Hey there friend.
I don’t really stay in the loop with what’s going on out there in the vast world of online business.
But every now and then I get asked by friends and fellow ministers of some business or business coach they came across is “real” or should be avoided.
Now, I went down this rabbit hole myself when I first left youth ministry.
I was trying to find a new way to earn a living that would also let me free to travel and go out and serve like I had always dreamed of…
So unfortunately I’ve lost both time and money following false teachers who promised to help me…
Only to having nothing behind their promises to actually deliver on.
The sad truth is, there are a lot of people who use our faith simply as a marketing tool.
So here are 3 questions I recommend you ask yourself before considering any job or business venture:
1. How does one actually succeed in this business?
Is it by providing a product or service to someone else, in a way that advances their welfare too?
Or is by viewing other people as dollar signs…
Where those who see “results” do so without providing anything useful in return?
This second type of business is where we must be careful.
Because false teachers often do not have anything real behind their speeches and promises…
And their business profits by asking their students and customers to invest in ideas, not in any concrete products or services they can put to use.
I will use Digital Tentmaking here as an example, but only because it’s easy to do so (not because I’m here to brag or force my own business model upon anyone).
In my business I see success when the business owner on the other side succeeds too.
Only when I have helped someone else…
When I have given someone else the means to put food on their table…
Only then do I earn the amount that I need to provide for my family and follow my own missions.
I do not promise these business owners results I can’t deliver, or ask them to blindly invest in any sort of fancy “system”…
I simply offer to provide a helpful service in exchange for a fair fee. Business does not (and should not) be any more complicated than that.
2. What do they focus on — small details, or the bigger picture?
After having worked with a couple false teachers myself in the past…
One thing holds true amongst all of them: They are always focused on the SMALL details, rather than any big picture goals and purpose.
Everything always seems to be about…
How many products have you sold?
How many people have you spoken with?
How many hours did you work today?
But they fail to focus on the big picture things that matter most:
How does this business fit into YOUR life?
Is it giving you the means to serve more and help others?
Are you HAPPY with the work that you’re doing?
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23)
3. How do they earn their own living?
This is a simple question that will often reveal everything you need to know.
Does this teacher earn their living by actually doing what they say they are going to teach you?
Or do they earn their living only by teaching others?
In these types of situations we must consider…
If the “systems” they sell work so well.. Why aren’t they doing it themselves?
Now, I don’t doubt that many people out there are better teachers than business operators.
Plus, wanting to give others a way to improve their own lives is a beautiful thing.
But if it’s hard to find any examples of this teacher actually using — either now or in the past — the same material they want to teach you…
It could be that it’s hard to find anything for a reason.
Now of course, none of these should be an automatic disqualifier any time you’re considering a new job or business venture.
Sometimes people have great intentions and the ability to deliver on their promises…
But just aren’t the best at communicating what it is they do!
So always be sure to do your due diligence and use these questions to make sure you’re not falling into any of the traps that are (sadly) out there.
Before I finish, I wanted to share with you these passages that I think sum everything up perfectly:
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:3-5)
P.S. A lot of the bad experiences I’ve had with false teachers over the years is what made me want to start my own program.
I wanted to be one of few people to actually teach what I was doing every day to earn my living…
And the result is the program called Digital Storefronts I have today!
So if you’re interested in working with me and joining our community of Digital Tentmakers…
Just click the link below to discover more: