I started writing The Monday Memo in March, 2001. Little did I know that I would still be writing it seven years later or that it would continue to grow in influence and circulation. I am a better writer than I was seven years ago, and I have learned so much over that period. What's more, I am confident and optimistic that the best is yet to come -- for me and the purpose message. With your permission, I would like to share some lessons I have learned from writing The Memo for these last seven years ago.
1. No one can read what I don’t write. I never thought that The Monday Memo would reach this many people. It wouldn’t reach anyone, however, if I didn’t take the time to write it. I often refer to the verse from James’ epistle, which states: “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17). To make a difference in the world, you must stop talking about what you’re going to do and start doing it. No can read what you don’t write, sing what you don’t compose, buy what you don’t produce or visit what you don’t build.
2. God gives you what you need when you need it. Every Sunday afternoon for the last seven years, I’ve gone to my computer to write The Memo. I often have no idea what I am going to write, but the ideas always come. Not every issue was brilliant and not every theme was life-changing, but every Sunday God gave me something to give to you. And every week someone would write to say, “That issue was just for me. Thank you.” Don’t worry about next month or next year when you start to do something. Just use what you have today and trust Him for what you will need tomorrow. He is faithful and will always provide.
3. The Internet is a wonderful vehicle to build relationships. That may sound strange, because in some ways the Internet and email seem impersonal. Almost every week, however, I hear from people who say, “Dr. Stanko, you are my mentor” or “I sit at your feet every week” or “I feel like you’re here speaking to me when I read.” The fact that The Memo is regular and personal has allowed me to “relate” to many people whom I may never meet. What's more, The Memo has also enabled me to multiply my effectiveness and build relationships with many who have written or come to hear me speak or teach. In the meantime, my blog has become a favorite for many as I have expanded my capacity to write and create. In these past seven years, my website has become outdated, but I will announce a major overhaul in a few weeks that will make the site one of the most effective purpose stops in cyberspace.
4. The Monday Memo helps me fulfill my purpose. Every Sunday I get to “create order out of chaos without control.” I take random ideas, put them in some written order and send them out for people to read or not read, to ponder or ignore, to pass on or discard. You receive this Memo because you asked to receive and you may unsubscribe at any time. If I am going to keep your loyalty, I must produce something of value that makes a difference in your life. I like that pressure. I am also glad that I have never asked anyone for any money to receive the Memo. Freely I have received, so freely I want to give.
5. The Monday Memo has inspired others to be creative. There are countless publications today that someone started because they read The Monday Memo. Others have started businesses and ministries, and still more have changed jobs and careers. The Memo has given countless thousands permission to be who they are, who God made them to be, because I found a way to share my own freedom. I would hope that many more people will start writing and expressing their own creativity because they receive The Monday Memo. What an honor that would be! So if you are reading this and have an idea but don’t want to seem like you’re copying this Memo, please act on your idea. Call it the Tuesday Tidbit, Wednesday Wisdom, Thursday Trivia, Friday Fill-Up, Saturday Sampler or the Sunday Sermon. And if The Memo helped you start it, feel free to move on and become bigger and be more creative than I could ever hope to be.
There’s so much more that I have learned over these last seven years, but I won’t take the time to bore you. I want to say thank you for being a loyal reader, whether for two weeks or all seven years. When people thank me for The Memo, I often say, “If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.” It’s an act of love every week to sit down and produce this for you. It’s an honor when you write or when you pass an issue on to your friends and associates.
So with tears in my eyes, I pray God’s purposeful blessing on you as you read and ask Him to give you creative wisdom of how you can produce your own creative expressions that will honor God. I don’t know how much longer The Memo will continue, but I dedicate every future issue to God, to you and to the readers all over the world who are yet to come. May God be glorified by what you do and may many be encouraged by your courageous PurposeQuest. Thank you, God bless you, and have a great week!
It would be great if you could take some time and share with my readers what The Monday Memo has meant to you. Feel free to write your comments on the site where this entry is posted or go to that site to read previous editions of The Monday Memo. Thank you!