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Biblical Business Principles To Help Any Business Grow

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Business leaders often wonder where they can find the best business advice and counsel in order to build their business. Although good business counsel can be found in a plethora of books, there is only one book that contains all of the best business secrets that business leaders need to know to build a successful business and life. That sacred book is the Bible. I have studied the Bible for years and have often read the words for encouragement, consolation, improvement, and inspiration. I have also found that it contains the best principles to build a successful business. The following principles will help any leader grow their business and kingdom impact so they will be able to hear the words “Well Done” both in this life and the next.

Principle #1 – Always Take The Second Step

Go a little further. Always do more than anticipated and expected. Surprise others by paying attention to the little things that others don’t. Be different.

A principle that is helpful in building a life and building a business is the principle of going the second mile. Good companies develop a second-mile mentality. Jesus himself gives this principle in Matthew 5:41. The New Century Version records the statement as, “If someone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles.” Jesus gives this principle to his followers as a way for them to separate themselves from the culture in which they were living to help others to see Him more clearly. In business, we also need to separate ourselves so that others can see our business more clearly. Too many companies expect second-mile results without giving second-mile effort. It is always a good idea to do more than expected. Every company would be wise to cultivate a second-mile mentality throughout their business.

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Too many businesses expect second-mile results without giving second-mile effort. Ken Gosnell

Principle #2 – The Golden Rule Works If You Work It.

Make People First Things. Think of others first. Treat others like you want to be treated. Practice thoughtfulness. When you think of the customers, they will think of you.

A helpful Biblical Principle on which to build a business is found in Luke 6:31. This verse, which is known as the Golden Rule, states that we should “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Many great businesses use this principle as the foundation for their business. J.C. Penny used just this one principle to start and grow his business into a thriving corporation. He once was quoted as having said, “I cannot remember a time when the Golden Rule was not my motto and precept, the torch that guided my footsteps.” The concept is to consider others first. The wise business leader and business will always treat others as they would like to be treated.

Companies that don’t think of their customers will not be thought of by their customers.

Principle #3 – Focus on Profit With a Purpose

Know your priorities. Live life and run your business with purpose and vision. Profit is powerful. Profit used well can lead to both success and significance. Attract others to your Mission and your Dream. Always Explain your Why.

Every successful business creates profits. It is often quoted in business circles that you don’t have a business until you have a profit. Every company has been established and designed to create a profit. However, Christian leaders understand that the wrong profit can be damaging. A biblical principle that Christian leaders must follow is to build businesses that have a profit with a purpose. Jesus asked his followers in Mark 8:36 “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” This verse teaches a powerful principle that every Christian leader should follow.

Profit is Good, Profit Used for Good is Better

Principle #4 – Know Your Yeses and Your Nos.

Be decisive and make great decisions. Make decisions based on values. Know You “No’s.” Say Yes to those things that will make you and organization better. Live up to your Word. Make your signature mean something. Fulfill your commitments.

Great Decisiveness is a key to influential leadership. People cannot follow a person that does not know where they are going or why they are going in the direction that they are going. Jesus gives a secret to leaders when in Matthew 5:36, 37 he states “And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” The power to say yes or no quickly means that you know where you are going and what you are trying to accomplish. Make your words mean something. Develop and build trust relationships by conveying to others that they can count on you and your commitments. Many leaders lose their influence with others because they commit to aspirational yeses. Leaders must know their “no’s” and be quick to say yes or no.

Know Your No’s because your no’s make all the difference.

Principle #5 – Make the Move From Owner to Overseer

Practice steward leadership. Use the resources wisely. Remember that God’s owns it all and He will reward those that use his resources to their maximum capability. Be ready to give an answer for all of your decisions. Seek to hear the words “well done.”

An essential shift for Christian business owners is moving from ownership to stewardship. Jesus told a story in Matthew about a faithful servant. He ends the story in Matthew 25:23 with these words, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” Well Done, those two words are two of the most powerful words in the English language. It should be the desire of every Christian business owner to hear these words at the end of their journey.

Well Done, those two words are two of the most powerful words in the English language.

Principle #6 – Trust the Law of Sowing and Reaping

Sow bountifully. Be generous with your seeds. Plant daily. Be constantly trying new things. Don’t be afraid to start small. Practice patience.

Laws of life can be trusted because they have been proven through time. Successful businesses know and trust the law of sowing and reaping. In 2 Corinthians 9:6 the Bible states that “the point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” The New Living Translation of the Bible records this principle with these words. “Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.” Don’t be afraid of starting with a small seed. The harvest you are reaping today is from the seeds that you planted yesterday. Another part of the Bible reminds the readers that we will reap what we sow. therefore sow bountifully and be on a constant lookout to reap your harvest.

The harvest you reaping today is from the seeds that you planted yesterday.

Principle #7 – Believe and Ask for the Impossible.

Dream Big Impossible Dreams. Set big spiritual goals. Stretch yourself and your team. Find new ways to look at old problems. Embrace belief. Pray big prayers and expect bigger answers.

Everything great starts with a dream. The world is better when people dream big and believe that impossible things can happen. Challenge yourself to ask “what if” questions and use your imagination to see the world in new and different ways. People desire to be with leaders and organizations who have big visions. Ephesians 3:20,21 states, “20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” God wants to do things that amaze you. Dream big and ask God to do more than you ask or dream. A big vision inspires and attracts. Supersize your thoughts and your beliefs.

What seems impossible with man, is possible with God.

Principle #8 – Build To The 4th Generation

Work on big 7 year projects. Always do the right thing. Know your core values and beliefs. Be forward thinking. Make decisions with tomorrow in mind. Prepare for the future by making the right decision today. Know your foundation.

Don’t waste time building things that won’t last the test of time. Building on the right foundation will help your business stand through the storms of market changes. A key to building a great business is to act with integrity in all situations. Integrity means doing the right thing in all situations at all times. Martin Luther King Jr. taught that “The time is always right to do what is right.” He might have taken his inspiration from the words of Proverbs 4:25-27 where the Bible teaches, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Businesses that are built on a solid foundation are built to last generations. Companies that lack a solid foundation are built on slippery ground that can crumble at any time.

Our destiny unfolds in the future but it is shaped by the decisions that we make today.

Principle #9 – Know the Order of Things and Work the Order.

Strive for clarity. Seek first the principles of God and His kingdom. Know your priorities. Practice the art of first fruits in all aspects of your life and leadership.

Order is important. When a leader understands the order of things, things become easier to understand. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus gave his followers a powerful principle to follow. Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The first three words of this verse are very instructive. Those words are “but seek first.” A great principle to practice in business is to focus on first things. When a leader understands the order of things, things can become easier to understand. A leader must be clear and push for clarity in all things. Make God and His principles your top priority. Trust His order and seek first His kingdom.

When a leader understands the order of things, things become easier to understand.

Principle #10 – Improve Your Team To Improve Your Organization

Find the right and best people to bring around you. Make people your top priority. Learn from everyone. Spend time with a wise team of mentors. Learn faster by learning from others. Ask questions and listen. Seek counsel. Help people to discover their gifts and talents. Find passionate and reliable people.

Great leaders learn from others to learn faster. You need a team around you to inspire you and help you build something bigger than you can build alone. No great leader ever led alone. Find your passion and add passionate people to your team. A passionate person is worth four regular people. Passionate people perform better. Ephesians 2:10 which states, “You are God’s workmanship who has been created to do good works that God has prepared in advance.” The power of this principle is both profound and amazing. This verse reminds the Christian business leader that they have been formed with a purpose. In fact, not only have they been formed with a purpose, every person on their team has been formed with a purpose. When a company finds the gifts and passions of their people and discern how to release those passions then higher productivity is enjoyed by the person and the company. Passionate people are reliable people. The wisdom of others can be powerful. Every great leader in the Bible had at least one advisor. However, many business leaders try to do things all on their own. In fact, it is often said that it is lonely at the top. It is only lonely at the top if you are trying to lead alone. Steward leaders believe in the power of others.

When your people get better your organization gets better.

Principle #11 – Do Things Today That Will Impact Today and Tomorrow

Invest wisely. Don’t forget to invest in yourself. Make the right investments to help the business to grow. Invest in your people. Invest to grow your commitment and your passion.

A principle that has shaped many businesses and business leaders is Matthew 6:21. Matthew states that “Where your treasure is, there is where your heart will be also.” Investment is another term for treasure. Leaders are called to lead with passion or all of their heart. Therefore a leader must make investments wisely. Leaders in businesses are called upon to make many investments. A leader must make use of the resources of the company to make the right investments in the business, people, and infrastructure. When businesses are invested in wisely, the business will grow. Good investments set the direction and the path of a business to ensure its growth and development. When a business is neglected, it is doomed to shrink and die.

When businesses are invested in wisely, the business will grow.

Principle #12 – Work To Well Done

Excellent work is worthy work. Do everything for a bigger purpose and a nobler cause. Innovate. Always improve and strive to make products and service better. Always Upgrade and Improve. Think long term. Think eternally. Show Your Value Through Products that are of High Quality.

Building a business on Biblical principles requires a change of perspective. One essential attitude that is essential for Christian leaders is to practice excellence at all times and in all situations. The apostle Paul wrote these critical words in Colossians 3:23,24. He said “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Paul was reminding Christian leaders of the higher call that is their lives. Christians are not called to do work that is average, but rather Christians are called to do all of their work with excellence in a way that honors God. When you work towards excellence in everything you are on your way to hearing the “well done” from your employees, your customers, and your God.

Excellent Work Is Eternal Work.

These principles are taken from the book “Well Done” The 12 Biblical Business Principles That Leaders Can Use To Grow Their Business and Kingdom Impact. You can get the book at: https://www.amazon.com/WELL-DONE-Biblical-Business-Principles-ebook/dp/B08KRZZ2PB/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=well+done+ken+gosnell&qid=1602940430&sr=8-1Busi

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Ken Gosnell is the CEO and Servant Leader of CEO Experience (CXP). His company serves Christian CEOs and leaders by helping them to hear the words Well Done. CEO Experience provides great retreat experiences for CEOs that both transform them and their organizations that enable them to go further faster. Ken is the publisher of the CXP CEO Executive Guide that is designed to help leaders learn faster by encouraging them to give themselves a monthly learning retreat. His monthly CEO retreats have helped thousands of CEOs and their leadership teams to enhance strategic, operational, and people accomplishments. He is a keynote speaker, executive coach, and strategic partner with CEOs and successful business leaders. He is also the author of the book Well Done - Biblical Business Principles leaders can use to Grow their business with Kingdom Impact



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Business

Micro-tasking, not Multitasking, for Effective Performance

Professionals who can micro-task are in demand; multitaskers are doing themselves and their organizations a disservice.

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Much as been discussed about multitasking and fortunately, much of what has been written exposes the myth that multitasking represents. Instead of making us more productive and having a greater output, we tend to slow down on the very things that were trying to speed up on, and we end up making more errors.

Micro-tasking, by contrast, is the ability to compartmentalize and to focus in quick, short intervals on a variety of items that compete for attention — a vital skill for career professionals. Micro-tasking is effective for quick decisions, and for handling routine and short term tasks term nature. Multitasking is the attempt to handle two important tasks at the same time. It is not to be confused with micro-tasking.

A Skill to Cultivate

Some workers have little choice in the short run but to work in a distracting, noisy environment. Some employees, in particular, were retained to be able to quickly shift their attention from one issue to another, focusing on each issue as needed.

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In an interruption-based environment, such as a hospital, police station, retail store, or airline ticket counter, the ability to micro-task is a valuable skill. Throughout the course of a day, a manager in such settings might encounter a variety of people asking questions and voicing concerns. For sale managers micro-tasking can make all the difference in making quota or not.

Tasks that require our sharp attention necessitate that we slow down, focus, keep interruptions at bay, and work as effectively as we can, toward completion. Handling two tasks simultaneously, each of which require sharp attention, is a prescription for poor results.

Be in Demand

Professionals who can micro-task are in demand. Others, who engage in multitasking, are doing themselves and their organizations, a disservice.

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Business

When the Market Crashes, There is Only One Place to Hide

Here’s the short, simple reality to understand: in powerful down markets, every asset class gets clobbered.

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Pile of Cash

“This is Wall Street, Dr. Burry. If you offer us free money, we are going to take it.”

-Smug, Know-Nothing Goldman Sachs Chicky in The Big Short

My firm didn’t operate too differently from the above statement, frankly. but there was that one time we said no…

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In 2007 or 2008 – I don’t recall exactly – a mutual fund client asked us to create a defensive portfolio they could launch as a new product.

Sounds simple enough, right? Except, they weren’t looking for a portfolio loaded with utilities, healthcare and consumer staples.

What they wanted was a portfolio of stocks that would rise when the market was falling (it already was falling, but Wall Street is just as good at closing the barn door after the animals have left as are elected officials).

I suspected this would be tough to create. Once we ran our studies, indeed we realized this was an impossible request and for the first time ever, we declined the portfolio request.

Here’s the short, simple reality to understand: in powerful down markets, every asset class gets clobbered. *

Put in a more fancy-pants sounding, Wall Streety way: during crashes, correlation skyrockets. In this case, it was effectively impossible to create a portfolio of stocks that would rise in a crashing market; all stocks crater in that environment.

Correlation is measured on a scale of -1 to 1. A reading of 1 defines perfect correlation, -1 is perfect inverse correlation and 0 means no correlation at all.

A reading of 1 is easy to understand but think of the others this way. The correlation of wearing surgical masks and the spread of covid almost certainly resides near zero. Jen Psaki’s relationship with the truth? Probably a -.9 or so.

As an aside, both high and low correlations have value. For instance, we had a good friend in college who we came to realize had a sense of direction that had to be very close to a full negative 1. If he were in the car and thought we should turn left, the rest of us knew with total certainty to go right.

With correlation, readings at or near 1 and -.1 are rare in anything that actually requires study, so measurements above .4 already start to imply strong correlation.

When we looked at the historical track record we found that in severe downturns, all asset classes fell with the market at correlations above .5. It was eerie.

What about foreign stocks? Um, no… that’s actually a double whammy of bad news. Not only do their markets get hammered at least as hard as ours, currency declines magnify those losses. We can all appropriately hate what our leaders are doing to destroy the U.S. Dollar, but in a world of fiat currencies it is ours the world runs to as the safe haven. Most foreign currencies decline in value as a result.

Cryptos? Who the hell knows, but why would they be spared if gold isn’t?

Wait, what about gold? Yeah, it will probably act like a safe haven in a down market but in this case that probably means it will just decline less than stocks overall. For instance, while the Dow literally got cut in half from October, 2007 to February, 2009, gold’s peak-to-trough decline in 2008 was fully 25%.

By being down “only” 25%, did gold perform better than the market? Yes, but correlation of the direction of the movement skyrocketed even in this safe-haven asset class.

Quick disclaimer: I currently own gold and silver and will be holding these positions. But I hold them in the proper size and I am also expecting them to initially decline when the market really tanks.

Important note: if you’re holding gold and silver mining companies – which, after all, are just stocks – you can expect them to get hammered just as hard as all the stocks around them. The relative outperformance of bullion itself won’t save them; again, just go look at 2008.

Okay, so what the heck should someone do right now?

Well, I don’t like giving “right now” investment advice so I’ll say what I have been saying all year to close friends and family: if you’re fully invested, raise at least some cash in your portfolio. I’ve been advising a minimum of 20% but that figure will vary depending on your personality.

As I’ve been telling them, think of it this way: if I’m wrong and the market keeps ramping higher on the back of all this stimulus – and that indeed is the only reason the market has continued its 2021 surge, btw – and you’re still 80% invested, you’ll still be making a lot of money and you’ll feel okay about it. Sure, you’ll mutter that I was early with this advice – I have been all year and still could be depending on central bank responses to this decline – but you won’t resent me for the input.

If you stay fully invested, however, and the market tanks by 40%, you’ll feel ill. Having some cash on the sidelines provides for a rainy day, keeps something available with which to buy stocks near future lows and, most importantly, will do wonders for both your decision making and your psyche.

When people get stuck for cash – margin calls, mortgage payments, whatever the need may be – they make all sorts of bad decisions. They’ll sell whatever they have to and often, it’s psychologically easier to sell their “winners” along the way than it is the stocks that have been crushed the most. What many people end up with at bottoms is a portfolio full of the crappiest individual names.

‘Oh great,’ you may be thinking, ‘you’re telling us this on a day when the market is already down 500 points. Thanks a lot.’

True. Actually, I’ve had this post 80% drafted for the last 10 days or so, it just felt like that this might be the jarring market day in which readers would take it seriously. Let me explain by doing a little mind reset with you:

You may have a 401k that had risen, say, from $200k to $500k over the last three years (until 2 weeks ago). Awesome! But unsustainable.

After the market weakness of the last couple weeks, maybe its value has declined to $450k. If you’re the type that thinks my advice makes sense, but you don’t want to sell any stocks or mutual funds because they just fell from $500k, your mindset is all wrong. Sorry to be so blunt but it’s true.

Here’s what you actually have on your hands: a 401k that has risen from $200k to $450k over the last three years. Still awesome, also unsustainable.

If you think you’re the one genius who can nail market tops perfectly and you’re now certain that the market will soon regain its recent highs, re-read my last sentence and get your head on straight.

That said, at this moment I do have to admit that I don’t know if this is the start of the big correction. On the one hand, a few too many people for my taste are looking for that crash. On the other, how insanely optimistic did the market have to be that only now it is noticing the slow-moving Evergrande disaster in China that has been known for a year and plainly visible for nearly a month?

Regardless, the point is this: if this is the start of the big correction – or even a true bear market – then this is only the beginning.

We’re at such stratospheric valuation heights – the highest in history, generally – that the next big correction will take stocks down 30, 40 or even 50%.

So yes, it’s still okay to be raising at least some cash today. Even today.

Tighten up stop losses. Raise cash right now from zero to 5% if your end goal is 20%. Redirect future 401k deposits to the money market fund rather than the high-growth stock funds you’ve been riding.

In short: take action. Don’t be paralyzed and again keep in mind this simple reality: in powerful down markets, nothing gets spared. The only place to hide is in cash.

This post has me re-awakened. More soon…
FDG

*Historically, there has been one other place to hide in down markets: high grade, U.S. bonds. That will likely still turn out to be the case – indeed, bonds are rallying today – but what’s the point? The rates offered by today’s bonds are so meaningless as to be roughly equivalent with cash so my preference at this moment in time is for cash.

 

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