I have a list of about 10 mental models that I use when I'm trying to make decisions.
Now, again, the holy coach, the Holy Spirit is our guidance. That's our GPS. We should really be submitting all of our decisions to him. However, I believe God gave us our brains for a reason. I don't believe he just wanted us to be robots, otherwise, he wouldn't have given us free will. So, I believe we're supposed to engage our brain and use it correctly. Sometimes it'll be very obvious what we need to do.
We can access the peace that passes our understanding, right? Sometimes we can just get a sense that this is the way we go. Great. We do that. And then the good news is we don't have to use our brains in that situation. We can just trust. But if we don't have confidence in the accuracy of our decision-making, or if we feel like we need to kind of reason this through, that's fine.
So, I've developed a list of 10 different mental models that I kind of almost like a computer, go through. The first top mental model is "customers first" and I want to share a story with you that I read that struck me always.
When Tylenol had the cyanide scandal, I believe it was 1982, and about seven people died. Johnson and Johnson, at that time, owned 37% of the market in which Tylenol was their most profitable product. There were a lot of opinions on how they should respond. Should they cover it up? Should they acknowledge it? Should they publicize an apology? Should they just deal with the litigation and just pay people off?
And on the board, all of those opinions were floated, and they were considering all of them.
Fortunately, however, they had a credo, a statement written in 1943. So that was 40 years before this happened. By then-Chairman Robert Wood Johnson. It's literally carved in stone at their headquarters at Johnson and Johnson headquarters. And lists the constituents of the company in priority order. It lists their mental models, their standards, and their operating practices, in priority order.
And here's what it says. It says, Customers are first, shareholders are last.
So when they were in the midst of that, I mean, just imagine that that was the first time something like that had ever happened. They had 37% of the market share hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars around the line. And they had their people and they’re like, hey, look, let's just run the numbers. Let's just kind of cover this up, and we'll, you know, we'll just settle with these people out of court. And they're like, the leadership was like, No, customers first. So they swiftly decided to recall all Tylenol products. Guess how much that would cost them over 100 million dollars because they put their customers' safety above the hundred million dollars.
Damn the cost.
When you're building your business, founded on biblical principles, you've got to put your customers first. Period. You put your customers first above your profits. You put your customers first above your preference. You put your customers first above everything. And if you do that, you have the foundation upon which to build long-term, consistent and sustainable success, regardless of the market conditions.
The next thing I want to talk with you about is what I read in Proverbs this morning, Proverbs 17:24. And I believe this is an incredible proverb about focus. It says sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth wander to the ends of the earth. Welcome.
Imagine you've ever been applying super glue to something, and either your finger got stuck to the object or your finger got stuck to your thumb. And that's a beast to get stuck. Right? My daughter has just recently discovered stick-on or glue-on eyelashes. And she was telling me how she accidentally, you know, the first time she was putting them on she glued the eyelash to her eyelid, and then after that, she glued her eye shut. You know, I asked her and she took some pictures of it. I'm like, that's epic. We need to like to save that. She's like No, Dad.
So, sensible people keep their eyes glued, glued on wisdom. Do you do that? Do you have clarity of thought? What is wisdom? Well, obviously, biblical principles are wisdom. God's word is wisdom. But there are also good business practices that are wisdom. Right. And the Bible talks about Solomon talking about wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. And sometimes it's hard to parse between those three terms. And they are used sometimes interchangeably, but my best understanding and study and people that I respect who study this stuff say that there is wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
Well, knowledge is just information. Right? And information is neither good nor bad. Understanding is comprehension of the information, understanding it... what does it mean? How does it work?
And then wisdom is the application of that comprehension of that knowledge. Does that make sense?
So keeping our eyes glued on wisdom is keeping our eyes glued on the application to our daily lives or our daily businesses. But fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
I've done that. I've struggled with that. I'm looking at my business, trying to wonder how to build it. And I start looking at shiny objects. Right? That's foolish. And I look over there I'm like, Oh, the grass is greener over there. No, the grass is greener where you water it, period.
So don't be scattering your eyes to the ends of the earth. That's foolishness. You want to be having your eyes glued on wisdom for your business, right? So, the first order of business is to download the plan from the holy coach. The second order of business is to clarify the plan.
You need to have absolute clarity on the plan. And just the next step, right, you want to have a bias towards action. Because in business, the data tells you what to do. The problem with most people is they never get to the point where they have consistent data flowing through their business. Your car, truck, or vehicle has a dashboard. And those gauges and those numbers tell you what's going on. Same thing with business. You can see what's working, and then you can do more of it when you have data.
When you have data, you can see what's not working and can do less. So it's important to have a throughput of data because then you can make quality decisions. However, until you start taking action, there's an absence of data.
So download the plan, get clear on whatever that next step is, and then take massive, focused action. And the sky's the limit, I promise you. But you've got to do your part, and you've got to operate with the correct principles. And if you do that, you'll rock and roll.
When we get these things moving in the right direction, the sky is the limit.
There are three critical things that I've learned over my twenty-plus years, evaluating over one hundred and fifty different business models as a Christian entrepreneur.
I've put together my observations and these three keys (I learned the hard way) into a Christian Entrepreneur Manifesto, along with some step-by-step walk-throughs and demonstrations.
There is no opt-in required.
It walks through my favorite model, the Finders model.
It might be interesting for a Christian looking to start something new or for the first time to escape the "business running them vs. them running their business" or the nine to five and not to have to work for themselves or someone else until the age of eighty.
Check it out here:
I hope it helps!
PS: God is a big God.
He gives us above and beyond what we can ask or think.
We must ask big.
We must think big.
And if we don't, it's not His fault if we live limited.
Work hard, pray harder, and never ever ever ever quit.
You've got this!
PPS: Whenever You’re Ready... Here's How I Can Help You Generate An Additional $5 to $10k Per Month Or More:
- Check Out Our Christian Entrepreneurship Manifesto
Learn why some "make it" and others don't
- Access More Articles Like This
Sharpen your Mindset, Model, and get Mentored
- Watch Our Christian Business Incubator Training
Learn key lessons from analyzing over 150 different business models, launching ten virtual businesses in ten different markets with ten different models, and hitting six figures in four and seven figures
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Make sure you read the Manifesto and review the Training first and then let's hop on a call and get all your questions answered about the Christian Startup Business Incubator