Thought Life: Business planning with the wisest of counsel.

Business Part 3 - "Management by St James"

Business planning with the wisest of counsel.

There is no advice as useless as that advice you will not hear. There is no advice as dangerous as that advice you seek with ill motives. There is no advice as empty as the advice that comes with ill motives. Seek wise advice, from wise counsellors, who demonstrate wise motives.

1. Who do you listen to for advice?

From time to time a speaking client will ask me to coach them to “write a speech that sells.” Generally, I decline. The reasons for my decline are based on the motives indicated in the request itself.

Implied motive #1: I am more interested in whether or not people buy from me or pay me to speak, than I am about the impact my speech will make on the quality of their lives.

Implied motive #2: I want a “killer speech” not necessarily to speak the truth in love, or to speak of my own past and revelations.

Implied motive #3: As a result of one and two, I have determined that my financial gain is of greater significance than my audiences’ transformation.

I am by no means stating that I believe we should work for free or not expect to be paid for dispensing the talent we have been entrusted with. I am however, firmly convinced that when profits are more important than people, we have our priorities out of whack and that lack of alignment will bring its own flavor of judgment.

James 5:1-3 And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You’ll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you. Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink. Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you were piling up wealth. What you’ve piled up is judgment.

IF you are  believer and have surrendered your life and talents to the calling of the Kingdom, then your business advisors, coaches, board of directors should also be Kingdom minded, or you will find yourself following the best advice of those serving mammon and not the Kingdom. You will be focused on profit over people, power over prayer, commissions over communion, and influence over inspiration. None of these are wrong, except when they are out of order of our true priorities.

2. Growing companies have an added layer of accountability.

Beyond the motives that drive you to serve your clients, customers, and audiences is the motive with which you engage your team. If your priorities are not certain, then your expectations are ambiguous. If your client is not clearly identified, your ability to add value to them is severely limited. If your core values are not clear, your daily operational tasks will be like a moving target for those assigned to carry them out. If your employee benefits, paychecks, bonuses and job security are tied to ambiguous expectations, you are not setting your team up for success, but failure.

4-6All the workers you’ve exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger. You’ve looted the earth and lived it up. But all you’ll have to show for it is a fatter than usual corpse. In fact, what you’ve done is condemn and murder perfectly good persons, who stand there and take it. 

3. Consistency to diligence is the key to success.

You may find your daily grind to be a boring, monotonous, daily grind. You may look for variety in your daily tasks. Many have found their business for sale, or shut down as victims of the “shiny object syndrome.” Every new tool, new toy, new method, new sales approach, new internet site draws them into the quest for “new and improved” ways of doing business.

While I am an avid advocate for innovation and systemization and encourage my clients regularly to seek the best ways to be efficient and effective, I also understand the consequences of losing focus on the matters at hand. Keep the main thing the main thing. Whatever it is that best serves your clients, insures that your sales exceed your expenses, keeps your employees humming at their best and keeps your business positioned to move and grow – GIVE THAT ALL YOUR ATTENTION.

7-8Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.

10-11Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.

4. Branding: It’s what you’re known for.

One of the worst tactics of an amateur sales rep. or immature person is to expect that they can elevate your opinion of them, by diminishing your opinion of someone else. They will trash talk their competitors, their past employees, the customer who chose to use someone else and eventually they will speak negatively of you as well. It is much more effective to remain silent or speak well, even of enemies, than to speak negatively. It is not easy, but it is good branding. If you want your business to grow, here is the best simple advice I can give you – “Focus diligently on keeping the main thing the main thing, not on bad mouthing your competition.”

9 Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner.

12 And since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes or no. Just say what is true. That way, your language can’t be used against you.

Good advice is found in a multitude of counsellors. You must choose those counsellors wisely. Make sure they have the same core values, proven diligence at keeping the main thing the main thing, and they are spoken well of by their employees and clients alike. If you want your business to be blessed and highly favored, then be a blessing and highly favor people over profits.

Until next week, be diligent and Live A More Excellent Life.


Next week we will discuss how “Marketing Well Is Stewardship Of Your talent.” Here are some the items we will discuss:

  • Listen to the man who speaks to the fishes, the Bulls and the Bears.
  • He knows how to run a business.
  • He knows how to speak to customers to come to you, to return to you, to buy from you.
  • He knows who your market should be vs who they are.

J Loren Norris is available to speak and train on leadership and communication skills, for corporate America, Associations, Conventions, churches, non profit organizations. Click here to learn more.

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