers, labor leaders, picketers, protestors, those who march along in silence – you are the ones who make history.  You don’t follow the rules, you follow your gut.  When you see something that works for you, you buy in wholeheartedly and you make it work. You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect…and you know it.  You work hard and play harder.  You know the gears can’t grind without you and you make sure your employers compensate you in-kind – if not monetarily, than with flexibility, time off, benefits, and other perks. You aren’t working yourself to death, you’re working to make a life.

Median Function: If she isn’t at her best, an Implementer can get drawn into the montony of the routine.  She’ll start off bright-eyed, bushy tailed and eager but it will give way to lethargy, apathy and even attitude.  Before long she’s absentmindedly clocking in and clocking out, not giving much care to what she’s doing.  Have you ever been somewhere and that one person behind the counter makes you wonder how they have a job? It isn’t because their mom owns the shop or the hiring executive owed their uncle a favor; this MLI (median level implementer) is on the way out.  Sure, s/he will find another job but within months it will be the same old story. Sound like you?  Are you tired of hopping from job to job?  Do you have dreams of doing more and being more? Maybe working your way up to management?  Do you feel you’re being overlooked?  Well, SPEAK UP! High-achieving Implementers know how to get the job done and make things happen – that includes creating an optimal working environment for themselves.

Frustrated Function: Aimless. Unfocused. Chronically unemployed.  This is how you describe an IFF (implementer of frustrated function). A frustrated Implementer is often without work because they’re unastisfied everywhere.  There is always something wrong with the work space.  You can offer them $1 Million to do something they do all day fro free, but because their parking space is too far from the door it’s somehow not the right fit. Brene Brown offers amazing insight into the root of this issues in one of her discussions about blame.  Upon further review, I realized that this is the epitome of every IFF’s problem. Frustrated Implementers expend all their time and energy raging, venting and blaming they have none left to actually hold any accountable – including themselves.  Frustrated Implementers spend all their time talking about what’s wrong and who made it wrong, but never assume responsibility for making it better. If this sounds like you, I urge you to learn about setting healthy boundaries.  Perhaps you, like many of your “implementing kindreds” feels amiss, worth less than your other counterparts.  If that’s true, consider making some small changes in your perspective day by day.  There’s a great book called The Two Degree Difference, which talks about how small changes can have massive effects. You may have a strong desire to change some things, but you don’t feel like you can.  Begin with you.  Changing your mind will change your life. Go for it!


So now that you know about the four personalty types, I would love to know where you find yourself on the spectrum? Are you already a visionary working at the pinnacle of productivity? Working your way up to saying what you need so you can be the first face of your company and the Implementer you were born to be?  Let me know in the comments. Until next time.

Live, Love, Laugh, Legacy –

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