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The average business needs to generate a buzz.

How do you get the attention of potential customers or clients today?

Marketing?
Publicity?

Advertising?
Get Connected: The Social Networking Toolkit for BusinessPromotions?
Good press?
Media coverage?
Guerilla Marketing on the Internet: The Definitive Guide from the Father of Guerilla MarketingConsider all of the above and moreGet connected through social media and social networking.  Build more than a website.  Create some online profiles on sites such as LinkedIn and industry web portals.  Make the most of your online presence.

Make Money Online With Articles Even If You Can't Write And Don't Have A WebsiteDon’t just make the most of it.  Make the most money that you can from it with storefronts, affiliate programs, and Google AdSenseWrite articles for online magazines, article directories, and newsletters in your industry.  Create a blog about your business.  Make your online ventures profitable and prosperous as well as profound and promotional.  You will see that you can offer more to your potential customers and clients by the more information that share through various platforms online and otherwise.

Multiple Streams of Internet Income: How Ordinary People Make Extraordinary Money Online, 2nd EditionPlug Your Book! Online Book Marketing for Authors, Book Publicity through Social NetworkingHow to Make Money with Your Blog: The Ultimate Reference Guide for Building, Optimizing, and Monetizing Your Blog (How to Make . . .)

Look for a personalized gift at Zazzle.

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Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.- 1 Chronicles 4:10 (NIV)

Jabez’s prayer became quite popularized some years ago when a book by the same name was written by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. The whole phenomena went off wildly beyond the book itself, with t-shirts, Bible covers, journals, and the like. What is amazing about the whole Jabez craze was the focus so many put on enlarging their territory rather than identifying what made Jabez the character stand out from among his brethren.

Verse 9 tells us that Jabez was “more honorable than his brothers.” That speaks volumes when you see that his mother named him for her pain during giving birth to him. We do not have to study and search too deep to know that this verse alone shows that Jabez was not living out a self-fulling prophecy based upon his naming. Jabez cried to the Lord and was blessed because the Scriptures tell us that “God granted his request.” Many of us would love to simply had that phrase alone attached to the story of our lives.

Are you seeking to enlarge your territory? I looked at these two verses and saw the simplicity of what God does with us when we are honorable and humble.

Enlarge your territory like Jabez. The prerequisite is to start off by not allowing circumstances or conditions to dictate your outlook. Your outlook can influence the outcome. What do I mean? Your perception of how things are and how things turn out can impact how you live with situations in your life.

Live an honorable and humble life regardless of how others are acting around you. Be sure to keep your eye on the prize without stepping on and over everyone on your way to the top. Failing to be humble and honorable can cost you.

Ask God for what you want and need. You need His provision as well as His protection. Before you go to God, see how He will get the glory from blessing you. God may not be blessing you right now. He may be trying to see what’s the benefit if He blesses you.

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The basis of life is people and how they relate to each other.
John C. Maxwell, Be a People Person
Early on, when I started managing, I found myself in a mess. John Maxwell and Peter Drucker became my best friends to rely upon in those early days. Be a People Person certainly got my attention and helped me understand how to effectively work on myself in order to effectively lead and manage teams of people and deliver results. I learned a lot through the book and shared much of what I learned with others who struggled to survive the responsibility of management.
My experience has taught me a few certainties. One certainty that I have learned about management, whether it is for-profit or nonprofit, is that management can be a mess. It can become a mess if you let it. The management mess can be by decision or de facto. However, once it becomes a mess, it takes some serious work to untangle it all.
Typically, the management mess comes down to two major factors: people and paperwork. The people person may not be the most organized person so they lose as much credibility as paperwork. The pencil-pusher and policy-upholder may know the manual upside down and inside out, but they may leave a lot to be desired when it comes to relating to others. You have to know your strengths and work on your weaknesses. If you only work within your strength, you will always have a lop-sided performance. You will do what you love and avoid what you don’t do well. There’s no escaping what it requires to become effective.
Here’s a short list of management titles that I have found useful:
  • Covey, Stephen, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
  • Blanchard, Ken and Spencer Johnson, The One Minute Manager
  • Drucker, Peter, The Effective Executive
  • Briner, Bob, The Management Methods of Jesus
  • Burkett, Larry, Business by the Book

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For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. . . Mark 14:39 (ESV)

Things are out of balance. The poor seem to continue to get poorer. Look at what the government is telling us about our national deficit and bailouts as well as restructuring organizations such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Even Ben Bernanke can’t seem to explain what is going on.  Don’t seek any insights from Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet either.  Look at what the Lord says.

The poor will be in our midst always.  Jesus put in real simple terms for us: “…whenever you want, you can do good for them…” That’s what we have to focus on today.  Those of us who can make a difference will need to step up and make a difference as the Lord directs us.  It came about in the days of Micah, men doing whatever they pleased while their neighbors suffered and struggled.   Haggai preached against such selfishness.  Many of the prophets spoke against it.  Let us do what we can based upon God’s leading and directing us.  Let us live like vessels that He pours into with His Spirit and pours out upon those in need of a spiritual uplift as we seek to meet their needs.

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 (NLT)

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It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. – Albert Einstein

Most would-be entrepreneurs find themselves at a great distance from the dreams because they fail to commit to getting things started.  When your dreams remain dreams, they will never manifest into your destinations. If you are not pursuing your God-given purpose with vigor, you most probably are playing it safe by sticking to what you know rather than taking a stab at launching your own personal business.  Personally, I wish more people would start doing and stop dreaming, initiate and stop delaying.

Starting a business may require some homework and even some legwork, but its benefits and blessings pretty much outweigh the burdens.  There are tax write-offs and retirement options open to small business owners that you may not be aware of today.  Do you paint faces at local street fairs and kids’ parties on weekends? Are you a writer on the side, publishing where and when you can? Do you tutor students in your spare time? Take what you are doing (or dreaming about doing) and make it official, and then reap the benefits.  It doesn’t have to replace your full-time job.  It can just serve as additional income.    It can be a part-time “gig” or a weekend thing.  Just start it today.  You have numerous options available.  It will take prayer and patience, but it’s up to you.  Yet, there is still one thing left to do. . . Get started.  Get yourself started now.

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The Cost

“Success is costly.”- A.W. Tozer

Many of us go straight into action, no questions asked.  We just seem to take action and ask questions later.  Of course, that is if we feel that questions are necessary to get the job done.  Yes, this is even true in church and ministry from time to time.  We get going headlong and don’t have a means by which to pull our breaks per se.  That may not be best, but it is often what may happen if the circumstances dictate such a move in the opinion of leadership.

The Lord Jesus Christ said that we should calculate the costs (Luke 14:28).  In particular, we should see if a venture is worthwhile or not.  We need to see if we are willing to go all the way, giving all that it takes to see it rhough to the end, or whether we should just table the whole idea.

We need to plan the work, and then work the plan as I was once taught in Business Management 101.  We can’t get to a destination without charting the course.  If we do, that’s called being “lost.” If we want a venture to become a success, whether it be in ministry or business, we need to take a full view of what all it takes to see it to fruition.  For Christians, there is more on the line than simply your reputation.  Jesus’ name is on the line, too.

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Early in my years when I started working at the church, I was exposed to a book that has helped me for years.  Larry Burkett’s Business by the Book filled my head and heart with ideas and insights into running a business as a steward of the kingdom of God.  I have shared the book with many people over the years, even my wife as she launched her own law practice.  If you are a Christian leading   ministry, working for a church or running a businesss of any size, I suggest that you find a copy of this book.  It can serve as a serious guide for your walk as a business professional and leader.  You will not be disappointed.

Other Bible-Based Business Titles include:

Business Proverbs, Steve Marr

The Path,  Laurie Beth Jones

The Management Methods of Jesus, Bob Briner

Using Your Money Wisely, Larry Burkett

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