Recently I finished a book called Whatever the Cost: Facing Your Fears, Dying to Your Dreams, and Living Powerfully by David and Jason Benham. As you probably know, the Benham brothers had a TV show with HGTV but the show was canceled due to gay activists protesting against it. This book is their story from their beginnings in baseball to their highly successful real estate business. I enjoyed reading it. You have got to just read the first chapter at least. I was literally laughing out loud the whole time I was reading that chapter (if you have little brothers you’ll understand :). They had some very practical tips regarding starting a business, etc. Below are some of my favorite parts.
The whole book was well worth reading just for this bit of advice:
Dreams don’t accomplish themselves. It requires discipline to make your dream a reality. When a baseball player hits a 95 mph fastball, he’s able to do this through endless hours of disciplined practice. Everyone dreams, but not everyone accomplishes. The difference is in personal discipline. (pg 205)
Wow. That’s a really profound statement, “Everyone dreams, but not everyone accomplishes. The difference is in personal discipline.”
Here’s another quote I really liked:
Working from the heart unlocks God’s supernatural favor on our work. Every little thing we do – plunging toilets, washing cars, homeschooling kids, chairing the board, or hitting home runs – if done for the Lord from our hearts, will be rewarded. God will take the natural and make it supernatural only if we’re willing to give our very best for Him. (pg 208)
This goes in line with one of my favorite verses, Colossians 3:23-24, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Going the second mile is one of the most powerful tools in business. Going the first mile fulfills you obligation, but going the second mile opens the door to share your faith. If you meet the physical need you’re getting paid for, then you will have an open door to meet the spiritual need you’re not getting paid for. The path to meeting spiritual needs in the marketplace is first to meet their physical needs in a supernatural way. (pg 209)
They tell an interesting story regarding this. One time, when they both were jobless, just working little jobs, they met a guy who owed a printing company and needed large pallets of paper stacked manually. The owner estimated that it would take the two of them a day. Before they began the job, they hatched a plan to cut the time they spent working on the job in half without sacrificing quality. As they had planned, they finished the job in four hours instead of eight. They now had four hours left to do whatever they wanted. They could just sit around and then get their money when their boss came back or they could work to their abilities and not worry about the pay. They did just that. They had noticed that the back of the warehouse was a mess so they decided to organize it even though that was not in the job description. Four hours later, the owner came back. His jaw hit the floor. He said, “In all my years of running this company, I’ve never had an employee do this. Will you both work full-time for me?”
Initially this business owner needed us for only one day, but when we worked according to our God-given abilities and not according to our man-given pay, our performance changed his mind. This is the beauty of giving more in value than you take in pay; it will always open doors of opportunity. We had agreed to work for eight dollars an hour, but we delivered a twenty-dollar-an-hour job. This unlocks the power of the supernatural in the workplace and also opens the door for great ministry opportunities. Incidentally, we turned down the owner’s offer and moved on to a different river – but we never forgot the lesson we learned that day. (pg 81)
I love that story! Just had to share it. Here’s another quote of theirs’ that I love:
Christians in the marketplace – or anywhere for that matter – should be characterized by excellence. When a hair stylist shares the gospel while cutting hair, which part is ministry: sharing the gospel or cutting the hair? We say both! Excellence in business provides a solid platform for incredible ministry. (pg 206)
They came up with a concept called missioneering which is basically a combination of pioneering and engineering with a heart for missions. It abandons the two-sphered mindset of ministry and business as separate things and proposes the idea of being able to do both at the same time. They saw a great need to make missions work self-sustainable. They heard the troubling statistic that approximately 600 missionary families per month are leaving the mission field due to lack of funds. If only there was a way for the missionaries to support themselves. Watch this video: (I know it’s difficult to hear the audio but please bear with them. It’s very interesting.)
So there you have it. A business in the Philippines creating jobs, discipling employees, supporting indigenous missionaries, and all the profit stays in the Philippines. This profit is then recirculated toward these objectives and used to start new missioneering businesses. Man, aren’t these guys genius?
And if that wasn’t enough, they have started a ministry called Cities4Life – a ministry dedicated to encouraging abortion-minded mothers to choose life and bringing them the gospel of Jesus Christ:
Oh, and since there’s no harm posting another video, here you go: (I couldn’t decide which one I liked better!)
There are lots of other things I liked about this book but you’ll just have to read it yourself!
On a more negative side, when narrating this book to my family at the dinner table, we noticed that the authors have some NAR-like theology, such as concepts of bringing unity in the church to take control of different aspects of culture. Since I am fairly uneducated about the NAR movement and do have an interest in learning more about it, the next book I will be reading and narrating to the family is God’s Super Apostles by R. Douglas Geivett and Holly Pivec.
So, to wrap it up, I would give this book a 4-star (out of 5) rating due to some unsound theology, but I still did learn a lot from them regarding business and entrepreneurship.