A short time back, I had a discussion with a woman who worked at a small day care center and was replacing her driver license. As we talked, she explained that a mother came to pick up her child. When the day care worker went to get the baby, the mother ran around the counter and stole her purse before the day care worker returned with the child. The whole incident was recorded on video, but the mother was not caught until after she had charged over $3,000 on the credit card and thrown the contents of the purse away.

To make matters worse, the day care worker explained, the child had recently been sick and in the hospital. The staff of the day care had gone to visit the child in the hospital and had even brought food for the family. After all this, the mother showed her gratitude by stealing the purse.

Those types of stories are almost enough to make you never trust anyone at all.

It reminds me a lot of Joseph. Over and over in his life, Joseph was beat down and usually by the people he was closest to or he had helped the most. His brothers sold him into slavery, his master’s wife accused him of attacking her and a man he had helped greatly, totally forgot him.

But, Joseph always came out on top. It seems each time life knocked him down, he recovered and came out better than before. Ultimately, he became Pharaoh’s second in command and was literally in charge of the mightiest nation of the time.

But what was it that made Joseph successful? I suspect that it shows up in the passage from his time in prison.

Genesis 39 – 20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority,[a] because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.

Joseph never gave up and God blessed what he did, not what he wanted to do or should have done. God blessed what he put his hand to. Time and again, scripture shows Joseph focusing on his work and doing the best job he could possibly do. Realize, too, this was not a period of few days. This occurred over years.

Joseph is one of our greatest models for being a success and Bible is clear how he did it.

Diligent Work + Perseverance

That was his secret. Not much more to it.

As Christians in the market place, we will get hurt by people close to us. Look at these examples and see if you’ve experienced something similar.

An employee quits and takes business with them. And it’s usually the employee that you invested the most into their training.

You lose an account with a customer that you’ve bent over backwards to help because they were in a bind. You cut your profit margin down to nothing and extended credit. Now they’ve taken their business elsewhere and aren’t even paying back what they owe.

In my line of business, we see embezzlement cases on a regular basis. When the dust settles, the owners usually state that it was the person they trusted the most. It was their ‘right hand man/woman’.

That is so disheartening, but our job is not to clam up and shut out the human race. We are to continue being a light on the hill.

Often times, we meander through life wondering why things have happened to us, when we should continue to focus on our task at hand and not giving up. With that in mind, Paul’s words make even more sense when he says:

Galatians 6 – 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Seriously?!?! A book about Duck Dynasty?

Indeed I am serious in including this as a recommended reading for Christian businessmen and women. Don’t get me wrong; I love John Maxwell’s books as much as the next guy. But sometimes it’s nice to kick back with a light read that is still in my niche. When I read this book, I had never seen an episode of Duck Dynasty, but my brother-in-law insisted that I read this book. I finally read it just to shut him up, but I’m glad I did.

Duck Dynasty is a series on A&E about the Robertson family who own and operate Duck Commander, a duck call company in the heart of southern Louisiana. The book is written by Willie Robertson and his wife Korie. Willie is one of the sons of Phil Robertson (aka the Duck Commander). Though not the oldest son, Willie became the CEO of the family business. This is the story of a Christian family who relied on their faith to build a business. It includes their trials and obstacles as well as their successes.

There are several light hearted stories of the family’s struggles to build the business. There are also several deep stories of the hard times. Sprinkled throughout are wild game recipes, Southern anecdotes, and scriptures the family leaned on. If you are a fan of the series, you’re sure to enjoy the details of what goes on behind the scenes.

Although you won’t find a ‘How-To’ manual for running a business as a Christian, you will find a true story about a real family running a real business while keeping God at the front of their business. It’s entertaining and heart-warming. I doubt you’ll walk away from this book thinking it’s the best book you’ve ever read. However, if you are anything like me, I’ll bet you’ll enjoy the change of pace, will learn a few things in the process and will be glad you did read it.

A Charmed Life

April 23, 2013

I have a friend who has been very successful in business. Not just business, but everything he has put his hand to. Many years ago, he started his business in his garage, and now that same business is worth millions (plural). His marriage is strong. He has a big house, new cars, and the finest of things. His family is wonderful.  In fact, for all intensive purposes, he is living a blessed life. Non-believers would say a ‘charmed life’.

He reminds me, in a way, of Joseph.

Genesis 41

42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” [click to continue…]

Matthew 22:21b – Then saith He unto them, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s”.

I was talking with a professor from a local Christian university about his dealings with the student body. During the conversation the professor mentioned something very interesting about his students who were residents of other states.  He said that these non-resident students had figured out that they didn’t have to pay for the toll roads because the state’s toll system could not enforce the penalties of vehicles caught on camera through another state.

I responded that the professor should encourage those students to be careful to whom they tell that story. As a former executive recruiter for a Fortune 100 company, any claims or statements such as this would be grounds to not hire. [click to continue…]

Your attitude and mine have one thing in common: we own them. The reason it is called “my” attitude is because “I” own it. Over the years, I have learned how to consistently have a great attitude.

There are many things in life you can’t control. On the other hand, there are many that you can.  You can’t control many of the circumstances of a situation, but you can control how you react to those circumstances. You can’t control how people treat you, but you can control how you let that make you feel. It boils down to attitude. And that you own.

Your attitude on a particular situation: You Own It

Your attitude on a relationship: You Own It

Your attitude on life in general: (that’s right) You Own It

So what is the secret to having a positive attitude? [click to continue…]

If you’ve read the About page, you know I feel one of the greatest challenges of being a Christian in the marketplace is the feeling of separation. The feeling of being the only Christian in a crowded business world. Even surrounded by members of a church, we often feel isolated because the others are not business people. One of Satan’s greatest weapons he uses against us is to make us feel apart from other believers and convincing us we are the only person with the struggles we are facing. For those who have had the misfortune to see a coyote kill a lamb, his first tactic is get it separated from the flock.

Developing relationships with believers who are in similar life situations is extremely beneficial. As Christian businessmen and women, it is important to not only surround ourselves with other believers, but those who are involved in business. These Christians can provide support and encouragement in a way that non-business believers could never provide.

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

Several years ago, as I struggled to balance my faith in the business world, I was blessed to have been introduced to the International Fellowship of Christian Businessmen ( or IFCB). This organization is a group of believers in business. These men come from all backgrounds; painters, CEOs, doctors, software developers, oil drillers, insurance salesmen… There are no political parties, no denominations and no hidden agendas. The only mission of the IFCB is to strengthen, encourage and disciple Christian businessmen. [click to continue…]

EntreLeadership is one of the best business books I’ve read in many years. I have a bookcase full of business books and this is one of my favorites. Fair warning up front: EntreLeadership is not a Christian book on business. It is a business leadership book written from a Christian perspective. If you’re looking for a business book filled with rainbows, unicorns and the lyrics to ‘Kumbaya’, then I would recommend you go no further.  But if you want real life business leadership counsel from a Christian man who’s been there and done that, then this may be a book for you. [click to continue…]

A Witness to Your Employees

January 15, 2013

Colossians 4:1 – Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. One of the responsibilities of leadership is to provide the proper example.  Our employees look to us for guidance, not just in what we say, but what we do. They feed off [...]

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A Light in the Community

January 8, 2013

Matthew 5:14-16  You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that [...]

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The Importance of a Mentor

January 1, 2013

Proverbs 12:15 - The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. Though it was a vogue concept several years ago, talk of having a mentor has waned over the past several years.  Since biblical wisdom has no expiration date, having a mentor in your life is just [...]

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