Put Yourself In Position of Ownership

A few weeks ago I saw a short video clip of Jay-Z and he shared some gold, which has made him a multi-millionaire. He talked about his concern with ownership. Owning his publishing and all the rights to his music. Chance the Rapper shared some of that same advice on social media a little while back. Ruslan talked about it in his song ‘Indie Jones’. He talked about how labels wanted major shares of ownership an he decided to stay own his own so he could own his music outright. This isn’t just an issue in music, but in other areas of business as well. I want to share a couple of ideas when it comes to ownership.

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Why Finding Your Purpose Really Matters

Why do we feel like purpose matters? A great teacher Myles Munroe once said, “Life without purpose is worst than death.” These are strong words, but they make since. Most individuals who are suffering from depression or anxiety have a common problem. They are not sure what their purpose is. So it is important for us to find our purpose as that gives us a core reason for living. When God made mankind, he made them with a purpose in mind. To govern the earth. When you look back in Genesis you never see God telling Adam or Eve to worship him. Why not? It is because fulfilling our purpose is worship at its finest.

It says in scripture that all of the earth from the birds in the sky to the rock will worship him. This doesn’t mean that they will start singing and waving hands as we do during praise and worship time during church. This means that they will be fulfilling their purpose whether we do or not. How can we begin to find our purpose? Im going to give a few areas to think about to start you on your journey.

1) Where are you naturally gifted? This doesn’t mean you never have to work on your gift or craft, but what do you naturally seem to be able to do without a massive training session to begin? There are so many more talents than creative. Some people are very organized and are very disciplined with time. Organizations need people like this in management. Do you have a heart for people and love to help others? Maybe customer representative management is an area you would excel in. Think about it and write it down then look up what type of job fit those gifts.

2) What makes your heart hurt? Many times our calling is in the area where we want to see a change. Ken Ham is the creator of Answers in Genesis, an organization built to try to explain the accounts of Genesis for those who are confused about the science of it. I’m not validating his position on everything, but using him as an example as to why he created his organization. He wanted to see a change from new and older believers who questioned these stories so he created live museums as a way of helping with that. What is hurting your heart?

3) Don’t let the income deter you from fulfilling your calling. I have worked as a pharmacy technician for the past 8 years. Filling medications for patients is not my passion or where I feel called to serve for the rest of my life. It has opened doors to do what I love. Learning God’s word and teaching. My work schedule allows for me to learn and teach, which is what I feel called to do. One day I would love to be a pastor, which isn’t always a paid office position. I do not have to worry about the potential salaries of doing either of those because I am not dependent on that to feed my family. If I was looking to teach or preach full-time as a paid job, I may never fulfill that purpose in my life. Don’t let the money stop you from fulfilling your purpose.

Where do you feel your purpose is? What do you feel God is called you to do? The world needs you to fulfill your purpose because it is missing a key ingredient if you don’t.

One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure | Bible and Business

We often receive hand me downs when trying to start from scratch. Many people will buy second hand from a yard sale or thrift store in order to start a small side hustle/business. This story is a great example of starting with less and creating a massive organization. Many of the best business start-ups begin in this type of situation. Start with a little and make it work. There are a few characteristics that help someone grow like this.

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Why Management Might Be A Better Path

There have been many athletes, artists, actors, and other professionals who have made their marks in history. We often see their talents and abilities but we miss the forces behind the scenes that made it possible. Behind every great artist there is great management. Sometimes it is a management team or sometimes it is a single individual. I have had the honor of interviewing many managers on my Business with Bordeaux Podcast in the last 2 years and plan on interviewing more. In this post I will be using the term “artist” as a way of referring to anyone who might work under a manager, not just a musical artist. My goal is to point out some positives of a management career which may be a better fit for you rather than building up your own career as an artist. Here are a few reasons why I think being a manager might be a better career choice.

1) Managers are able to stretch themselves easier than artists. An artist has to be concerned with their individual career and creative process. When you are a manager you can have many clients who you are able to work with. If you build the correct structure in your management business, you will be able to maintain many clients careers effectively.

2) If an artist takes a career dive, it doesn’t necessarily end the managers career. An artist can make a fatal career mistake and never be heard of again. There have been many times where an artist has a terrible accident and can no longer perform as they use to so they have to retire. Essentially their talent gets taken from them. It takes a lot more to completely take away the ability for a manager to lose their ability to perform their duties.

3) For many artists/performers, age can remove them from the market. Whether a musician, athlete, even a lot of actors get a certain amount of time before they age out of their field or before they loose the attention of their audience. People don’t get tired of managers because they are never seen. They can continue working with older and younger clients as well as training up and comers.

4) One of the most dynamic parts of management for me is the idea that a manager’s job is to elevate someone other than themselves. The whole job is to help market and grow another person’s career. Though some can abuse this relationship, all of the people I have interviewed has a heart of helping. I do notice that some of the individuals I have interviewed who are artists don’t like promoting because it is drawing attention to themselves and their music. They have great hearts but a dilemma since they are the ones in the spotlight.

If you have any interests in finding out more information on artist management, check out the Business with Bordeaux podcast and see if it is something you might want to start building toward.

Building An Effective Team | Bible and Business

When you look at multiple areas in the Bible you can see crowds of people with different talents and abilities. We can look to Jesus and see how he built an effective team. Jesus surrounded himself with fisherman, money handlers, a zealot, and others who did not specified occupations. Jesus was a teacher/rabbi and didn't have others who were said to also have his type of calling as a teacher. 

Jesus taught. The fishermen fished. The money handlers took care of the finances. The others helped in various ways. I just recently heard from a pastor that it is wise to find those who don't have identical strengths as ourselves or there can be conflict on who does what job. If there is a group of ministers trying to start a church, they may all want to preach all the time. You need to have someone who has organizational skills, those who handle finances, those who serves hands on with people. Imagine if Jesus just picked a bunch of teachers to build his ministry. That would not have been a well balanced group of people to have a traveling ministry. Even though I believe Jesus could have had a successful ministry with anyone, I think he handpicked this type of group to be an example for us. He also brought along a thief. I think Judas and Peter are two examples to show that powerful organizations and ministries can be built with all kinds of imperfect people as well. 

I am not sure if Jesus had any friends before his ministry. The Bible does not specify this. I do think it can be a mistake if you build an organization around your best friends. Often friends have similar interests and strengths. When you have all the same strengths and all the same weaknesses you are more than likely to hit several roadblocks that can bring on many problems within your business. If you have a leadership team who all specialize in finances and you don't have a visionary, a person to build strategic plans, people to execute the plans, you do not have a well balanced machine. It is also important to remember that every part of a well ran machine needs all the different parts for it to run effectively. Do not look at any one part as more important than the others. Even Jesus washed his disciples feet and took the hits from those who critiqued their ministry. He continually held his people up and protected them as a servant leader. 

If you try to start a music label filled with all artists it will likely not go far because everyone is trying to be creative and build an audience. You need to have a website team, a sales team, marketing team, etc. When I hear of a few aspiring artists trying to build a label I can already see their lack of diversity in talents and abilities becoming a problem from the start. So for anyone who wants to create anything important be sure to have a strong team around you of diverse talents and abilities. 

 

Maximizing Your Talents | Bible and Business |

Even though we might be all loved equally by God, he doesn't give us the same amount of gifts or talents. This is shown in scriptures a few times. One area where we can pull from that might help us in the business mindset is Matthew 25: 14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money." 

In this parable we see these servants receive talents, or money, according to their 'ability.' We might be the person who is only ready for the two talents or even the one talent. We can often become discontent because we weren't the person getting five talents. No matter the number of talents, resources, or skills you have, you need to be giving it your best. Do not let jealousy take over when you see someone get started with more than what you did. This can also be true in any workplace. When a manager gives you any kind of task make sure you are doing your best to fulfill that task with excellence. Do not match your work ethic to the level you view the job. If you feel the job is simple, give it your absolute best. This is how you progress to higher levels of responsibilities or promotion.

We all live in different economic conditions and grow up in different kinds of families. This can lead into the comparison trap. We might be tempted to look at others and compare ourselves to them. God doesn't want us to compare ourselves or our success to others. We don't always know the full circumstances of others so our metric for comparison more than likely will not line up. Without comparing, you can watch those who are further along than you and learn from them. We should always have a mentor who is where we want to be. This takes a level of humility that we are not used to in American culture today. If you look back in scriptures, the disciples studied under Jesus, Timothy studied under Paul,  Elisha studied under Elijah, etc. We have to make sure we are not just criticizing those who are at a higher level than us, but try to learn from them. That can help give you direction on how to take your talents and gifts to the next level.

At the end of the day, find out what your talent is, work it to the best of your ability, and learn from others who can help guide you into success. 

The Purpose of Influence

Should we as believers try to gain influence? What is the purpose behind us gaining influence? There was an unfortunate situation that happened recently in which I saw influence play a major positive role. We had one of our staff members at Trackstarz who was attacked in his home with acid. He is still in recovery and going through intensive surgeries. He did not have any health insurance and has major medical bills stacking up. A gofundme was started for him and his medical bills. We, Trackstarz, started sharing the information and it got around to Derek Minor who took up this cause and pushed it on all his platforms to bring in awareness. He then reached out to Lecrae, Andy Mineo, and others who also shared the story and because they did, more people heard about the story and donated to the cause.

One definition of an influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience. The above story isn't a purchase, but a cause that needs financial support. Becoming an influencer is about having the trust of those around you. Since you have people's trust and you are considered an authority figure, you can ask your audience periodically to do or buy something in order to help others. Pastors can ask their congregation to donate to a certain ministry, politicians can ask people to vote on certain bills, and music artists can ask people to support certain businesses, artists, and/or causes.

In the Body of Christ we are to support one another and help each other in times of need. Influencers are able to get others to pay attention to certain stories that their audience may not have heard about otherwise. This is a huge responsibility for influencers. One thing they have to keep in mind is how many times they ask their audience for something. If an influencer is always asking their followers to give money, purchase something, or vote for something, their audience will get drained after a period of time. 

Having influence is not a bad thing if the individual with the following has the right heart. Imagine if the CEOs of Facebook, Apple, or Google were believers. They would be able to help out great causes in major ways. Not only with their influence, but their own personal finances. This is one of the main reasons why I created the Business with Bordeaux Podcast is to help people grow in their journey and find marketplace success. This can lead to influence, which can in turn lead to helping the Body of Christ worldwide.

As you continue on your journey, be sure to pray for those who are in an influential role. Pray for their hearts and your own as well. We all have influence over someone, so lets use it wisely.

Make Due With What You Have

As a Christian, I am a huge fan of applying biblical principles to business. There is a very great principle that many have heard and it is being a good steward of what you are given. Making due with what you have. This applies to our personal lives and our side hustle/business. No matter what we have, we are to manage it the best way we can. I wrote an article a while back that focused on being grateful for what we have. There are times when we see what others have and think about what we would do if we had it. The main focus is to take what we have and make the best out of it.

When we read the parable of talents there is usually a focus on talents being money. Talents are also a representative of actual talents, skills, resources, and anything else we are in charge of. I think one of the most important things to remember is that God has given us talents to manage. When we are wishing that we had other people's "talents", we are not being thankful for what we have. There is also the mindset of proving we are ready to manage more by managing what we already have responsibly. A lot of times people have to be amazed with what you can do with something small in order to trust you with more. If you do what everybody else can do then there is no reason for you to manage more "talents." 

Another thing to keep in mind is mastering the management of something at a small level before you get into a higher level of responsibility. When you think of managing investments, it is better for someone to handle a smaller account so the risk of failure isn't as big as a multi-milion dollar account. There is going to be failure in everyone's venture at some point or another. It is better for this to occur at an early point in your journey rather than at a major point in your future career. So make sure while you are at the level you are currently in, you make due with what you have.

A Ten Dollar Roadblock

This past week on the Business with Bordeaux Podcast I had special guest Kelly Cole on to share a ton of wisdom including a lesson he taught his son about a ten dollar roadblock. Kelly Cole has invested a lot of time and money into his son's music career. They have worked hard in making music, performing, and getting music out there. One day Aaron told his father that rapper, Da T.R.U.T.H was holding a contest and he wanted to enter and his father told him to go ahead and do it. A few days later Kelly asked Aaron how it went and Aaron responded by saying he didn't submit anything because he didn't have ten dollars to pre-order the album which was one of the prerequisites for entering the contest. Kelly then had a discussion about not letting something as small as a ten dollar obstacle stop him from achieving his goal. 

I feel like many times we have a small ten dollar obstacle that we let stop us from progressing to the next step. It can be triggered by fear. There is fear of the next step, fear of the unknown, and for some there can be a fear of winning. We should always be ready to face the ten dollar obstacle. Don't push so hard for a little stumbling block to hold you back. It is perfectly fine to ask for a little help every now and then. Many would be happy to help you with a stumbling block. Some people have pushed through so many roadblocks that when they encounter a small one they finally just quit. You have to remember this, if it were easy, everyone would do it. 

Work Like A Volunteer

I know I know, the title probably doesn't make sense right away. Stay with me though. I promise I have a point to make. My daughter was granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish foundation. They sent us to Disney for a whole week. It was a major blessing and my family had a great time. While in Florida, my family lodged at Give Kids The World Village. Most of the individuals who were there making the experience wonderful were volunteers. These volunteers worked harder and had better attitudes than most paid employees I have ever encountered in the professional workforce. 

I wondered why this was true. I would normally think that paid employees would be more likely to smile and seem grateful for their tasks at hand being that they are getting paid to work. When I looked into these volunteers and their reasoning for being there, I realized they wanted to be there to make those who they were serving feel more special than ever. Their reasoning made the difference. In many cases we work jobs to earn an income to pay bills. This is many people's reason to work and that is pretty much it. Without a meaningful reason, we can feel like we are in a hamster wheel. 

This is a feeling I do not want entrepreneurs to ever feel. When you start your journey in your side hustle or anything you are venturing off too, make sure you know your reason and it has meaning to you. If it is just for money, you will not be happy. I heard most of my life growing up to find something I would do all day for free and figure out how to do that for a living. This is more geared toward being happy in your career, but I think it also applies to fulfilling your purpose. I hope you are doing whatever gives you a sense of purpose and meaning. If you can find that, you will be much more satisfied in your work life.

 

Why Diversity Is Needed

I've been in a lot of discussions lately regarding perspectives and diversity. I remember when I started my current job at the hospital I work at, I was required to go to a diversity training seminar. This seminar focused on trying to be openmined to other cultures and practices that are different from our own. With that came listening to others from a different culture and the way they view society, the world, or even business practices. It is important to have a broad view of the way people operate and taking that into consideration when making business decisions.

One of the most recent mistakes was a commercial from Dove. They had a commercial that came off very racist without that being the intent. When that happened many people online protested the company and said they would no longer buy their products. This was probably an issue with a lack of diversity on the marketing team. Here is the Dove commercial. https://youtu.be/pAIgDredHpw

Another company who probably didn't have a diverse team when releasing a commercial was Pepsi. They released a video in the midst of a lot of the police brutality being fresh on the news and they made it seem like their beverages could calm everything down. Even if that isn't what was intended, it was how it was received by many. That was an error on their end. Here is the video if you haven't seen it. https://youtu.be/73P9STckPLw

Even if you as a business person meant something great by your advertisement or promotional video, you have to think of how it can be perceived by different cultures. That is why having a diverse group of individuals who are great at their job is important. Surround yourself with individuals who see things a little differently from how you do and you will have a better chance getting the right message across.

 

The Power of Customer Service

Every business, no matter what sector it is in, has one area of importance in common. That area is customer service. Anytime I go to a store, restaurant, or use a service I always want to have a great customer service experience. That will usually dictate whether or not I come back to that business in the future. There are a couple of reasons why customer service needs to be a main focus in your business.

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Is Soundcloud Really Making A Comeback?

Last month there was a lot of news around the possibility of Soundcloud closing their doors. They were reported to loose tens of millions of dollars and at one point had only 50 days of capital to run on. They laid off 40% of their workforce and closed their San Francisco and London offices in order to remain an independent company.

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The Business Burnout

Don't you love when you start something new and everyday you can't wait to get started. I think that happens often. We tell everyone around us what we are doing now, we share it, promote it, and love it! After a while that newness starts to wear off. This is common in any area of life. New job, first day of school, and unfortunately, new business ventures. If things don't go the way we plan, it can become less exciting. We can become burnt out when we start facing obstacles that we were not planning for. Once we get burnt out, it is hard to relight the flame. We need to find ways to not get burnt out and keep some excitement in what we are doing. Here are a few ways to prevent that from happening.

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Don't Wait, Live Out Your Calling Now

I believe that everyone here on earth has a calling of some sort. I also believe that some people find it early in life while others spend their whole life searching for it. This week I would like to address those of you who know what you are called to do. I specifically want to address those who are waiting for the perfect opportunity to live out their calling.

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The Important Launch

As many of you may know, I have started an Anchor channel this week. This is another platform for doing audio content like podcasts, interviews, etc. When I started playing around with this app, I let a friend know about it who I thought would get some great use out of it. This individual has a community of supporters who were able to help him launch his station. Having that community allowed for him to chart high on his launch. There are two important factors when preparing for a launch.

  1. The first step is making sure you have a launch team ready. This consist of people who will give you accurate and honest feedback on your content leading up to the launch. They can make suggestions on particular things that would improve the overall content. The most important thing is having a lot of people promoting the content once it is released. This will help download numbers and exposure to a new audience/consumer base.
  2. The second important thing is making sure the content is top notch. You want to make sure you are putting out the best representation of yourself and your content. To do this, you want to carefully prepare your content for a first time listener. They say first impressions lasts a lifetime. This is also true for your business or creative content.

With saying that, I do want to make another important point. You don't have to perfect your content because you may never feel like it is ready to be introduced into the world. If you are waiting for your content to be perfected, you may never release it. Make sure you don't do that. Set a launch date and make sure you are working as hard as you can before that launch date. Your launch team will be able to help you with that journey.

When The Competition Becomes A Partnership

Think about the industry that you are in. There are probably many businesses who are offering similar services or products as you. In the commonplace market these other businesses are considered competitors. More than likely you have many competitors in your space. This is completely normal, unless you are in a very different line of business. One thing I am personally learning is that what we can generically see as competition, can actually become a partnership of sorts. This can happen in several different ways.

  1. If there is a company that offers similar services as you, they may only really be able to handle more wealthily clients. Big branding companies can charge thousands of dollars a month to their clients where you may only charge hundreds. For that bigger company, they can offer much more to their clients than you can because of the size of their team. You could always talk to the leader of that company and see if they would be willing to direct clients with a smaller budget to you and you will return the favor by pointing clients who need more than you can currently offer back to them. Quid Pro Quo.
  2. Many times it is helpful if different companies specialize in certain areas. Say you have two media companies. Both may dabble in music production, engineering, and video production. If the two find a way to narrow their individual focus to a specific area, they could master that particular area more and share clients. Most of the clients really need all those services combined and so you can work with the same client for different services. This also gains the clients trust. Companies who are after the money will often offer to do anything for it. Those who care about the outcome of the client, will try to make sure they get the best service provided. Having a partnership with someone else in that field allows for that to be accomplished.
  3. Another possibility is to create an affiliate programs. This is similar to the previous idea. Only this would provide incentives for your partners to send business your way. When they send you business, you send them a portion of the income from that business transaction. This works really well for many companies and small business owners.
  4. After working with a partner like this, one day you may actually combine forces full-time. This would be considered a joint venture where a new company is established and all the services and products are provided in that new company. This is usually a harder thing to accomplish, so it doesn't happen too often. It can be hard to figure out the leadership dynamic and overall company structure in these scenarios. This usually turns into an acquisition instead of a joint venture. Make sure to get some experienced third-party help if you plan on creating a joint venture.

These are just a few ways to convert a competition into a partnership. There are others creative ways to do this as well. You really need to get to know others in your industry and make sure you don't burn any bridges. Business isn't about tearing down everyone else so that you can succeed. It is about being the best at what you do and serving the customers. That can often include pointing them to another business that can better fit their current needs. This shows that it isn't all about you, but about the customer. It is a narrow path and that is why very few take it. Stand out and be smart and considerate.

What Is Your Passion Worth?

Follow your passions. Follow your dreams. Do what makes you happy. These are all common phrases we hear when we talk with others about our future plans and careers. I have heard discussions from several viewpoints regarding these kinds of statements. There are a few things that you can not forget though. Doing something that you are passionate about does not mean that anyone will pay you for it. There has to be a demand for what it is you are wanting to do. Especially if you plan on making a living doing it. When I say demand, I mean people who support financially, not just vocally.

One of my biggest podcasts includes podcasting. I have two that I am a host of. I love doing them and will continue to do them whether or not I get paid full-time or not. Many people pray for me that I will be able to sustain a living doing what I do now, but I know there has to be people who value it enough to exchange monetary value for intellectual/entertainment value. I started both podcasts understanding that. Even though those are my passions, I do not look for them to pay my bills. I will continue to find ways to monetize those ventures of mine as long as I do them. That would be a dream to be able to do those for a living. I do understand that dreams alone do not pay bills.

I will probably get a lot of pushback on this topic I know. I don't say this as a lack of faith or anything. It is just a fact of understanding the market. If you have a dream of something you would like to do full-time, you need to understand how to monetize that passion. I will not put my passion over my family. My family is my first passion. I have a responsibility to make sure their needs are met with God's grace and help. Please be sure you are taking care of your responsibilities before chasing your dreams.