Christian entrepreneurs who made millions – Advice for startups

Practical business tips from highly successful entrepreneurs in Christ.

If you desire to build a business without compromising your faith watch this empowering video. Be inspired to create a successful startup for God’s glory and the advancement of the Kingdom.

Transcription below:

Colonel Sanders: I have done so many things and I have been played out [inaudible] The ferryboat business went out of business when they built a bridge across the river, and my lighting plant business selling gas lights, when Delco come in and they had electric lights for the farmer, I couldn’t sell mine. So things just went bad for me all the way along, but I always [inaudible] up something that I thought was useful and good. And I wanted to be sure with this chicken, looked like it’s my last chance because I’m getting pretty well up in years. And if this chicken would make good, I’d see that God got his part of it.

Pat Robertson: My secret is every day I spend time with the Lord. Every day.

Phil Robertson: As Jesus would put it, whoever lives and believes in me will never die. If you’re not a believer and you don’t believe God exists at all, about the only hope you have is He not be there. That’s your hope: Maybe He’s not there. What we’re saying is we trust that He is.

Mary Kay Ash: I really feel that our company is where it is today and has been blessed beyond all belief by the fact that God is using our company as a vehicle to help women to become the beautiful creatures that he created.

David/Jason Benham: Interestingly enough, we decided that we would get down on our knees and commit for two solid weeks that we would pray to God to give us a niche. And so we did that. We prayed for 14 straight days and on that 14th day we got a phone call from a bank that said literally they were flipping through the yellow pages and decided to call our company. I was the agent on call and he called in and said, “My name is so and so with a particular bank. Would you like to sell foreclosed property?” And I said, “Absolutely.” He said, “Do you have any experience?” I said, “No, but you don’t need experience from me because we’re pit bulls. Whatever you need, we’re going to get it done. Your needs are more important than my needs and I’m going to give you more in value than I take in pay.”

Sam Walton: Our company is built on people. The success we’ve had is because of our people and I believe that, [inaudible] you believed it from the beginning, all of our associates believe it. We’ve made partners out of our folks rather than employees, and they know that we’ve been sincere in trying to share the profits with them and they in turn have worked harder than our competitors. We’ve kept our prices lower than our competitors’ prices.

David Green: So a lot of times people, if God hasn’t called you, and He does do that when they’re 8 years old that they’re going to be a missionary in Africa—that happens—but I think most of us are more like myself in that we don’t know what our calling is so let’s just start with whatever. Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your best. Now, if you do it halfheartedly, you may never find out what God’s true calling is because you’re in disobedience. God expects us to do the very best we can not unto Hobby Lobby but unto Him. So we’re working under Him and [inaudible] we have to do the very best, and as Christians we ought to be good at what we do. We ought to be good examples of the work ethic. And that’s what we ask of our people, is to do the best they can.

There should be no such thing as secular work in a Christian’s life. Our work is not secular as Christians. We may work for a secular company, but our company’s not secular. Secular means without God. We do everything we can in prayer and [inaudible] giving our company in everything to do everything we can not to be, and we are not a secular company.

We now have 520 stores, our sales are $3 billion, we have no long-term debt, 22,000 employees, so we really feel God’s blessings has been upon our company.

Truett Cathy: The Bible tells a lot about how to operate our business and we just read it and apply it. And so closing on Sunday is a decision that I made back in 1946 when I opened my first restaurant and this is a 24-hour operation six days a week. My brother and I made the decision at that time that we’d just close on Sunday. I guess it’s because after you work 24 hours a day for six days on a stretch you need a break.

Strive Masiyiwa: The Bible says that don’t muzzle the ox that treads the corn. See yourself as that ox. You’ll be allowed to eat as much as you want. God is not saying you can’t have the Porsche and the Mercedes and the big house, but don’t lose sight of the mission. It’s about stewardship. I have many people who come to me and say they want to be in partnership with us, but you know what? I can’t be in partnership with them if it will result in them affecting a decision which I might make for the Kingdom.

You know, one day there was a big boat race going around the world, and a big international company called me and said to me, “Will you join us in sponsoring this?” I said, “What do I get?” He says, “Well, one of the boats will have Econet written on the side of it.” I said, “How much will it cost?” He said, “Well, to sponsor the boat is $40 million US. We all get our name on it.” I said, “Forty million US dollars?” He says, “Very good. Don’t you know the TV coverage you’ll get?” And the Holy Spirit said to me, “You see, this is how the world uses its resources. What are you doing with yours?”

I called our managers and said, “Listen, if a church walks in here and says they want a conference paid for, you pay for it.” I said, “If I go out and look for them and tell them that you will pay for their conferences, if they want an international speaker to come in and we’ve got the money you pay for it. And if anybody asks you, tell them to come and see me.”

Mark Burnett: The conventional wisdom don’t understand this tribe. It’s the most powerful tribe in the world. The only thing we don’t do, we don’t stand together enough and we’re not noisy enough. I’m a really, really noisy Christian. I go on major TV shows with my wife which are secular shows and say, “Absolutely, we believe Jesus is the Son of God, we believe in Jesus Christ, we are Christians, we’re proud of it, and it’s great.” And because we have all these successful shows, they can’t say anything. They’re like, “Okay.” And what the Bible did, the Bible gave permission for millions of people in America, Canada, Australia, to talk about God, because it’s a lot easier say, “Hey, did you see that Bible series?” than to walk up and say, “Hey, let’s talk about the Bible.” It’s a conversation starter. God is smart, God is really good with his planning, God makes things happen, and who knew that the Bible series would be the conversation starter that got people advocating again and standing together? We rejoined the Catholic Church with the evangelicals on this project. Everybody worked together for three years to get the text rights and make sure it was right.

Kathy Ireland: And Jon Carrasco, our genius creative director, he and I loaded up our backpacks, we hit the road and presented our socks to retailers, and the doors slammed in our faces. “You’re not good enough.” “Love the socks, but who needs you?” “You can’t start a brand with a pair of socks. It’s never been done.” As you all know, “it’s never been done” does not mean that it can’t be done. That’s noise, and in order to succeed in life and in business we have to turn off that noise so we can move forward with the plans for our life.

One of the greatest gifts of that long-ago modeling career and I didn’t realize it at the time, it was all the rejection. Because when people said no and slammed doors, it didn’t destroy me. I was used to it. It was okay. It’s like, “Okay, at least we’re talking. We’ll come back tomorrow. Maybe your circumstances will have changed or maybe you’ll be in a better mood.” And that gift of rejection, it really leads to perseverance. And it doesn’t feel like it at the time, but please, when you’re facing rejection, know that it can be a beautiful gift later on. In the early days of our brand there were times when we slept in airports in an effort to save money. And some people think of sleeping in an airport as a big deal, it’s not a big deal. Whatever material things we have to give up to live our dream, it’s not a sacrifice. It’s a bold investment, and that bold investment made it possible for us to sell our one hundred millionth pair of socks.

Norm Miller: You got to learn the Word of God. It says that it’s your food, that that which is flesh is flesh. You ate food this morning. That’s flesh. That which is Spirit is Spirit. Spirit’s the Word of God. The food of God is the Bible.

Blake Mycoskie: You know, I remember sitting in church my freshman year in college thinking, when I started my first entrepreneurial adventure, that I would work really hard to be a very successful entrepreneur and make a ton of money so later in my life in my 60s or my 70s I could spend my time giving it away, and I knew that I would be really blessed from that and I look forward to that. And I had some mentors in Texas that I saw them doing that, and I thought, “That is life. I’ve been given entrepreneurial gifts, I’ve been given some leadership qualities, I’m going to use them to be successful so then I can give back.” But I would have had to have waited until I’m 60 or 70 to have the blessings that I have today if I had done that. So what I would say to young leaders is it’s never too early to start giving and start service, and you’re going to be so blessed from it that it’s better to start now than postpone it to something you do later in your life.

Tyler Perry: You know what the question is that a lot of people ask me all the time? “How did you make it? How did you make it?” Well, I’d say there’s only one answer for that, and I say this in press all the time but people, they will cut it out of articles or they don’t want it printed or they don’t want it said, but the truth be told, it was nothing but the grace of God. Nothing but the grace of God.

You can plant seeds all day long, you can go around giving your business card to people, you can go around knocking on doors and auditioning, you can do all of that every day of your life, and nothing—for most people—nothing happens. When a seed is planted in the ground, all you can do is water it. You cannot control the sunshine, you cannot control the weather, and you cannot control whether the locusts will come and try to destroy it. All you can do is plant your seed in the ground, water it, and believe. That is what allowed me to be in this position right now.

Folorunso Alakija: There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a billionaire. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to live up to the next level, get to the next level. There’s nothing wrong in that. There’s nothing wrong in being ambitious, but it’s about how we get there. How many of us are really talking to God before we jump into something new or jump into a career? It is God that supplies the slow and steady money that takes us to the next level, and the next level, and the next level, and takes us to where He wants us to be. Too many young people are quite happy to sit back and do nothing but wait for a miracle to get rich quickly. And so I ask you today, “Whose voice are you listening to?”


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