One of my greatest purposes - on this amazing ball of humanity - is to connect with people around the globe who are pursuing their dreams and desires. These men and women are taking off after heart felt life giving moments that release vision not only for themselves but for others. They are Grand Influencers.
This week I’m doubling back to have some time with Ian Kilpatrick. I’ve known Ian only for a short 2 years and in that time, I have grown to truly love and appreciate this family. Ian, Jennifer and children attended and were staff with Embrace Church in Oxnard where Crystal and I attended and hopefully had a part in releasing kingdom purposes. I know for sure that Ian and Jennifer did.
In the podcast Heaven Invades Technology from, June 4th of this year, Ian and I were discussing a social media creation that he created in 2006 called, BeenUp2. It was growing and expanding around the globe and had some very key values that I wanted to come back to as he and his business partners are reopening BeenUp2. As well, I had a couple questions relating to his process which I believe are God-given and if we have a desire to respond we too will see the Father pour out kingdom creations that influence the lives of others.
To start, I ask Ian what his creative process is. I ask him about his thought process in starting a business concept, or how he moves from, “I got nothing to I’ve got something.” Ian has amazing resilience in that he has started 30 businesses in various fields and endeavors. He once stated that he has started and failed in most of these businesses and yet what he’s taken away from these are lessons that have made him a successful entrepreneur.
He gained two major lessons that I want to share with you today. The first is that he had to learn how to listen to others in the process of building an idea from the ground up. It was internally painful to his ego but what he gained was far better than attempting to control the project with only his ideas. He opened the door to listen to ideas and red flags that others were suggesting could happen if he stayed on his present path. After a number of failures, he began to realize how important these comments were and especially the red flags. In fact, he gained so much that he has become an advisor to startups needing guidance and insight. This sounds like a true God wisdom experience. When we take the opportunities before us to listen and consider it creates a broader understanding that leads to our success. Yet, it does require much humility. But then that sounds like a God thing too, right?
The 2nd major lesson deals with where he begins the process. Let’s say you have an idea or a concept that you believe will become a success and can even advance people’s lives. That’s a powerful opportunity that is before you. Ian learned to do what he calls a Pre-mortem. When he began creating businesses and one would fail, he would do a post-mortem. The team would look back on what caused the failure and why. This way on the next startup he would possibly avoid these setbacks which then would allow for less struggle and quicker development. But it’s an afterthought. It’s hindsight.
Then one day he heard someone discussing pre-mortem's and he was intrigued. What is a pre-mortem you ask? It altered his world of creating business because from the beginning he looked ahead to what could or would cause the business to fail. What would literally kill the business! What I love about this idea is it requires us to ask others for their insights. To be inclusive. To build a team and wisdom, once again entering the picture. Wisdom – is truly amazing. In my book, Leadership BitesI wrote these words;
Wisdom is a powerful tool. I have seen wisdom calm an escalating turbulence in a moment. Wisdom often brings hope to situations that have been without answers or even a future. Men and women who carry wisdom have ways, or find ways, that answer core issues and resolve disputes. This ability, this wisdom seems to go beyond head knowledge, although it involves our experience and our knowledge along with God’s ever beautiful insights.”
These two major lessons apply to any dream or desire you are pursuing. What are you starting right now? What are you considering? Ask yourself if there are people around you that you listen to. That you will let them in. Then write down a few thoughts on what would kill your pursuit. Do a pre-mortem on your idea. These are powerful tools to look forward to as you set off as New Era Explorer.
I mentioned earlier that Ian is a resilient person. He is amazing in his pursuit and belief in himself and how the Father has created him. He was telling me a story about his children which he has 5 and he’s taught all of them to walk. He didn’t say to them, “Hey, you get 5 tries at this and then we’re going to quit. They tried until they walked.” That’s how Ian knew he was an entrepreneur. He believed he would succeed, and he continued to try and walk until he did succeed. Come On!!! That is so true for all of us. We all struggle but if I can come back and listen to Ian’s heartbeat, to this confidence that the Father wants us to keep trying. To keep getting up until we not only walk but we run. I need that!
In a conversation with Ian he mentioned the word failure a few times. That he has seen so many of his business tries fail! I’m assuming he had to face giants along the way in order to keep going. Something internally that he had to stand up and fight. Failure is a huge giant in the creative process. I wondered how he faced his giants because I’m assuming the 1st few where very difficult?
Laughingly he said, “Yea about the first 20 tries where very difficult and then he suggested that definitely the first few as he learned how to deal internally with not taking things personally. How to look objectively at the product he was creating so he could then take the input and look wisely at what would develop into a stronger business. He had to separate himself from his emotions that his was his personal work being ridiculed and look from a broader perspective.
For myself this started early in my life as a working musician. Anything creative that you are pursuing becomes so personal to your very being that it’s difficult to take positive criticism much less, negative comments.
I remember my first studio session playing piano for a regional commercial for an outfit like Home Depot but in the Midwest. It was big time for me at that moment in my life. I’d never played on anything like this before. As we were rehearsing the chart the producer stopped and asked me what I thought I was doing, and did I have any musical understanding. OUCH! I had to make a quick decision. Would I respond by combating his comment – taking it personally, or would I ask what he, the producer was wanting? That wasn’t my last session with him. You can come to your own conclusion on what I did. I have noticed that with highly successful people they take instruction extremely well. They find others who can add into their equation and create a stronger platform. This is a tough position to put yourself in, but it can open doors to even more as you run after your greatest purpose on earth.
In 2006 Ian and team began a social media platform called BeenUp2. It was a cross between MySpace and what is now Instagram. 2006 was the same year that Facebook went public and took over the social media world. BeenUp2 stayed in the hunt and grew to have a good following over the next 4 years. Then in 2011 Instagram hit the market and Ian closed down BeenUp2.
Recently he has been encouraged and personally desired to see the revival of BeenUp2. The reason stated for its revival by most of the previous followers was privacy on many levels. Ian began to do some research, and of course a pre-mortem, to see if this is truly a season to bring BeenUp2 back to life. What he found was what you may be feeling. There is a lack of trust in Facebook as it seems our privacy is being invaded. A truly hot topic of discussion and concern in our world today.
I appreciate that I get to be part of a beta group as they work towards reopening the new and improved BeenUp2. One of the reasons I appreciate Ian is his willingness to make room for the group to discuss and offer our insights and even our opinions. When you hear him talk about BeenUp2 he doesn’t use words like, my social media platform but he says yours or ours. It’s more a cooperative in that he wants to hear what’s going to work for us as the end user. You know there’s much we can discuss on social media with its good and bad purposes but in looking ahead I wanted to know if there were set dates or times for the release of BeenUp2 because I’m ready to jump ship with Facebook. I’m personally tired of the limitations it offers and the control it has.
So, for your information Ian’s team have developed the user interface – which are words that I have no idea what they mean. They are also working behind the scenes or the backend needs for the new platform and fund raising. In fact, the day we chatted the team was about to engage in a conversation with a company overseas who is interested in the new format and possibly investing in BeenUp2 because of Ian’s values that is driving this rebirth.
Ian has made a promise that first caused me to consider BeenUp2. He promises to never sell to a higher bidder such as Facebook or its kind. There will be no advertising or access to your privacy. I’m not really explaining this well but it’s a place for you, for your family to be safe and secure and connect with friends around the world. It’s social media, I believe the way we desire it.
Once it’s up and running I understand there will be a $2 per month fee. Ian calls it, 2 bucks for freedom. Totally cool! I’m in. Let’s get this thing going! You can find out more at BeenUp2.com. I’ve put a link in the Show Notes for you, so please stop by and check it out. It’s got a future. They’ve done the pre-mortem on it.
In closing, Ian has struggled, fought and won. He’s stood against great opposition and conquered giants in his land. You are facing a giant today. Most of us are. It’s our growing ground. It’s the place we will stand and take the hits because we have that fight in us for that giant. That’s a powerful place in the kingdom. It’s where the Father desires to meet you the most and show his goodness, his power and his authority. It is also his place that you will express God’s great love for humanity.
Where is your battle today? You are a giant slayer and standing with you is Jesus. He’s not simply standing by your side cheering you on, he’s actively involved in this battle with you. This battle is taking you deeper into understanding your greatest purposes on earth.
I want to encourage you to choose your battles well today. We don’t want to enter a battle we have no need for or that will draw us away from the better battle. Let me ask you a question – What would cause you to stand up in the middle of a crowded room and speak against common opinion? What will you stand for? That’s a battle worth fighting. It comes from the inside. It comes from your heart and your spirit. Good battles begin from within not from outside sources. A battle stands before you. Choose wisely my friend and you will prosper in all ways, for wisdom is not for the fool hearted.
Prayerfully you have enjoyed and will stop by Ian’s website at BeenUp2.com and connect there as they prepare to release a great opportunity of hope in the world of social media.