Morning Cup of Joe – One Step Back


Recently I spoke to a friend who was looking for work and was actually going on interviews. After several weeks of interviewing with a multitude of companies, he was finally offered an opportunity. Once he received the call for the opportunity, the employer explained that he was not being hired for the position he applied for rather he was being offered a lower position. Much to the employer’s dismay, the friend respectfully declined the offer. When I asked him why he declined, he told me that he has a master’s degree and that position is below what he is willing to accept.

While he is well within his rights to decline such offer, I personally would have accepted it. Here’s why. You never know where a particular opportunity will lead. Although it was not what he expected, this opportunity could have been the one that lead to the one he really wanted. Opportunities are exactly what you make them. At times, an opportunity will seem less desirable but it will take you to make it what it should be.

Sometimes you have to take one step back in order to take one hundred steps forward. I have accepted opportunities that at first glance did not seem like I should have yet they led to even greater opportunities. You should never think that you are too good for an opportunity. Do not be misled; I am not saying to lower your standards, I am saying that you never know where a road may take you if you never travel on it. Some opportunities may not be the one you hoped for but it could be the one that leads you to the one you’ve always wanted.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Challenge Accepted


Don’t ever turn down a challenge. One summer while conducting my annual leadership summit for our Summer Youth Leadership Internship program, one of the organization’s senior leaders suddenly walks in and says “I need a volunteer”. Without hesitation, one of my star interns raised his hand having no clue of the challenge at hand yet accepted anyway. She didn’t tell him what she wanted done before asking for a volunteer but he accepted anyway. That’s what winners do, we accept challenges without the specific knowledge of the task at hand yet are confident that we can execute it to the best of our abilities.

About a half-hour had passed before he quietly eased his way back into the large conference room. Once he returned from his “secret” mission, our entire group was eager to hear about what she had asked of him. Before he could answer that question, I asked him a different one. I asked him, “why did you say yes to something without the specific knowledge of the details?” His reply made complete sense. He said “I accepted because I figured whatever she was going to ask me to do, she clearly felt that one of us had the ability to do it”. And I thought, Bingo!

Accepting a challenge even if you don’t know the specifics is essential to your growth as an individual and as a leader. By accepting new challenges you are able to learn new skills and strengthen your abilities overall. Never turn down an offer to be better. What doesn’t kill you will certainly make you stronger.

Learn to recognize the life lessons that are learned by accepting challenges and learning as you go. I challenge you to start saying “Yes!” to opportunities that increase your overall value.

Do you accept this challenge?

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Blessings in Disguise


For most of us, our pride restricts us from recognizing clear and apparent blessings. During a recent conversation with a friend who is actively searching for a job, I was able to discover a fundamental error in the way he was viewing his circumstances. He expressed to me that he has participated in over twenty job interviews and has received over nine offers but none of them matched the salary he felt he should be paid based on his years of experience and his advanced degrees. He feels as if they were insulting him by offering him the opportunity at such a low salary. After he shared this story with me, I scratched my head and thought to myself “he turned down nine answers to his prayers”.

Sometimes you have to take one step back in order to take 1000 steps forward. Just because an opportunity doesn’t perfectly match your expectations doesn’t mean it isn’t the opportunity for you. Opportunities are such that you can autonomously mold it into what you think it should be. For example, had he taken one of the nine job offers, he could’ve easily changed the scope of that opportunity by putting forth maximum effort no matter the circumstances. This action will always yield positive results. So what if the salary isn’t up to your standards, the fact of the matter is the salary they are offering is much greater than the nothing you are currently earning. You never know if the opportunity that gets you in the door is the same opportunity that will help you climb the ladder. First you must accept the opportunity then make it what it should be.

Stop turning down blessings that are specifically meant for you. Many of you are guilty of not accepting blessings then blaming God for not giving them to you. Learn to recognize when your prayers are being answered. Just because the opportunity doesn’t appear to be fruitful, it is an opportunity nonetheless. Remember that cream eventually rises to the top; even if you accept an opportunity that doesn’t meet your standards work as if you are the President of the corporation and inevitably the title will catch up to the work. Do not decline opportunities because you are too proud; your pride will keep you penniless and hungry.

It’s not the opportunity that is offered to us but what we do with that opportunity that matters most.

To The Top!
Joe Paul