Becoming BTL…

Today, as I begin another week, I’ve still not decided when to write the book that’s been writing itself on my heart, through my work, and throughout my life. Becoming BTL, is what I’m gonna call it; as you read and write within the confines of its pages, I hope it ignites a call within you. Way back in 1993, sitting in the CompuServe Board Room and bored beyond belief, Maury called my name. He had decided we needed to grow people as fast as we were growing profits and wanted somebody to go check out the Center for Creative Leadership; that somebody was me. I resisted and told him to send Judy, after all she’s the head of Human Resources isn’t she. I reminded him I was busy running Sales. He insisted I go, anyway – I went.

Everything changed.

Not really, but something happened. Something inside of me knew this week had seared my soul. Upon my return I started making small changes. I knew I was not going to leave CompuServe and take another job. I knew I wasn’t going to go work for another competitor. I knew I was going to start my own company and begin a practice that would build leaders. I had no idea how but I knew this was my calling. No Strengthsfinder, Disc, MBTI, Kolbe, or any other tool or toolmaker told me. Something deep within me screamed it so loudly that my scared, small, sacred, self couldn’t stop the magnetic pull of my soul calling me to something more. The lure of more money wasn’t it. More power seemed meek. But something calling me promised me something that matters so much more. What matters more, friend?


Meaning matters more. We are creatures in search of meaning. Don’t believe me, marinate on Viktor Frankl’s book titled so – Mans Search for Meaning. We are not meant to labor/live in vain. We are meaning mongers. We are meant to discover ourselves along with our gifts along the twisted, winding road of this life. Some of us will stumble into meaning. For others, the obstacle (like Viktor) will provide the way. For lucky souls such as me, the opportunity will become the way. Regardless your situation or circumstance, friend, you are becoming built to lead yourself. Don’t habituate building yourself with a scarcity mindset. This is the way of the world. You, friend, are the child of an abundant God, alive in an ever expanding/growing Universe. You are meant for meaning. You know this because you’ve felt it in the kairos moments of life.

Stop ignoring these signals.

Slow down and sit with this awhile. Why not build your BTL core – Figure out who you are, why you’re here, and why it matters? Why not, author your opus – your labor of love? Here is your contribution and aim for work/life. Substitute a PoP for pain. Your playbook of productive action will eradicate chronic pain with acute pain filled with passion and purpose and glimpses of joy. You will feel the difference on your way to becoming BTL.

Go on, friend, answer the call. Begin the journey of purposeful becoming – becoming BTL. Good…

5 thoughts on “Becoming BTL…

    1. Kary, kudos! I’m having a flashback to sometime around 10 years ago when both of us as pastors were contemplating joining the BTL band. Both of us made the right choice – your words to Chet were our words to you, and you did. The rest is history. I spent the weekend working on the finishing touches of “The Essential Of the Power of One” playbook Larry challenged me to write 10 years ago. Module 1 is “Our Search For Life” – Module 2 is “Our 3 Big Questions” – Module 3 is “God’s 3 Big Answers.” And more to come – where there is meaning, there is always more. Together We Transform – Always Together.

  1. Hello Chet. I seem to be inspired about whatever you have always said or are saying! I go back to the different qoutes you taught me years ago! One thing that always sticks out, is to “find my opus”in life! I thought at one time i had found it and life has happened and i now seem to be in a fog? I find myself not knowing what to do and what steps to take next? So i am in a state of praying for God to fill me with the knowledge of his will!

    I did want to ask a question about something you said in your writing today. It sounded to me like you were saying that finding my opus relates to getting rid of the physical pain in my life? Could you help me understand what you were saying? I think getting clarity about what you were saying will really help me in different ways! Thank you!😄

  2. Chet,

    You have already written your book! It’s just not in hardback or paperback yet.

    I don’t think you know me, but maybe you have heard about me.

    I have been a fan of yours for some time now. I became acquainted with you and BTL after I began to follow Kary closely several years ago. I had known Kary by way of my position as the youth pastor and then director of ministries at Grace Polaris. I moved to Orlando in 2008 to start Coaching Some Inc. (CSI). It wasn’t the best moment in history to start a non-profit organization. I had to pivot several times to get on the right path that led to my true calling and meaning in life. Kary (who has been influenced and impacted directly by you) became a truth teller and north star in my life.

    In my pastoral training, I had learned to research and study the original sources if possible. So I researched who Chet, the guy who was Kary’s mentor, was and what I could learn about him. I found the BTL site and signed up for your emails. I have followed closely the workouts and the lessons you and your band of brothers have imprinted upon each other.

    I owe you a debt of thanks! I just gave my manuscript for my book, “Awakening! The Dreamer’s Quest” to The Guild for editing. You may know of them, Kary’s publishing company editing team. I would have not been able to write my book if you had not written your book upon the heart of Kary. Your book is just not in hardback or paperback yet. You should get that done ASAP, so more people can benefit from your story and insights.

    In my book, I write about Dr. Mordecai Ham of Louisville, Kentucky. Here is my pre-edited version of his story:

    *Have you heard of Dr. Mordecai Ham of Louisville, Kentucky? No? He has a great story that very well could have an impact upon your story. You most likely will not agree with everything he believed and said, none the less, I am sure his life has an impact upon your life today. *

    *Born in 1877, in Allen County, Kentucky, it was a post-Civil War community that was dealing with the reconstruction of the south after the war. He was the son of Tobias Ham and was the descendant of eight generations of Baptist preachers. From a young age, he considered himself to be a Christian and that one day he too would enter the ministry. In 1896 he entered business in Chicago. However, in 1900 he closed his business and devoted himself to full-time Christian ministry. *

    *He became known for his fiery preaching and he was not ashamed to delve in politics while preaching. In his zeal denouncing the use of alcohol, he supported the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Again, in 1928, although most of his congregation were Democrats, he supported Republican Herbert Hoover because Al Smith was a Roman Catholic. *

    *He began a ministry of traveling evangelist and radio speaker. From 1901-1941 he led 289 meetings in 22 states, which produced 303,387 professions of faith in Christ. At his revival meetings, he would give lengthy calling for repentance of sins. He would then conclude with an alter calls at the end of his messages that were equally long and persuasive. *

    *It was at one of these meetings in Charlotte, N.C. during 1934 that two young boys attended Dr. Ham’s revival meetings. They did not like the way the preacher pointed directly at them when he denounced various sins, so the two boys decided to return and sit in the choir behind the preacher, even though they could not sing. *

    *After one of these meetings, one of the young boys said he done and was not coming back again. But he could not sleep all night, nor could he stop thinking about the message. The next night the two boys arrived early and took their place as non-singing choir members. At the end of the service, a man approached them and said, “Come on; let’s go up front.” *

    *That night, Billy Graham accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and Grady Wilson dedicated his life to Christian service. Billy Graham later recalls that at the first service he was impressed with the size of the crowd and the size and of the fight the preacher had. That night Billy Graham joined a new team and began a quest for a new dream. He found a new mentor and was confronted with new rules. He learned to dare and do the impossible – reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. *

    *Who should we give credit to founding the team known as The Billy Graham Evangelist Association? Billy Graham? Grady Wilson? Or was it Dr. Mordecai Ham? One could certainly trace Dr. Ham’s influence on Billy Graham. But wait, what about his father, Tobias Ham, who was a Baptist preacher? Well, wait a minute, what about the line of eight Baptist ministers that preceded Tobias Ham? *

    *This is the beauty of building your team. Your dream and Awakening can be multiplied by Awakening the Dreamer’s Quest within another who will be used to Awaken another… I’m sure that in the line of eight Baptist ministers, none of them could have ever imagined being summoned for meetings with world leaders and the president of the United States. Neither could they have had the foresight that one day because of their influence and impact there would be a person to join their team who would lead 417 crusades in 185 countries and territories on six continents with 215 million people in attendance. *

    *When you build your team, you no longer have the excuse of “Who am I? I’m just a (fill in the blank) to achieve such a big Dream as this.” *

    *What if just one of those Baptist ministers had broken that chain of eight? What if Dr. Ham had stayed in business in Chicago? What if Billy Graham had stayed away from the meetings because he didn’t like getting a figure pointed in his direction? How different would our world be today? *

    *We call it the butterfly effect and we have been confronted with this thought before. It is the basic tenet of the classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We have sayings like, “There are no small roles, only small actors.” *

    *The world is waiting for you to Awaken to your Dream, to take your spot within your story. You may think that you don’t have anything to offer and that you can never make a difference. We don’t even have the names of the eight generations of preachers that went before Dr. Mordecai Ham, who influenced the greatest evangelist the modern world has ever known. Which one of them was insignificant?*

    Please write your book!

    I am thankful that you took the assignment to investigate the Center for Creative Leadership and to experience your Awakening! I know my world was waiting for you to step center stage into your story and influence and impact a youth pastor that needed help finding his calling, so he could influence and impact me to find my calling. It is my hope and prayer that the chain will not be broken with me.

    Phil Johnson Coaching Some Inc. 614-204-5484

  3. Chet,

    You remind me of a Lauren Daigle song called “Rescue”. In it she refers to God as sending out an army in the middle of the darkest night to rescue you. When I hear it, I tear up and think about BTL. I believe that you are one of the many in God’s army that reach out to the lost. Can you imagine for a moment how many people your words would reach? Can you imagine all the souls finding the light and living out their purpose.

    Thank you for working on your core, leading from the front and challenging me to do the same.

    Looking forward to the book.

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