This is Entrepreneurs of Faith, a Sunday episode of Monetization Nation. I’m Nathan Gwilliam, your host. In today’s episode we’re going to discuss the common misconception that money is evil, and share some great stories of entrepreneurs who generated wealth, and used that wealth to do some amazing things.
Jim Edwards Using Wealth to Save Lives
Jim Edwards is the author of Copywriting Secrets and the creator of a highly successful software product called Funnel Scripts, which my company has used. When Jim graduated from college with a history degree, he had no idea what he was planning on doing next. He quit or was fired from 7 different jobs in his first 18 months out of school. Through some turbulent years of many ups and downs, Jim eventually learned to publish books, create DVD courses, and sell coaching programs. Thanks to these programs and his entrepreneurial spirit, he went from being bankrupt and living in a trailer park to making $400,000 in just three months and paying off his house in 18 months. His Copywriting Secrets book and Funnel Scripts software generated more than $10 million within the first year of launch.
Jim’s son-in-law was part of the military and was deployed to Iraq. When his son-in-law was deployed, Jim went to the commanding officer and asked “what does your unit need?” Jim wanted to do anything he could to make sure this young man made it home safely.
The commander gave Jim a wishlist of all the equipment that he’d like to have to help keep his unit safe. Jim replied that he would take care of it. The commander asked Jim which of the equipment on the list he’d be able to supply, and Jim responded “all of it.” Because Jim had been so successful at monetizing his business, Jim was able to purchase and provide everything on the commander’s wishlist for the entire unit.
One dark night in Iraq, Jim’s son-in-law was driving with his unit in their Humvees when an IED exploded beneath his Humvee and destroyed the vehicle. In the pitch black and confusion of the wreck, the unit drug themselves out of the Humvee while they were bombarded by enemy fire.
As the soldiers fought for their lives, the medic on the squad flipped on his headlamp to check on the soldier who was fighting next to him. With that light, the medic quickly saw that the soldier was bleeding out badly. The medic quickly patched up the soldier and the soldiers were eventually rescued.
When they were back at their base, the medic approached his commanding officer and asked him to thank whoever had provided the headlamps. He told the commanding officer that without that headlamp, the soldier next to him would have died because he wouldn’t have been able to see well enough to know he was bleeding out. The commanding officer then told him that the headlamps had been provided by the injured soldier’s father-in-law. Jim had been blessed with wealth by God. He had chosen to use that wealth to do good, and as a result, he saved the life of someone he loved… the life of his daughter’s husband… the life of the father of his grandchildren.
Money vs. Love of Money
Some people may question, or even criticize me, for investing my time and other resources into building a business that focuses on helping business leaders make more money because they feel “money is the root of all evil.”
I believe the bible verse these people are referring to is 1 Timothy 6:10. This is actually one of the commonly misquoted and misunderstood verses of scripture. It is so commonly misunderstood that many people feel guilty about generating profits and wealth. Some people believe that profits and wealth are a sin and that poverty is a virtue. Here is the actual scripture:
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith….”
(1 Timothy 6:10, KJV)
This verse does not say “money is the root of all evil.” It says “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Huge difference.
Money itself is not evil. We all need money to provide for ourselves and the people we love. Orphanages need money to care for children without families. Charities need money to accomplish their charitable causes. Money builds churches, schools, hospitals, and homeless shelters.
So, what is the “love of money”? The love of money is putting the pursuit of money or materialistic things before God. The love of money is greed, and not using the money with which God has blessed us to help others and do His work.
Parable of the Talents
Matthew 25 records a parable Christ taught about talents. In this parable, a Lord was leaving for a faraway country. Before he left, the Lord gave his first servant five talents, his second servant two talents, and his third servant one talent. Talents were a unit of money used at the time of Christ.
When the Lord returned, he had a reckoning with the three servants. The first servant reported that he had traded with the five talents and doubled them to be ten talents. The second servant reported he had invested the two talents and doubled them to be four talents. To the first two servants, the Lord said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
However, the third servant reported that because he had been afraid, he had buried that one talent and not done anything good with it. The Lord called the third servant wicked and slothful and said that he should have invested the talent wisely. The Lord then rewarded the first two servants abundantly. But, he took the talent from the third servant and gave it to the first servant, and cast out the third servant.
What can we as entrepreneurs learn from this parable of the talents? God gives talents to all of us, and he expects us to use those wisely to multiply our talents and do good things with them. As entrepreneurs, we have talents to create businesses, products, services, jobs, and wealth. God wants entrepreneurs to create successful businesses that can provide well for themselves and the people they love. He wants us to create quality, ethical products and services. He wants us to create good jobs so our employees can provide well for themselves and the people they love. He wants us to use our wealth to help other people.
I’m going to share some examples of successful entrepreneurs who have been wise stewards with their entrepreneurial talents, have generated great wealth, and have then used that wealth to do God’s work and help a lot of people.
Tony Robbins, Motivational Speaker and Coach
Tony Robbins is one of the most successful motivational speakers and coaches in the world. According to Inc, Tony Robbins is involved in 31 companies—12 of which he actively manages–to the tune of a reported $5 billion in annual revenue. His family grew up in impoverished financial circumstances. They often didn’t have food to put on the table. However, one Thanksgiving, a generous person provided Thanksgiving for Tony’s family. As a result of that kind act, last year alone, Tony’s charity Feeding America provided meals for more than 100 million people that couldn’t afford a meal.
David Health, Co-Founder of Bombas
Davide Heath is a co-founder and CEO of Bombas, a company that makes high-quality socks. Because socks are the most-requested clothing item in U.S. homeless shelters, for every pair of socks they sell, Bombas donates a pair of socks to someone in need. Each day a new employee joins Bombas and before they are allowed to do anything else, they are given 10 pairs of socks and are asked to walk around the city to hand them out, while interacting with the people on the streets. Bombas is just about to hit their millionth pair of socks donated, in their third year of operation.
Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft
Bill Gates famously made his initial fortune as a co-founder of Microsoft. Bill and his wife Melinda have given away more than $45 billion to charities over the years (source: CNBC), including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That foundation and its partners are credited with saving more than 122 million lives through their childhood vaccination programs, and nearly eradicating several tropical diseases (source: The National News).
Paying for My Honeymoon
When my wife and I were engaged, we planned to travel to a tropical island for our honeymoon. However, as the date of the wedding came near, the financial situation of my young business did not make it possible for us to have the funds to go on that honeymoon. Instead, one of our generous investors made it possible for us to stay in a cabin for our honeymoon the week after we were married. My wife and I have been forever grateful to this man and his generosity, and we like to pay it forward for other newlywed couples.
Charitable Causes Need Monetization
Nearly any charitable cause requires funds to operate, which often originate from people who have been successful at monetizing a business, whether it be from the owner of the business or the people who received compensation from that business. Without these funds from business monetization, most charities would be unable to do the good they’re trying to accomplish. Most of the things that really matter in our lives, such as health, family, relationships, service, and faith, require money and time that we can only give if we have enough to share.
Helping Orphans Find Homes
Here’s an example from my Adoption.com business. Some people think you shouldn’t talk about making money in the adoption community. At Adoption.com, we make money in certain areas of the business, such as selling advertising sponsorships because it then gives us the resources we need to do other projects that help many children and families. For example, we have a photolisting with thousands of children waiting to be adopted but we don’t charge anything for the foster children to be listed in this photolisting. We’re able to provide this free community service and help children find loving, forever families thanks to monetization in other areas of our business.
Monetization Can Help Us Accomplish the Things that Really Matter
Money itself is not inherently evil. However, the love of money, or greed, can defocus and distract us from the things that really matter. Money can provide the means for us to take care of ourselves, the people we love, to serve others, and to make a difference for good in the world.
The goal of Monetization Nation is to help us earn more money so we can be good stewards and have the resources to take care of the things that really matter.
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