105 results found

  • Backstabbed or Hurt in Business? How Christian Entrepreneurs Should React

    I had this contractor that frustrated the heck out of me, but she was so darn good at what she did! When I had her full attention, it was like magic.  But then she would disappear, not hearing from her for days or weeks, only to reappear ready to work harder than ever. Some of us entrepreneurs don’t have the patience for this.  We feel wronged when the very people we look to serve, turn around, and hurt us. This happens with clients, vendors, contractors…You name it.  It’s happening all around us in business. What do we do when we’re stabbed in the back, spit on, stepped over, or downright shamed by others in our business? What I’ve learned in this area of business has helped me propel forward in ways you wouldn’t imagine. When people wrong me, I love them more.  When people let me down, I raise them up and show grace. But how?  I’ll admit that it’s tough. The deal is this: business is not meant to be done alone and you’re dealing with imperfect people along the way.  You can have a rule that you don’t deal with people like this, but you’ll end up jaded and alone in your office, subject to only being able to do what’s within your capacity to do. Or….You can learn what I’ve learned from the bible about how to deal with imperfect people and situations. In the book of Genesis, we have the story of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his own brothers and served under the rule of Pharaoh in Egypt.  But 20 years later, Joseph negotiates with his captors the safe passage of his brothers back to their land. So let me get this straight.  He buddies up with his “slave master” and then helps us so-called traitorous “brothers”.  Am I missing something here?  The two very people he should hate…He’s negotiating with. If we’d admit, whenever we’re in a situation like this in business, most of us won’t really do anything.  Instead, we hope the problem or the person goes away.  We won’t put in the work that it takes to internally forgive and forget and move on. The bible says “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors." (Genesis 45:4‭-‬7 NLT) Joseph couldn’t control people or his environment.  He could only control the way in which he showed patience, forgiveness, and grace. The alternative was to live with anger, resentment, bitterness, and revenge. Loving people takes making risks. It takes faith. It takes a commitment to fight through challenges when we really just want to flee the situation. Maybe you feel that way about certain employees or clients that have done something wrong in your book.  Despite the circumstances, you must choose to keep trusting and loving the people around you because you never know when and where you will meet and need each other. We should never waste an opportunity to serve – even those who have wronged us. These are the very people that God is using to propel your born to do identity.  It’s these very people that will reveal to us the reason we’ve suffered in business. Clients, prospects, mentors, and vendors – they all serve a purpose beyond what we can see right now. #HiringtheRightPeople

  • How Christian-Owned Agencies Fix Client Relationships Gone Bad

    As an entrepreneur since 2005, I’ve been in and out of many client relationships. Many of them have been great, but some became confrontational and toxic. But the toxic relationships didn’t start out like that. At the beginning we were really excited to work together. We tend to think that all client problems stem from money or big personality differences. Sometimes they do, but many client problems can be caused by something completely different. The Hunt and Kill Model Very often, the lack of love isn’t because of a one-time mistake but a subtle ongoing pattern of behavior, leading to what I call “the hunt and kill”. I know that probably sounds pretty random, so allow me to elaborate. I’m always more excited at the beginning of a client relationship than towards the end. There’s something exciting about the beginning. Maybe it’s the ‘chase’ of the sale? The pursuit to ‘take down’ a new contract makes me feel like a lion that’s caught it’s prey. Then I eat. I’m satisfied. Then I walk away to sleep and let the vultures have the scraps. Sadly, at the beginning I treat my customers with amazing care and attentiveness when I’m first trying to seal the deal, but once I’ve got them, customer service takes a nose dive. The branding and marketing industry (and probably others) seems focused on a model of treating people really well at first but then taking them for granted in the long run. Do you operate this way too? In the beginning, you’re trying to win the client’s attention, you’re rolling out the red carpet! You give the very best of yourself, but it doesn’t last long. Once the day-to-day project sets in, you stop doing all those things you did in the beginning. You take your client for granted, and it isn’t long before both you and your client start longing for something new where you’ll have your desires satisfied again. It doesn’t have to be this way! Client relationships should grow stronger with time. Both, should continue pursuing, encouraging, and loving each other through all the seasons of business relationship. The bible says Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:9‭-‬18 NIV If, like me, you find yourself in a hunt and kill mindset right now, don’t lose hope! Don’t throw away your client relationships just to start a new one with other client and repeat the same cycle. Make a commitment to transform your business and mindset. Stop taking your clients for granted. Your best days together can still be ahead of you and not behind you. Wherever you are in your business model and client relationships, I believe you can grow stronger with time. Any lack of forethought to the client relationship could end up disastrous, but any relationship given thought and consistent investments of time and focus will flourish until the end. When a business chooses to serve their clients like Jesus served, the relationship instantly improves. When you and your clients reach the end of your time together, what will matter most will be the moments you served each other and the moments you served alongside each other. When we remove selfishness from our business relationships, love will be all that remains. That’s the kind of love that can change you as a Godpreneur and change the world through your business. #AgencyOwners #StrengtheningMyBusinessPartnership

  • Making Business Partnerships Great: Part 3 – 50/50 is Not Real

    When I first stayed my agency with my partners, the agreement was to split the company 3 ways. We’d each get 33%, which in all of our minds meant that we’d each put in equal parts work. Seems fair, right? The problem is that we each have a different definition of work and value, therefore there is no equal scale to evaluate sweat equity work put in. This expectation isn’t real, and it led to many disappointments and struggles in my business partnership. When we experience disappointment in business and it’s no one’s fault (such as a hurricane or loss of contract due to a client closing their business), we generally get upset and figure out how to move on. It’s the disappointments that point back to our unrealistic expectations for each other that tend to be stickier. These hard-to-shake disappointments can sometimes be described as disordered attachments—misplaced desires that compete with God for our heart. By following the thread that runs through our disappointments and our persistent anger, we can uncover their origin. My business partners and I have had our share of sticky disappointments; that’s part of what broke us up in 2013. When we got together to create our agency, naïve optimism overshadowed the reality that one of them was ambivalent if we grew or not, the other had a very short fuse, and neither liked doing the sales. That same optimism obscured the reality that I struggle to need them, I am too quick to judge, and prefer doing the selling! These partnership speed bumps were definitely not marked with fluorescent orange paint or signage of any sort. After we twisted and turned and experienced whiplash on the roller-coaster of entrepreneurship more times than I care to admit, it began to dawn on me that perhaps I needed to find a more productive, less destructive path through my disappointments. I asked probing questions such as, What if rather than blaming each other for our disappointments, I confessed my failures and owned my areas of weakness? What if I looked at the disappointments to discern if they revealed any egocentric expectations, disordered attachments, or misplaced hopes? Once I stopped avoiding these seemingly problematic feelings and started investigating them, something shifted. We’ve all been to weddings and heard 1 Corinthians 13 over and over. Did you know that this verse was not written for husband’s and wives. It’s for all of us. You love your business partner, right? I do. Not the same love as my wife, but brotherly love. Now read this verse with them in mind: "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance". 1 Corinthians 13:4‭-‬7 NLT Again, this verse was written for all of us. We just have been acclimated to attach it to married couples. Rather than continuing to blame my partners for my disappointment, I started asking God to help me do three things: repent of any unfair expectations appreciate my partner’s strengths, and develop reality-based expectations. Of these three objectives, developing reality-based expectations has been the most difficult. My unrealistic expectation of everyone working equal amounts died a slow death because I clung on to it. Clinging is a form of denial that masquerades as hope. We persist in clinging because it gives us something to hold on to and allows us to sidestep the hard work of changing what we have control over: ourselves. You are learning to let go of your unrealistic expectations by choosing an internal posture of holy resignation. Practically speaking, holy resignation means accepting and loving your business partners without demanding that he or she change, resisting the vortex of despair and blame, and standing in faith that God will complete a good work in the business—regardless of current circumstances. Imagine if everyone in the partnership had this holy resignation? Businesses that we do business with would produce a great experience because there would be this culture of love and respect that would start at the top, permeate through the employees, and make it down to me and you – the consumer. #BusinessBibleStudy #BusinessPartnerships Finding Purpose In Your Business Partnership You and your business partner are unique individuals and God is creative in the way He wants to use both of your gifts together. Heard of the Godpreneur Academy? Grow Your Business, God’s Way! Bible-Based Video Courses for Entrepreneurs Putting God First In their Businesses Click here to create a Free Account*

  • Slacker Employees: How to Handle Them for Success

    I’m one of those entrepreneurs that has bought into the mentality of “nobody can do it better than I can.” So when someone did or handled something differently, it was often less trouble for me to just go ahead and do their task for them! The problem with this is that I’m enabling my employees or contractors to ‘slack’ if I continue on like this. They will know that I’ll come in to fix things up, so they perform with such expectations. The bigger issue comes from my reading today in proverbs: PRO 18:9 says “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.” So not only am I wasting time doing work I shouldn’t be doing, I’m also putting my employees in a vulnerable position of being a slacker. Although it may require more from us as entrepreneurs, we are doing our employees a far greater service when we resist doing something they need to do for themselves. I’ll admit that most of the times I take over a project or task, its my own fault because I didn’t give enough training, instruction or deadline. We are serving our employees best when we are pouring into them, teaching them our “secrets” and spending extra time with them when we notice they did something we would have done differently…not just taking over the task. I need to redefine what it means to serve our employees. God instructs leaders to teach their followers how to handle responsibility. Lets serve our team by teaching them how to be the best. #entrepreneur #humanresources #proverbs

  • The 19 Rules of Money Management for Christian Entrepreneurs – Rule 6: Invest Part of Your Por

    I think Missionaries have the hardest, yet most rewarding job on the planet. They get to invest in people’s lives down here, who will one day join them in heaven. Could you imagine being thanked in heaven by someone who’s like “Hey man, thanks for telling me about Jesus, I’m here because of you!” We entrepreneurs can also participate in missions. I don’t mean that you should go on a mission (of course you can go on a short-term mission – I go on two missions per year). What I mean is that God’s given us the opportunity to make money and support things that will bring people to Christ! So how can we do this? Jesus says in Luke 16:9 “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”(Luke 16:9 ) You and I have businesses that accumulate worldly wealth. It’s paper money that we don’t take with us when we’re gone. It’s the house and car that don’t follow us to heaven. But what Jesus is indicating is that there is something that DOES follow us to heaven: people we directly or indirectly lead to Christ. This is how you invest in heaven. A portion of your investment portfolio can and should go directly towards efforts in bringing people to Christ. Here are some practical ways Tithe – when you give money to your church, they are supposed to be using it to grow the church. The more the church grows, the more people come to know Christ. You had an indirect impact. Great investment! Support a Missionary – Maybe you’re not going to stop everything you’re doing to go to Guatemala for five years to do mission work and plant churches. But my friend Gabriel is! And my friend Stacy is going on missions too! You and I have friends that do mission work. Invest in them. Lunch with Colleagues – God’s put employees, vendors, contractors, partners, prospects, and clients all around us. Business is our mission field! You can set aside a budget for taking individuals out to lunch the purpose of Discipleship and ministering the gospel. However you choose, a portion of your investment money should be used to bring people to Christ. Purpose to add that line item to your budget sheet. It’s the best financial investment a Godpreneur can make! “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21) We can send investments to heaven not only because people will meet us there, but because it makes sure our heart is in the right place to continue to receive MORE of God’s financial blessing. When He sees that we understand the true investment, He channels more money and opportunity our way. Godpreneur Money Rule #6: Godpreneurs make investments into eternity by investing money into spreading the gospel. #BusinessBibleStudy #FindingMyPurpose #ShareYourTestimony The 19 Rules of Money Management for Christian Entrepreneurs This course will help you develop a better sense of money management God’s way. Heard of the Godpreneur Academy? Grow Your Business, God’s Way! Bible-Based Video Courses for Entrepreneurs Putting God First In their Businesses Click here to create a Free Account

  • Control Freak Entrepreneurs – Stop

    I like updating my own website.  I enjoy composing my weekly emails that go out from Creative Complex and sending them out.  I love project managing.  I’m also good at following up on my sales calls, collecting credit cards and booking appointments. Can you believe that even though I had an assistant, a project manager, a web developer, and an account executive, I still performed all of their jobs?!?! What a mistake on so many levels.  But the biggest mistake in doing this was that I was robbing others from growing…from flying from their nest and soaring with me. We can do that sometimes as entrepreneurs.  We think that we’re the only ones that can do it the best.  We get impatient.  We step in to help at the first sign of something not going they way we would do it. Deuteronomy 32:11 says Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions. Godpreneurs realize that there are times you step into problems, but its momentary.  In the end, the goal is to let that person learn how to soar like you so you can let God take you to places you’ve never imagined. As for me…I USED to like doing all of those tasks I mentioned at the beginning.  But…I don’t do them anymore.  Even though I’m great at these things, I have people on my team that are flying because I let them go. Godpreneur Rule #42:  Let go of the tasks so your team can face and solve problems on their own and learn to soar with you. #Delegation #Deuteronomy #humanresources

  • 10 Ways to Show Your Employee Appreciation TODAY

    Whether dealing with employees, partners or contractors, I often took my team for granted.  Showing courtesy, gratitude, and care for others might happen in the first couple of months of knowing the person, but that wore off for me. The same person whom, once upon a time, I wanted to do work with and was excited to have on my team, now likely feels unappreciated by me for all that they do for me everyday. Why is it that today if a new client comes knocking at the door with business, we jump to thank them even before the job is done, and yet, we show little or no gratitude to the people on our team that make it happen? What we fail to realize is that expressing gratitude benefits both parties in the relationship—the recipient and the giver. When we give appreciation to those that work for us, we often receive even more in return! Research shows that employees that felt more gratitude feel more attached to the business and are more pleased to come into work even the following day.  Satisfaction goes up!  Gratitude is a boost to get people on your vision and riding the rocket with you.  It will also help employee retention, so people stay with you longer. The bible says “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  God is asking us to be grateful because it takes our focus off of the NEGATIVE (which is our tendency) and places it in the POSITIVE (which is where God wants us). Every day we have the awesome opportunity to show appreciation to the people that help run your entrepreneurial machine.  Here are some simple ways to show employees, contractors, vendors, partners, joint venture partners, and clients well-deserved appreciation everyday: Thank your employee because they care, not because it’s their job. When your employee is doing their job, don’t just think “well, that’s what I pay them for”.  You may be taking their work for granted just because you’re also doing your job.  Appreciate the fact that they are a component of the machine you’re building and without them the thing doesn’t run as well. Tell them why you appreciate them. So it’s one thing for your employee to hear “Man, I’m really grateful to have you on my team”.  It’s a whole different story to follow it up with “I sleep better at night knowing I have you on my team”. Be creative in expressing recognition. Saying the same thing over and over becomes bland.  People become numb to it.  Try more personalized phrases:  “I’m grateful when…”, “I’m blessed to…”.  Simply pick a different way of showing the same appreciation.  The English language allows for millions of combinations. Appreciate the time and mindset, not only the results. Even when your employees goof up and are unable to deliver up to your expectations, thank them for their effort and time. If your contractor forgets to do a task from a long list of tasks, or if he or she burns the cookies, don’t make them feel all their work was wasted. “It’s not a big deal. Thank you for your effort.”  (personally, I would also follow it up with how it could have been done differently) Look for positives to appreciate even in negative circumstances. My mom is great at seeing the good in everyone, everything, every situation.  How many times have you gotten the “I’m running late,” or “I can’t come in today,” or “I’m backed up.”  Instead of moaning and groaning, thank the fact that they are even telling you this in advance.  This will make them want to “make up” for it. Surprise “Thank You” notes. I’ve written thank you cards, sent text messages, wrote emails, posted on employee’s Facebook walls, and left sticky notes on their desk.  You don’t have to do this daily.  With the 5 examples I just gave, you have one for every week of the month.  Then figure out other ways and come back to repeat any later on.  These can make their day. Let them know how important they are to your success. As an entrepreneur, we are only as strong as the people working in our machine.  Even if you’re a solo-preneur, you still count on vendors, affiliates or contractors to help you succeed.  Count your blessings and accomplishments in business, and inform your team about the impact they have in your success.  Appreciate how your people contribute to the achievement of your personal goals. Praise in private and public. It’s nice to be praised at your desk, but it’s even better to be recognized publicly.  You can send an email blast, post on the company Facebook page and bring it up at the next meeting.  Find ways to appreciate publicly. Go out of your way when they need help. The best way to show gratitude is showing up with they need help.  Praying for someone who is down, buying their tires and having them pay you back slowly, or just listening when they need to talk.  Some times you can offer to do their job for them so they can take a break if you see them down. Give a Gift. Nothing says thank you like a gift.  For some employees this will be the best thing ever, but for others it won’t be as impactful.  You won’t know until you try it.  The more thought that went into the gift, the bigger the impact. Your Entrepreneur Compass, Alex Miranda COMMENT BELOW:  What are some ways you show your team gratitude?  Sound off below. #gratidute #humanresources

  • 2 Steps to Disciplining Employees – God’s Way

    I’m not sure if I told you, but I stink at managing people. Its something that doesn’t come as natural as marketing does. I have to constantly work at it because as an entrepreneur, you’ll always be in situations of managing people. And with management, inevitably you have to discipline people. Someone is going to screw up. I’m not sure if I’ve met someone that loves to discipline people, so I’m sure it’s a touchy subject. I know some are better than others at it. Can we admit that sometimes we’ve blown up and handled a disciplining moment horribly wrong. How would God want you to discipline employees? Well, the same way He disciplines me and you. PROVERBS 3:11-12 says “My son, do not despise the Lord ’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” These verses show entrepreneurs what their attitude should be as they discipline their employees. Notice that God loves and delights in his children even as He corrects them. His discipline is not intended as harsh punishment, but as a loving act to encourage growth and maturity. And don’t we want our employees to grow? But sometimes, however, we react in ways that are designed to meet OUR needs instead of recognizing the bigger purpose of our discipline in growing our businesses. We can avoid being reactive if we come up with a game plan in advance. 1) When you are calm, think of appropriate consequences for the ways your employees are likely to disobey or mess up. 2) Recognize your weak areas (a tendency to rescue, lecture, or yell) and think of alternative ways you could respond. I have a tendency to NOT discipline at all because I don’t like confrontation. Instead I do the job myself and avoid the gut wrenching conversations. Discipline that is delivered calmly, consistently, and empathetically will be less likely to receive a rebellious response. Discipline helps employees grow when it is delivered with empathy and love. #humanresources #godpreneur #businesswithpurpose #proverbs #discipline

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