Values-driven branding: To be, or not to be

Of course, we’d all want to ensure that the values we hold and express through our brand are all positive. But are they? Let’s take a closer look.

Who are you, anyway?

Like it or not, as entrepreneurs, our brand is us; they are one in the same. Oh sure, not all your values of your personal brand are expressed in your business brand. But many are, especially the core ones.

To illustrate, I’ll share some personal examples.

For me, one of these core values is creativity. Creativity, because I discovered many years ago that the jobs that made me the most unhappy were the ones that had no outlet for my creativity. I can vividly remember, my first job after leaving college was as a mortgage interviewer at TRW Credit Data. All day long, I would ask mortgage applicants questions about their residence, job and credit histories, dutifully filling out form after form. Desperately driven to create, I soon found myself furtively jotting down lines of poetry on scraps of paper...

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Part 3: Branding for the values-driven entrepreneur

Uncategorized Jan 10, 2017

In my previous blogposts, Part 1, we explored why entrepreneurs are not essentially self-centered and in Part 2, we explored how this is also true of the Christ-centered entrepreneur. Now, in Part 3, the last part of my series, we’ll explore what branding means for the values-driven entrepreneur.

What is “branding”?

According to the “Small Business Dictionary” of Entrepreneur Magazine, 

“Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”

Branding embodies everything you do, from what and how you reveal your business to the world, through all steps of customer/client acquisition, engagement, relationship-building, etc. No area of your business is not “branding.” (Keep these thoughts in mind...

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Part Two: Why Christ-centered entrepreneurs are not self-centered

Uncategorized Jan 03, 2017

In my previous blogpost, Part 1, we explored why entrepreneurs are not essentially self-centered. Now in Part 2, we’ll explore how this is also true of the Christ-centered entrepreneur

What “Christ-centered” implies

The very term “Christ-centered” implies you are centered on someone other than yourself. Specifically, there are three concepts: You are not your own; your life purpose is to glorify God and to love your neighbor.

Not your own

As a Christ-follower: “You are not your own, you were bought with a price.” In the First Book of Corinthians, Paul tells us:

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV)

Your purpose is to glorify God

To better explain this statement, let’s back-up a bit and look at life purpose in general. Here are three points to...

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Part One: Are Entrepreneurs Essentially Self-centered?

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2016

In Part One, we explore why entrepreneurs in general are not self-centered, evil people, but other directed.

We are sadly far too familiar with the common, cultural stereotypes of business people. They are described as: greedy. Rapacious. Selfish. Cutthroat. Willing to sell their own mothers. Only out for their own self-interest. They are exemplified by: Gordon Gekko of Wall Street, Henry F. Potter of It’s a Wonderful Life, and many others. 

Underlying these villains’ actions are ideas about business: Business is evil; it is a zero sum game; you’ve got to break some eggs to make an omelet. So it stands to reason, goes the popular argument, that since business is immoral, business people are immoral, too.

But is it just business people who are immoral? Are there not also immoral lawyers, social workers, teachers, car mechanics, construction workers and, dare I say, politicians? The answer is: “Yes”.

So, aside from the few bad actors-or actors forced...

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The Real Bottom Line for Christ-centered Entrepreneurs

Uncategorized Oct 20, 2016

Recently I’ve re-read a great book, The Good of Affluence by John R. Schneider. In this book, Schneider expertly makes the Biblical case for affluence, or what he calls “material delight”, which is neither the prosperity gospel nor the penurious “simple life” as Christians on either side of this debate promote. 

Beyond saying this, I will say no more about Schneider’s sound arguments, as the intention of my post is not to do an in-depth book review (although that may happen in the future); rather, it is to share with you one of the many enlightening passages I’ve found in my re-reading.

So today I share with you Schneider’s reflections on the “real bottom line”, as expressed in the parable of the Rich Fool.

The rich fool is an eternal fool for he has stored no treasure in heaven. The word is not against solvency. But we must be very sure that our quest for solvency is animated by creative and redemptive love –...

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HeartSpark: The Entrepreneur's Prayer

Uncategorized Oct 11, 2016

Here is a prayer especially suited for we Christ-centered entrepreneurs. 


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Hand-crafted by God

Uncategorized Sep 20, 2016

"Just who do you think you are?!"

I’m sure many of us, sometime in our lives, heard that statement of indignation, disgust, horror. And it was meant to “put us in our place.” Maybe you’ve heard it – or received its meaning from non-verbal clues – because you are a gutsy, risk-embracing, Christ-centered entrepreneur and by that very definition automatically stand out from the crowd. Or maybe you heard it as a kid, when you wrote an essay that received an “A+” or when you made the basket that won the game.

No matter how young or how old you were when you heard it, it still stung. Even for a moment, it made you feel less than the person you knew yourself to be.

And you know . . . you were right.

You’re right not because of some absurd delusion you have of yourself, but because of a timeless truth. YOU . . . are special. You are uniquely, individually-created by a loving God.

We’re told in the Book of Genesis that God created...

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Have Courage and Fortitude, Dear Christ-centered Entrepreneur

Uncategorized Sep 13, 2016

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’”   Matthew 14:27

Ours is a challenging calling, we Christ-centered entrepreneurs. And ours is a scary, uncertain time. So sometimes we lose heart. And sometimes we fear. We are human; this is natural.

But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to remain defeated and fearful, because the Lord our God is with us. Let’s get started.

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, “courage” is “the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.” Its root word comes from the...

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Mindset 101 for the Christ-centered Entrepreneur

Uncategorized Sep 06, 2016

The “ mind games” we play

Being an entrepreneur is a mind game. We talk about having the right mindset or getting mentally tough. We take great pains to clear our minds of extraneous thoughts and we use techniques to keep us focused on our goals.

For the entrepreneur, it all begins with the mind. Unless we start with that, everything else doesn’t matter. But what of a Christ-centered entrepreneur? What does our “mind game” look like?

Just as our moniker states—“Christ-centered entrepreneurs”—our mind must center upon Christ.

The “mind game” of the Christ-centered entrepreneur

To better understand this, let’s look at Romans 12:1-2 Here are those verses in the ESV:

I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,...

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Personal Branding: 3 Things Christ-centered Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Drag Queens

Uncategorized Aug 30, 2016

Recently I was captivated by an article in Fast Company Magazine entitled:  "6 Personal Branding Secrets From Drag Queens" by Gwen Moran.  In the article, Moran discusses the book Fiercely You: Be Fabulous and Confident by Thinking Like a Drag Queen by Jackie Huba. 

Huba has a lot to say to we Christ-centered entrepreneurs. 

#1:  Creating Your Brand Persona

Personal branding is about your brand persona. For drag queens, that persona is who he is when on stage. Not only is it big and bold but also all aspects of that persona are carefully crafted. 

Although your entrepreneurial brand persona is a carefully-crafted projection of who are, it always must be authentic to be a viable personal brand. As a Christ-centered entrepreneur, your authenticity begins and ends with your relationship to Christ. 

#2:  Bravely Taking Risks

A hallmark of being an entrepreneur—and a drag queen—is being a risk-taker. That is because both require...

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