Category Archives: Faith

Lets face it, it’s easy to get discouraged. There will always be ups and downs in your business and sometimes the easiest thing to do is quit. I’ve been there many times in my life and the temptation to give up when times get hard never goes away. Sometimes the issues are your fault and sometimes unforeseen circumstances can really mess with you. Recently I came down with Bell’s Palsy, it can be quite debilitating for many reasons. Half my face is paralyzed so I look funny, my right eye won’t close so it’s always dry and always hurts and since half my mouth won’t move, I slur my words and sound drunk.  But since I’m a small business owner I can’t just tuck away in bed and hide, I still have to show up, talk to people and deal  with my severe limitations.  On top of that sales hasn’t been where I need it, I have a young kid who’s acting like a young teenager and driving everyone nuts, and everyone and their grandma seems to need something from me. In a nutshell this is a perfectly acceptable time to call it quits, I doubt anyone would blame me or see me as a failure.  Just take off for a month and come back and see where it all lands.  This is where the 3 F’s in my life keep me going and it’s why I haven’t given up a 100x over the past 15 years of business ownership.Faith Family Friends

 

They are (Faith, Family and Friendship) which I’ll go over in more detail:

 

Faith: Why is faith so important? Many people claim to have no faith and they seem fine so why do I need it? In a nutshell Faith gives me hope for a better tomorrow, one scripture in the bible that keeps me going is I Corinthians 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

 

Many times I feel like like I’m at the point of not being able to endure any more but the funny thing about pain and trials is that the next time they come I find I can endure more than the last. What used to flip me out and put me in a deep depression before is nothing more than a mild inconvenience now. In short the testing of my faith has developed my endurance to handle more and for that I’m incredibly thankful for the trials I have been given. Sounds kinda weird just writing it but I know it’s true in my heart as I’m writing it now.

 

Family: Socrates once wrote “By all means marry, if you get a good wife, you’ll be happy, if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher” … This quote is really funny because of how true it is. The same goes about getting a good husband, but the point being is that your spouse is your backbone, the one you can rely on and the one who will stand by you forever. It’s easy to lash out at them when things go bad but avoid that temptation at all cost. Sometimes I’m scared to be vulnerable with my wife because I don’t want her to worry too much but in the end I have to open up or I can end up driving a wedge between her and I that will not only ruin our marriage but possibly the business as well. Never ever turn on your support no matter how tempted, they will get you through the darkest times if you treat them with love and respect even when everything seems to be going wrong. If you are not married then you need a sounding board you can trust whether that’s your mom, dad, sister or brother. But the same rules apply, be open to input and never turn on them even if you don’t’ like what they are saying.

 

Friendship: Sometimes we develop friendships that are as close as family but be careful that you don’t overstay your welcome. Having friendships is a great thing but relying too much on them may make you a burden and drive them away. It’s important to have the right friendships in your life that are reciprocal. If you have what feels like one way friendships, it’s important as a business owner to let them go, they will suck the life out of you when you are at your lowest and drive you to do something stupid.  The friendships you need as a business owner need to be mutually beneficial. While this may sound calculated, think about how you are not doing anyone a favor by tolerating superficial friendships.  Mature friendships have a fairly good amount of healthy give and take so when you do need them they will be there for you, and the other way around. There is no room for a fair weather friend in a business owner’s life.  Our life is too demanding for that so I have personally moved on from half the people I called friends a few years ago.  It was really hard at first but the dividends it paid in my life where well worth it. It may be painful but doing the right thing often is.

I’m writing all this in the middle of so many trials which has really given me time to reflect on how lucky I am to have my beautiful wife Tina, my amazing kids and the rest of my family by my side.  I also have amazing employees who are loyal and hard working along with a great group of friends.  I know without all of them I would have given up a long time ago.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and one of the founders of iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on consistent and sustainable support for foster homes, homeless assistance and natural disaster survivors. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

depressedI look around every day and see people who are talented, intelligent and fully capable of making an impact around them but in reality how many people actually make an impact? If you think about everyone you know, how many can you honestly say is making a difference right now? I would venture to say the number is quite low, and even among the people making an impact it’s quite limited. That’s why when somebody actually does make a huge impact it can be quite astonishing. At the same time, have you ever met anyone that’s made a huge impact that doesn’t have a great story? A great story is essential to a life of impact and purpose and the only way to get a great story to go through great suffering. Here are three keys to making an impact through joyful suffering:

 

Embrace The Suffering – When I was young I read James 1:1-4 2Dear brothers and sisters,a when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

           To be honest I didn’t understand this scripture very well because I never learned      how to embrace the pain and be ok with it. How can anyone be alright with suffering and actually find joy in? When I learned to let it hurt, really hurt down deep without trying to talk myself out of it, distract myself or even tell myself it would be ok I learned a valuable lesson. You can only grow and move forward by letting the pain in, change you, mold you and allow you to move on from it.

 

Learn From The Suffering After letting the pain do its work without getting in it’s way by running to alcohol, smoking or talking your way out of it, it’s time to start reflecting on the issue. Ask yourself:

What am I supposed to learn from this?

How should I change?

What is God trying to tell me?

When you can answer these questions you will have learned a valuable lesson. It’s important not to skip this step because those who fail to learn from their past are doomed to repeat it.

 

Let The Suffering Change you Many times this can be the hardest part because it takes true humility to let your suffering permanently change who you are. It’s an acknowledgment that the way you were was not good enough and even the way you are changing will most likely still not be good enough. When you are humble enough to accept these changes you will grow like never before. This growth is what will enable you to make an impact on others, to change lives and to become the person you were meant to be. We are constantly being refined in the fire of life, those who allow their suffering to mold and change them will come out a masterpiece while those who fight the fire will eventually be consumed by it.

 

After going through all three of these steps, which can take days or weeks it’s easy to be joyful, enthusiastic and ready to conquer the world. But it’s the man or woman that can be joyful and thankful for the trials while it’s happening that will truly have an impact in this world.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

 

Will Jesus Make Me Rich?

America has long been the land of opportunity and for many years it was also considered a Christian Nation. I grew up like many believing the reason America was the richest, most powerful nation in the world was because we were a Christian Nation. Now that we are no longer a Christian Nation is it a coincidence we are also collapsing like a stack of cards? The messages in the bible can be very confusing so I’d like to break down a few misconceptions many people have in today’s day and age.

In the bible there are two covenants, the old and the new.. It doesn’t get much simpler then that but it has created a lot of confusion.  For example:

Old Testament says in Psalm 112

1Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
2Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.

 

Hmm, sounds like God blesses those who please him with money to me; but wait!

 

The New Testament says in Matthew 19

21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

His Disciples were astonished because the Old Testament taught that God blessed the righteous with wealth.

So which one is right?

Well, they both are right. You may be asking how two opposite ideologies could be right but it’s really quite simple. Jesus is not Santa God, running around throwing gifts on those who are nice and give coal to those who are naughty. He’s also not the “Ticket to a wealthy life” as many multi level marketing companies like to teach.

The best way to explain how they both are right is to tell you how being a Christian has affected my life and business. I am by no means close to being a rich man in American standards but I have a beautiful wife and three amazing kids along with a business and a nice place to live in. My needs are taken cared of and my relationships are fulfilling. Wealth to God is more than money, true wealth to God is a life filled with joy and a heart refined by fire. That doesn’t mean a Christian won’t get wealthy, but if he or she does it will be a byproduct of living a good life and being the best they can be at what they do. I consider myself wealthy in all the areas that matter except for monetarily.  At the same time, when a person is bankrupt in their relationships and has a heart that’s never been tested because they run from their problems, it’s nearly impossible for them to ever attain true happiness, which is true wealth. They have more money than they can handle and think they can literally buy their way out of every situation. They forget about God, grow callous in their hearts and in the end have bankrupt souls.

So, will Jesus make you rich? Yes, but not in the way most people think of it. When you live your life as a Christian business owner and not as an owner that happens to be Christian the by-product of your beliefs will produce a business that has integrity, compassion and a never ending need to be the best at what you do. Profit is the inevitable result of a healthy business, and hopefully by the time God blesses us with that, we are ready to be used as good stewards of God’s riches.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

Prayer in the workplace

The name of Jesus has become taboo in the workplace because of an increasingly fearful and political climate. Many employees can be fired for so much as inviting someone to church and it’s safe to say the anti-Christ movement in the business community has won the war in resounding fashion. Unless you own or are a part of a faith based organization, your options can be very limited. For the purposes of this article I will assume you own or have a prominent position in your company. Here I will talk about a few ways in which you can run your business as a Christian without hiding your faith or offending others.

1. The first thing I would recommend doing is to pray at your meetings.

This can really be scary for many people but it’s important that people know you are accountable to a higher power and that you rely on Him. The bible says: Luke 9:26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

I have to admit this is a tough scripture to follow. It’s easy on Sundays to praise God with like minded people, but it’s a whole another story to sit in front of a bunch of guys and girls who don’t necessarily share your opinions and may even look down at you for praying and still pray. If you want a business that has honesty, integrity and character it starts at the top (Christ, not you).  You don’t want to just show up one morning and start praying unless you’re okay with a lot of weird looks and shock. Each employee needs to be taken aside privately and told what you will be doing from now on. Personally, I tell every new employee that “I’m a Christian so I like to pray over my business once a week; you don’t have to join along if you don’t want to but I want you to know what to expect.” If they are uncomfortable they can choose before ever working here to pursue other options but at least they won’t be blindsided at their first meeting. Below are a couple do’s and don’ts of praying:

 DO:
1. Lift up your employees individually for the good they are doing
2. Ask God to bless your employees
3. Admit your dependence on Christ in front of them (humility is a good thing)
4. Keep it short and to the point
 
 DON’T:
1. Insult others in your prayer
2. Put down other religions
3. Correct someone or the group during the prayer
4. Ridicule
5. Have a marathon prayer
 

2.  Next, it’s important to put up your company core values based on biblical principles. Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Foster an atmosphere of honesty, integrity and respect; which is essential for any successful business but even more so the business owned by a Christian. At times it’s good to bring the core values up at meetings and ask people if they are sticking to them. Say what you mean and mean what you say!  

3. Last but certainly not least is your own example. I Timothy 4:16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. Once you tell people you’re a Christian and pray in meetings, they will look at everything you do. You will no longer be afforded the same leniency that other owners and bosses are given; you will now be held accountable for all your actions and if you fall you will most certainly be called a hypocrite. This is what makes professing your faith at work so scary. We all fall short and God knows I’ve made my share of mistakes and said things I wish I could take back, but in the end you will be judged on the whole of your work more then anything else.

You may be wondering if all this is worth it and rightly so. I can tell you from my experiences that if done right it’s more than worth it. I don’t use God to promise people riches because I don’t believe he’s some kind of magical fairy that grants us wishes. The benefits that I do get from running a business like this is the ability to walk into the doors each day and find satisfaction in the work I do. Also, each time I pray I hope it plants a mustard seed of faith in the people around me and maybe one day it could change their life. My business is my ministry, it’s the road I have chosen to travel and I think it’s fitting to end this with the famous poem of Robert frost.

 

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan