My Growth Engine(s)

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My Growth Engine(s)

Lee’s post is crisp and clear … let’s see if we can give him any ideas/encouragement to help him along the way, in much the same way as he has (no doubt) helped others over the years in his role as preacher and chaplain


Rather than showing you a chart with 40 years worth of earning, spending, ability and doing let me summerize for you that nothing showed  up in all four columns.  But  public speaking, teaching, writing, communicating, mentoring  and creative efforts like abstract art work showed up in three columns. The final two columns had Retreat Center, wood working and photography.  Factor into this the reality that my entire adult life except for a three year period in the military has been spent within the “marketplace”  instead of up on some hill behind stained glass windows inviting the world to come to me.  By the way this is preacher talk for saying most all of my ministry or jobs have been outside the walls of the church but always a representative of the church.

Add all this up and my growth engine looks something like being involved in a  service type business that helps people to grow.

Personal Life Coaching

Consulting with law enforcement agencies

Writing for law enforcement trade magazines

Creating greeting cards that focus on police & fire personnel

Developing a “Speakers Board” for agencies

Develop an online store for Christian artists

Freelance online creative writing (such as my newest site located at

Beyond that is the possibility of investing and real estate.

A final thought that just came to me is that this all reminds me of auto racing.  Really good racers do not have just “one car” or “one engine” but they are always looking at the fact that to finish the race they might very well need several.  And serious “owners” and “sponsors” have several cars in their stable not to mention they are always looking for good drivers to come join them.

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Reader Comments

Lee – looks to me like you have some great ideas. Your final thoughts on the race car analogy are spot on. Thanks for that perspective.

I do have one question for you. What is different about an online store for Christian artists versus secular artists? I’m assuming art supplies are art supplies.

Not art supplies but finished art itself, aka crosses, angels, churches or anything with a religious theme, also believers tend to support other believers.

Lee – Thanks for the clarification…kinda like a Christian Book Store only art related. I like it.

Lee – I’ve seen a lot of Christian bookstores go under in my time because the owners weren’t sure whether they wanted to run a business or a ministry. I’m sure that with your business savvy and knowledge of the Christian faith, you will be a success.
I would just be sure your starting this because it makes business sense.

You can find a lot of modern Christian art on flickr ( There are very interesting.

Josh, I’m not talking regular “book store” but rather more like an Art Gallery but “online”

@ Lee – your personal labors should be aimed at building your personal credibility (I am talking purely about getting you to your Number, here) e.g. Life Coaching, Consulting, Speaking … they won’t directly build wealth (but, can provide some needed income).

It’s your business ideas that have the most Number-reaching potential (given your relatively high required Annual Compound Growth Rate and short’ish timeline): e.g. online Christian Art (etc.) store … think eBay as a potential purchaser, and you will see that Josh’s comments are, literally, right on the money.

This is now a general comment: our personal passions/beliefs can help to drive a unique business; just remember the aim is to build something that can be converted (usually by being sold) into your Number; it’s your Number that provides the ‘financial grease’ for your Life’s Purposes’ ‘wheel’ …

… therefore, sometimes you need – as Josh suggests – to divorce your Growth Engine from your Life’s Purpose a little (the former is the means to the latter’s end).

@ Adrian – OK, I think I’m beginning to see your point.
@ Josh – I went back and re-read you comments and the idea of business vs ministry has great validity, thanks for making me look at it through your eyes.

If I can add something, most of the other things will not bring in enough money for you to retire on, but as Adrian pointed out, they will build your credibility as an expert or “go to” person, someone who can be trusted.

That said, I have seen more and more Christian stuff around (remember I converted to Judaism so some of this might not be as visible to someone who’s been Christian all their life), but not a Christian artists’ craft shop, much less real artwork. With my quilt guild background, let me suggest one difficulty you will encounter – determining what is tacky and what is not and how to accept or reject offerings for you shop. Particularly as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too does offering “tacky” have the ability to reduce your credibility as a serious art “gallery” yet if you went mid-stream like that, there are folks who might buy it. As an aside, you could shop for it overseas, and take lots of photos and work on doing travel writing (not a blog, but serious articles or lists, such as Best 10 Christian Cafe’s in Europe, if there are such things) for some publication where the advertisers who would appreciate that list might want to advertise. One of the things I’m considering now is how things we might take for granted here might actually play in foreign English-speaking countries magazines (no offense, Adrian, but I am speaking of Australia, NZ, Ireland, Scotland, and the rest of the UK). Consider that travelers from those countries (and others where English is taught in schools as a 2nd language even) might want to travel to the US and see stuff about the Mormons because it’s such an oddity (as an example), or the marriage chapels of vegas. What are the best marriage chapels in Vegas for policemen? Are there any where you could be handcuffed together at the end? I dunno – might appeal to foreigners to read about such strange things. Is there an Australian or Irish magazine for police? Just ideas to help expand the realms.

@ Diane – Thanks for ideas….But it does appear to me that the more you are allowed to think, the more frightening you become. 🙂

Could be, Lee, could be. Any advise?

@ Lee – as Yoda said: “there is no try. only do or not do” … we could paraphrase that as “think less, do more” Rather sad that we take the advice of a midget dressed in a green rubber suit … at least it’s GOOD advice 🙂

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