Building Your Toolbox.

Have you noticed something? Have you noticed that we haven’t even started talking about the tools you need yet? Well, that was also on purpose and is going to end on this last step!

The reason I waited until the end to share about the importance of finding the right tools to accomplish your vision and goals is simply because you don’t initially need them. Well.. you do, but not as much as you think.

You see, we tend to think that if we have the right computer, the best camera, the most expensive mic, or an unlimited bank roll of cash that we will be able to accomplish all those things in our heart. Don’t get me wrong, it is very important to equip yourself with the tools you need, but sometimes the pursuit to “get” those tools can paralyze you. It can actually stop you from starting!

In my line of work, we’re constantly looking for the right tool to manage workflows or create proposals. We want the tool to automate our tasks to make life easier on us. Typically that tool comes in the form of a web-based solution that our own developers would build. Until a good friend of mine (who also happens to be the CEO) says these words, “If we can’t make it work on paper, it won’t work online.”

That’s when my mindset changed. That’s when I started asking myself this question, “Even though I don’t have what I think I need, what can I do now to get this moving?”

Don’t let the lack of resources, stop you from starting NOW.

Okay, enough on that. Here are a few questions you need to ask when finding the right tools:

  1. Can you find it for free? There are A LOT of solutions out there that are free. Especially with how advanced technology is today. Some are better than others, but that’s okay. Does it help you accomplish your goal? If so, use it. If you think it can be useful later, save it. If you don’t think it will help (even free), toss it!
  2. Is it scalable? Is this something that can expand as your vision or project expands? At work, we’ve used all sorts of solutions that helped us manage projects but they were not something that could expand as our workload and company grew. Once we found one, it took a while to implement, but it’s scalable. It can grow with us, and we’ll probably use it forever.
  3. What’s the learning curve? Whatever tool you use will require you to be knowledgable of that said tool. I’ve seen so many churches have a freelance developer create a Wordpress website for them. Once it’s done, that website looks amazing and functions like a dream. Until the day the administrative assistant is asked to update the calendar and she has never used Wordpress before. DOH! Someone on your team, must possess and document a knowledge base of how to use this tool. If you’re that administrative assistant, I’ve been there… it’s going to be okay. “Delegate” it to the youth pastor.
  4. How much does it cost? If it’s worth it, pay it. Don’t spend money on something you won’t use. If you use it, pay for it. Be smart with your money, but don’t undercut people either. If you can pay top dollar for something, do it. If you can’t, go back to question #1 or back to analog like we discussed earlier.

What tools do you need? In my next blog series, I’ll share some tools that are FREE (or low cost) that can really help you as you lead your church or ministry. Stay Tuned…

If you need more help on this, let me know by emailing me.