The Finances of an EntreLeader

Financial Peace University is mainly for individuals and families but the principles apply to business as well. There must always be a budget, and money is kept in separate accounts (personal vs company). At least 25 percent also must be set aside for taxes, in a separate account that will not be touched.

Debt: The borrower is always a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7)

  1. Borrowed money always increases risk.
  2. Borrowed money always magnifies mistakes.
  3. Borrowed money always hurts and even destroys cash flow.

Myths about Finances, Debt and Credit:

Myth: Borrowed money is needed to start or expand a business.
Truth: Starting or expanding gradually increases cash flow and reduces risk. Dave reminds us that the tortoise always wins. Build your business with a crock pot rather than a microwave.

Myth: A line of credit is needed to cover cash flow fluctuations.
Truth: Cash flow fluctuation can be predicted with forecasting and budgeting, and having cash saved will help cover your needs. If you have a seasonal business you can plan for fluctuations in cash flow, and still not go into debt.

Myth: A credit card is needed for online and phone purchases and travel.
Truth: A debt card will do everything that a credit card will do, except create 18% debt.

Myth: A credit card will help me keep my expenses organized.
Truth: Use an accounting system, so a debit card does the same thing.

Myth: Large purchases require a business to use a credit card.
Truth: Avoid risk and mistakes by renting, outsourcing, buying used and paying cash.

Kids and allowance? Children learn about welfare with an allowance but they learn about a paycheck when they work. When the son comes to you and says he needs money, Dave says that he doesn’t need money, you need a job.

Never by anything that is not designed to make a profit. Don’t rationalize your wish list. Never purchase anything because you think you need a tax write-off. It’s a myth.An item that costs $10,000 that is an allowable deduction saves someone in a 30 percent tax bracket $3000 in taxes. So buying something that isn’t needed is like trading $10,000 for $3000. If your CPA suggests buying something you don’t need purely for the write-off, fire them.

Dave says that 60 percent of all small businesses start up with $5000 or less. Never make your decisions based on fear. Caution is OK, because that can bring peace.

In Good to Great, the author advises that we get the write people on the bus, then get the right people in the right seats on the bus.

A worthy goal in business is to shamelessly make money to benefit others. Churchill said that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. In a book called, Thou Shalt Prosper, the author says that business is serving; work is a higher calling.

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Nativity Mythbusters

This past Sunday we looked at the census, the announcement to the shepherds and the young couple’s experience at the nativity in Bethlehem. The focus was on the popular image that we have of the nativity, and how Christmas cards influence our understanding of the birth event more than our knowledge of the realities of childbirth.

We often sanitize the event, ignoring the dirt, smells, stench, pain and chaos that would have been present during a birth in a stable some 2000 years ago. We “holify” the couple as superhuman characters who deal with all of these challenges. We don’t hear the baby cry, smell the soiled diapers, or see Mary sneezing due to the hay.

I love that show Mythbusters. What would Adam and Jamie discover if they visited the nativity?

  1. Were there angels singing? Luke 2:10 says the angels were speaking, not singing. Luke 2:13 mention the angels praising God and “saying…” Busted.
  2. Was Jesus born on the same night they arrived in Bethlehem? Luke 2:6 only mentions that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. It could have been several hours or several days or several weeks. Not clear.
  3. Was Jesus born in a stable? The Bible does not mention a stable. It is only from Luke 2:7 that we get this idea, since the baby was laid in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. Busted.
  4. Was there an innkeeper? Luke 2:7 simply mentions a fact that there was no room in the inn (inn is found in more traditional translations), but there was no record of an innkeeper closing the door on the desperate couple. Busted.
  5. Was there “no vacancy” at the Bethlehem Holiday Inn? There is an interesting word comparison in the gospel of Luke. Luke 2:7 and Luke 22:11 use the same Greek word (kataluma) translated inn and then guest house. Both would assume a place of lodging for guests, but read on. Perhaps Mary and Joseph were planning to stay at the home of relatives. A typical home arrangement would be a central courtyard with rooms arranged around it, guest sleeping in a barracks-style formation. A larger home might have a second floor called the upper room (like for Jesus and His last Passover). Since the house could have been full of relatives (all coming to Bethlehem for the census) this crowded home was no place to give birth (remembering the realities of childbirth – pain, screaming, blood, etc.). So, Mary may have descended to a more private place for the birth, away from children and other relatives. Interesting possibility.
  6. Was Joseph alone with Mary to deliver the baby? While Scripture is silent on this, the assumption is, yes. But if the scene above is a possibility, female family members may have been there to aid Mary in the birth. Interesting possibility.
  7. Where’s the little drummer boy? Nice story, but totally made up. The importance of the holiday in church life has given rise to many auxiliary stories and legendary characters! Strike all the stories about Frosty, Santa, Rudolph, Scrooge, and even Christmas Shoes. Busted.
  8. Were there three kings from the orient? The Scripture mentions that magi came, following a star, which led them to Jerusalem (Matthew 2:1-2) and then to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:9), but it does not mention how many. Magi were the wise men, perhaps the astronomers of the day, not kings. The only reason we sing about three wise men, is because there were three gifts given. Busted on kings, three is ambiguous.
  9. Did the magi visit Jesus in the manger? Matthew 2:11 mentions that they came into the house to present him their gifts, not a stable. Busted.
  10. Does your nativity have shepherds and wise men in the same scene? A closer look at the story indicates two separate events. Matthew 2:16 tells us that Herod sought to kill all males two years old and younger, according to the time determined from the magi. Perhaps it took a while for the magi to arrive in Bethlehem. Busted.

The emphasis is that Mary and Joseph, although willing to go along with this whole Messiah plan, might have felt that this was not what they signed up for. This is unfamiliar territory, being harder than they anticipated. The lesson for us should be that when we follow God’s leading, and life gets harder, keep the faith! We cannot be like the freed Israelites wanting to go back to Egypt just because it gets a little tough in the wilderness!

Merry Christmas to you all. Keep the Son in your eyes,


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