As we set out to launch the all new Lifeonaire.com recently, there are many things new about Lifeonaire that the world will soon be introduced to. It’s a new season in the life of the company. A season where we anticipate and expect tremendous growth—it’s sort of a new beginning. For years God has been preparing the foundation, teaching me, stretching me, guiding me and correcting me as I have been bringing the Lifeonaire message to the world.
I recall it was very tempting for a time to go back in time and to take the Faith Corner articles I’d written years ago for the Flipping Homes website that I founded back in 2001 to help populate this new Lifeonaire web site. But then I felt challenged to focus on the future, not on the past. It’s not that the past was bad, it was very good. It is why Lifeonaire exists today, and the past helped to form what Lifeonaire has grown into today.
The “Faith Corner” controversy…
I remember when I decided to add a “Faith Corner” to my original website, I was told it would be the death of my business—that my website would never grow and that I should take it down. The arguments coming at me seemed very compelling, but there was one thing that the well-meaning naysayers didn’t consider:
It was God who put it on my heart to have a “Faith Corner” on the website, and it was Him I wanted to please.
It’s also why I currently host routine faith-based Foundation group calls at no cost each month. I hope you can join me for one sometime. 🙂
What I didn’t know…
I didn’t know much about running a website at the time. I knew little about websites or digital marketing, and I made many mistakes. But in spite of all my mistakes, I remember how the website just exploded into a powerhouse—a friendly watering hole for real estate investors all over the U.S. to come, learn, share and grow together.
It wasn’t my large team with internet savvy, nor was it our super advanced, hi-tech website. It wasn’t the professionally written copy and incredible articles that made us grow, because we had none of that. I am 100% convinced that it was the heart of Jesus that drew people to that website. Thousands of people came every day. A thriving community of investors came together through our forum and many of them are recognized as the most influential people in the industry today.
God also put something else on my heart…
In August of 2003 he gave me this word Lifeonaire.
It was a word I didn’t really understand when it came to me. I’d never heard of anything like it before, but it intrigued me. It’s a word that’s been a burden and a blessing to me ever since that day—a word I’ve had to not only learn about, but something that I’ve had to experience myself before I could be ready to share it with the world.
One thing I did understand clearly was that I’d been given stewardship over something powerful—a concept that didn’t come from me, but was being offered to me, and I was being asked to share it with the world.
At first, I thought it was so big that I needed to steer away from real estate investing and create a whole new platform to share Lifeonaire with the world. Initially, while sharing Lifeonaire it was with whoever would listen and it flipped (no pun intended) their worlds upside down. The Lifeonaire message challenged the mindsets that we, as a culture, have adopted. There were some who wanted to run from it, and others who wanted more of it.
I had a difficult time in the early days trying to bring the message to the whole world. It wasn’t working. I didn’t have the same credibility I’ve enjoyed within the real estate investing community with others outside that community.
One day during my quiet time, I was asking God about the difficulties I was having with bringing the Lifeonaire message to the people, and he brought back to my mind a discussion I had many years ago with a mentor and friend of mine, who is also a pastor. I was telling him how I was feeling sort of guilty with how much money I was making as a real estate investor at the time. I was earning more in a month then most people earned in a year.
Then my friend asked me a question I didn’t see coming…
“Steve, if you made, say, $30,000 a year…would real estate investors listen to you or even pay much attention to you?”
To which I replied, “No, of course not.” Then he said…
“What if you made $30,000, $40,000 or more per month? Would you have their attention then?”
And his next statement is the reason why I’m here today—it’s powerfully shaped my life in a way that has brought so many blessings into my life. He said…
“Steve, there’s a reason why you are being blessed with the income you have—it gives you a credible voice of influence in an industry that I can’t effectively reach. Never forget from whom your blessings are coming, Steve.”
I was deeply challenged in that moment, and knew exactly why God was blessing me.
Outside real estate circles, very few people knew who Steve Cook was at that time. But now I had a much clearer understanding of the plans that God had for me. I didn’t know exactly how life would unfold, nor did I see in advance some of the big trials that would come my way as I followed God down this path. And I certainly couldn’t have imagined the wonderful blessings that I would experience along the way either.
But I did know that God would be with me. And he has been.
God has been faithful.
He’s been my friend through thick and thin. He’s loved me even when I’ve been undeserving of it, and he has brought me here today, to this new season in my life and in the life of Lifeonaire. I’m looking forward to seeing how God moves, and how he uses the Lifeonaire message to change lives and to draw others closer to Him.
I hope you’ll join me in the journey.