What are the Benefits of Starting a Business?

We often like to say that getting kids involved in sports will teach them valuable life-long lessons. We rarely articulate what those “valuable, life-long lessons” are, but we like to repeat the mantra. Sports teaches lessons that our kids need to become productive, law-abiding citizens.

I agree.

But so does starting a business. We elevate sports but rarely think about elevating the skills and lessons that can be learned through running a business. Think about it. If you want to:

  • Help people out of Poverty – then help them start a business
  • Teach Leadership skills – then help them start a business
  • Increase givers at church and other non-profits – help others start a business
  • Increase Stability for your community – start and run a profitable businesses
  • Learn to be a team player – start and run a business
  • Provide dignity and purpose for those who seem a bit aimless in life – work with them to start a business
  • Fulfill “be fruitful” command – start a business
  • Reflect the creativity of God – start a business
  • Humility – start a business
  • Proper use of power – start a business

When you run a business, you learn the Six R’s:

  1. Resourceful – learn to do more with what they already have
  2. Respectful – working with Customers teaches respect
  3. Reliance – God and self – proper balance
  4. Risk – learn when to risk and when not to
  5. Rewards – work hard for future gains – delayed gratification
  6. Research – learn how to assess real world scenarios for risk and reward

Let’s teach our young people how to start businesses. Contact me if you want to learn more: 763-458-3722.

Bill English

The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil

Taken from 1 Timothy 6.6-16

6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

As Christian Business Owners, this passage for God’s holy word should strike us to the core: To be godly in our walk while living in contentment. Our ambition should be driven by our call to generate wealth for the Kingdom of God, not wealth for ourselves. As business owners, we have a unique opportunity to generate wealth beyond what billions in our world never dream of having. Since it is God who gives us the ability to create wealth (Deuteronomy 8), we need to take into account our stewardship of that wealth before God.

As business owners, we brought nothing into this world. Many of us started with nothing. Our businesses – if profitable and well-run – will enable us to earn significant wealth that we can realize either through consistent savings, or at the sale of our business or both.

We must remember that if our love of money – i.e., our love for toys, convenience, prestige, power and so forth – will become the root of many evils in our life. God will not allow this to continue, so more than likely, He’ll take the business away from us or will take us through deep troughs of pain and difficulties in order to make Him our first love. Make no mistake – your faith, Peter says, is worth more than silver or gold. God wants us to love Him first and have a deep, abiding relationship of faith with Him. Anything that gets in the way – no matter how good – will be taken from you by God. He will not play second fiddle.

Do you put your hope in your wealth? Proverbs reminds us that wealth is fleeting – it is here today and gone tomorrow. Frankly, you’re more financially secure unemployed but fully dependent on God than you are with a billion dollars in the bank and living apart from God. It is God who provides our security – not our money. And our security is in heaven, not on this earth.

Use your wealth to further God’s agenda on this earth. Give it away. Not because He’ll give you more, but because it doesn’t belong to you in the first place. Follow the Lord – be energized by His Holy Spirit and use your wealth as He would intend.

Bill English

The Five Buying Decisions and the Twelve Trust Factors

Recently, I’ve waded through two books – The Trust Factor by Robert Whipple and World-Class Selling by Roy Chitwood. I think both work together to form a powerful template for building trust and selling.

In The Trust Factor (Factor), Whipple postulates that there are Trustbuilders you and I can engage in that build and demonstrate trust:

  • Act in ways consistent with values and vision
  • Invite open dialog when conflict is present
  • Be open to new ideas
  • Don’t put people off
  • Reinforce people who challenge
  • Publically admit mistakes
  • Follow-up on all commitments
  • Tell the truth
  • Release information wisely
  • Discourage gossip and rumors
  • Never talk behind people’s backs
  • Don’t play favorites

Now, compare this list of 12 trust building behaviors with the five buying decisions everyone goes through before they part with their money for a good or service. They go through this buying process in this precise order. They buy:

  • You
  • Your company
  • Your product or service
  • Your price
  • Your time to buy

Now, when it comes to building trust, which of the five buying decisions are affected by your ability (or inability) to build trust? If you said “the first two, but mostly #1”, then you got it right.

Business is all about relationships. Relationships depend on trust (irrespective of the type of relationship it is) in order to succeed. Selling, employing, managing – all require trust at the core of the relationships. Many business owners are also the best salesmen for their organization. Trust and selling – they go hand-in-hand.

If you’re a Christian business owner, take a look at these two lists. How are you doing at building trust? Are people buying “you” and “your company” before you ask them to buy your product, at your price in the timeline you hope they will buy? Do they trust you? Can you do more to build trust?

Also, one other note – if you’re entering a new market, you’ll need to build trust long before you ask for the sale. You’re marketing your persona, company and products to a group of people who have no relationship with you – little understanding of your brand and perhaps little knowledge of your products. You’ll need to over-market to this community. For example, if a list of 20 tasks repeated 5 times with your current market gives you $100K in sales, out of the gate, you may need to repeate 40 tasks 15 times to get initial sales of $50K. It will feel like you’re over-marketing, but when penetrating a new market – especially one in which there is already robust competition, you’ll need to work harder and do more just to enter it. And most of the marketing will need to focus on building trust and explaining why they should listen to you in the first place.

Understanding the five buying decisions and the twelve methods of building trust will help you succeed in business and in life.

Bill English