Mike Lamborne is an artist, motorcyclist, and business owner. He and his wife started a trucking business, where he was first introduced to motorcycle rallies. But, when the recession hit, they lost everything. However, as one door closed, another door opened, and they started traveling for nine months of the year, working on a motorcycle circuit as “The Mountainman.” They are currently in their 36th year of traveling and run a very successful motorcycle art business.
Mike is also the co-author of the book, Faith Into Abundance: 30 Stories from Successful Christian Entrepreneurs. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss Mike’s journey of faith through hardships and how we can apply the lessons he learned to our own entrepreneurial journeys.
Up in Flames
At 3 a.m. in late January, Mike’s wife woke up suddenly. “She had been sound asleep when God woke her up,” Mike said. Startled, she leaned over, shook her husband, and said, “The house is on fire!” Sure enough, the snow on the hill outside their window was glowing orange.
Mike jumped out of bed, woke up his son, and they ran out of the house. Standing on the hillside, they called 911 while watching their house burn down. Six minutes later, the entire house was engulfed in flames.
Just outside their shed, they had a 1977 Silver Eagle tour bus parked in the snow. The bus was so old it typically didn’t start when it was cold, but Mike’s son ran over to try to get it away from the flames. He prayed for the bus to start, and sure enough, it started on the first try. Once the bus was started, Mike replaced his son at the wheel to drive it away from the burning house.
He tried to reverse up the hill, but the tires were stuck on ice. With faith, Mike tried again and the bus got just enough traction to make it up the hill safely. “I went up that hill backwards. I could not see anything; that fire was in my eyes from the front and it was dark behind me. You remember the old song, Jesus Take the Wheel? Well, he took the wheel,” Mike said.
Once the bus was parked, Mike looked out at his home, glowing against the white snow. Everything he owned from the time he had been married was swallowed in flames.
“I stood there and looked at it, and I got the most peaceful feeling in my heart that I ever had,” Mike said. “The words to a song came to me. ‘It was in the night, during the storm of our lives, that God reveals His love is real.’ That’s what gave me that peaceful feeling.”
Soon after, people from down the road gathered, carrying all they could, clothes, food, money, etc. to help Mike and his family. “Within a short period of time, we had more clothes and stuff than we had before,” Mike said.
Never Give Up on God
In our own lives, we will also experience moments where it feels like everything is on fire around us. We may feel lost in a storm as our plans crumble to the ground. As entrepreneurs, we may find ourselves buried in debt or we may be one step away from losing our businesses; however, no matter how big the challenge, if we have faith and trust in God, we can make it through.
“Never ever, ever give up on God,” Mike said. “That is the main lesson.” Because of Mike’s faith in God, his family was able to safely make it through the fire. While they lost their home, God woke them up and helped them save the most important things. Not only that, but he blessed Mike’s family through the hands of others around them.
In order to safely make it through our storms of life, we should have faith in Jesus Christ.
“I take time every single day . . . [for] me and the Lord. I sit down and I read a chapter a day or a section a day [of the Bible.] . . . I’ve just worked on the New Testament. Every day, I read it, and then I pray about it,” Mike said. “I really ask God to give me Godly wisdom to take care of everything that I encounter, good or bad. It’s only through His wisdom that we can handle everything and it’s through His love in our hearts that we can. God doesn’t take away tragedy, but he sure walks with us through it.”
Treat Others the Way God Would Treat Them
In addition to trusting in God, Mike said we must treat others the way God would treat them.
“We got letters and cards from thousands of people,” Mike said. “A lot of them we remembered, a lot of them we knew, a lot of them we didn’t. . . . That’s the way we need to treat people. If we hear somebody whose house burned, or somebody is in a bad wreck, reach out to them. It’s just all about doing what Jesus wants you to do.”
As entrepreneurs, we should treat those around us with respect and kindness. If we have an employee who makes a mistake or a team member who forgets to do their part, we should remember to still always treat them as God would. As we see other people in a crisis or having a challenging time, whether that be in their personal lives or work lives, we should reach out and be God’s hands.
As entrepreneurs, we shouldn’t operate on an island. We should operate in a community of people. As we do this—as we work with our customers, employees, and partners—we should focus on helping them wherever we can. When we build relationships with those around us, we not only help them, but when we are in our own crisis, they will often be there to help us. They can be God’s hands in our lives.
“It’s just reaching out to people, loving people the way God wants us to love them, and seeking first the kingdom of heaven. Everything else . . . God takes care of,” Mike said.
In Faith Into Abundance, Mike wrote, “The abundance, strength and success of a business is not in the bank account, it’s in your love for God which fills your heart and overflows to everyone around you.”
When we trust in God and help those around us, everything else will often work out the way it is supposed to.
Thank you so much Mike for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
- We should never give up on God. While He might not take away our challenges, He will walk through them with us.
- We should treat others the way God would treat them.
- When we put our love and faith in God, everything often works out the way it needs to and we will be more likely to find success in our businesses.
Connect with Mike
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