What If I Don’t Have a Platform?

The keynote to one of our camps last summer was Michael Hyatt, bestselling author to Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. His message encouraged my 100 debaters to develop their own platforms in the brave new world of platform builders. One of my debaters asked me a followup question: “What if I don’t have a platform?”

Building a Platform

Debate campers learn to speak, but what if they don’t know WHAT to speak?

What an incredibly honest question, asked by many young people I suspect. Young people typically are seeking a story of some sort to build a platform, but life hasn’t “happened” to them yet. They’ve got energy and enthusiasm, but no “wow” story that can lead to a platform. Yet.

Debate Teaches Action, Not Apathy

I spoke with a debate parent from another state. The parents in her club were concerned over an article I published on a non-Christian website. She felt she was going straight to the source, one Christian to another. This quick summary isn’t too far from how it played out:

This is a picture of a scrimmage at camp. The coach guides the students through the arguments to help train the students to think and persuade.

This is a picture of a scrimmage at camp. The coach guides the students through the arguments to help train the students to think and persuade.

Me: “Did the parents have any problems with my article?”
Coach: “No, but they are concerned that you would actually go on this problematic, non-Christian website and post anything at all!”
Me: “So they don’t have any problem with my article, but they have a problem with me engaging with non-Christians?”
Coach: “Exactly.”

Folks, this is a problem with Christians, not non-Christians.

The First 3 For Action Interviews

I completed three interviews with three of our For Action Conference speakers that I think you will appreciate. Even if you don’t intend to join us in Colorado Springs January 2-4, these three interviews are definitely worth watching.

Pudewa Speaking

If you don’t know much about the For Action Conference, check out its registration page at the link below. The conference brings Training Minds to a whole new level. Our coaches have been “training minds for action” (1 Peter 1:13) by getting kids ready for academic debate competitions. But this conference is for millennials (16-24 year olds) by getting them ready for the competitive life God has in store for them.

Here’s how we’re doing the training: we’re pulling together examples of success, most of them within the millennial generation. Each of the speakers will have their hour to pour themselves into a presentation that will show attendees “how it’s done,” at least from their perspective, to encourage attendees to move along their life journey with gusto.

You see, I don’t accept the bum wrap millennials get nowadays. You know the image: lazy, unmotivated, lives in their parents basement, loser. I don’t think young adults should settle for this stereotype, and I’m bringing leaders to Colorado Springs to show them how.

I’ve got three interviews so far, more to come next week. Check out these shining examples of action…

We Want Transformation, Not Conformity

I explained in a previous post that a group of second generation debaters were making some debate coaches uneasy. It may seem preferable to dislike uneasiness, but I’m siding with Romans 12:2.

We are teaching them to transform the world...right?

We are teaching them to transform the world…right?

I believe nonconformity is awesome, arguably a Christian calling, a most popular anthem of home educators. The verse from Romans is quoted to homeschoolers throughout most of the days we raise them: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Debate — the training of the mind — leads the young mind to challenge the status quo, offer solutions, and advocate for a better world.

Surprise, surprise. Debaters are actually transforming, not conforming. Sometimes this makes us uncomfortable.

Second Generation Debaters

I just got off the phone with the director of a major nonprofit who is thrilled about the quality of kids coming out of the homeschool debate world. He’s so pumped, he can barely stand it. Funny, though, I got several calls last week from folks who were not.

We're training them for action, but what are they becoming?

Point Loma Debate Camp in San Diego. Is debate turning them out to be the adults we want them to be?

Modern Samaritans: My Healthcare Alternative

You know the story of the Good Samaritan, don’t you? A man injured on the side of the road is passed by a temple servant and a priest, but then helped by a Samaritan who takes care of him. Don’t you wish modern healthcare worked the same way?

The Good Samaritan

Today, the parable would probably read differently. A man injured on the side the road is passed by an insurance agent and a government bureaucrat. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Good Samaritan come through and take care of you and your family’s needs?

One More Difference: We Are Not a Worldview Camp

Last month I posted “4 Things the Conference Is NOT But You Probably Think It Is,” noting four unique (and I think needed) aspects of the For Action Conference I’m assembling in January. After a few conversations with interested parents and students, I thought it important to highlight a 5th difference. This 5th reason has actually dissuaded some.

The FOR ACTION CONFERENCE is beyond basic training. We're onto life.

The FOR ACTION CONFERENCE is beyond basic training. We’re onto life.

Travis Herche, Solopreneur

I interviewed Travis Herche the other day. He’s one of our featured speakers for the For Action Conference. One of the most interesting discussion points he brought up was that of the solopreneur.

Watch the entire interview on YouTube.

Click to watch the entire interview on YouTube.

This may be a new term for you. In fact, we both admitted that, before we knew what the term meant, we were already solopreneurs. It’s a relatively new idea in the world of business, and I even had to turn to the Urban Dictionary to get a solid definition to post for you:

SOLOPRENEUR: An entrepreneur who works alone, “solo,” running their business single-handedly. They might have contractors for hire, yet have full responsibility for the running of their business. (from the Urban Dictionary)

Perhaps you identify. Either you, too, find yourself running your business “single-handedly” (or, for the most part, most of the time), or you are doing something significant on the side of your real job and desire to branch off. Solopreneurship is attractive to you. I submit to you that this is because of three common sense reasons that, when embraced, make your work life very, very fruitful.