In less than three years, this ministry has garnered significant goodwill and brand mileage. And this was without resort to the employ of notorious and questionable ministerial means. The Church is quietly but steadily surging forward, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Now, Pastor Godman knows I’m not a pastor but he has decided to teach me a lesson or two nonetheless. Or how else would you explain the invitation to speak in 3 services!
It can’t be easy being a pastor. Each of us is enough trouble. If you’re not called to be a pastor and you take on the calling because of the allure you will become a member of the Nigerian Labour Congress.
As an aside, Pastor Godman’s father definitively sealed his fate when he named him Godman! What other professional options exist for a man named Godman?
It’s the Enterprise Development Month of Elevation Church. We shall therefore be talking about business development. I am however going to take a creative approach to my lecture. If you’re expecting a dry consultant’s speech, I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you. I’m a priest-king and I’m going to combine my offices.
My approach to the three services will be to present a continuum of knowledge broken into three parts. I’m not going to do the same teaching in all three services. My cup runneth over. Each service will get a third part of the knowledge continuum.
I have titled my lecture, 7 Kilograms of Thought, One Man Named Adam and Sundry Business Knowledge.
In this first service you’ll learn the following:
- How creativity works
- How to think through business ideas
- A little bit about branding
- The laws of partnership
- Guiding principles for naming your business
- How to cope with achievement loneliness
Please don’t be taken aback at the table setting. The idea is to break our orthodox paradigm. The pictures are my beautiful and lovely wife, and my two wonderful children. If I do get tired I fully intend to sit down and read my lecture to you! Let Pastor Godman try to stop me!
I want to begin this morning by taking a lexicalization excursion into the Word of God, to go to the very beginning of the codification of human existence – the very Book of Genesis.
The narration of creation in the Book of Genesis goes on for 37 verses until we come across the creation of an experimental being called Adam. We know he was an experimental being because a surprise bug was found in his programming. It is called Loneliness. Tests were carried out to see what would ameliorate this loneliness; none of the proposed solutions worked until a genetic mating pair was introduced. Her name was Eve. Then the bug was fixed. Why didn’t God just fix the bug at the conceptual stage? He is God. He had foreknowledge.
It’s because creativity follows a protocol, even for God. That’s the framework God established. The creative protocol is beta launch first; then bugs are fixed as they emerge.
Some people want to launch a once and for all perfect product. That’s not how creativity works. You launch a beta version, or whatever you choose to call it; then you begin to tweak based on interactivity reports. It’s what Microsoft does, it’s what Samsung does, it’s what Apple does, it what successful corporations do. And I’m not talking about releasing defective products. The product must be able to function effectively in the market. I’m just saying you’ve got to launch after a stage, or else you’ll never launch. If you don’t launch on time, competitive, sociological, technological, economic and environmental factors will make your product idea obsolete. The man who waits for perfect conditions never gets anything done. Before you launch however, test your product. Before the launch of Adam he underwent a rigorous regime of product testing. Various animals were brought to Adam to test his intellectual acuity. He scored very high in this regard. He was able to stratify the genus of all the animals, classify them and name them. Not once did God amend the names or classification. Intellect was going to be crucial to the successful propagation of the Adamic strain.
By allowing Adam to name the animals, God shared intellectual property with him. God owned the patent to the creation of the animals; but Adam owned the intellectual property rights to the brand names. This was the first partnership between God and man. It proved that God could work with man, and man with God; and it heralded the beginning of God partnering with man, a partnership that goes on till this day. And Adam’s descendants retained branding rights over animals. They keep naming animals, and now even plants. God originally named the plants. As we speak there is not one animal named by God.
And so we see the separation of the entity from the brand name. It’s the same principle Coca-Cola operates on. The ownership of the Coca-Cola plants is separate and distinct from ownership of the Coca-Cola brand.
The Coca-Cola Company is worth $79.2 billion. The brand is worth $54.9 billion. The most important asset of the Coca-Cola Corporation is the trademark. Why are brands so significant these days? It is because we have entered the third economic dispensation predicted in the Book of Genesis. The first is the Economy of Nature, the second is the Economy of Man, now we are in the Economy of Evaluation. It is what is accounting for the crazy valuations of Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and the like.
Pay attention to your branding. The statement, “A good name is better than silver and gold” tells you names have commercial value. Or else a name will not be compared to economic assets – silver and gold. Names are economic properties. You must brand your business. You must build equity into your brand name.
Because Adam owned the patents to the brand names of the animals, the animals became subjected to him. If you name your dog he submits to you. To the casual observer therefore it would seem that Adam owned the animals themselves. All he owned was branding rights. God demonstrated generosity by giving Adam public relations credit for what he didn’t create. And he does the same for us. We take credit for the works of God. This credit giving is irrespective of the state of our relationship with him. How many houses has God built that we took credit for. And how many businesses have we claimed to have built that God built. The scriptures declare that except the Lord builds the house they that labour, labour in vain. God is the builder. We’re just labourers. Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft. God did. Bill laboured. We have our part to play.
When businesses owned by people who openly oppose God thrive it flummoxes believers. Means you don’t know your God. He’s kind to the wicked. His goodness leads us to repentance. What God did was to make the laws of enterprise open source. Anyone can take the code, adapt it to his circumstance and prosper. God is keen to multiply resources on the face of the earth.
As pointed out, in the naming of the animals we saw the first partnership between God and man. Hitherto, the only partnership recorded in scriptures was the partnership of God with Himself – the partnership of Divinity. Creation was a partnership of Divinity. Elohim (God as plural entity) said, “Let US make man in OUR image and after OUR likeness” (Genesis 1:26). This is what we term primordial partnership.
In this primordial partnership, we see the Godhead pulling resources together to create something unique and enduring. Every member of the Godhead contributed. There is a simple lesson from this. In a partnership everyone must contribute. Don’t bring people into partnership on sentiments. It always leads to acrimony later. Someone’s going to feel cheated – usually the guy doing the heavy lifting. A partnership is a contributory scheme. Everyone must be contributing something. A lack of observance of this simple rule has separated friends.
As pointed out, God never edited the names Adam came up with. The names were technically sound. He must have structured the names to accommodate the multiplication and diversity of each species.
When you name your business you must do so with a vision of multiplication and dominion. If the name is too native it won’t play well internationally. May be unpronounceable. Which means you never had a vision to go international. A name may work well in a native country but suffer in international markets. Lucky Gold Star, the Korean conglomerate had to change its name to LG. Who wants to have a TV at home called Lucky Gold Star?
Your naming must also take cognizance of future diversification. In other words you must be aware of what brand consultants call brand architecture. Brand architecture is the inter-relationship between the parent enterprise, its spin-offs and acquisitions. A good naming exercise takes cognizance of this kind of vision. Don’t just name your business, imagine what it can become. Would that name work when God has multiplied the works of your hand?
Now, according to our narrative, there was a secondary reason God brought the animals to Adam to name. It soon became obvious to Adam that all the animals had mating partners. At the end of the naming process Adam found himself alone! He experienced loneliness after a monumental achievement.
This is reminiscent of the kind of loneliness that attends to achievement in general. Achievers tend to feel lonely. Adam had achieved a feat of genius, but he was lonely at the end of the exercise.
You need to learn how to handle loneliness as an entrepreneur. The ameliorator of Adam’s loneliness was his wife. Your wife has a major role to play in that department. Marriage has always been a huge thing in the lives of achievers and entrepreneurs. The pursuit of achievement can create matrimonial challenges. Entrepreneurial success can put pressure on a marriage. And some people can’t handle their partner’s success. May God sustain your marriage.
I want to speak to the unmarried entrepreneur this morning. You see, aloneness exposes an achieving entrepreneur. It is important that you get your pairing right. A huge chunk of your personal happiness will depend on whom you choose to be your marriage partner. Choose wisely. And may the Lord give you an understanding partner, one who won’t resent your strivings, or despise and hate you for your success. Success has unique challenges, some with matrimonial flavour. But the blessing of the Lord maketh rich and it adds no sorrow. May you not know sorrows; and if you’ve seen sorrows, may God be kind to you.
Let’s take a closer look at Adam.
Now, remember Adam was an experimental being. On the genetic spectrum, animals are to the left, angels to the right.
On some level Adam shares genetic consanguinity with the animals he was naming, but he was genetically and conceptually superior to them. His genes were however constitutionally inferior to those of angels. He was made a little lower than angels the Bible says (Psalm 8:5). It’s why angels can fly and we can’t. It’s why they’re strong and we’re puny.
God’s method of creation was to code principles of creation, and then use the code to create microorganisms and less complex creatures; but for more complex creatures he used a genetic base. He creatively tweaked this base, adding, subtracting, modifying to arrive at different specie configurations. The basic template was arms, legs, torso, head. These were modified in various forms to arrive at new species. Instead of arms for example, fishes have fins; instead of legs they have tails. At the micro-organic level, creation principles were applied and adapted. Reproduction is a basic principle for instance. Microorganisms don’t have to mate. They just need to obey the reproduction code. Cell division obeys the code for instance. It’s reproduction.
It is a lack of understanding of this creative approach that gave rise to the theory of evolution. To be sure, there is what we call horizontal evolution. Animals adapt to their environment; humans adapt as well. But there is no vertical evolution. At no point is a toad ever going to become human.
Creativity by genetic tweaking is why the genetic difference between humans and apes is minimal. Humans are 96% – 98% similar to chimpanzees. The mouse amazingly shares 92% of its genes with humans. The fruit fly (Drosophila) shares about 60% of its DNA with humans, and about 60% of chicken genes correspond to a similar human gene. What this shows is that just a few genes can make a huge difference. So does the working mechanism of genes.
But we know angels are genetically proximate to humans because some copulated with women about 2468 BC or thereabout. They gave birth to giants. This is recorded in the Bible in
Adam was essentially a genetic insertion between the animals and angels.
The point I’m trying to make is that Adam was totally experimental. He was an idea called “Man”. The Trinity deliberated on the concept hence the statement “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Adam was conceptual.
What is interesting but which we hardly think about is that the capacity for idea generation is part of the constitutional make up of the idea called Adam. God intended for ideas to generate ideas. It’s how businesses grow and expand. As your business expands, it will begin to generate ideas of its own. It will spot opportunities and come up with product and service ideas. An idea – any idea – has the capacity to generate ideas. It follows that every man is imbued with imaginative capacity. How well are you using yours?
Just like Adam, every business is an experiment. An entrepreneur has a spark of genius. He begins to deliberate on it, begins to think about it. Thinking is self-consultation. We learnt that from God. God consulted himself, deliberated with himself in himself, by himself, for himself.
Some people don’t understand the need for self-consultation in business idea development. They don’t deliberate and think for themselves, with themselves, by themselves, in themselves. Some want others to think for them. It can’t work that way! Some have the spark of an idea and just run into town, blabbing out the idea. They’ve not done any self-consultation. They’re just excited. Then someone points out an angle they haven’t thought through and for that thinks the idea will not work. What happens to our entrepreneur? He gets deflated and discouraged. He abandons the idea. A few years down the line he sees someone doing exactly the same thing he thought about, and he has regrets. The problem was not the idea. The problem was, you didn’t think through. You have to consult yourself first before consulting others. Jesus deliberated with himself on Adam first, then he took the deliberation to the Trinitarian Council. Jesus is the creative agency of the Godhead. All that we see was made by him.
You have to work out your idea, think through potential problems, flaws, blind spots…come up with solutions to flaws… So when you pitch your idea and questions are asked, you have ready answers. You’ve thought through. And investors will develop confidence in you. An idea will fail if not properly thought through.
I have had opportunities to consult with young entrepreneurs on their business ideas. The ideas are almost always invariably beautiful but they never think through. They don’t work out the logic. They haven’t thought through how it would work. They don’t know the way to market. They don’t think through the economic logic.
“Who will pay?” is one of the most critical questions in business. If no one will pay for your product or service it’s not a business. It’s a charity. If you don’t think through the commercial logic of your idea it will fail. A business is an experimental creation. Thinking through minimizes the possibility of failure.
But let’s explore the conceptual framework of Adam further. The word “man” in the famous scripture, “Let us make man in our image” is “Adam”. Unlike with the animals, God generated a name for Adam at the conceptual stage, not after development. There are many principles guiding name generation. God chose a visionary approach. The word “Adam” usually refers to mankind in the collective sense. Adam is actually translated “persons” in Numbers 31:28, 30, 35 and 40. It is also a proper noun. In other words, you can call Adam, Mr. Adam. There are so many lessons embedded in this. I’ve spoken about having a vision when you name your business. But the name also has to work in all contexts. Adam is both Mr. Adam and a plurality.
You cannot be thinking small when you want to start a business. You start small but you don’t think small. You dream. At conception Adam had a multiplication protocol embedded in him. He was already named after a collective of humans before he was even made. Today, we use the word “mankind” to refer to that collective. Mankind literally means Adam-kind. Adam is now 7.046 billion strong. And the name still works. He even did brand extension with his wife’s name: “wo-MAN”. When God pronounced the blessing upon Adam to be fruitful and multiply, he was only expressing what he had already embedded in him. Now this is the lesson:
Our prayers for blessings on our business and our prayers for increase become superfluous if there is no multiplication protocol embedded in our business at conception. They’re useless prayers. If your business can’t multiply what can God do? The easiest way to multiply your business is to evolve a management and enterprise structure. You have to create an idea machinery and you have to breed managers or bring in managers. And the managers have to be enterprising. Have you ever wondered why a “battery charger” never has branches? It never occurs to him to award franchise to all those boys he’s training, instead of granting them “freedom”. He trains people in entrepreneurship and business management but expunges them from his system. What if those boys become owner-managers of his franchise? It never occurs to him to build a brand. His business hardly has a name. Who can remember the brand name of any battery charger, or vulcanizer?
What this shows is that the average one-man business has capacity for multiplication but it takes intellectual sophistication to access those capacities. You’ve got to read! And I don’t mean motivational books. After you’re motivated then what? You need technical business knowledge. Study. In particular, case studies. Read business biographies as well.
It is in your interest to embed intellectual capacity in your business. If you keep on employing people you can’t reason with, because you’re trying to save on salaries you do so at the expense of your growth. If the gap between you and your next staff is so great, he or she can’t interpret your vision. Neither can he execute it. You will be frustrated, start running all over the place, to and fro like you know who. Unless you multiply yourself like Mr. Smith in Matrix. That recruitment standard of yours is going to cost you a major contract some day. Not once did God question what Adam was naming the animals and the species. He had intellectual parity with God, had capacity. They could reason together. Now I know a young enterprise may not be able to employ at a certain level but it’s the principle that matters. As you grow, add intellectual beef to your organization at whatever level you can.
This need to embed intellectual capacity into your organization is why you need to send your staff on training; it’s why you must incorporate on the job training into your system.
It troubles me so much when Christians assume that intellectual sophistication is anti Spirit of God. As if the Holy Spirit is not intellectual. Who dictated Paul’s letters? Who advanced the concept of the Logos from the conceptual framework of Heraclitus, the 6th century philosopher into the anthropomorphic dimension called Jesus? Who explained the Logos to John? A lack of intellectual appreciation of scriptures is why many people have fallen prey to charlatans masquerading as men of God. It is why we believe that the Book of Genesis is shazam, as if God is a magician.
We must stop the anti intellectual campaign. God is an intellectual, and a scientist to boot. I spent two years studying cosmology and quantum mechanics just to understand the physics of Genesis 1. I’ve written a book on my findings. God willing we’ll publish soon.
Adam was a very big and risky experiment. You see, for the Trinity the animals were proven. There were animals in Heaven. Replicating them on Earth was a function of adaptive technology.
Even angels were proven. Angels exist in Heaven and they have been undertaking inter-dimensional travels for eons. In a fallen state angels have been known to maintain constitutional integrity. Lucifer is a prime example. He can still fly and exercise enormous capacities.
But there was no creature called “Man” in Heaven. And as we can see, he cannot access Heaven in a fallen state. Lucifer can. In the Book of Job we see him going for a conference in Heaven, had a private consultation with God. Man does not have such constitution. In a fallen state he can’t access Heaven. Can’t even undertake ordinary space flight! Except in space suit. Angels routinely travel through space, bridging dimensions. Man is so native to his environment. To go to Heaven he has to wear a genetically modified space suit. Resurrection body is space suit. To be sustained in Heaven he must be grafted into the Godhead as a member of the body of Christ. Man was a feat of reverse engineering. A creature conceived in Time given capacity to access Timelessness.
What I’m trying to show is that the production of the idea called “Adam” was not magic. A lot of thought went into it. We must take the same approach to our business.
The reason we’re advised to write a business plan is because a lot of thinking has to go into it. A business plan forces you to think. You have to think about the logic of your idea, your customers, your multiplication, your financials, your vision, your mission, your values… It’s almost like creating Adam all over again. It’s not so much about the final outcome of your business plan but the thought process that goes into it. Do your business plan. You will be following the principles of a proven and tested creative template.
And with this thought we come to the end of this phase of our day-long lecture. I do hope you have enjoyed listening to it as much as I did writing it.
Thank you and God bless!
Delivered at Elevation Church, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos
Sunday, December 1, 2013
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