Last October had been the most interesting so far when it came to “life learnings”. We have been asking for wisdom and clear discernment from the Lord for many aspects in our life. We wanted clarity specifically in the area of business, parenting and ministry. We have been praying hard for God to reveal his plan in this season of our life. Then several opportunities came knocking on our doors. I felt this was God’s way of telling us –
“I want to give you the answers. Enter into my coaching class — I shall call it “Life Labs”“.
The very first opportunity came, when someone nominated our business to be part of a SME (small and medium enterprise) consulting competition by Asian Institute of Management (AIM). We wanted to give this a shot since we wanted someone to really look at our current businesses and give us an honest assessment. We complied with the (AIM) requirements and continued our daily grind of work. Then sometime September, we got an email that we were selected to be one of the 6 SME’s out of 50 to participate in this prestigious competition.
John and I cleared our schedule to sit down with our international consultants. God sent us an Engineer, an investment banker and a bankruptcy lawyer. We were busy showing them all our business systems, models, financials and operations. In the midst of those several sit down meetings, these consultants detected something. Our position was we wanted to merge our companies together to make it financially healthier. They asked the question “How much would you want to earn so that you could stay in the business?”
For them to raise that question, was an indicator they saw something. They elaborated, as they looked at our financials. One of our business was not doing so well but they said overall it was still positive and with a few tweaks we could manage and soar again. But they noticed that we spend maybe 1 – 2hours a day in the office. They said, an entrepreneur has to be ever present in their own business. As they were sharing this, we had to come clean and be open. We told them that John and I are putting our energy now in the church we planted. They were taken by surprise by what we are doing. They knew that what they wanted to do was to convince us to stay and spend more time in our business. So they strategized a presentation based on this findings. Then we had our 2 mentorship one-on-one with an expert from tour industry and a faculty of AIM. The man that sat with us from our industry, validated everything we are experiencing.
- Clients are relationship based.
- If you can, expand all your services and invest in digital marketing.
- Millennials are here to stay. Work on their strength and teach them wisdom.
- Incentive and trainings are important motivators.
Then we sat with the faculty mentor. This man was our “left wing”. You see, we never talked to him but he spoke, as if he was like spot on with what was in our heart. He began by asking our consultants what was going on with our business.
Consultants: They want to merge all their businesses in one because they are spread out. They also made some wrong calls in certain aspects and that’s why they have some financial bumps. They are also going through some generation gaps with the millennial workforce. They have also been busy with other things. If we could get them to stay longer in the business – we believe that the business will grow.
Then the faculty mentor stopped them. He was almost agitated with the results of their consultancy.
Faculty mentor: Why are the owners not spending time in the business? As you know, the essence of the business are the owners. Where the owners are – thats the business. If they are not there, you should have asked the question – Where are they going? What are they doing? And what can we do to help them? Asking the question “How much will you want to earn to stay in the business?” is the wrong question.
Consultants: But they are busy planting a church. That endeavor does not make money.
Faculty mentor: The last time I checked, if done right, a church has money. You should know what beats in the heart of an entrepreneur. Whatever fuels their passion bring them there because they can make that grow. Let me tell you that this is a tough case you have. This would be hard to win the judges with this but this is a very good assignment.
I excused myself from that discussion because that was an emotional time for me. This affirmed that John and I are on the right path. Truly, if God puts us somewhere else and our heart is right, whatever calling God has given to us will bear fruit.
We decided to burn the midnight oil with our consultants as they were preparing their presentation once again from scratch. The consultants kept saying over and over again, “We want to see what you guys are doing in your community. We want to see what you see. “ When we parted ways, they needed to take a long walk back to AIM. They did much reflecting on the business and the life John and I have chosen.
“What will make you give up everything for this one thing?”
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys the field.” – Matthew 13:44
I know the clear answer. People may say you have everything with: business, money, fame and power. But for us, the one most important thing in our life is Jesus. He gave us the gift of grace. We don’t deserve anything because of our sinfulness but because of what Jesus did on the cross for us – we are redeemed, saved and now we are compelled by God’s love to let others experience the same joy and peace we have in Christ.
One of the consultants, Bjarni from Iceland visited Revelation Church. It was now his turn to enter a “Life Lab” with us. The kids adored him. He was like a celebrity! You see when you have nothing – any good thing that comes your way – is a blessing. Bjarni was blessed to spend time with the kids. But I know the Revelation kids were more blessed because they had a taste of Iceland in the flesh – and I know they would never have dreamed or imagine to be visited by one.