The Entrepreneur's Table Feed

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.

Spelling M-O-N-E-Y Biblically

M - MANAGE it; never let it manage you. It is a great slave and a poor master. Love people and use money; not the reverse. It is not money, but the love of money that is the root of all evil.(I Timothy 6:10). in fact, Ecclesiastes 5:10 says that the person who loves money never has enough. Management is what stewardship is all about. It is all God's money and He has given us management responsibility for it.

O - Let it bring you OPPORTUNITIES and let OPPORTUNITY bring money to you. It will enable you to embrace those opportunities as they come along and seizing opportunities for success will enable you to accumulate more. In Luke 10, the Good Samaritan could not have been as helpful to the wounded and robbed man if he had not had the money to pay for his care.

N - Take care of the NECESSITIES before you start on the frivolities. Though not always seen as a necessity by all, building a business, profession, or income form the future is essential. Build your source of income first before you build a lifestyle. (Proverbs 24:27). we also need to have the integrity to pay our bills before we purchase luxuries.

E - EXPAND the reach of your influence using money as a tool. Proverbs 11:25 says that a generous man will prosper. Proverbs 22:9 says that he will be blessed. Proverbs 17:8 says that "a bribe is a charm to the one who gives it; wherever he turns, he succeeds." Since verse Proverbs 17:23 frowns on bribes being received to pervert justice, this might be understood as a gift given to open doors in a business relationship. Money in good peoples' hands can do a lot of good in the world.

Y - Say "YES" to options, yes to people, and yes to God. How many times have you had to say "no" because you were in financial bondage to debt or lack of positive cash flow? Money can be a tool for freedom in its proper perspective. II Corinthians 1:20 says, " For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God."

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.


Entrepreneurial Education

I thought this young person on Answerbag asked a very good question:

How important is getting a formal business education to someone who wants to be a career entrepreneur? By peterpatch Asked  Feb 20 2007 10:53AM

Here was my my attempt to answer it:

Education is ALWAYS important. I have a formal education. I value it for it has taught me the skills to become a life-long learner. It has helped me in my primary profession. However, as an entrepreneur, it is not formal education that is as important as educating yourself constantly and over a lifetime. Here is what I suggest:

  • Get a coach or a mentor and follow their suggestions.
  • Work with an established system and learn the principles of that business through practice, failures, and successes.
  • Work on your attitude every day.
  • Read a book a week in a variety of fields including entrepreneurship, personal development, sales, technology, human behavior, and leadership.
  • Read magazines and journals related to your field.
  • Meet people every day and learn the art of networking.
  • Attend conferences related to business, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
  • Interview successful entrepreneurs as a regular practice.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Listen to at least one teaching CD or tape a day in your car or wherever you can.

Stay in touch and let me know how I can be an encouragement to you. GO FOR IT!

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.

Learning Curves Are for Exercise

With nothing but respect for the Curves exercise business, it is abundantly clear that another sort of curve poses potential for exercise of a different sort - learning curves.

If you are contemplating a new venture, you'd better be also reserving time for reading, interviews, note-taking, brainstorming,contemplating, and testing yourself. The preparation time may seem daunting and the  process of gaining, assimilating, and applying information may seem tedious, but there is no substitute for readying your most important business asset: YOU.

The one quantity that will make you outshine your competition is the quality of your knowledge and understanding of your product, the environment in which you market it, and the customer you seek to serve. You owe it to that customer, to yourself, and to your business to be as prepared as possible.

When you think you have rad enough, read some more.

When you think you have asked enough questions, ask some more.

When you think you've devoted enough time to thinking through your business plan, revisit it and do some more thinking.

Get past your panic, slow down, study hard, and get ready for success.

A wise man  will hear     and increase in learning, and a man of     understanding will acquire wise counsel.   (Proverbs 1:5)

Instruct a wise man and     he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. (Proverbs :9)

The mind of the prudent       acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15)

Prepare plans by consultation, and make war by wise guidance. (Proverbs 20:18)

This is REAL exercise.


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The Entrepreneurial URGE

From the Entrepreneur's Table

The entrepreneurial urge is the motivational edge of men and women who love to develop bold initiatives and who change the world little by little.

When Steve Jobs approached John Sculley, then C.E.O. at PepsiCo about coming on board at Apple, he posed this question:

"Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?"

No doubt, Jobs knew that the question would go to the heart of Sculley's "urge" and elicit the desired response.

Do you want to change the world?

That is what entrepreneurs do every day. They change it person by person, idea by idea, perception by perception, piece by piece. They do it the way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.

Here is an acronym for URGE. I am making it up as I write it here:

  1. U = Urgency. That is what an urge is, an inner sense of urgency that says that something has to be done and it has to be done now and by YOU!
  2. R = Resources. The entrepreneur may or may not have adequate resources, but she is willing to invest whatever she has and look for the rest. She is, after all, resourceful and sometimes that means being very creative.
  3. G = Grandiosity. The entrepreneurial urge is to think big - bigger than is practical, vaster than the present reality, greater than others can imagine. You see it when others don't.
  4. E = Energy. This is so vital to the entrepreneurial mindset and spirit. Energy flows and is directed toward the point of focus. The entrepreneur makes other people tired because he is tireless and does not quit.

Do you have the urge? Do you want to change the world?

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!

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.

God, the Entrepreneur

Is God the first and greatest entrepreneur?

Here is a list of some of the definitions and links from Google:

  • Innovator. One who recognizes opportunities and organizes resources to take advantage of the opportunity.
  • One who assumes the financial risk of the initiation, operation, and management of a given business or undertaking.
  • A person who takes the risk of organizing and operating a new business venture. (This is an attitude that can be of value in more traditional employment as well.)
  • Someone who attempts to profit by risk and initiative.
  • An innovator of business enterprise who recognizes opportunities to introduce a new product, a new process or an improved organization, and who raises the necessary money, assembles the factors for production and organizes an operation to exploit the opportunity.
  • French word which translates roughly as "enterpriser." In capitalism, a speculator who invests capital in stocks, land and machinery, as well as the exploitation of wage labor, in the pursuit of profits.
  • A French term for a person who undertakes and develops a new enterprise at some risk (or failure or loss). Although the words innovator, proprietor, and capitalist are used in the same sense, there are subtle differences that make the term " entrepreneur " preferable.
  • An entrepreneur is someone who assumes the financial risk of beginning and managing a new venture. The venture can be based on a totally new idea, a new way of doing something, a new location, or attempting something no one else has done before.
  • Individual who starts an enterprise with its associated risks and responsibilities.
  • someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it
  • An entrepreneur -derived from the French words 'entre' (ie: enter) and 'prendre'(ie: take)- is, in its most general sense, a person who creates or starts a new project, opportunity, or venture.

  • Of all these, I like the last best because it does not impose the artificial qualifier that an entrepreneur must be involved in a for-profit business, or any business for that matter.

    God is  an entrepreneur and is the model for launching bold new initiatives.

    Two key scriptures inform my thinking here:

    Isaiah 43:19 (New International Version)

    19 See, I am doing a new thing!
           Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

    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

    Yes, the Sky Is Falling & It's OK

    Leadershift From "The Sky is Falling"  by Alan J Roxbourgh, a comparison is offered between the skills necessary to function is the 20th century church and those for missional churches. The first set are technical skills and the second are adaptive.

    The chart comes from Next Reformation which offers an excellent review  and expansion of the ideas here.

    Following through with Roxbourgh's notion that we must be empowering, nurturing, inviting and cultivating rather than managing, optimizing, and controlling, the greatest challenge to leaders is to allow their own thinking to change.

    Drastic changes in thought processes are never easy. The defy our training and trigger involuntary looping of old tapes at maximum mental volume. Because our self-judgmental criteria for success and faithfulness is married to the old job descriptions, we must resist every negative  emotion that can positively be associated with the label, "loser."

    We have quite a few check-lists to throw away. We must do, as Paul suggests, "count all things as loss."

    I suspect that a winner in the new arena of leadership must go through a loser phase on the road to breakthrough. This is a potentially demoralizing period of time where he/she may even find it difficult to know what to put on his/her business card. It may be difficult to explain one's job description and self image may be a blur. The alternative to utter despair is rejection of all external and internal  tentative evaluations as well as the desire for short term recognition and affirmation. The missional leader must have the courage to step into an entirely new reality where his or her own importance is minimal and the mission is truly the center of attention.

    In some ways, the church is ahead of the business world in this shift and in other ways behind. The question is whether leadership is going to catch up with the vast human potential of the 21st century world in the Kingdom of God as well as in the business world.

    This goes beyond mere servant leadership to co-servant leadership where "we are laborers together with God" in every field of endeavor.

    Wendy Says You Need a PHD!

    In an article entitled "What It Takes to Be a Successful Entrepreneur," Wendy Kwek says (among other things:

    YOU NEED P.H.D.!!

    "I believe that everyone can be successful in business if you set your heart, mind and soul to becoming an accomplished entrepreneur. It takes PHD to succeed in business. That is Passion, Hunger and Drive! (sorry, I do not mean the academic PHD “doctorate”). So, ask yourself this question, do you have the passion to lead an exciting and rewarding life, do you have the hunger for success and do you have the drive and determination to conquer obstables that may come your way. Every time I look for business partners for the various businesses I am in, I look at the PHD level they have."

    My word for that, as unveiled in my sermon Sunday is "pyrocardia," a heart on fire.

    Romans 12:11 lays it out:

    "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." (NIV)

    Lacking in zeal is literally getting a case of the "slows." Spiritual fervor is "heat." Serving the Lord has textual variations and is sometimes found as serving the time. While the best texts have serving the Lord, it is also true that this service of God is in time and space and requires seizing opportunities.

    As we come to the entrepreneur's table to collaborate and encourage one another in spiritual, social, and business endeavors, let us earn PhDs in passion and catch a good case of pyrocardia.

    "Direct Selling Success in 2007" from"Direct Selling News"

    First w turn to Tony Jeary in his article: Communicating Your Opportunity: Clarity, Focus, and Execution. Jeary, one of the top trainers in America, answers the question, "How do direct selling executives achieve success in 2007?"

    "People usually come to this industry because they have a dream, or are trying to find an opportunity that can become their dream. The dream has many pieces. One piece may be a desire for financial success. Another piece might be independence and the hope of being able to build a successful business. Another piece might involve helping others in a wide variety of ways. There is no one piece that is more important than another. The point is that when a person with a dream is making that initial decision about becoming a part of your team, the decision is made against the backdrop of perceived opportunity. I believe the key to success for any direct selling firm hinges on how well they communicate their ability to help new prospects recognize the opportunity they offer. There must be a communication strategy to make that work. The question is: What are the elements your communication strategy must embrace? I think it boils down to three distinct points: Clarity, Focus and Execution."

    Clarity, focus, and execution. Jeary elaborates on each utilizing his own advice. His style is clear, focused, and executable.

    "The absence of clarity drains energy. Lack of focus produces indecisiveness and excessive preparation. Poor execution degrades effectiveness, limits results and restricts growth. So, for opportunity to be maximized, the issues of clarity, focus and execution become the most significant."

    Clarity is present when there is a sense of purpose As I like to say, "A way without a why (Y) is a WA." In other words, it it meaningless and undefinable. It is also found in the communication of value as the benefits of the product, vision, or project are communicated. The third area where clarity is essential is in the communication of objectives.

    Focus, according to Jeary, "is achieved when the critical success factors needed to propel us across the gap are identified and understood."

    Without focus, we become disorganized, indecisive, and caught up in excessive preparation according to Jeary. In my own life, lack of focus often leads to a constant state of getting ready to be ready, of movement from one pet project to another, and inertia. Focus is the remedy and necessity in selling the one big idea entrusted to us. Jeary refers to three areas where he stategizes with CEOs to help them create proper focus:

    1. Mandating the correct action items
    2. Creating the appropriate amount of detail to support action mandates        
    3. Creating benchmarks that can measure results

    Execution is the final step and build upon the firs two with the anticipation of expected results. Execution requires a mastery of communication, performance benchmarks, impact measurement, and sustainability.

    "Many people flounder as they try to fulfill their vision and their dreams because they lack a methodology to execute their objectives and strategies. Marginal results degrade overall effectiveness across extended periods, which retards or stops growth. When growth is in jeopardy, we stand on shaky ground."

    Jeary is worth reading and hearing. Four other stories in the New Perspectives section are:

    Communicating Your Opportunity: Clarity, Focus, and Execution
    Academic Forum: Leading and Manging in the Millennial Generation
    Top Desk: The Elements of Greatness
    What's In It For Me?

    More from Previous New Perspective articles:


       Academic Forum: Embracing Diversity in Direct Selling
       Top Desk: The Power of One Man's Dreams
       Setting the Record Straight  

    I also recommend:
    Growing Your Business Organically: The Rule of 350

    Entrepreneur's Table on Wall Street Seeing the Value of Direct Selling

    Mangosteen Journal on Sipping Supplements

    The World of Liquid Supplements

    For 2006 statistics on stock prices of Direct Selling companies,Download 1206_stock.pdf 




    Free Lunches and Networking

    Those who are convinced that I attend all these meetings around town for the free food will have to rethink things now that I am on this high metabolism diet with my spousal unit. I brought my own trail mix to the round table and availed myself of the salad and water, but that would not have made it worth my while.

    We meet to network and collaborate. No amount of solitary thinking, unilateral strategy planning, and personal research could have moved one of my pet projects forward as much as one contact from today's lunch meeting did.

    In fact, it may get an organization on whose board I sit off a very large dime.

    I joke about meetings, fuss about them, and resist them, but in the end, attend because they work. I look forward to the day when I can start eating the free lunches again too.

    And ... I really do enjoy the company.

    Notes and Ideas

    A mental note isn't worth the paper it is written on.

    You can make mental notes all day long, but they lack the safety features of paper and digital notes. For one thing, you lose them. They exist, but they are floating out there is a closet of cerebral clutter and are only retrieved when looking for something else and usually after a deadline has long expired.

    Another problem with mental notes is that they are subject to the distortions of time. It has been demonstrated by neurological researchers that eye-witness accounts are often unreliable and altered by time and intermingling with other memories.

    Perhaps that is why the Bible required two eye-witnesses before a person could be convicted of a capital crime.

    Then, mental notes are often relegated to lists of lesser leverage in our thinking simply because we did not render them important enough at the moment to write them down.

    I have noticed a habit being practiced by my friend, Philip Brewer, a life-coach and artist here in Fresno. He always has a note pad handy and uses it often to record ideas, references, bibliographical information, web site URLs and reminders to himself. no wonder he is sought out as a coach and mentor. By the way, his Steeple Chaser site is worth a visit as is I will list his cartoon site as soon as I can remember the URL.

    Case in Point: I forgot to make time and space note and my mental faculties failed me.

    Entrepreneurs eat ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Good ideas are worth remembering and writing down. so are not-so-good ideas. They can be sorted out later or even trigger good ideas.

    Now, having written this, i have made a note to myself to take more notes. If you get some benefit from the suggestions as well, that's good.

    Now, i need to go back and read some of my notes.


    Make a note of this: My friend and our Skate Church Pastor, Bill Tucker is a local entrepreneur with a  vision. He set up Toner Overnight to meet a need and deserves your patronage. He will do a good job for you.

    Answer Bag

    I have stepped out of most of my roles lately to participate in an interactive site called, Answerbag. There are a variety of characters there conversing on any number of subjects. Questions are asked, answered, and rated.

    It is another example of a thriving online community.

    It is also an example of a business success arising from the active imagination and determination of Joel Downs of Demand Media Inc.

    What I like about this is that it is multi-generational and user driven.

    My own communities, The Religion Forum and Christian Fellowship Forum are  quite specific and are also examples of cyber-locations where people can relate to each other and dig into subjects.

    These are also places where budding writers can practice their skills.

    People Meeting People

    We had two new outstanding members in Toastmaster's. It made me think about networking and where we network. Both of them were able to present a pithy introducion of who they were, why they had come, and what they were about in terms of mission and goals.

    We can network anywhere and at any time. I met two people at different times at Starbucks this morning who were more than ready to tell me about their businesses. I sensed and was energized by their passion .

    Toastmasters is also and, perhaps more so, because it is populated with highly motivated people who are deeply interested in their own growth and development. They are also predisposed toward networking.

    Entrepreneur's, social, business, and spiritual, must always be wearing their networking suits when in public. The best and easiest contacts will be in places where people of influence, passion, and dreams hang out. I would also include some spots where young adults can be found. They may \not have solidified their life missions, but they are on the prowl for significance.

    At Starbucks, I met Simon Terronez, Jr. I noticed the insignia on his shirt, "Valley Remnants and Rolls" and mentioned I had heard their sponsorship announcements on the local NPR station. He thanked me. At the cream and sugar station, I asked him what set his business apart from his competitors. He had a ready and impressive answer; excellent service and competitive pricing. Then  he added that I would see the difference if I visited the showroom I(which is, by the way at 1820 E McKinley in Fresno - 559-445-0206).

    I sat down and he left, but he was back in less than a minute with a card (from which I am blogging the details here) inviting me to come in whenever he could be of service.

    That is networking.

    Setting the Table

    The Next STEPS of SOLUTIONS:

    I am looking at integrating the Entrepreneur's table with the ministry of the local church and modelling it in our congregation.

    What is your impression about how much Proverbs and the rest of the Bible have to say about these issues is the following list?


    Wealth and accumulation of wealth

    Justice for the poor

    Fair business practices

    Advice for attaining prosperity


    Stewardship of wealth

    Giving and generosity?


    My observation is that it is a major topic in Proverbs, In what ways has God's church limited its message and help in these areas? I think it is major as well.

    We reluctantly address tithing when absolutely necessary and our backs are agains the wall - but we say very little about wealth definition, accumulation, preservation, and stewardship beyond giving to worthy causes.


    What are some solutions for being more wholistic in our approach? What fears or obstacles might we face? These are some of the questions we recently addressed wioth our congregation.


    To what extent might we have to invent a solution as we go along? Where might we find resources?

    Suppose a group began to meet regularly to study God’s principles of wealth & business and with the opportunity to support, collaborate, work together on some projects, and pray for each other? What else might we include?


    Who do you think might be interested in your own community? When, how often, and for how long should we meet?  what about combin ing it with the activites of a leads group? Perhaps we would invite in leaders in various network marketing businesses? would they come?


    How might we use it as a tool for evangelism and discipleship?


    Might God be using our crises in giving in the churches to birth something great that will bless our communities and the church as a whole?

    What Are You Selling?

    "What are you selling?"

    I know it is a bit crude, possibly rude, but I get a lot of phone calls where we have to go through the "beating around the bush" dance for a few minutes and I am always friendly about the question and not necessarily closed-minded. I ask within a few seconds, "What are you selling?"

    And I try to let the folks on the other end of the line know that I don't think "selling" is a dirty word.

    I just want to know.

    Is it an idea, a product, a service, or a "gift?" Do they want an appointment, a commitment, or an opinion? I want people to know that they have a legitimate self-interest in calling me and that I know it and that it is OK. It makes for a honest conversation. Even if their self-interest is the sense of satisfaction in doing a good thing, let us put our cards on the table.

    I don't need to know their profit margin, but I know that they cannot stay in business without one and if they cannot stay in business, I don't want to do business with them because their after-care will soon dry up. I want to spend my money with people who know how to make a fair profit.

    Does that make sense?

    I need to process this call quickly because I am probably in the middle of another project, perhaps even a bright idea that will never pass through my mind again and needs to be captured, interrogated, and released.

    Win my goodwill by respecting my time. I am inclined to give both in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

    Maybe you are selling an idea. That is good. You will be measuring profit differently. If you are selling  the gospel, it may be out of sheer gratitude for what you have already received and love for humanity. If you are selling a social or political idea, your motive may be that you really believe society will be improved and your family's life will be better if I adopt your way of thinking.

    Let's cut to the chase. I have no problem with the fact that you are selling something. I have a problem with you denying it.

    And don't be surprised if I try to sell you something while I have you on the line.

    Christians and Wealth

    Co-published at The Entrepreneur's Table.

    There is some wonderful and thoughtful material on this blog which I will be returning to read and ponder. This relates to the subject in Entrepreneur's Table because Christians, and especially social/spiritual entrepreneurs struggle with it. Is it honorable to make money?

    Flying Embers: "Wealth brings independence, a satisfaction that your family will be able to enjoy a comfortable home and weather life’s storms. I could go on and list countless other things that wealth brings without damning your soul.
    So, I thought I would begin to post articles concerning the attainment of wealth the way Godly people through all ages have accomplished it.
    These are the time tested, righteous pursuits of wealth that have worked in all generations. It will be worth our while to carefully consider what the wealthy say about the attainment of riches."

    I'll be checking in to see what I can learn.

    Co-published at The Dream Factory

    The Tabled Table

    I have not forgotten the TABLE acronym for Entrepreneur's Table  (See also Entrepreneur's Table on Blogger). I just haven't been able to sit there for a while. The T - was for Timely Topics and Transferable Themes. We dealt with some of those. The A was for Attitudes and we introduced that subject. The B was for Building Blocks and we dealt only with the first ( and only a couple of those. Those blocks were Principles, Priorities, People Skills, and Process. The L, whenever we get to it, is Lifestyle and the E is for Ethics.

    We addressed some principles and we will be coming back and forth to them - in fact to all of these.

    What I want to touch to this evening is one observation about people skills. We know that a big chunk of anyone's success in job or business is capacity to get along with people and that it outqweighs talent, intelligence, and even hard work. Great ideas cannot compensate for a nasty disposition.

    Here is the observation. People without people skills often take a dim view of the progress of people who have them.

    They are called by names that I really don't use or like to write, but you know them. Frequently, we find disgruntled people complaining about all of the "politics."

    Not all job and organizationa; "politics" is good - much of it is not, but what some people call "politics" is a small percentage of the work/business force going out of their way to get along with people, show respect for customers and employers, and resolving conflict in a positive way. The rest of it, is about people not doing that and reaping the consequences.

    More on this later.

    More From Starbucks

    I posted my last note from Starbucks in Clovis (Armstrong and Shaw). As much as I had touted the new lunch menu, I had not tried it. Now I can report good news. The half a taragon chicked sandwich with cranberries I tasted as a sample was delicious. The young man who enthusiastically recomended it to me was right - It goes straight to the center of your tongue and from there, to your heart.

    The main course for me, since it was mid-morning and I had not had lunch, was the cheese and fruit plate ($5.25). The bread was a little dry, but I think that was intended for stylistic purposes. The fruit was fresh; the cheese was magnificent.

    Of course, the atmosphere was perfect - no rush, friendly people, enthusiastic staff, a place to plug in my laptop, and a T-Mobile connection (that was a bit pricey).

    Now, if I could get an affiliate relationship with Starbucks --- oh never mind  --- it could effect my credibility on this particular subject.

    The point - I don't know, just a follow up. The last round of postings was a conceptual endorsement; now I can vouch for the food. Since the air-conditioner is broken in my office, I will most likely be keeping office hours there quite a bit this summer.


    My Dad, the Salesman

    Dad excelled in the sales profession. I am not sure what techniques he learned or practiced through the years to close a deal. I just know what I observed.

    It wasn't the product that intrigued him although he never sold a product in which he could not believe for any company that would not keep its promises.

    It wasn't the process although he often spoke of writing the definitive book on sales - its nuts and bolts for the everyday salesman who hammered out a living day in and day out, year by year. He did that and must have known something because somewhere between the dabbler and the superstar is the man or woman who can support a family in this profession.

    But it was neither of those two that kept him in the business. It was the people. He loved to go from place to place - no two days the same and meet new people, see old friends, talk about this and that, and help folks get what they wanted. It was the people and the conversations.

    I am sure that there are many lessons my dad taught me about sales and ministry that I learned without realzing it. I should reflect upon them someday and jot them down. However, if there were no more than this one, I'd be set for life: Put the people first.

    As he lay dying from a brain tumor, gradually losing his faculties, he became agitated one day and the family asked him if he wanted something. He mustered what were some of his last words and blurted out, "I want to talk!"

    He was a salesman to the end.

    I was just thinking about that this Father's Day.

    Business Ethics?

    Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. - Psalm 62:10

    John Maxwell wrote, "There's No Such Thing as Business Ethics" and intentionally gave it a title that needed explanation.

    From the verse above, it looks like Solomon learned a thing or two from his daddy. Both were great business men, but King David seemed to know something that thousands of corner cutters donning striped suits would have paid dearly to internalize before self-destructing.

    Business ethics are nothing more than ethics. The Golden Rule is right because it is good and good because it is right, but it also works.

    We don't have to learn one moral code for business and another for all of our other human relationships. One will do and most of it is found somewhere in the Bible.

    The MultiLeveler and Ty Tribble

    I am not in lockstep on all of Ty Tribble's conclusions at The MultiLeveler, but he has some valuable insights for bringing network marketing into the 21st century.

    Speciifcally, I don't buy Costco's assertion that its mangosteen has more Xanthones than Xango. It is not the "first to market" response that carries the day. That fact is that they cannot get as many Xanthones in the body with their extract as Xango does with the whole fruit including the pericarp where most reside.

    Then, I think his assessment of Quixtar has a mix of value (namely, suggestions for making that excelent business better) and pessimism.  Alticor may be big and it may not be as interactively savvy as market leaders, but it is making some great strides and has the credibility and structure to stand the test of time.

    Any IBO can chart the course of his or her own business by creatively working within the given parameters. I intend to learn a great deal about blog-networking from Ty.

    He is right. The industry is growing and cannot be stopped. It pays to shop for the right company and do it the right way.

    Specifically, I have extracted some key ideas:

    ""Product saturation in Network Marketing has never happened. New people still buy vitamins, make-up and phone service every day. Frankly, there has never been any proof of product saturation in the history of Network Marketing.""

    That is true and thousands turn 18 every day.

    Here is another:

    Here are some MLM 2.0 ideas:

    • Embrace Web 2.0: blogs, wikis, tags, and rss
    • Tell the truth. Most of the complaints about MLM 1.0 have to do with honesty.
    • Training your business partners should not be a profit center.
    • Don't hound people.
    • Get product pricing under control: The $80 multi-vitamin is no longer acceptable.
    • Life Balance: Exercise, Family Time, Work Time and Business Time.""

    Good stufff  - especially about integrity anmd hoesty.

    I am going to be reading the archives and keeping up with Ty's postings.

    More on Starbucks - The Third Place

    It is over halfway through the day and I am still in utter amazement at the possibilities of having lunch at Starbucks. It is like having your two best friends meet and hit it off. I can actually read a book over lunch without feeling rushed - or have a prolonged conversation - or a casual meeting. We just really need to let this sink in.

    This is a dream factory where I jump around from subject to subject as my interests vary. But I dream well in a third place and many of my entrepreneurial notions are developed there. Why not dream of more such places and gather resources as people of faith and social conscience to create them?

    Dom Nozzi captures the spirit of what I am feeling in his article, "What is a 'Third Place' and Why Are They Important."

    Nozzi is an urban designer and executive director of Walkable Streets  where they say of themselves, "Walkable Streets specializes in preparing and amending plans, land development regulations, quality of life regulations and community design recommendations. The guiding principle of Walkable Streets is that a walkable street is the fundamental building block of a quality community. Indeed, the pedestrian is the design imperative."

    Nozzi makes this statement in his article on the third place (which Starbucks touts itself as and, in my opinion, does a fairly good job of being), ""Social condensers" -- the place where citizens of a community or neighborhood meet to develop friendships, discuss issues, and interact with others -- have always been an important way in which the community developed and retained cohesion and a sense of identity."

    In my opinion, this has been one of the casualties of modernity and, perhaps one of the postive revivals of post-modernity.

    According to Nozzi, it was Ray Oldenburg who coined the term in his 1989 book, The Great Good Place Oldenburg, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Sociology at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. , according to Project for Public Spaces, "argues that bars, coffee shops, general stores, and other "third places" (in contrast to the first and second places of home and work), are central to local democracy and community vitality. By exploring how these places work and what roles they serve, Oldenburg offers placemaking tools and insight for individuals and communities everywhere."

    I borrow several of Oldenburg's quotes from the PPS site:

    “What suburbia cries for are the means for people to gather easily, inexpensively, regularly, and pleasurably -- a ‘place on the corner,’ real life alternatives to television, easy escapes from the cabin fever of marriage and family life that do not necessitate getting into an automobile.”

    “ ... Third places are nothing more than informal public gathering places. The phrase ‘third places’ derives from considering our homes to be the ‘first’ places in our lives, and our work places the ‘second.’”

    "The character of a third place is determined most of all by its regular clientele and is marked by a playful mood ...."

    “Life without community has produced, for many, a life style consisting mainly of a home-to-work-and-back-again shuttle. Social well-being and psychological health depend upon community. It is no coincidence that the ‘helping professions’ became a major industry in the United States as suburban planning helped destroy local public life and the community support it once lent.”

    Nozzi carries the issue further with insightful articles and observations. He reminds me of a long held conviction that urban planning is crucial to the well being of society and that those who engineer our contemporary cities are contributing to the engineering of our culture for years to come.

    So, social and faith-based entrereneurs must retreat to their own dream factories from time to time - sometimes at a Third Place, to reimagine what can be done - and more specifically, what THEY can do.

    In Lake Forest Park, WA., they dropped all pretense and named their coffee house/bookstore, Third Place Books . The name is enough to make me want to show up.

    There is even a web site called and imagine this: it is a church site! In Singapore!!! Rev.  Alvin Chan welcomes the community with these words:

    "The Third Place (TTP) is a preaching point and Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC), The Methodist     Church in Singapore’s attempt at meeting the spiritual needs of the younger generation.  Put together by a very young team, the church will look to build as her foundation three very   basic yet vital components"

    And then he quotes Oldenburg of all people:

    "According to Ray Oldernburg an American Sociologist   who coined this term, third places are "distinctive  informal gathering places (first being the home and the second being work).       

    • They make the one feel at home
    • They nourish relationships and a diversity of human contact
    • They help create a sense of place and community
    • They invoke a sense of civic pride
    • they provide numerous opportunities for serendipity
    • They promote companionship
    • They allow people to relax and unwind  after a long day at work;
    • They are socially binding
    • They encourage sociability instead of isolation
    • They make life more colorful"

    Was Ray right in Field of Dreams? If we build it, will they come?

    Or only if we build it right and hang out the welcome matt really well ... and serve lunch?

    Postscript: If you are really interested in this notion, Google will certainly be your friend and you can google from here:

    Dream On!



    A Multitude of Counselors

    Dennis Raup poses the question reflecting the wisdom of Solomon in Proverbs 11:14: Does your business have a multitude of counselors?

    I have been deeply immersed in Proverbs for the last year, both teaching through the book several times a week and studying it daily. No other book within the Bible or outside of the Bible contains as much wise and practical teaching for how to build a successful, honorable, and God-honoring business while maintaining balance in your personal life.

    I am becoming more and more convinced that of all the success literature written in the last century, most of it can be found in Proverbs.

    Raup is president of Faith Connections @ Work  and produces a very helpful blog worth exploring.

    Reviving the Table - at Least Ours

    Others are talking about the idea of an entrepreneur's table.

    At What a Concept, Sherry Heyl, who identifies herself as an Idealist touts innovation which takes ideas, innovation, and talent to the next level. She draws a distinction betwen the entrepreneurial principals which govern much of the business world and those that inform social entrepreneurship.

    As someone who is deeply interested and immersed in both, I propose a sysnthesis or at least concentric circles of interest.

    Sherry Heyl is cutting edge in her thinking and her material is certainly worth including in any intelligent discussion of current trends and methodologies.

    Is personal success a building block to or a result of corporate success within communities?


    Collaboration on the Eyes (IZE) of Time

    I decided to get vulnerable and ask for some collaboration from the Christian Fellowship Forum friends. Collaboration comes from the idea of co-laboring over a project.

    Frankly, there is much that I do not know about time management. As I mentioned earlier, I have much to learn. So I posted a new topic in the forum and have received some responses (Click here):

    Check out the responses and add to them - or comment here.

    Any suggestions will be welcomed and I'll give you credit when I compile them.

    I liked what I read on the Best Day and Time Management blog. Very good suggestions, but I am not sure where to send the TrackBack.

    Another great time management series is found at Amazing Time Management Secrets. One wonders how much time is might take to discover and compile such wisdom, but it is time well spent.

    Frankly, the Pickle Jar Theory is as good as any I have encountered.

    Time is precious. It is a gift of God. The book of Proverbs is a wonderful resource for learning to manage it as is the whole Bible. Much much of the practical discipline is learned by trial an error and tested in the crucible of one life at a time. We must individualize our skills based upon universal principles.

    As one old fellow said, "'Taint easy. 'Tis it?"


    I realize that I am bouncing into the middle of another outline to interject this, but some insights just came to me about time management, mainly, my time management that seemed worth sharing. I called them into my audio blog and here is the summary:

    Time has eyes. In this case, it is I-Z-E:






    I could throw in a few more just to be cute and thorough, but these may do. We can revisit categorize, synthesize, and scutinize later.

    (c) 2006, Thomas B. Sims

    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.

    Your patronage of my sponsors is appreciated:

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    More on Priorities, but Even More on Invisible Coaching

    I have a little more on priorities at The Entrepreneur's Table.

    I find that what I am most interested in is how to help other people be successful in their spiritual lives, businesses, and other endeavors.

    I always thought that being out front all the time was the name of the game, but I am getting more joy out of pushing people to the front of the line, investing in their futures, and cheering for their accomplishments.

    John said, "He must increase and I must decrease" and Jesus Himself declared that we would do greater works than Him because He was going to the Father. There are a couple of ideas related to coaching that instruct me here.

    He was predicting the coming of His Spirit who would be invisible to the world. He would also be the Paraclete/Comforter/Encourager - a inner coach that gets far less credit than He deserves while we get to be up front in service.

    The bottom line was that it was still going to be Him working through us, but THROUGH us and not outside of us. He was going to invest His very life into our lives that we might succeed in the only thing that elevates us - servanthood.

    As a coach, encourager, pastor, and friend, I take this to heart. I am nothing like the Holy Spirit and I am not Jesus - but I am in relationship with Him and am called to be His instrument. As I encourage others to move to the front, I must become less visible and totally invested in the progress of others.

    That is sound networking, sound discipleship, and sound living.

    Building Blocks - Principles

    Principles govern the universe. They flow from truth in a steady stream of endless provision. They translate the incomprehensible into concepts that we can grasp and apply. They come to us as multi-faceted diamonds and allow us to examine them from all sides as the light shines on them and illuminates the realities onto which it is deflected.

    Principles are timeless. While their specific applications may change, their nature does not.

    As sea changes occur in the way one generation perceives reality differently from the next and as world views fluctuate, it is not the place of principles to bend, but to be communicated in new ways whether by precept or by story. While the medium may be the massage, it is not the message.

    We need not be threatened by change of style, culture, and thought patterns when we understand how durable and adaptable basic principles are. Their character is not changed in the process of translation.

    In network marketing, their are numerous media for presentation of the message, as many compensation plans as there are fresh ideas, differences in nomenclature, and product variations limited only by imagination. Yet, through it all, certain principles continue to apply and, at an entrepreneur's table, these can be discussed and encouraged.

    Bypass the principles and whatever strategy you wish to employ becomes useless. Apply them and prosper.

    All of this makes sense in other contexts as well - any business, education, philosophy, and theology. Principles endure.

    Entrepreneurs' Table Part 3 - Attitude

    The A in TABLE is for attitude. Attitude determines altitude. You will fly no higher than your attitude determines. It is more important than aptitude because it is the arena of choice where you decide which opportunities to embrace, which to shun, and which to postpone.

    I take the OH GOSH approach to attitude. I will simply lay it out here and discuss it further in subsequent articles. Essentially, OH GOSH stands for Opportunity. Hope, Gratitude. Optimism, Service, and Humility.

    O = Opportunity. The attitude of a winner in network marketing or any other endeavor is that of viewing every obstacle as an opportunity for any number of valuable things including learning, growth, meeting new people, helping others, validating one's credibility, and even laying down the cobblestones of success. After all, the road to success is paved with the cobblestones of failure.

    H= Hope. Hope gets us up in the morning. It informs our attitude that it is OK to dream, plan, and work because something very likely will come of it. Hope is not a guarantee of no pain or discomfort. Rather it is something stronger than a possibility. It says that our futures are not in the hands of  a fatalistic principles of doom, but of a loving God who calls us to cooperate with Him in shaping them.

    G = Gratitude. An attitude of gratitude recognizes the debt we have for all we have been given in life. The old joke is that if you see a turtle up a tree and he tells you he got there on his own, he is either lying or he doesn't understand the nature of things, or both. (Note: I heard this in a workshop hosted by Blanchard.) We thrive on an attitude of gratitude. With it, we grow better instead of bitter through the trials of life.

    O = Optimism. We choose whether to look on the bright side or the dark side of things, to focus our gazes forward or backward, and to affirm our faith rather than our doubt. Optimism is not the foe of realism. What makes us think that pessimism is more realistic than optimism? It is often the choice that determines the outcome. Get real; bring back Pollyanna.

    S = Service. If we, who dabble or delve into to the realm of networking and other business ventures will adopt a servant attitude, we will stop wasting time complaining about our inconveniences, perceiving slights, and nursing wounds. Zig Ziglar called networkers to a higher focus when he said, "You can have anything you want if you make it your main objective to help other people get what they want." (paraphrased)

    H= Humility. If we are servants, we will be humble. We will succeed faster if we learn that it is not all about us. It is about the IT of it and it is about the other person. Humility is not negative self-image. A person with a healthy self esteem can be very humble because he/she has nothing to prove, no reputation to fight for, no need to be heard above everyone else, and is not threatened by the success of others. Humility is an attitude we will need to discuss later. It is vital.

    The Entrepreneur’s Table Part 2 - T

    The T in Table ( as in the Entrepreneur's Table)is for Timely Topics and Transferable Themes. Strategies come and go, but the basic themes have a long shelf life and are transferable from business to business. Networking is built upon values and big ideas. These can be enlivened and made more applicable through an awareness of the times. Networkers can help each other by bringing market, technological, and demographic trends to the table and discussing them in the light of timeless principles.

    1) The first theme is Vision. Some package it as a dream and others as an objective. Whatever the nomenclature, it is the big picture view of a destination that the entrepreneur has in view. It is that person's WHY. for what he or she is trying to accomplish. Without a Y, a WAY is just a WA (a meaningless moan or whine). The capacity to envision and dream is not something that we can take for granted. It must be cultivated. We were born with it, but it went dormant and needs to be revived. We can help each other dream greater dreams. Read The Dream Giver.

        The Dream Giver: Following Your God-Given Destiny - Hardcover
        By Bruce Wilkinson / Multnomah Publishers Inc.

        A WAY without a Y is a WA.

    2) Once you have a WHY and it goes to the root of your sense of mission/purpose in the world, the next component is commitment. You are either committed or not with degrees of commitment in between. The WIT principle measures that commitment. WIT says, Whatever It Takes and can be evidenced by your calendar and energy expenditures. There will be choices and the choices you make will be driven by your connection to your commitments. Being surrounded by a support system creates an avenue for accountability where we can be reminded of our commitments and encouraged to follow them.

    3) Next we need a strategy and a vehicle. Not all networking companies are created equal. Entrepreneurs needs to develop skills for evaluating integrity, marketability, and compensation systems. Once in a particular company, there are still choices to make regarding tools, marketing approaches, product emphasis selection, and other strategic initiatives. Strategies can be very transferable between businesses and may depend upon ones location and any number of factors.

    4) We need to learn how to make contact lists and where to find people. Prospecting is a skill that begins with a thought process. It is a conscious contact consciousness. An Entrepreneur's table can be a place to exchange contacts. I will address this later. Also - more on building blocks including people skills later.

    5) Tools are vital to business development. Choosing the right tools and budgeting for tools is essential to networking. Some resources and ideas can be shared across business boundaries.

    6) Contacting and inviting are two skills that are always transferable. Methods, relationships, interpersonal skills, insights into human nature, motivating factors are all timely topics for a round table discussion.

    7) How to make presentations is a topic that everyone can find beneficial. Do you use charts or booklets, PowerPoint or conference calls? Do you present over the Internet?  It is important to look at how we communicate, what holds people's attention, and how to find hot buttons. This is a vital and transferable theme.

    8) Failure at follow-up is the downfall of many a networker. Without follow-up, contacts are lost and time is wasted. Rare is the person who will follow up themselves. People are just too busy, distracted, and scattered. They do not know what they do not know. Folks need to be reminded and encouraged. How do you do it? Where do you get the courage? Are there some approaches that work and others that don't. Conserve the results of your contacting by learning the art of follow-up.

    9) Closing and enlistment are skills that we can move between business ventures. It does not matter  how much work you do in other ways until you lead a prospect to a decision. Without the decision, nothing else can happen. No one makes any money; no loves are changes; no dreams come true. Maybe we need more information on how to do this; maybe we just need encouragement. Remember a postponement is practically the same as a "no." Don't be so afraid of a "no" that you never ask for a decision. You might just get a "yes." You never will if you do not ask.

    10) Duplication is the heart and soul of network marketing. How you structure your business for duplication will determine your success. You must invest in your organization and its members. You must make sure that your best practices are things that others can take and do themselves. If you are a lone ranger, your success will be limited to what you can personally accomplish. Network marketing is about building people. Duplication is how we do that.

    So - the ten themes of T (Timely Topics and Transferable Themes) are: (1) Vision (2) Commitment (3) Strategy (4) Contact Lists (5) Tools (6) Contacting and Inviting (7) Presentation (8) Follow-up (9) Closing/Enlisting ( Duplication).

    In my next posting I will deal with the A which stands for Attitude and we will apply the "Oh Gosh" approach to attitude adjustments.

    As a preview, the B will be for Building Blocks, the L for Lifestyle, and the E for Ethics.


    The Entrepreneur’s Table

    I believe in network marketing for a number of reasons. The most important one is that at the heart of networking in a high value placed on people helping people, cheering for each others' success, and lifting up those that we introduce to business opportunities.

    I have friends in various sub-industries of network marketing and have examined numerous compensation plans. There are similarities and differences in all of them, but at the core of each there are sets of life and business principles that are transferable from company to company. Because of that, I have growing interest in the development of a training system and support process that can be used by different business groups.

    Along with that, I am convinced that something like a leads group, specific to the network marketing industry might be of help. Not every company is for every person. People gravitate toward their interests and expertise.

    What I am presenting is an Entrepreneur's TABLE with table as an acronym for five areas of interest that I will introduce in my next posting.