The Value Of Having Many Advisers

March 28, 2016 – Robert J. Tamasy

Some time ago I received a phone call from a friend who told me about a new business venture he was planning. He asked if I, being a writer, could come up with a catchy, marketable title for the enterprise. My friends know me as the guy who is never at a loss for words.


Before starting to think of clever names for the business start-up, I asked my friend if he had done his due diligence in researching the pros and cons of this particular type of company. He said he had already done that, and was eager to get underway. I had no background in that type of business, but two of my friends had engaged in ventures like that in the past. So I urged my friend to contact them and ask for their feedback. My desire was not to discourage him or change his mind, but to ensure he had examined all aspects of the proposed business to avoid problems in the future.


Years ago I learned an important principle of decision-making. We tend to make decisions based on emotion, then justify those decisions with facts – facts to support the course of action we want to take. Sometimes this works, but other times an emotions-first, facts-second approach can lead to disaster. Feelings can and frequently do cloud sound judgment.

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The Bottom Line: Friend Or Foe?

March 21, 2016 – John D. Beckett

Gunter was reeling. The unexpected turn of events had caught him totally off-guard. After all, the board of Mastech had brought him in as CEO to move the company forward. He knew he had been selected not only because of his proven business skills, but also his genuine care for people. In fact, Gunter had always regarded his commitment to his employees as one of his greatest strengths as a leader.


Now the board of directors was adamant: “You are just being soft, Gunter. You care about people so much that you are not making the tough decisions. You will never improve the bottom line of this company unless you start swinging the axe – making personnel cuts to reduce costs. Get to it, or…um…the axe may be falling on you!”


This directive hit Gunter right in the gut. It went directly against his instincts, as well as the strategy he had been employing to strengthen the company over the long term.

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Great Commissions…And The Great Commission

March 14, 2016 – Robert J. Tamasy

If someone were to ask why you go to work, how would you respond? There are many possible answers to that question: To earn a living and pay bills. To earn enough money to support one’s desired lifestyle. To build a rewarding career. To find expression for one’s skills, expertise and interests. Some might sarcastically reply, “To fill in the time between weekends, holidays and vacations.”


For people in sales, one of their primary motivations at work is to receive greater commissions. The more they sell, the more money they can make. But have you ever considered a different type of commission to pursue – at least for those who serve Jesus Christ in the workplace?

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An Unorthodox Marketing Strategy

March 7, 2016 – Rick Boxx

In the business world it seems normal to emphasize a company’s unique qualities and capacities. We try to define our “niche,” promote our strengths, and show how we differentiate from our competitors. It is less common, however, for business leaders to publicly acknowledge their weaknesses. They are either ignored or, even worse, disguised or concealed in hope that no one will recognize them.


That is not always the case. One stellar example was a nationally known pizza franchise that came to the unsettling realization that many of its customers disliked the taste of the primary product – pizza. Rather than overlooking the customers’ dissatisfaction by attempting slick marketing and repackaging, the company’s CEO developed a strategy that brought a remarkable turnaround in a five-year period.

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Is It True We Can’t Take It With Us?

February 29, 2016 – Robert J. Tamasy

Occasionally we hear the cliché, “You can’t take it with you.” The implication is that on the day we pass from this life, we will not be taking suitcases filled with our belongings. No moving van will be following the hearse. Following the death of a wealthy, internationally famous entrepreneur, when asked how much the businessman had left behind, a company spokesman accurately responded, “All of it!”


Strangely, however, often we do not act as if that is true. Many of us accrue as many material things as our incomes allow. For some people this means multiple homes, numerous cars, closets filled with attire that could clothe entire villages in Third World countries, expensive vacations, enough gizmos and gadgets to occupy several lifetimes. We fret over investment portfolios, agonizing when returns drop and rejoicing (temporarily) when they soar.


Yet, upon taking our final breath, everything we have amassed remains behind, left perhaps to family members and loved ones, or even to the government in the form of inheritance taxes. So if in reality we can’t take it with us, why does our behavior make it appear we think otherwise?

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Confusing Joy With Happiness

February 22, 2016 – Jim Mathis

My topic for today – joy – is not something we often talk about in the business and professional world. We commonly speak about happiness and being happy, whether it concerns finalizing a contract, attracting a new client, making a sale, receiving a promotion or a pay raise, or finding a new job we feel certain will be more fulfilling and rewarding. Such events make us happy. But when was the last time you heard someone speak about experiencing joy?


Recently some friends and I were talking about these two seemingly similar words, joy and happiness. However, during the course of our discussion we realized that in important ways, they are very different. Happiness, for example, has a lot to do with what is happening at the moment. I can feel happy because it is not raining, or I might become unhappy simply because my coffee got cold. Joy, on the other hand, is more about attitude. Joy is a way of life, how we approach everyday events, both good and bad, while happiness typically is situational. Joy also can be more of a personality trait, an inner quality of well-being that permeates every part of person’s life.


An observation that came from our discussion was how our level of joy can have an effect on what brings us happiness. For example, if we are joyful, we tend to see the good in many things: little pleasures will make us happy, and problems can be viewed as challenges rather than as insurmountable obstacles. People without joy in their lives will have a lot of trouble finding happy moments, and every problem they encounter will be perceived as a major hassle.

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Foundational, Biblical Principles Of Investing

February 8, 2016 – Austin Pryor and Mark Biller

Our clients often come to us seeking advice on what investments to make, when to make those investments, and how to receive the greatest return on the funds they invest. Many proven principles undergird the counsel we give to our clients, but even before we do that, it is imperative for us to recognize what we all are up against – the perils and pitfalls that can prevent us from achieving our financial goals.


Perhaps most important is a simple, universal truth: As investors, we can be our own worst enemies. This observation stems not only from our decades of practical experience as investors and money managers, but also is confirmed by what God tells us in the Bible.


Given our imperfect, fallen natures, and our disposition to concentrate on our own self-interests, it would be surprising if we were not the primary problem we face when investing. Consider for a moment the kind of people we are, as described in the Scriptures:

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Asking The Wrong Question?

February 1, 2016 – Rick Boxx

Dan, a budding entrepreneur who was eager to start his career as an independent businessman, called me recently asking for counsel and some assistance. He asked me very directly, “Can you help me apply for, and borrow, all the money I need to start a new business?”


This question did not surprise me. Many entrepreneurs assume that borrowing as much money as possible will prove to be the solution for their funding problems. If there is enough financial capital available to them, they reason, how can they not succeed? However, many years of experience – both as a businessman and as a consultant to other business and professional people – have taught me that if we are willing to pray and seek God’s wisdom, He usually has a better plan than simply trying to pool enough financial resources to pursue our business goals.

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Things That Strike Fear In Our Hearts

January 25, 2016 – By Ken Korkow

What are the things that strike fear in your heart? ISIS and global terrorism? Disease epidemics, like ebola or some other cure-resistant virus? The always-present threat of nuclear warfare? Gun violence? National and global economic turmoil? So-called climate change?


Those issues confront people all around the world, fears we share whether we live in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, or the Pacific Rim. Then there are the even more personal fears that hover in our subconscious: Is my job secure? What happens if we lose that client? Can our company survive in this highly competitive environment? Will I get that promotion that I desperately want and need? What will my (or a loved one’s) biopsy reveal? Can I pay the bills? Will I age gracefully – or tragically?

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When Corporate And Personal Values Clash

January 18, 2016 – Robert J. Tamasy

When an international media corporation acquired the community newspaper where I worked as editor, I was given additional responsibilities as publisher, succeeding the former owner who had left the company. In this expanded role I not only had oversight for the editorial operations of the newspaper, but also was required to interface with advertisers and the staff that operated our printing press.


In the printing business, presses are costly capital investments, so to maintain profitability they must be kept in use as much as possible. For when our newspapers were not being printed, the company would seek printing contracts for other publications to ensure our press and the pressmen remained busy.

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Improved Skills Make For Better Tools

January 11, 2016 – Jim Mathis

I remember the day clearly in 1985 when I walked into a popular record store and found its bins of LP (long-playing vinyl) records replaced by rows of CDs (compact disks). That week I bought a new CD player. But I also bought two turntables. Having invested thousands of dollars in wonderful music on LPs being rendered obsolete, I wanted to still be able to enjoy them for many years. As it has turned out, there has not been a time in the last 30 years when I could not have bought a brand new turntable.


At the time it surprised me how many people were selling or even discarding their old LP records and turntables because of the new CDs. I never have understood that kind of thinking. I should have known, however, that many people find more interest in having the latest technology than listening to or owning music in any form.

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The End Of An Old Year Can Mean A New Beginning

Dec 28, 2015  – Robert J. Tamasy

It is never too soon – or too late – for making a fresh start. And something about the onset of a new calendar year inspires us to strive for a new beginning, either by redoubling our efforts to achieve a long-sought goal, or making needed changes because the old ways for doing things have not worked.


So with January 1, 2016 bearing down on us, many of us find ourselves thinking about resolutions and goals, along with decisions like, “This is the year I am going to…,” or “Starting the first of next year, I will no longer….” Maybe we feel stuck in a dead-end job, offering little fulfillment and no prospects for advancement. Perhaps there is an important educational step we have delayed, one that could open up new opportunities professionally.

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