Episode 3 - Practical Steps To Being Kingdom Entrepreneur

Karl: Hi everybody! It’s Karl Diffenderfer here with a special guest today. Who is this?

Arctura: Arctura Diffenderfer, his kid!

Karl: This is my child. Yes, she’s growing up very rapidly, getting ready to go to college. I’m very proud of her and all that she’s doing, and she has her podcast, you have to look for that. It’s out there very interesting stuff that she talks about. Sometimes I’m shaking my head, sometimes I’m like wow that’s cool.

Arctura: Whatever.

Karl: (laughs) Whatever. I love to have fun with my kids, I hope you do too. But today we’re gonna have a little bit of time to talk about something interesting that she doesn’t know anything about except what she knows through me (laughs).

Arctura: Yeah.

Karl: But that’s okay. So today Arctura is going to spend some time asking me some questions with the intent of actually beginning to formulate our content for the book that I’d like to write. She’s going to help me write it, so this summer, one of her tasks is to work on interviewing me, talking with me, and writing with me to pull together this book. Our topic is really on how to be a kingdom entrepreneur. Like, what does it mean to follow Jesus in our every day, in every moment through our business? And so today we’re going to start to unpack that a little bit and talk about that. She has some questions ready for me, then we’re going to talk about those things, and we’re going to see how this goes. This is a little bit of a risk. We have no idea, but she’s good on camera, and I’m good on camera. We should be alright. Okay, so Arctura, why don’t you get us started.

Arctura: Well first, we should like to start with the basics, like, what would you define a kingdom entrepreneur as?

Karl: Okay. So kingdom entrepreneur is somebody who’s a follower of Jesus, who has a business and they want to use that business in a way that glorifies God, and so in the practical, like every day that they do, they’re consulting with God and seeking God and saying, ‘okay how do I do this’ or ‘what about that’. It means that they have high regard for their employees, and the people they work with, and their vendors. It means that they work hard, and they’re not lazy.

Arctura: Yeah.

Karl: And then also, I would say it means that they are representing Christ well to the people around them.

Arctura: So why does it matter, like —

Karl: Why would we care about that?

Arctura: Yeah, yeah.

Karl: That’s a good question. So I believe that the way I look at it is this: We have a limited time here on this earth, and so if we think about it, I’m going to give an example here. (Snaps). Hopefully, you could hear that little snap, that is our life in comparison to eternity, and so if we think about it from that standpoint, what we do right here right now has eternal impact, and so from that, we have to say ‘okay well how do I — ’ and obviously we’re all human so none of us are perfect, we all still make mistakes and we mess up, but how do we do our best to obey God and to exemplify God in our everyday every moment of our lives and so I would say, why do we care? Well, when you help that homeless guy on the corner, you’re not just helping the homeless guy on the corner, but you’re also actually storing away eternal treasure, you’re putting away treasure. You can make all the money you want here on this planet, but when you put away eternal treasure, it’s a treasure that lasts forever. And then on top of that, the word legacy comes to mind. How do we build a legacy that is going to have an impact for many generations to come. And to me, the measure of legacy is how long — how many people remember you, or how many people remember you for how long? However you want to say it, that is a testimony of legacy.

Arctura: Yeah, I love that. It’s like you’re not just impacting today; now, you’re impacting future generations. So what are some actual practical ways you can do this?

Karl: Okay, so a big part of it I see with business owners is, number one, following through with what we commit to doing. And so with that, we have to look at okay, what are the things that I’ve committed to doing, and can I do them. I don’t know about you, but I tend to over-commit and under-deliver sometimes and so I have to be careful that I’m not committing too much. I’m still getting that. I’ve been in business for 20 years now as an entrepreneur and I still struggle with that. So it’s something that we never really perfect. I think another thing we need to look at is, how are we doing it — taking care of our priorities? Number one has to be God, so are we taking care of our relationship with God first. Number two is, I believe, ourselves, and you can debate me on this if you’d like, but I believe not in a selfish way do we need to take care of ourselves but lovingly, “love your neighbor as yourself” we need to take care of ourselves so that we can love others around us and then finally after that I would say, our family comes next. So I see a lot of business owners, so many that are struggling to disconnect from their work, but what they don’t realize is that they need that disconnect or they are going to burn out, they are going to hate their work, they are going to hate their business, it’s going to run them and they’re going to be miserable. And so by disconnecting from our work I usually say ‘you know what you don’t have a disconnect day, at least two days a week, Saturday and Sunday, or what I try to do every weekend. And then finally your business — and remember your business is kind of like a person. I know that sounds kind of weird but if you take care of your customers first and you don’t take care of your business, eventually your business is going to run you. If you don’t take care of your employees, obviously that’s also a problem but your business is also important. If you don’t do what you need to take care of your business you’re also going to have problems with that. Your business is a person.

Arctura: So have you personally faced any burnouts?

Karl: Yeah. Many, many, many times.

Arctura: Yeah?

Karl: That’s where it comes back to that over committing and there’s a powerful two-letter word that is just — and can you guess what it is? Two letters, one word that fixes all of that. Any idea? No? Okay, the word is NO.

Arctura: Oh, Yeah.

Karl: So when we — as business owners, we tend to say yes to everything because we think ‘oh that’s a good idea, or I should do that, or though this person needs help, or this would generate more business, whatever it is, but we need to consider ‘okay is this part of our end game is this part of our goals.’ I would challenge you to have your Mission, Vision, and Values in place and clearly stated, and then with that every year you should be writing out goals and watching those goals for you. You’ve seen my goals, we’ve done goals together as a family.

Arctura: Yeah.

Karl: It’s very very important because then if somebody kind of comes off from the side says ‘hey can you do this?’ Well yeah, I can, but does that fit with my goals and if it doesn’t, okay then, how can I help you differently? Maybe I can introduce you to somebody that can help you or whatever it is that you need to do with that.

Arctura: Yeah, whenever he says does it fit within my goals, I always think of whenever someone’s dieting like they don’t choose to eat certain foods like they could, but they don’t because it doesn’t fit with whether they’re trying to lose weight or just be healthier.

Karl: Yeah, I’ve been on the Daniel diet here recently, and I’m down 20 pounds now. So you’ve probably seen it in my cheeks and my neck here over the past years, so I was starting to pudge out a little bit, and I feel like we need to take care of our bodies. It’s very important.

Arctura: Yeah.

Karl: Yeah, what else do you have for me?

Arctura: So overall of like, what you’ve just said, how would you put it into like three words. You put it into like three different points, so how would you put it into three words?

Karl: Man, that’s tough. I’d use the word “Pursue”: pursuing God, pursuing our family, pursuing ourselves – like getting to know ourselves better and studying and learning and growing – and then, pursuing our business, really pushing in and working hard. That’s word number one. Word number two would be “Reliability”. One of the biggest things that I’ve seen with people is that if you’re not reliable in the business, it’s going to come back to bite you eventually. And so what you say you’re going to do you have to do and if you can’t do it, your first step is to reach out to whoever you said you’re going to do it to, and say ‘hey I can’t do this and this is when I’m going to do it’ or ‘I can’t do this but this is my solution to be able to do this’, and then I’d say finally, I would say “Responsiveness”. How quickly you respond to people shows how much you care. If you get a lead-in and you take two days to respond to it, the effectiveness of that lead has shrunk. If you have a customer that’s upset and you blow them off, your ability to connect with that customer has shrunk, and so I think that’s important.

Arctura: Yeah, I like how you said we have to learn about ourselves because learning about yourself allows you to interact with other people, and it allows you to figure out how to interact with other people and not offend them or rub them the wrong way, so that’s helpful with customer service and just life in general. And I also liked how you mentioned commitment because we don’t just make commitments to people, we make commitments to the Lord, and we are committed to Him and he has places and things that He wants us to do and go, so it’s really important that we go out and we listen to those things. So where do you think the Lord is taking you in the future?

Karl: Well, good question, so I really, she’s poking me today, this is great. So I’m coming to a spot in my career where I’ve done very well. God has blessed me and I’m honored that he did that. It didn’t come without mistakes, it didn’t come without hard work, it didn’t come out without failure, just so that you know the people that watch me on Facebook and you’re like oh his life is perfect, no it’s not. I’ve had a lot of struggles in my journey, but God is beginning to move me into a season of really focusing on helping. I’m going to say two things: number one, helping business owners use their business for God’s glory. That’s number one and that’s the call of my life. Like if you look at my life purpose statement and everything that I’ve done it all leads back to that. Number two though is I feel like God’s preparing me for ‘greater impact’ yeah, ‘higher impact’ get it? So I believe that you’re going to see more of me generating information, teaching, and learning from all the stuff that I’ve gleaned over the last 10 years. I’m in the top 3% of coaches in the world now and right now I do about 500 sessions a year, but at one point I was doing over a thousand coaching sessions a year. So think about everything that I’ve learned over the past 10 years doing all this coaching and so now I want to help others with it, so you’re going to see me writing more content, writing a book, we’re working on a book right now actually, probably two books, and doing more live casts, and then finally, I’m going to be coaching the coaches more. We are scaling up our coaching team to have over 100 coaches on it so that we have more reach and more impact, and so if you know somebody that wants to learn how to be a better coach, have them reach out to me. I’d be happy to show them some of the things that I’ve learned.

Arctura: Wow.

Karl: Well, thank you.

Arctura: It was good.

Karl: Okay, everybody

Arctura: Yeah.

Karl: I think we’re done.

Arctura: Yeah. Thanks for listening.

Karl: Yeah, thanks for listening in. Hopefully, you enjoyed this, and my beautiful young daughter, very proud of her, and I look forward to, well, probably one of these again.

Arctura: Yeah, yeah.

Karl: She has a question she wrote down here: The non-negotiables of a kingdom entrepreneur. So maybe that’ll be our next topic. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy that, and please comment on our feed here if you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Maybe you have ideas for the book, maybe you’re like ‘Karl you need to talk about this in the book’, or maybe you want us to do a podcast on it, just let us know and we’d be happy to have you join us.

Karl: Thank you, everybody, take care!

Arctura: See ya!

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