Lessons learned in 2018
It’s been a while since I’ve last communicated with you. I hope you are doing well and looking forward to new beginnings as the new year approaches.
Speaking of new beginnings, I’ve had a few of my own. But before I get to that let me first say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”. I want you to know that I appreciate you and look forward to connecting with you a little more often. My prayer for you is that 2019 will be a year of revelation, breakthrough, grace, clarity, opportunity, blessing and rest. Yes rest. We all need rest from time to time. Would you agree? I’m not only referring to physical rest, but also spiritual, mental and emotional rest.
As we approach the end of the year and roll into a new one, it’s not uncommon for me to do some reflection and think about my blessings, my challenges, what I’ve learned throughout the year and what I’m desiring and praying for next year. As I’ve taken a few days of reflection, I realized that 2018 was a year of preparation. 2017 was a year of transition. And 2016 was a year of revelation. Let me explain.
2016 was a year of revelation as I had to shake off the residue of losing a job. Yes sir! In full transparency, I was laid off from a position that I really enjoyed. I wasn’t laid off for anything that I did, but economics won the day. At least that’s what I initially thought. As a matter of fact, not only did I lose a job, but I kinda felt like my career in the higher education space was becoming a thing of the past. Working in higher education for 18 years it’s easy to settle in and create a path for the future. However, that path was interrupted in just a matter of minutes. In a blog post “I was laid off from work. Now what?” I share my experience and the revelation received during that season of my life. I don’t want to spoil the post, but let me say that God has a way of directing our paths. He also has a way of communicating and showing us that there are additional gifts that we possess that He desires to use in us. And you know what. I’m sure glad He does.
2017 was a year of transition, additional revelation and embracing the call on my life as I had to learn how to become comfortable in the uncomfortable. I had to surrender to the fact that I’m on God’s timeline and not my own. 2017 was a year of surrender, faith, miraculous experiences and open doors – all while God showing me His faithfulness and a deeper clarification of my calling. I know I am called to “lift men up”, which is why I built the new Brandingmen.com website which focuses on coaching and developing men personally, professionally, relationally and spiritually, but I am also called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Boom! There it is!
You may know me to be a designer, coach, husband, father, business man, speaker and someone who simply enjoys people – and you’re absolutely right about these things, but it’s one thing to boldly recognize these things in yourself and fully embrace them wholeheartedly with conviction and without reservation. I guess you can say that through my experiences and revelation in 2017, that my passion is truly transforming the lives of men to live life with a clear purpose and refined identity by first recognizing and embracing who they are – their brand as a man and whose they are through the brand of Jesus Christ.
[SIDE THOUGHT] I have a question for you . “Have you embraced who you really are or are you still trying to be who you think you are or who you want to become”? There is a difference. Your ability to experience clarity for your life comes from how you see yourself and what you are willing to accept about yourself. Stay tuned for more about clarity in future posts.
Being in the wilderness in 2016 and 2017 has taught me to embrace who I really am and accept the purposes, callings, gifts and opportunities that come my way. I have also learned that I have blind spots, weaknesses, shortcomings and limits that are difficult to overcome. But at the end of the day, I can honestly say that my life doesn’t mean anything if the Lord isn’t leading. If He isn’t leading me as a husband, father, employee, employer, entrepreneur or friend, then what legacy am I really building? What eternal value am I giving to the lives of the people that cross my path?
2018 was a year of preparation. Specifically preparation for the next phase of my own brand as a teacher, speaker and coach. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be more involved with the men at my church in a teaching capacity and really enjoy helping my brothers in Christ grow. You can hear my first “official” sermon here. I say “official” because even though I have been public speaking for years, this was my first time speaking in a church environment amongst men like myself. In the sermon, I get pretty emotional as I share a personal story.
One very cool and thankful experience of speaking on that day was that my father (who was a pastor for many years-evangelist now), was able to witness his son preach for the first time. For years, ever since I was a child, people have always called me preacher/pastor, but it wasn’t until that day that a sort of baton was being passed and I was able to see a glimpse of what could be and might be.
In 2018, I’ve also been blessed with opportunities to speak and teach at my place of employment. Doors have also opened up to mentor men on aspects of purpose, identity, fatherhood and marriage.
So what did I learn in 2018? I learned that no matter where I’m at (on the job, at church, walking down the street or sharing my business), I’ve been given the opportunity to speak truth, life, wisdom, purpose, identity, leadership, strategy and encouragement to men. I’ve learned (and still learning) to be content and embrace where I’m at in life. Prior to 2016, I struggled with bouts of contentment because I had this ideal in my mind of who I was and who I needed to become; ultimately putting pressure on myself to grow quickly. As a 44 year-old, growing quickly is no longer a focus. As a matter of fact, it’s not even attractive. Instead, growing intentionally and purposefully with men who really want to partner with me in this journey called life is what interests me the most.
So what am I praying for next year and what am I working towards as it relates to my work and brand? I’m praying for my family and each of you. 2018 was a year of so much worldly confusion, dysfunction and chaos. I pray for peace of mind, safety, rest and grace upon our lives. My desire is for us to live more boldly, be more honest, love more intentionally, and be more transparent so we can fully live and become true champions that will produce a worthwhile legacy.
I want to connect with you more often. I also have plans to publish my first book. I am also looking forward to releasing a new coaching program called “Called To Action“. It’s a program for business men who are procrastinating and stuck in moving forward in fulfilling their purpose and life calling. The added value of this program is that once you complete the program, I will offer marketing-design services to help package and present your message/call to the marketplace with confidence. I am also looking forward to interviewing some of you who are willing to share your life’s journey in becoming a man through my podcast.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email and allowing me to share and encourage you. I’ll be talking to you soon.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Anthony L. Fisher