Friday, 25 September 2015

Messages for World Changers (Christian perspective)

So yesterday and the night before I went to the World Changers Conference organised by my church (Acts Church) at Summit USJ 4th floor, and now I am a World Changer haha! Okay so the speaker of the conference is someone whom I have had never heard of, David Tjokrorahardjo. David what?! Don't worry, the name at the back was so hard to spell even, it took me literally one full minute to get it right haha! Unbeknownst to me, he is one of the managing principals of Sovereign Capital with its HQ based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sovereign Capital is basically a private equity fund focuses mainly on early growth-stage companies with $1-10 million in revenue. But Sovereign Capital is not just an ordinary private equity fund, due to the fact that they not only focus on profitability of the companies, but also proven management team that is running the company based on STRONG ETHICAL VALUES. Wow! 

While I am not going to bore you with everything he said during the conference, there are a few key takeaways that struck me the most. Before this, let's look at who's actually the speaker, shall we? David was born in Medan, Indonesia. He started his own enterprise in 1998 and sold his first company in 2005. Later in 2007, he started up a jewelry company in New York but also sold in 2007. He has lived more than 10 years in the States. He moved back to Indonesia in 2010 and cofounded a company called DTI Group, where he remains as a non-operational director. David has an innate ability to speak out his ideas, so it may not be surprising that he is also a public speaker and activitely minister a church of 12,000 in Jakarta. So far so impressive! Good! But what I didn't know are the insights he was about to share throughout the conference.

Growing up, David loves doing business and communicating his ideas. He was also a couragerous boy and did not afraid of anything. He repeated this a few times throughout the conference, "When I was 18, what's the worst that could happen? The most is I will go to jail for three years, and when I come out I'm only 22! Still young and handsome!" That probably fueled his desire and extraordinary courage to do businesses and started up so many companies at such tender age. But he never denied that God's favours have had been with him throughout these periods! Now, God's favour is something precious that doesn't always seem to occur to ordinary people, right? But why did David always seemed to get God's favour whenever things turned south for him? There was no coincidence.

Here's why: If your business plan has no God in the center, the plan is not going to work. While there is no sole path in achieving success in doing business, none of these paths is ever easy. What differentiates Christian businessmen and secular businessmen is the Christ living in the former. Being the Salt and Light of the world, we need to love God wherever we are in the marketplace, do business with excellence and integrity. Have you ever asked yourself what is the vision of your business? Doing the good things? Truth is, every successful businessman can do the good things when their business flourishes! As you can see, successful businessmen/investors/celebrities never hesitated to donate their wealth away to help people of various needs, build infrastructures and facilities for the poor, trying to do all the good things to the world. But... how many of them actually do the right thing? What right thing, you ask? Building the House of God.

Have we ever asked where's the righteousness of God in this business? From the book of Zechariah, Zerubbabel always have provisions to lay foundations for God, regardless of the external circumstances. This speaks of the attitude Zerubbabel had when he was facing high pressure! The more pressure you are facing right now, the more you should be giving and ministering. Even for fixed income earners like me! When we get a promotion and a pay rise, do we still give 10% as tithe? If I am earning RM20k, 10% of it is RM2k! BIG DEAL! When you start having this thought, brothers and sisters, there's no better time to examine your heart than NOW! The Bible very clearly stated that 10% of our earnings shall be dedicated to the Lord to build His Kingdom, because building this House of God is never a secondary issue.

Another very meaningful thing that David spoke about, was declaration of faith and positive thoughts about our goals. Making your goals public is one way. Sometimes when you look at the top of mountain, you may think it's impossible to climb up to the top! But ONE STEP AT A TIME! Doing business is the same thing, walking the Christian life is also the same thing. One step at a time! If the vision is to build your personal wealth, it's going to be endless and futile. You may successfully earn your first RM1 million, then RM10 million, then RM100 million.. But you may never be truly satisfied, and you will yearn for more and more. Where's the end? You may think, "What's the point of doing all these?". But if your vision is about building the House of God, it is always going to be worth it.

The second part of the conference focused mainly on getting our hands dirty! What does that mean? Simply speaking, by getting our mind and heart right is not enough, we need to put in the right amount of effort, get our hands dirty! God may have transformed your mind and heart, very well! So what's the plan? We cannot just talk a big talk but do nothing about it! We know that we need at least 10,000 hours in doing something specific to be truly master it. When you are good at doing something and have passion for something, time is not an issue! So it's always good to examine yourself: If money is not an issue, will you have the right passion to do it for free? The journey/process of getting from foundation to completion always require passion! While we always believe that our God is a God of miracles, God is also a God of process! He would love to let us go through certain experiences in life to mould us into His desired character, than granting us the fish (our wish) without us having to work hard to gain it.

Another thing that David was focusing on was our time management skills. It is indispensable for one to have a calender! Only people with calender can be trusted. For David, he always have a specific time slot he set aside for appointment with God. This speaks of how important God is in his life. If you never had a daily devotional time with your Lord, Jesus is just a savior to you, not God in your life. Ouch! Maybe it's time for us to really set aside a specific time for God every day. If you are already doing it, GOOD! But if you are like me not having a specific time with God daily but rather scattered time around, maybe having a calender is a good way to get ourselves organised.

Here are the big FOUR VALUES of (one of the companies Sovereign Capital was investing in):

1) Faith 
Regardless of the religions of the employees, the management team stresses that it is very important for the employees to emphasise on practicing their faiths. Corporate worship places are being set up.

2) Family/Relationship 
Do something personal for your family! This was what the management team was advocating for their employees! Between 8pm to 10pm, the internal server will be switched off just for this reason. Those with a spouse, please accompany your spouse for dinner. Those with children and family, it's never a better time to spend time with them.

3) Winning! 
Oh I love winning! How many of you knows the name "Nicholas" actually means "Victory of the People"? I love to be victorious, and you probably have noticed that I am all about winning! Damn kiasu hahaha! But no it's not that, because only by winning that someone/a company gets to shine! And God loves winning! In fact, God has already won the battle. Really it's up to us if we want to claim the victory in His name!

4) Physical and Mental Fitness
Everything you do will be pointless if you don't have the health of your body to enjoy your fruits of labour. You may be wealthy but are you healthy?! As for mental fitness, never stop learning! Keep occupying yourself with new skills/interests/hobbies! If you don't know anything, please hire someone to teach you! With a few clicks away on your mouse, millions of information will be at your disposal. It is really up to you if you choose to utilise by learning it. In fact, church is the best place to practice your gifts and skills learnt haha!

Zechariah 4:10 says "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hands." Why not have a small opening, and let the oil goes into your life? IF God can do it for David, God can do it for you too as long as you are open to His blessings! Are we opening ourselves to God for Him to use us mightily, even in business?

Signing off.

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