Business Opportunities and Principles Feed

The Power of Stories

Do you like stories?

Do you read them/ Do you tell them?

My friend says that facts tell, but stories sell. The more stories you hear tht illustrate the power of a dynamic truth, the more you will believe in the power of your mission and vision. God's story is an example. Much of the truth of the Bible is conveyed in story form. Incarnational throloguy is about fleshing out truth.

Listen to and read stories - non-fiction and fiction. Collect stories. Learn to tell them. Have enough of them to illustrate your big ideas.

I have been impressed with the stories that successful entrepreneur and best selling author Andy Andrews tells. Pehaps you will be too.

You can actually be a partner with Andy in telling his stories by establishing an affiliate relationship with him:

Andy Andrews Affiliate Link

From Publishers Weekly
Christian author and motivational speaker Andrews effectively combines self-help with fiction to catch readers' interest, sustaining momentum while simultaneously passing on instructions for positive thinking. With his can-do style, Andrews (Storms of Perfection; Tales from Sawyerton Springs) tells the allegorical tragedy of one David Ponder, whose woes begin when he loses his job, his confidence and essentially his drive for living. After a succession of losses, Ponder is rendered unconscious after a car accident, and is magically transported into seven key points in history. At each stopping point, he is met by historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Anne Frank, King Solomon, Harry Truman and Christopher Columbus, each of whom imparts one of the seven key decisions that Andrews asserts are essential for personal success. After his travel through time, Ponder regains consciousness in a hospital and discovers he is holding letters given to him by the various heroes. The letters offer familiar self-help counsel: accept that the buck stops with you, become a wisdom seeker and a person of action, determine to be happy, open the day with a forgiving spirit, and persist despite all odds. Although Andrews writes from a Christian perspective, his overall message (trust that God is sovereign, but do your part in making your future happen) will ring true with a broad spectrum of inspirational readers. Some astute thinkers may be put off by the simplistic story line, but Andrews does an exemplary job at providing positive suggestions for overcoming life's obstacles.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.    

New Social Network for Business in Pre Launch

You're invited to join Tom Sims network of friends.

By joining Apsense, a newly launched business social network, you can connect with business indivduals with common interests, meet new friends or business associates, start your business blog, and even build your own private social network

Please take a few minutes to visit our website, learn more about us and register for a FREE Membership.          

The website address is:



How To Make Someone's D-A-Y Part Two - Spell It!

Yesterday I suggested that the very desire to make another person's day is an indicator of character and a predictor of success in that endeavor.

Today, I will start to spell out how to do that by examining the word, "D-A-Y." First let us look at a proverb for today, Proverbs 19:1:

"Better a poor man whose walk is blameless
       than a fool whose lips are perverse. "

To apply that to our theme, we might paraphrase it this way: "While wealth and prosperity can open doors, create opportunities, and enable us to do much good for others, it would be better to do without it if it meant that our words wounded rather than healed,  deflated people rather than inflating them, and discouraged rather than encouraged."

Words are powerful and how we use words will determine much of our success in making someone else's day.

And the god news is that if you make the day of enough people, it will eventually lead you on the path to success.

We don't have to choose between our success and that of others if we are willing to put our primary focus on helping others succeed.

Now, here is the D-A-Y

D = Decision. You make a decision about the kind of day you will have. You make it early; you make it firm. You decide that whatever comes your way, "The is the day that the Lord hath made; I will rejoice and be glad in it." It is always a decision and if you make it, it will rub off on others. While you make the decision, early in the morning, to have a great day, decide to bring others along as well. Pray for opportunities to encourage, lift, and serve people. They will come!

A = Attitude. It is aways about attitude. Attitude can make or break your day and will affect others. Positive attitudes are contagious, but so are negative attitudes. If you walk around all day with the attitude that is selfish, angry, resentful, and bitter, that will take the wind out of people's sails who are living on the edge. Not everyone has learned the power of a positive decision. They need to see a living example of positivity - YOU! If you carry your decision to have a blessed day with you throughout the day and reflect that in your attitude, those same people will see and catch some of your spirit. Smile at frowns; speak gently to harsh voices; deflect criticism; be kind when you are treated without kindness. Be the master of your moments and your emotions.  Elevated your attitude and you will elevate others.

Y = Yes, Yes living. It is a no-no world. All around us, people are looking for reasons to be critical, to disagree, to complain, to gossip, to make other people feel small. You have chosen to live the opposite way. You are looking for areas of agreement. You are searching for the YES. You are endeavoring to find things you can compliment and affirm, people you can encourage, and lives you can touch with God's love. You are actively giving out smiles. Your goal is to build and what you are building are people.

The only two things that will last forever are the Word of God and the souls of people. One builds the other.

Make a decision to have and promote a great day. Put on the attitude of positive thinking and living, the attitude of love and grace. Put it on the same way you put on a cheerful shirt in the morning. Look for yes every where and build upon each yes you find. Decision - Attitude - Yes = DAY.

Have a great one.

How to Make Someone's Day!

Let me start by saying that if you chose to open this posting and read it, that is a good sign that you are on the right track and your heart is in the right place. You have already moved from the realm of unlikely positive outcome to likely positive outcome. You have identified making someone's day as an intention in your life and that kind of intentionality is a real key to accomplishment.

Proverbs 18:1 says,

"An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends;
       he defies all sound judgment."

It is in the pursuit that our judgment is magnified.

So I may leave it at that for today. To be friendly and to desire the good for someone else today will move you far down the road of being a blessing. When you wish someone well, it is communicated in your attitude, your words, and your deeds. you cannot help but be an encouragement to all who are receptive and in need.

Money - Troubles or Treasures

The house of the righteous contains great treasure,
       but the income of the wicked brings them trouble. (Prov. 15:6, NIV)

"It's only money."

Not necessarily.

You don't need to have me point out the obvious to you. Some people have money pass through their hands with no effort or gain. Still others suffer the worse fate of having money actually complicated their lives to the point of causing them all sorts of trouble.

Others see money transformed into treasure, something it is not in and of itself.

What is the difference? Is it the quality of the cash?

Not at all; it is the centering of the person. A RIGHTeous person is someone in RIGHT relationships with his or her Maker, within Himself.herself, and with other people. Furthermore, to be RIGHTeous is to be aimed at and heading in the RIGHT direction. It is not perfection; it is relationship and direction.


R - Follow the advice of Solomon and "REMEMBER your creator in the days of your youth."  (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Righteousness is first and foremost being rightly related to God and that is the primary, core issue of life upon which all others are built. The fear of the Lord truly is the beginning of wisdom.

I - INVEST in relationships - especially your relationship with God, but also with those closest to you. Relationships require engagement and energy, time and commitment. Beginning and center and emanating outward, relationships are the key to lasting success in ministry and in business .. Sound relationships promote longevity on jobs and in business which ultimately means income security over a long period of time without the kind of trouble that income without good relationships brings. People skills are make or break issues in most people's success or failure.

G - GRAVITATE toward the right direction. Move toward solid outcomes. Let truth and integrity be the gravitational poles of your life along with love, respect, and honesty. Make friends with the scriptures and great, uplifting books and consult them for the general direction of your life. Cultivate a life of prayer and obedience to God's Spirit which will open you to specific direction in your life. RIGHTeousness is not about perfection, but direction. When we lead righteous lives, we are moving in the right direction. This is a gravitation toward progress in your personal and business life.

H - HEED course correction directions by remaining sensitive to the Spirit, open to constructive criticism, and responsive to accountability and wise counsel. Ask some key people in your life to ask as buffers against extreme divergences from the right path in your life. When they seek to helm you make directional corrections, listen, value, and evaluate their counsel against all the evidence and be appreciative. Sometimes this is just the kind of advice that will keep you from squandering your wealth or making very expensive mistakes.

T - Be THANKFUL. Gratitude keeps everything in your life in proper perspective. Be grateful to God and to people for every blessing. When you hold all the treasures in your life with an open, generous, and thankful hand, you will experience less tension and actually make fewer major blunders.


Seek to lead a RIGHTeous life. It makes the difference in every dimension of life - even in the area of wealth.

What Counts?

What Counts? What you count is an alert to what counts in your life and work. If you are in ministry and you value people, you will count people. If you are in business, you will count contacts, activities, and profits even if quality comes first. If you value time, you will measure it. If you value effort, you will keep track of it.

Whatever counts, you count.

That does not make it "all about numbers," but numbers are among other factors, a useful tool for measuring how much time, effort, and resouce expenditure it takes to be effective in moving toward the things that really count.

They can also be helpful in alerting us to where we can shave off efforts and save time and money.

If you would be successful, don't neglect your digits.

Taming the The Rhinoceros

"If a rhinoceros were to enter this restaurant now, there is no denying he would have great power here. But I should be the first to rise and assure him that he had no authority whatever."— G.K. Chesterton to Alexander Woollcott

The creature would certainly have a passing influence, but it would never be confused with positive leadership with the capacity to produce long-term life transformation. At best (or worst) it can alter the the circumstances of our lives through brute force.

In fact, the sheer power and imposing strength of the rhino, if it were a metaphor for those qualities in our lives, might be a detriment. Peter Drucker observed that, " No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human."

Real leadership is more about character than charisma. It  must be something that can be duplicated in other people who are willing to develop in character and pay the price of integrity and consistency.

"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is a market for great leadership.

Not only do we have the opportunity to find those kinds of people in our lives, but we can be that kind of person to someone else. In fact, the cycle is not complete until we fnd ourselves on both the giving and receiving ends of mentorship. You can be more, but you can also be the person who invites and inspires someone else to be more. Never under estimate your capacity to be a positive influence.

Intimidating people, beating them up, overpowering them, out-talking, and staring them down will only produce temporary results and not positive ones at that.

How then might we lead as to inspire people to reach their next level of greatness?

  1. Love them. It may seem trite,      but it is a reality that a trust worthy leader is someone who not only      loves his/her followers, but communicates that love in service, refines it      in prayer, and oozes it in words of encouragement and sensitive silence.      Jesus declared and modeled that the good Shepherd lays down his life for      his sheep.
  2. Elevate them. Desire and      drive their rise to prominence. Take a back seat. Rejoice when they prosper.      Swell with delight when they are recognized. Brag on them and let them      take the bows.
  3. Accelerate their opportunities      to learn, grow, be exposed to other great leaders and to expose themselves      to the public. Pass on books, articles, audio teaching, and event announcements.      Take them places and introduce them. Give them assignments that will      stretch them.
  4. Mentor as a friends, a coach,      a parent, and a sibling. Mlost of all, be a posiitve, practical, and observale example. Be available. Listen, advise, and applaud. Become      their cheerleading section and be available.

That is L for Love, E for Elevate, A for Accelerate, and M for Mentor = LEAD!

"You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that's assault, not leadership." — Dwight D. Eisenhower

If you want fast results that will produce no enduring fruit, release the rhinoceros in you in some crowded place. If you want to be a leader who inspires people to greatness, however, LEAD.


Proverbs 13 for Work, Wealth and Business

Ideally, we would post these on the day  pf the month that corresponds to the number of the chapter, but that is ideal and just isn't going to happen. Here are some of the verses from chapter 13. While it is not entirely possible le to separate out those pertaining to wealth and work, these deal most specifically with those issues.

2 - A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

The difference between two business entrepreneurs may transcend mere technique and product and go to the character issue which drives business strategy. there are bullies in business who seek to win by intimidation. Then there are those who speak well and whose words are gracious and compelling. One group has an appetite for sweet words and the other for violence. Temporal success may come to the latter, but it is bitter and tasteless, and even disastrous as evidenced in the next verse:

3 - He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

4 - The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

It is not mere desire that achieves our goals. certainly desire is a component of motivation, but motivation ends in movement and with steady, diligent movement, there will be no long term results. Lazy people simple are not achievers.

  7 - There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

"Maketh himself'" can be translated, "presents oneself as" or "pretends to be." Sam Walton drove his truck between his stores. It was not out of pretence; it was who he was. He had no need to pretend. Some desire the status of wealth. Others want the real thing. Stop pretending and "putting on airs."

Humility is good business.

8 - The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

There are good reasons and bad reasons for accumulating wealth. the less noble reasons revolve around status, self-indulgence, and lust for power. the noble reasons include the opportunity to be generous, to exert positive influence, to provide for one's family, and this: to be prepared for the dangers and contingencies of life. Some people who are poor are oblivious to threats and assume that there will always be a safety net below them. These are not necessarily those who are circumstantially poor, but those who suffer poverty of the soul and spirit - who possess no dream or motivation to be more than they are. when the time of crisis comes, they will be surprised while the rich will be prepared.

11 - Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

There are many ways to get rich and dishonesty is one of them. Those riches, however, have a short shelf life and  will whither away - especially in eternity. However, those who build their wealth honestly and conscientiously over time will continue to grow. Thus we read in the next verse that long-term goals lead to sweet fruition:

12 - Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

18 - Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

Successful people are always learning, always seeking counsel, andare willing to accept correction. Pride leads to poverty and shame.

And again, the fruit of working for a goal is accentuated in the following verse:

19 - The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.

22 - A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

It is a good thing to build an estate. A good rule of thumb is that articulated by Warren Buffet - "enough to do something with, but not enough to do nothing." What we want to leave our grandchildren is an opportunity and an inheritance can often do that. As you build your wealth, consider the generations to come. Perhaps we should apply that as a society to our stewardship of the earth.

23 - Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

25 - The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.

There are two ways to squander a fortune: (1) bad judgment and (2) wickedness. we have all seen it and we must all reject these stumbling blocks. Real wealth is as much about how long as it is about how much.



Should You Consider Network Marketing?

No one system of commerce has received as much enthusiasm on one sign and criticism on the other. I am a big supporter of the concept of network marketing for reasons I state below. However, it is important to factor in some questions when choosing to affiliate with one of the many fine network marketing companies available: 

1. Is this a company YOU want to be associated with? Do they have the track record, integrity, management, and stability necessary to meet YOUR needs?

2. What organization and team will you be joining within the company? What is its training system like? Do you like and can you relate to the leaders? Are they supportive and helpful? Can they lead you to success?

3. Is the product needed, compelling, credible, and something you can be passionate about?

4. Are you willing to invest the time, effort, and money in my training and in the promotion of my business that it will take to succeed? Am you willing to take ownership of the responsibility for your own success?

5. Are you willing to grow, change, and be challenged? Can you take direction, criticism, and help?

6. Is the compensation system sound and is it something that rewards success and organizational growth?

7. Do you like people or are you willing to learn to like people?

8. Are you willing to put in one full year of effort before assessing success or failure?

If you can answer most of those questions affirmatively, here are some reasons I believe you should give it a shot:

 * Network marketing is based upon the Golden Rule - It is about helping other people. The mentor does not benefit from the person being mentored unless he or she helps that person become successful. He does not give advice that is not to the mutual benefit of both.

* Network marketing is based upon a multiplication of influence model. A person becomes effective by leveraging time and influence and developing leaders.

* Network marketing is a way of helping people develop their fullest potential, to do what others say can't be done.* Network marketing helps people develop character. Unless there is character development, success is unlikely.

* Network marketing thrives is an atmosphere of integrity, honesty, and excellence. Since it utilizes word of mouth as its primary means of advertising, it is absolutely necessary to maintain a high regard for truth and quality.

* Network marketing rewards effort. It thrives on the law of sowing and reaping.

* Network marketing promotes personal growth, reading, education, and acquisition of new skills.

* Network marketing is an arena where people are valued and people skills are taught. Relationships are nurtured and cherished.

* Network marketing provides an opportunity for developing new relationships which are essential in any model of success.

* Network marketing promotes principles of good stewardship, generosity, and delayed gratification.

* Network marketing helps people get out of debt and promotes a healthy view of credit and debt.

* Network marketing teaches punctuality, reliability, and leadership, as well as other skills that are transferable to other areas of life.

* Network marketing provides a platform for successful people to reach vast audiences with their message.

* Network marketing teaches people to dream great dreams, to build faith, and to have hope.

* Network marketing helps people become financially free to support worthwhile causes.

* Network marketing helps people reach the place where they will not become financially dependent upon their children and society in their old age.

* Network marketing teaches respect, good etiquette, and consideration of others.

* Network marketing gives people back their times so that they can do the things with their lives that they were born to do, whether that is more time with family, service, or community work.

Many wonderful products and services are offered today through multi-level networks (Really, all businesses are multi-level). Find the team and product that is right for you and give it your all.

This Is Not Brain Surgery ... but It Makes Sense

If you are looking for a simple business, with an untapped pool of potential associates and members, Pre Paid Legal is worth examining. This is a business that is simple to duplicate, adaptable to your own schedule and style, and  one which has built in support sytems of education and individuals who have a vested interest in your success.

I got in because of a friend and really did not expect much un til I started making money. Then I "got" it.

I have tried many things and continue to operate many small businesses as an adjunct to my primary calling of ministry and my secondary calling as a writer and online entrepreneur. I can recomend this company and support group without reservation because of the integrity of the leadership, the quality of and need for the product, and the simple and fair compensation plan that gives people immediate gratification for successful efforts.

This blog is not specifically designed to promote one business plan because there are many that are excellent and no one business is for everyone. This one, however, deserves examination - espcially for people in ministry because it allows you to hold your head high and maintain posture in the community while offering a needed service for people who have been virtually locked out of the legal system.



Working Pastors

I have just launched a new blogging initiative to support and encourage bi-vocational pastors, church planters, and others who are called to Christian vocation. It is called Working Pastors and is a companion to this site. I have similar blog on Blogger called Tentmakers and Other Working Pastors.

There is already a great deal of valuable information posted on these and we are just going public today!

Lyn Perry and Thought Renewal

Lyn Perry is getting the job done at Thought Renewal. His balance of good sense and biblical grounding is refreshing and challenging. Any serious entrepreneur with a deep commitment to Jesus Christ and Christian principles would do well to subscribe to Lyn's blog.

His mission is stated as, "Helping People Help Themselves to a Joyful Life of Abundance"

I first came across Lyn's work while writing and researching a Christian perspective on the recent documentary, "The Secret." I found his analysis very similar to my own . Lyn encourages employment of the "Law of Affirmation."

Here is his from one of his recent articles, Daily Afirmations, Part 3:

"I have decided to use the talents God has given me and create wealth for my family and those around me."

  • Think of my family and friends who will benefit.
  • Think of the ministries we can fund and the saints we will serve.
  • Think of our future friends we'll greet in the Kingdom.
  • Think of the tens of thousands of lives we can touch.
  • Think of the taxes we'll pay.
  • Think of the business we'll generate and the people employed because of it.
  • Think of my parents and the positive impact they've had as successful business owners.
  • Think of the legacy we'll leave.

His integration of scripture and sound business and motivational principles will keep bringing me back. I am subscribing!

Keep Your Widgets Polished

In our ongoing discussions of widgets, digits, and fidgets, there is another principle that I would like to set forth: Train your mind and attitude to be oblivious to the size and relative importance of your market when the hour comes to present your product.

Having done all of your digit and fidget work, it is now time to give present your seminar or unveil your craft. Do it well. Give it all you have. Act like your audience and/or customer represents masses of the most important elements of humanity.

Do whatever you do with dignity, quality, and class.

Do it for several reasons:

  • It is the right thing to do. You have offered your best in marketing without reservation. Now give it.
  • It is the most rewarding thing to do. You will feel better about yourself and your work if you do a good job. That postive feeling will give you internal credibility which wil e reflected in future opportunities you have to describe your product. In other words, it will bolster your own belief in what you offer.
  • It is the most practical thing to do. You have no idea who your audience is and what influence they have. Nor do you have any idea who is looking on from "behind the curtain." You will make a good impression that will not be forgotten.
  • It is the forward-thinking thing to do. You are investing in one person. Perhaps that one person will open the door to many more.
  • It is the self-edifying thing to do. If nothing else, you need the practice.
  • It is the healthy thing to do. Half-hearted effort is unhealthy in every dimension of life - mental, physical, social, business, and spiritual. Be fully engaged. (See "The Power of Full Engagement" for more insight.)

Spelling SALES

I haven't done took much "spelling." So, I think I'll try my hand at the word, "SALES" this evening:

S = Sincerity. You cannot disguise some other motivation as sincerity and fool people. You must believe in what you are promoting, representing, preaching, teaching, or selling.

A = Attitude. It doesn't matter how often I talk about attitude, it is not enough, because your attitude will make or break you in any kind of sales. Bad attitudes lead to poor results. Positive attitudes put you on the road to success.

L = Laughter. Your sense of humor makes you likable and someone who is easy to relate to. I am not talking about being silly and unprofessional, but your ability to laugh with people shows that you are relaxed and confident. Among other things, it is a metaphor for transparency and authenticity.

E = Ethics. You need to be honest. No one does business with a cheat more than once. Whatever you do, do the right thing. Even if it means losing a sale, do the right thing.

S = Spirit. I mean your spirit, not God's. You need that too and ultimately. I mean life and energy, enthusiasm and motivation that comes from the depths of your being, that gets you up and going and keeps you going. I mean finding that inner voice that encourages you, that drive that moves you, and that courage that keeps you keeping on. Come to think of it, I am talking about the Spirit of God working with your spirit.

The Real Secret

Interest in The Secret continues to grow as it has to a lesser degree to my response. Here is my further response. The REAL Secret is the Law of Grace.

  • Grace is the most powerful force in the universe. We are saved by grace, liberated by grace, and empowered by grace to love, live, laugh, and dream. We swim in a sea of grace not of our own making. God's grace not only compensates for our shortcomings, but lifts us and moves us to greatness.
  • Within the context of grace and beyond our understanding, God honors and sometimes overrides the laws of the universe that He has created. His overrides are almost always in our favor and His enforcement is a source of blessing to all who discover and practice those laws whether in faith or in ignorance of faith.
  • God is a dreamer. He has a dream for the world and a dream for each of us. It His desire for us to dream with Him. He is intentional about these dreams and the greatest significance in life comes from discovering His dream and living in it as we pursue it and give ourselves to it. In other words, it matters what God wants!
  • Dreams are realities. They have lives of their own and they have legs. When we dream and follow our dreams, we activate divine laws that are extremely powerful and deeply fulfilling.
  • Dreams without thought, commitment, and perseverance are pipe dreams and fantasies. Real dreams take work and time.
  • The power of positive thinking is a scientific reality. More so, it is a divine invention. it is real because God made it real. It is not an ultimate reality apart from divine providence and declaration.
  • You can often get what you want now by applying the principles that seem to be divorced from any specific commitment to God's will, like the Law of Attraction, but real fulfillment and eternal significance come only through aligning oneself with Him in an intimate and committed relationship. This is the message, ministry, and work of Jesus Christ.
  • Whatever life is now, it can be more as we discipline and elevate our thinking, expectations, and faith and become true dreamers, committed to a vision that is grander than self or personal ambition. The sky is the limit. their is no ceiling to the greatness possible in your life.

The Open Secret

My review of "The Secret" has been getting a lot of attention - much more than I expected. I appreciate all the comments including those that brought these links to other excellent evaluations across my screen:

The Secret's Out
- from Thought Renewal by Lyn Perry - This blog is going into My Favorites.

Have you seen ‘The Secret’?   from Women by Grace

Don Whitney's Review from Baptist Press

I am still committed to not throwing out the baby with the bathwater, so i am writing an article to post later this week called, "The Real Secret."

Loving People

Romans 12:9 – Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

There is a prayer that has been part of my life, ministry, and business for many years. I pray it as I am preparing to speak, teach, sell, or perform in any capacity before people in large or small groups. It is the prayer for love. I ask God to help me love the people with whom I am about to work and where my love is deficient, to love them through me.

If I can have that prayer answered in and through me, everything else takes care of itself. There is no way to fake it when I do not love. There is no way to hide it when I do.

There is much in the world that disguises itself as love. Out of the noisy menagerie of voices declaring what true love is, there comes a call to sincere, undiluted, unpolluted love. The clarion cry is the music of agape love. It is God’s purist and best favor toward undeserving and non-reciprocating sons and daughters of our first parents who unceremoniously turned their backs on their Maker.

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

Two characteristics of such durable and relentless love are that it abhors what is evil and cleaves to what is good. Abhorrence of evil means that sincere love rejects every enemy of love and all that sets out to destroy the object of its love. If it is not good for us, God despises it and calls upon us to despise and reject it. Whatever destroys our potential and our intimacy with God is to be hated with extreme prejudice. In like manner, to cleave to what is good is to practice the sincerest form of love. It is to embrace everything that nurtures, challenges, encourages, and purifies the child of God. Let us encourage within ourselves that divine quality that flows from the heart of God. Let us reject all that destroys and embrace all that builds.

Is it possible for those of you whose ministry is launched from the arena of a sales profession to practice this prayer as well as those of us who are in full time church based ministries? I think so. I first learned to practice it intentionally while teaching traffic school. Love is pervasive and its value is all consuming. Loving people is the very heart of integrity and good business.

New Friends

My young friend, one of the most competent, intelligent, and enthusiastic young ladies I know, told me that she could not sell. My first thought was, "Fooey! You could sell pain in a surgical ward."

My next thought was "Good! You are exactly what most sales organizations need."

You see, it is not that she could not sell. It is that she is unwilling to convince people to buy something they do not need or want - and that is a good thing - a very good thing.

She is willing to make friends, however. Everyone wants friends. Not everyone knows how to make friends. Once they have made friends, those are the people they are most likely to want to do business with once they have a need or a want.

Guy_2 This is the best model for evangelism and for business. I suspected that Guy Kawasaki was a believer when I first encountered his work for Apple Computer and his book on business "evangelism" years ago. His blog makes it clear where his commitments lie and he is unambiguous about his faith and its integration into his business life.

The truth of evangelism and sales is that if it is not good news, it isn't worth telling. And if you cannot first make a friend and demonstrate genuine caring for the person not as a "prospect," but as an individual made in the image of God, you have not earned the right to tell anything.

So, I find my friend's perspective refreshing and will continue to try and recruit her for business and for ministry - but only at her own pace and as she responds to God's calling in her life. She does occasion some meditation on my part about making friends for Jesus and for business (not that they are qualitatively the same - but strategically similar, principles being what they are).

Desire is the first key to making friends. We must desire to widen our sphere of influence and resources. If we can cultivate the desire to know people, we will be automatically motivated to make new friends. We must come to the place where we can say, "I'd really like to know you - not because I want to use you or sell something to you, but because just knowing you will add value to my life and give me the opportunity to do the same for you."

That kind of desire is pure and authentic. It is also based on reality.

Dignity is the underlying attitude we have toward people we meet. Their dignity is not dependent upon us giving it to them, but upon their essential natures as people made in the image of God, capable of responding to God by grace, through faith, and as the Holy Spirit draws them. We can make friends without ulterior motives if we determine that we are about to meet someone who can show us a dimension of God's character and love we have never noticed before. This will evoke extraordinary respect which cannot be manufactured or imitated.

Desperation is what we want to avoid at all cost. It is transparent and ugly. People can see through a frenzy of friend-making because there is a deadline coming. Relax. Enjoy this. Have a back-up plan. Replace desperation with diligence and make friends as a matter of course every day. Let your efforts be cumulative and natural. You are building a network of friends, not a file of prospects. Besides that, people don't want to be rushed to meet your goals and deadlines.

Define yourself. Do it loosely and tentatively. Make sure you put all the important things ahead of the temporal identities of the product or cause you are currently touting, but have that definition in place to. Be ready to answer the question, "What do you sell?" Be ready as well to answer, "What do you do for a living?" Reinforce  your friendship agenda by not dwelling on  your self-definition. Your new friend will either not forget or will ask you again if the need arises. You may go through many changes in your life, but friendships can endure through all of them if properly nurtured.

As part of this definition, are you convinced of the integrity and truthfulness of what you have to offer in business and ministry? Do you believe that your message will stand on its own? In  Christian evangelism, it goes without saying and it is God's ability to convince hearts that makes "soul-winning" a lot easier than selling widgets sometimes. However, people know they need widgets and want to know that the widget and the "widgeter" are of high quality. That goes beyond self-definition to the definition of your product, message, or cause.

Be a friend and be a good one.

I have a friend who comes to my office every time he changes sales organizations or has a cause. I always welcome him because he is first and foremost, a friend and loosely defined as everything else - and yes, I have tried to recruit him too - so far, unsuccessfully.

Do it! Make a new friend today and cultivate that friendship. Get Bob Burg's material and learn to use it.

There is more to this subject than you have time to read or I to write, but hopefully, this will give you a start.

As for the young friend who inspired this article, she is really too busy and I love what she is already doing. If something in my briefcase makes sense for her, fine, but what I desire most for her is God's best.

And that is what friendship is all about.

More from Guy Kawasaki:

Evangelism: Eternal Life, Forgiveness, and Operating Systems

A little known story: When I was writing Selling the Dream—How to Promote Your Product, Company, or Idea—and Make a Difference Using Everyday Evangelism, I attended the Billy Graham School of Evangelism to learn from the best. It was a very interesting experience. Some of the finest speakers that I’ve seen (and tried to copy) were on a pulpit—not an operating system or music-player pulpit—but a church pulpit. MORE

Fair Shakes and Residuals

Last night, at an unnamed restaraunt named for some guy named Benny or Lenny or Kenny - something like that, I had a very disappointing experience. Know this: I am a D****'s fan and this group I was with has been going to that same spot at the same time for eight years. We know the people - most of them - at least until recently.

Recently, they got a new manager and the first order of business was to require our favorite waitress to stop wearing her signature flower in her hair. How do you spell "rinky-dink?" This woman is one of the reasons we keep going. She is D's for us and that flower is her identity. It is her smile. It her way of describing her sunny outlook on life. That was disappointing.

Then, we were served by a very sweet, enthusiastic waitress last night who bounced in once or twice and had to receive some very distressing news of our unhappiness with one issue: we only received half of a milkshake!

Apparently, this is the training that the new, "progressive" management has initiated - no individual expression, standardization of everything, and half a milkshake for the same price as the old product where we received "seconds" in the metal container.

I am not a complainer and I left the sweet girl (who didn't refill the all-you-can-drink driinks or bring us our bill) a nice tip. It is not her fault. It may not even be this manager's fault. It may be no one's fault - but it does make a pretty good subject for a blog on how not to succeed in business over the long haul.

We will go back - a time or two, to give it a fair shake (and hopefully I can get a fair shake). However, I cannot promise anything indefinite. There are too many places that bend over backwards to make the customer feel happy and part of the community (How to you spell STARBUCKS?).

Now, you are probably asking - "Didn't Tom say he was on a diet?"

You caught me! Half a shake was enough for me -- but bad for business.

Here is the question: Are you in whatever you are in for the long haul? If so, you are interested in happy people who keep coming back ... and in residual income. Whether you represent a church, a network marketing system, a brick and mortar business, or some other endeavor, the secret to customer satisfaction is first, giving your customer a fair shake and then, going well beyond that to the point of surprise and delight.

Here is a new program I have come across. Let me know what you think.

Click Here to Get Your Free Ticket to Income for Life™

Bob Burg on Winning Without Intimidation

Bob Burg is the real deal. He practices what he preaches. Some years ago, at a convention, I bought his whole packet on networking - CDs, tapes, books, and video and immersed myself in his methodologies.  I did this for two reasons. First, I had heard the man speak on tape and in person. Second, I met him and watched him in action. His CD series, "How to Cultivate a Network of Endless Referrals" was fleshed out in his own practice. As I listened to audio program, the rationale  made a great deal of sense to me.  As I came to understood his strategy it become clear that it was even more so, a  philosophy of life. Bob believes what he is saying. He sincerely believes that people are worth knowing and not just as means to some sales, or in the case of those of us in ministry, as means to an evangelistic end.

This sincerity and authenticity is what he advocates and practices with an accompanying warning: People can see through us. Whether we attempt to be or not, we are transparent in our motives. We cannot fake real interest in other people.

The bottom line for Bob Burg is in a matter of adjusting our own motives and tuning our mental engines to the goal of adding value to other people's lives. The concomitant of this is that we will become valuable to many people.

Bob is a genuinely nice guy who looks at you when he is talking to you, communicates a sense that he values you, shows appreciation, and recognizes you later as an old friend when he sees you in the hall.

From an article posted on

Develop profitable, win/win relationships with practically every new person you meet - whether one on one or in a social setting.

How? Ask questions. Specifically, "feel-good" questions. These are questions designed to put your conversation partner at ease, and begin the rapport-building process. These are not intrusive, invasive, or in anyway resembling those of the stereotypical salesperson. Feel-good questions are simply questions that make your new prospect/potential referral-source feel good; about themselves, about the conversation, and about you. Vital, because "all things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust." Asking feel-good questions is the first step to accomplishing that goal.

I have recommended Bob Burg to many sales people and pastors along the way. I commend him to anyone who needs to work with people in order to maximize performance and reach full potential.  The key predictor of success in almost any profession or business that is not practiced in utter isolation is the level of people skills.

Burg comes at people skills from two different need driven questions in his work on referrals and his book on winning. In the first, he is anticipating a pleasant and non-confrontational setting where positive results are expected. In teaching on winning he places us in situations where we tend to be confrontational, direct, and demanding and often culminate our interactions with mutual frustration.

For Burg, the same underlying philosophy applies to both settings; People are valuable and deserve  respect. For instance, instead of intimidating people, he suggests that the eight key words that will get us what we want are, " If you can't do it, I will certainly understand."

It works like relational judo... and it is utterly sincere.

In "Winning Without Intimidation," Burg quotes from the Talmud, "Who is a mighty person? One who can control his emotions and make, of an enemy, a friend."

It doesn't matter what your business, profession, or ministry might be, Bob Burg can help you.

The "Winning Without Intimidation" Mission Statement is as follows: "To raise the consciousness level of the world in the arena of human interactions. To show people how to get what they want while helping others to feel good about  themselves."

Ignac Semmelwies, in 1837, discovered germ theory   and listening to him would have empowered the medical profession to save thousands of lives. However, because he was so obnoxious and combative, no one listened to him. Only in 1867 would they listen to a man with people skills, Joseph Lister.

I owe this timely reminder to my new friend, Rebecca Starr, an instructor at Fresno City College who is sitting at the table next to me at Starbucks and who proves to me that networking teaches us how to network.

Check out Bob's free weekly Ezine.

Thanks to Sherwin Nuland, "The Man or the Moment"  in "The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2005 : The Best American Series 2005" for the reference to Semmelweis

Two New Blogs

I have just started two new blogs.

Affliliate Buzz is designed to filter and disseminate information from the growing arena of affliate marketing. I hope to learn and apply as much as or more than  I teach.

Protect Your Identity addresses the growing problem of identity theft and offers solutions.

Others on Blogger are Are listed below. Some have n ot been updated for a while.

 View this  Blog            Pastor Tom's Garden of Sermon Seeds & Sprouts     
 View this  Blog            Drink XanGo™  - Mangosteen Journal     
 View this  Blog            Fashion Fair Pastor's Cluster     
 View this  Blog            Pastor Tom's Look at Luke     
 View this  Blog            Pastor Tom's Roman Road     
 View this  Blog            The Clogger Blogger     
 View this  Blog            Transformational Communities     
 View this  Blog            Mid Valley Children's Camp     
 View this  Blog            Protect Your Identity     
 View this  Blog            Road to Success Ministries     
 View this  Blog            Adventures in Polecat Hollow     
 View this  Blog            Pastor Tom's Journal     
 View this  Blog            Pastor Tom's Comments on Proverbs     
 View this  Blog            Entrepreneur's Table     
 View this  Blog            The Shoestring Conspiracy     
 View this  Blog            VAST Possibilities     
 View this  Blog            News from the Fellowship of Joy     
 View this  Blog            Affilate Buzz

Writing Your Own Ticket

Network or Multi-Level marketing is a Golden-Rule business when done properly, with integrity, and with the right company. There have been plenty of abuses, but there are also many, many success stories. You build communities of people who do business together, support each other, and share a passion for their dreams. You work smarter and leverage your time by equipping other people for success. You don't make a dime unless you help them make a dollar.

It is no replacement for your faith and your service to God and humanity, but it can help you build your faith and support your ministry. If you keep things in perspective, you can begin to take charge of some areas of your life which have had a tendancy to take charge of you.

Money is a terrible master, but a pretty nice slave.

Writing your own ticket means that you make money less of an issue in your life, less of a topic in your conversations and thoughts, and less of a driving force in your life. It may seem paradoxical, but if you can create some streams of income, money will become less important to you.

Who thinks more about money - those who have what they need or those who are living on the edge of financial disaster?

Robert Kiosaki calls network marketing the business school for people who like helping people. Order his book at the link below. He also calls it "the franchise for the average man."

If you have a website or a blog become a Rich Dad affiliate:

Rich Dad products has encouraged and informed you. Why not earn an incentive by recomending them to others? Click above.

For Your Health
Nutritionals  - Natural from Nutrilite  The oldest vitamin company in the world is also one of the most credible. If you are looking for a business opportunity go straight to this page: Nutritional Opportunity.

Give the Perfect Gift - Let Them Choose The gift/incentive program eliminates "hit and miss" shopping. This is the same mother company as the nutritional business ablove.

Are you involved in a non-profit or church that needs to raise funds? Check out this site sponsored by Reader's Digest. It is the easiest and least offensive fund-raiser I have ever found:

Your Online Fundraising Campaign Fund raising program. Your Online Fundraising Campaign We are have seen success and potential with Magazine fundraising with this link.If you don't need a fund raiser and just want to help an inner city church, click this link.

There are some wonderful opportunities to do honest business through affiliate marketing and network marketing. I have a list of such opportunities and their relative advantages and disadvantages for anyone who writes me about them. The key is to evaluate the company's integrity, the value of the product, its marketability, and your own personality and interests. Then go with something about which you can become passionate.

Giving back is part of being successful as well as accumulating wealth. Here is an oppportunity to share: Give to the March of Dimes

Don't forget that leaders are also readers. You can rent, borrow, listen, or buy. Click on one of my bookstores here or in the margin for  bargain s and quality.

null - The Best Place to Buy and Sell Books

Free Shipping Off Orders Of $25 Or More

Finding a company you like is important, but it is even more crucial to get on the right team with the right kind of mentors. shop for a good mentor. He/she will be available in person or by phone, honest, realistic, encouraging, and likeable.

He/she will also be a student with good mentors of his/her own.

speaking of people in business, my old Discover Mangosteen link is dead. Use this one if you want to find out more about Xango, the product and the opportunity: Discover Mangosteen. I use this product and, while I am not extremely active at marketing it, I receomend it highly and have seen some results that people attribute to mangosteen that impress me greatly. It is a good company with some good folks and a sound marketing and compensation plan.

I would love to work with you in one of my businesses or refer you to a friend.

Recently, I have become very impressed with what Pre-Paid Legal has to offer in compensation and in product. My friend, Doug Bloomer is building a great business. We are friends from Toastmasters.I would be happy to get you information on that opprtunity and get you in touch with someone like Doug who can help you. Our church is affiliated. E-Mail me.

New programs seem to emerge weekly. Some are good; some are not so good. The MLM Blog is a good source of information and so are primary sources. Learn to read the company's pitch and read between the lines as well. Don't believe all negative possibility. Sour grapes can produce that. Don't take all the positive at face value either. A busin ess is what you make of it and they all take work.

Remember, a good business requires digits, widgets, and fidgets. More on that later.

Usana is a good company with a quality product. A friend of mine is involved and as I typed this, he was making a presentation at the next table. i can't do everything an d you can't either. Find what suits you and a team with whom you can work. Yoyu are choosing a business and a set of best friends.

Right now, I am looking into Eniva and so far, I am impressed. But what is right for you?

Again - keep it in perspective. Nothing comes before your relationship with god, your family, and your calling to minister and make a positive impact in the world. In the quest for wealth, do not trample on the poor or neglect service for which there is no material compensation. But if you are going to do business and if you need to make money, consider leveraging your time by building communities and working smarter.

And if you don't like the way you have been approached by these programs in the past, do it differently.


How to Be Rigidly Flexible About Time

Let me start by saying that I only have a few minutes to compose this entry.

The fact that I have any time flexibility at all is because I was rather rigid about planning my day today. Having said that, i have already made several revisions in the schedule - lowering expectations in some areas and increasing them in  others, moving arbitrary deadlines and getting ahead on a few projects.

So, here I am with about 5 or 10o minutes to blog.

The title is a bit deceptive because I cannot really tell you how to do this. Having Outlook fully operational is helpful.Making attempts in the direction of realism is a plus. Commitment is necessary. Margins are indispensable. Grace is crucial.

Having things to do during the gaps is a useful tool - especially small jobs. Otherwise we slip into a pattern of time-consuming thumb-twiddling - which can be both tiring and frustrating.

Well, here are a couple of list items which are not meant to be exhaustive.

1) No matter if it does seem to be a waste of time, take time, and plenty of it to really think about your week and your day and what you really want to accomplish and plan it analytically, realistically, and rigidly, knowing that you will have to be flexible to cope with the unexpected.

2) Plan margins.

3) Plan projects that can fit into the margins.

4) Plan breaks and do not negotiate these away. If you are like me, plan changes of focus regularly.

5) Raise your expectations of yourself in some areas and lower them in others.

6) Use that infuriating alarm bell in MS Outlook. For instance, mine just went off telling me it is time to pack up and go - which I am going to do - even though I am not done.

I said this would not be exhaustive or plenary in nature - just some passing observations.

"Gotta go.'

What Does It Take to Get Good Contacts?

Whatever you are building in terms of a business organization or a church or some other movement, you will need people to accomplish your goals. It is all about creating community (communities).

It was said of singer/son-writer/ragamuffin Rich Mullins that he created communities wherever he went. That is why when he died tragically at the age of 42, they had to have a traveling memorial service that moved from city to city.

Communities develop as we bring people together. To bring people together, we must meet people, introduce people, and set a table where they can continue to meet. That begins with contacts and referrals.

One of the truly great mentors in this area is Bob Burg. I recommend that any serious student/practitioner of this art get his book and the CD series and absorb/apply it. How to Develop a Network of Endless Referrals is a great starting place.

At the heart of the matter is the question of motive. While honest and transparent self-interest is healthy, it must be held in balance with a larger set of interests. If we are interested in people only for what they can do for us, that Will also be transparent and a detriment to what we are trying to accomplish. We cannot show interest in another person unless we are genuinely interested in them.

We just cultivate a sense of wonder and appreciation for people as marvelous beings made in the image of God who are valuable and fascinating to know for no other reason than just knowing them. When we meet and share lives with others, we benefit in ways that may be intangible, but are profound. When we add value to other people's lives through encouragement, we encourage ourselves.

There is no such thing as a wasted contact. Every appointment is a divine appointment. Every opportunity to meet a new person has a mystical and miraculous dimension. God is bringing someone into our lives for His own purposes and that may involve our goals as well. If not, that is fine because  real success is  larger than those goals.

We live in a world of uncharted adventures and unknown wonders. Infuse your business with that philosophy and see what happens.

When we meet someone, we must view them as valuable and see in them a beauty and potential that is beyond time and space. If you believe that, everything about you will communicate it.

After that, it is simple. Extend your hand. Introduce yourself. Follow some guidelines like those Bob Burg suggests.

What does it take? First, be among people regularly. Next, keep your eyes open for points of contact. Then, extend yourself by extending your hand. After that, ask good questions and listen carefully. Finally, do not part without sharing contact information.

Then (as if anything comes after "finally" - and much does), follow-up. More on this later.


A leader once told me that he thought meetings were demonic. That may have been because of the fire he felt in his esophogus whenever he was preparing for one. Perhaps the following suggestions will help those who share his meeting anxiety.

Ten Rules for meetings

  1. Make sure you have a good reason for holding a meeting. Otherwise, don't.
  2. Clearly communicate the objective for the meeting before the meeting. Send it out with a request that any additions to the agenda be sent within a few days.
  3. Create and distribute a solid agenda, gathering suggestions from key parties.
  4. Thoroughly research everything you need to know for the meeting before the meeting.
  5. Have information ready before the meeting and accessible during the meeting. It is a good idea to send out pre-meeting packets to all participants asking them to prepare for discussion of key issues. If additions have been made to the agenda, send a revised agenda at that time as well.
  6. Determine how you will manage the flow of discussion and deal with "log-jams" ahead of time. Make sure all participants are in agreement ahead of time on process.
  7. Budget time for each item on the agenda effectively.
  8. Plan, discuss and assign roles before the meeting and make assignments with dates, times, deadlines, and accountability during the meeting.
  9. Stick with your agenda. Schedule another meeting for additional issues.
  10. Send out minutes as soon as possible after the meeting and allow for feedback using e-mail and blogs.

Several helpful articles on meetings have been located:

One Cheer for Meetings examines meetings in an academic setting. Notable among the quotes is "One of the things that has always most fascinated me about meetings is the agreement that must be already in place before the meeting takes place. Surely not, whatever else, including the arrangement of seating itself! And yet another of the things that has always fascinated me about meetings is that absolutely nothing can be taken for granted about them."

The Seven Sins of Deadly Meetings grows out of the experiences of large corporate cultures. Eric Matson lists the seven sins and then suggests "salvation" for each. He asserts that meetings continue to be vital when he says, "a business world that is faster, tougher, leaner, and more downsized than ever, you might expect the sheer demands of competition (not to mention the impact of e-mail and groupware) to curb our appetite for meetings. In reality, the opposite may be true. As more work becomes teamwork, and fewer people remain to do the work that exists, the number of meetings is likely to increase rather than decrease."

Always insightful, Seth Godin offers a fresh rationale and strategy for maximizing the effectiveness of meetings when you are being called upon by a sales representative. In "Going to Meetings" he says, "When a sales rep shows up for a scheduled meeting, it seems to me that you're not doing her a favor. You agreed to the meeting. You're getting paid to be there. You might as well get as much out of it as you can, right?"

After making some concrete suggestions, he concludes with this word, "When you treat your vendors the way you'd like your vendors treated, it comes back to you. It pays off. It gets you better information, better attention, better prices. You're a professional at your desk. You should be a professional at a meeting, too."

I think he is on to some of what I keep harping on - the Golden Rule, principles accentuated in the Proverbs, building a business or a ministry with the same commitments to integrity, compassion, and added value for all participants inside and outside of the business.

Meetings are as necessary spreadsheets - more so, because business, ministry, and life are all about relationships. Relationships require give and take comunication as two parties enter into a covenant to create a win:win scenario. Keep meeting, but streamline your meetings and do your best to make them more effective.


Talking Too Much

As usual, Ty Tribble offers practical advice to network marketers and others that can be immediately put into practice.

In You Talk Too Much, he says,

"Slow down and listen to what the potential business partners have to say. We are not talking about the curiousity approach where you are afriad of telling people what you do, this is about creating an atmosphere focused on the prospects needs, not your own."

How profoundly true this is whether in business, ministry, or in our own prayer lives.


Here are some notes on my VAST Possibilities workshop that I will be presenting tomorrow morning. They are cross-referenced with VAST Possibilities at Blogger.

What Are VAST Possibilities?    


VAST possibilities are what you possess.

VAST stands for ....   

Values and Attitudes that Stimulate (and Sustain) Transformation

A VAST Possibilities workshop is about creating an interior environment for life change as a precursor to success in many dimensions of life.

A New Pattern    


We have a pattern problem. We have developed behaviors that we practice consistently, habitually, and without much thought. We start practicing these behaviors before we crawl out of bed in the morning and condition ourselves to practice them before we lay our heads on our pillows at night. When we realize that some of these behaviors are negative or destructive, we have a battle on our hands removing them. When we determine to introduce positive practices to the mix, we find that there is no room for the old is crowding out the new. The first change is in our attitudes . Then we can address behaviors. We need new patterns. We need to replace old, worn-out,, useless and even harmful behaviors with newer, more nurturing and positive actions. What are the steps?    

  1.  First, we must make the determination that we are going to introduce change into our lives. This comes out of careful evaluation and resolve.
  2. We must pray for guidance and strength. Our creative God will work with our creative minds to create a new scenario and unveil options we have never considered.
  3. Then, we must do the hard work of being institutional and  aware. We must accept that change is awkward and new behaviors may be “forced,” contrived, manipulative, or uncomfortable. We must practice them anyway.
  4. We must repeat the new behavior (which includes avoidance of the old) day after day, keeping some sort of record of our progress.
  5.  We must allow grace for the failures and celebrate the victories and patterns begin to change in our lives.

Values and Attitudes that Stimulate (and Sustain) Transformation

First, there must be a desire for transformation.

  • Trans - Across -beyond, through. The "trans" in transformation highlights the idea that for change to occur in behavior, barriers must be crossed and movement must take place.
  • Formation - Something is being formed. A new form is emerging within us. Change is taking place in an intrinsic environment where the roots of change are nurtured and allowed to grow naturally.
  1. There is movement from the head to the heart.
  2. Then there is movement from the heart to the hand (habit and practice).

    Without an end-goal of transformation in mind, behavioral change will not take place.

Then, there must be a strategy  for stimulation and sustainability  of change.

  • Transformation Stimulated - Consider the strategies, systems, rewards, and patterns necessary to stimulate desire and energy for change.
  • Sustainability - It is not enough to reach a goal of change once. Transformation requires a re-ordering of factors that reinforce behavior over the long haul.
  1. Environment.
  2. Internal rewards.
  3. External rewards.
  4. Beliefs.

Finally, there must be a coorrelation between values and attitudes as moderated by our beliefs.

  • Values - Values constitute our responses to truth and principles.
  • Attitudes - This could also be described as mindset - how we are predisposed to respond rather than to react based upon what we believe about our values and the circumstances of our lives.


  1. AT&T - Communication and self-talk. We must take control of our internal dialogue.
  2. IT - We have to ask in every situation, "What is the IT of it?"
  3. U - Your attitude is really up to YOU.
  4. DE - We need to DEcide to DEny certain patterns, habits, and attitudes. This includes any number of words that start with DE.

Make it plural with an S for SUPERMAN - How did Superman ever figure out his limits or lack thereof?

If you want this to make more sense, get in touch with me for the full workshop.



A question was raised about innovation and innovators at Toastmaster's  morning. It put my brain in gear theologically and entrepreneurially. I moved from the "creatio ex nihlo" to James Weldon Johnson's" Creation." It triggered the concept of co-creativity among those made in the "imagio Dei."

So, naturally, an acronym piped into my warped brain: WHY NOT?

Actually, it started with WHY.

But it is "why not" that is so often on the lips of innovators who quickly move past the "why" questions as George Bernard Shaw observed and Robert Kennedy often quoted him.


W = What the
H  = Heck
Y =  Yall!

What the heck, yall - throws caution to the wind  and envelopes a universe of possibilities.

N  =  Negate
O  =  Old
T  =  Timidity

Negate old timidity and the accompanying boundaries that are arbitrarily imposed by tired paradigms and limited thinking.

Having taken those steps, one is free to think new thoughts. "Why not" is not the same as innovation, but it is a necessary preliminary step in that direction.

Check out the new book link to "The Shaping of Things to Come" in the book column.

Sales Presentation

I am working on a sales talk and here is a rough outline of a sub-point:

In order to become effective in sales, we need digits, widgets, and fidgets.

We need digits because it is a numbers game.

We need widgets because the quality of, need for, and appeal of the product counts.

We need fidgets because that accounts of the energy, love, and enthusiasm we have for our widgets and for the people whose needs we are trying to meet.

As I develop thise, I will post more.

Become an Inspiring Speaker Seminar

Become An Inspiring Speaker Workshop

Over the years, many people have shared with me that their dream is to become a speaker. Whether you want to speak professionally or improve your speaking style and skills, I have something exciting to share with you.

Marcia Wieder, America's  Dream Coach is a dear friend and colleague who has been successfully speaking to audiences from 50 to 5000 worldwide for 20 years. Marcia was one of the first coaches to ever appear on Oprah and is an extremely successful author and speaker.

She is offering an incredible 5 day training program called “How to Be An Inspiring Speaker.” Marcia is extremely generous with her knowledge and resources, so you'll be in very good hands, plus she is bringing in three top notch guest trainers.

If you have any interest in becoming a more effective speaker this program is worth a closer look. The workshop, however, is limited to participants - so if this is for you you'll want to act fast. Take a look: Dream Coach

You will learn how to: craft your message, deliver it powerfully and how to quickly build rapport with your audience. You will also learn about timing, and using humor and story telling and the essential skills for accessing and consistently speaking with your most authentic and effective voice.

I asked her to send me a couple of raves so I could pass them on to you:

"Everything they said about you is true: you are a dynamo in front of a group. You demonstrate your strong belief and commitment to your subject."

USA Today

"Of the over one hundred vendors that American Express uses, your ratings rank you as our #1 top presenter." American Express

"Marcia lives with purposeful passion and her clients get extraordinary results in a minimum amount of time." -Mark Victor Hansen, #1 best-selling co-author

The One Minute Millionaire and Chicken Soup for the Soul"

"If you’re ready for results, you’ve come to the right place. I totally respect Marcia’s work."  -David Bach, #1 best-selling author,

The Automatic Millionaire and Start Late, Finish Rich

Learn more about the “Become an Inspiring Speaker” Workshop or register here: Marcia's Web Site

Best Regards,


P.S. If you're at all concerned about getting booking, then this is the right program for you. Marcia is a top-notch marketer, so you'll be learning from one of the best and you’ll quickly earn back the investment you make to attend.

P.P.S. Please forward this email to anyone you know is interested in Becoming a Speaker.


Critical and Strategic Thinking

I am developing a workshop on critical and strategic thinking. I would value dialogue on this subject and am posting this framework as a launch pad.


How to Think Critically and Strategically



 Topic – We must have something to think about.

 Technique – We must cultivate processing skills.

 Timeliness – We must think in the context of our times.



 Hours – It takes time to think strategically.

 Honesty - With truth as the object, brutal honesty is required.

 Holistic – Our thinking must embrace multiple concerns.




 Intellect – Thinking always engages the mind. Mental capacity must be nurtured.

 Integration – Ideas, convictions, and paradoxes must be incorporated in the stew.

 Inspiration – The spiritual dimension is necessary. The Holy Spirit illumines our thinking.




 Negation Mechanism – We need to weed out irrelevancies.

 Need-Based – We are thinking to solve a problem.

 Next – Strategic thinking taes us to the next level.




 Knowledge – It is a primarily a tool more than an outcome.

 Koinonia - Fellowship is seen in collaborative thinking.

 Kerygma – It must come under the authority of ultimate truth.


© 2006, Thomas B. Sims

Building Blocks

The Building Blocks of Entrepreneurship are PRIORITIES, PEOPLE SKILLS, and PROCESS.

People skills are the single greatest outward predictor of success in any business that involves human interaction of any sort. The ability to get along with others, collaborate, cooperation, and collegiate are so essential that it almost goes without saying that without them, failure is certain.

We can grow in our ability to work with people. If we don't have the skills now, we can acquire them. Great books have been written on the subject. Seminars abound. Mentors are waiting to coach us. Challenging life situations are our ready teachers. Difficult people are available to help us with the project. We can learn the skills when we are ready and willing.

The three areas that the Entrepreneur's table recommends for a starting place are.

  • Collaboration - Make a decision to stop being a loner and come out of isolation. Initiate a project that requires you pool your efforts with another person. Start small, but divide the responsibility and the authority. It is not full collaboration if you have the last word in everything. To collaborate, you will have to communicate freely, honestly, and regularly. None of this will be easy for you if you've never done it, but it is absolutely necessary. It is also intrinsic to the way we have been designed by God. We were made for community and ensemble.
  • Cooperation - Cooperation is a bit different because it sometimes means lending a hand on projects that are not our own. It is also one of the ingredients necessary for sharing resources, time, space, and attention. Cooperation requires that we read the section on attitudes again and apply the principles expressed there. It necessitates our stepping aside, relinquishing control, and divorcing ourselves from selfishness and pride.
  • Collegiation - As used here, it is the process of thinking together, sharing ideas, and listening to other people's views as if we really believed they had something important to say. This is a big part of what the TABLE is all about - people who are working in different areas, have different backgrounds, and bring different perspectives all having a voice to speak and an ear to hear.

We will need to post more on people skills because the subject is so vital.

On the subject, Peter Murphy has an excellent article entitled  12 Reasons Why You Should Never Neglect People Skills.

I was at the Clovis Big Hat Days Saturday with our Mangosteen juice. During a lull in the action, I was walking around and met a most compelling young lady of 16, hosting a booth all by herself, telling the story of a product she had manufactured herself and was marketing single-handedly. As soon as I have permission from her and her father, I would like to promote her and her product - essentially goat's milk soap with a twist or two. Her product was high quality and her presentation was polished, but what was most pronounced about her booth was HER - She had GREAT people skills. She was natural, enthusiastic, respectful, friendly, and utterly (not to play on words - she does milk her own goats) delightful.

Most people know what poor people skills are; let's start collecting some examples of excellent people skills. In the process, we will develop some of our own.

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Dream On

I dream. On a restless summer night in a pool of my own perspiration, I dream. In the quiet slumber of an October evening, I dream. In the quickening of the morning and the settling of the evening, I dream. And when I am awakened and as I move through the appointed day, my dreams do not die. Yes, they are tamed by civility and harnessed by realism, but they persist through the day.

My dreams have been cooled by the drenching rain of discouragement, but not quenched. They have been temporarily diverted by the icy onslaught of negative criticism and stilled by the paralyzing power of self doubt, but they emerge from the cold and persist. I dream on.

I refuse to stop dreaming.

I do not subscribe to the “All your dreams can come true; it can happen to you if you’re young at heart” philosophy. But I believe that our core dreams can drive us on to their own fulfillment in us as we submit to the One who has given them to us and who alone knows how to interpret them in our lives.

I believe that we were made to dream and that our dreams are the impulses that alert us to our significance. Yes, dreams can become distorted, self-centered, and wrongly inflated, but those distortions point to a deeper reality. Just as perversions of reality validate reality, dreams off center cry out for centering.

I dream on because my dreams are the impulses that validate my living. They remind me that I am not an accident, that my life has meaning, and that I am a part of a larger dream.

 And if dreaming is so vital for me, I want to help others dream and refine their dreams, fleshing them out with goals and strategies, reinforcing them with prayer and conforming them to God’s will from whence their essence is derived.

 I dream of a life as an encourager of the dreams God has planted in your heart. That is why I will spend the rest of my life and ministry as a Pastor-Coach.

 I am not where I want to be. My church,

Baptist Temple, the Fellowship of Joy, is not where it needs to be. But I believe that where I am is not where I am going.

 I dream on.

 Come join me.