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Logo of ASI 2018: Business Unusual

Panel: Business and Finance for Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs

Michael Tuazon Dan Houghton Denzil McNeilus Michelle Doucoumes Brenda Palmer Gary Rayner
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  • August 3, 2018
    1:45 PM
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My name is Michael and I have a finance background I graduated with a business degree from the University of California and I did finance from a bout 70 years but I couldn't find any good avenues to resource is there any good avenues businessman at the time and it was really hard for me to stay in the church or be active with my faith and also be in business and so I really appreciate a god he called me to do ministry called me to do full time ministry but I still have a burden for the business business field and I'm glad that we have some question some question answered time where we can actually ask some avenues professionals about their respective business and I know many of you have questions I'm excited to get to to my right we have Michelle Michelle tell us a little bit about yourself and I myself. I had the privilege of co-hosting here with. The business professors I teach at Southern Methodist University and before that a lot of experience and of that not prophets I think that. I'm just excited because you guys know a lot more than I do yes then do we get to be on the asking and these questions which is really fun for Mike and I and the primal let these guys introduce you but once will be answering the questions that you've been sending it and maybe Gary we can start with you if you could just share a little bit about yourself introduce your name where you're from or where you currently live in maybe this the business that you represent or what you're doing OK My name is Gary Raina and I'm originally from the deep south that's a stretch. And I'm kind of surprise you but to me to be here because I'm a high school dropout. And I'm what Hillary would call a dreamer I was that foreigner came to the country as an illegal didn't have a work permit and from the bottom kind of scrap my way up so educationally now with kind of done things the other way I've got to must this degree 1 is at N.P.R. the other is a must of ensuring science I'm working on a 3rd must as Degree in I at the moment I'm a serial entrepreneur started a tech company so the last 20 years and have had 3 blockbuster hits. My name is Denzel MC Denzel McNeil as I started in the family business that built concrete mixers and when we started I was there were 9 manufacturers and we were night and we were able to grow that 1 of the things that we did that really made a difference we started being tied on our honor units every time we sold a mixer we put so much to tide and so much to offer and that was the only thing that did it but I believe that was 1 of the major reason is that we were blessed but we started that business we grew that to where we were we became the largest mixer manufacturer in the world then we started in the garbage business became the 2nd largest garbage this is the world we're in concrete plants we did investments we did we entered into a whole bunch of different types of businesses and then we sold that and I thought I want to retire in that last for about 2 weeks and so I bought a little bank that was starting it was 26000000 and we're now at 37070000000 and so we've really been blessed through the years and I can tell you the secret is to make sure you have a good partner and that's the Lord. Thank you Denzel Good afternoon everyone my name is Ed Reed I have been teaching money management biblical principles of money management for about 30 years and I've written books on that topic I have a lot of grief from Georgia State University and also. Public health degrees mama Linda had a master's degree from a 100 university. My name is Brenda Palmer my husband and I are contractors I am not an entrepreneur but every entrepreneur needs a manager and I'll tell you I'm good at that. So that's where I come in and we also went into church planting and if you want to have a good church you need a good infrastructure just like you do for a town and we found that people coming into the church needed jobs and God just been R.H. our director I'll tell you sometimes he sends us to do zis. But they turn out to be really good employees and so I am and we are definitely in partnership with God in our business. My name is the anyhow and I'm the Chief Customer Officer at a company called vibrant health products it's a family owned business and we have 3 different brands that we sell that range from free breads to organic sprout a green bread and breakfast cereal so in addition to having worked on the business side I do have a background in ministry as well. Working in my father's 40 ministry and so I have a bit of a blend of both of those I studied undergraduate degree Southern doing a religion and then at an M.B.A. that's going to have that combination but I'm I'm the token sales finance and oh. Well thank you again for all of you coming let's just start with a word of prayer. Father in heaven we commit this time to you you're the 1 who has all the resources cattle on the 1000 Hills You have all the wisdom and we just thank you so much that we can be here together we want the answers to be solid We want to be biblical principles and we ask for wisdom. Thank you again for this time together we ask for your presence in Jesus' name amen. Or the 1st question is Ellen White says that we should it avoid debt like the plague how do we practice this is it OK to get to student debt what debt is OK Are there something such as good debt or bad that can you get in debt with a car payment. Why is everybody looking at me. Yes. That is bad there's no question about that the Bible talks about debt about a dozen times and all of them are negative the bottom line is there are some things in our current society that we can't afford to pay cash for like homes and cars typically and I usually encourage people if they do incur debt to pay it off as quickly as possible the only debt that I've ever encourage people to do would be student loans if it's going to be a job that they will improve their job skills so they can make better money and be more service to God And again pay it off as quickly as possible get grants and so on scholarships best you can but if we have better I think to advance yourself academically than not to have a degree that's my personal feeling about that. So you want to add to that or is pretty good. You know very yeah I could add 1 other thing and that is for most of the big debts you can prepare them by preparing principle and many people pay their house off in less than half the time of the 30 year mortgages you know and so I would think there you be faithful with your type of god complex used engine just mentioned but that very 1st thing it's not smart to be trying to use all the money for yourself but put God 1st and he'll bless you there's no question. And I thought you meant yes is the debt going to help you to be able to advance your career to take money to pay it back or is it going to consumer debt. Big difference. Another question this payment and a lot of different forms and different and so we know what people are being. And it's basically what are some tips to raise capital to start like this is for asking I have this idea that money how do I raise money get you guys help. How do. I think I think the best way is to bootstrap So as much as you possibly can kind of like the juice business you need $500.00 for a blender you know buy some apples and you start to get some experience you start to get your feet under you but in particular this nothing this succeeds like success to be able to go out and raise money so if you're looking to raise funds if you can show traction already that people are buying a product that it works you know what to do it goes a long way towards getting confidence. I'm a banker I want capital I want to I want the capital something as receive a bill that I can take in case you don't it doesn't work out and so the biggest issue that you need to have is you look for capital is make sure you have some way of having some assets now if you don't have assets if you have a product you can believe in you're going to have to go to friends and family to borrow the money if you need to to started out but but I would agree fully with what would my brother here says is that you need to try and do it as little as little as possible and try to figure out a way of doing it without cost and money there's a lot of ways of doing things there's a very expensive ways and there's very low cost ways and if you continue to do things a low cost way and you carry that principles all the way through your business life it's amazing what you can do it like in we're in the mixer business we were the low cost producer yet because of our quality weak command the highest price and if you're the low cost producer you command the highest price you can make it in the market place so I think it's very important that if you continually look at how you can cut your costs how you can keep your overhead down and do it as low profit cost as possible and then start building some history then you can see. Hard to get investments you Guard to get people to to believe in what you're doing but always keep that philosophy of keeping your debt as low as possible because the last thing you want to do is be able to hold on to a person like me OK that's not start out all right I don't think there's maybe things start out small that only they are likely and a lot of times people say well if I get this business in this business I can't handle the production so I need to build up my production Well you know that's not where you need to do I know that when you sell things you sell it 1st then you're out of produce and yes you know you never examined that line and then you figure out how to do it because this US city breeds invention and that's what happened to us every time we got a big order and we couldn't village we've figured out how to build the big order and then that's our new standard and then we're able to grow it again and again and again but it's very critical that as you as you go through your through your business cycle that when you start out be low cost as possible figure out ways of doing it and once you start growing your business it's amazing because you'll 1st of all you'll treat it and you'll also understand it as you go forward you'll start looking for ways to cut costs because at the end of the day it's what you take home it's not the sales it's it's what it could what's what's in your pocket that's the most important thing when it comes to business and I mind. I'm not taking the spiritual side into it that's what I talk about just from an economic point of him don't be afraid to start small assume too many people start with big ideas and they don't have the expertise I mean just watching today. Most of you have not had expertise in running a convention yet and starting small is really nice with 150 people next year maybe we can do it bigger because we'll have we'll know a little bit better. Thank you Brenda you know we appreciate a sense of that yet just just 1 of the things I want to add to when you're looking to raise money whether it's for your. Business or for your ministry another really critical component that if you're the person that you're pitching to is going to ask is can I invest in this person and there's really 2 questions the 1st is does the DOT idea have merit and if you've been able to show a track record that says your idea's good but the 2nd question is can I trust this person to actually deliver and so in your persona in the work and the way that you present yourself you need to make sure that you're projecting an energy and a commitment to follow that idea through because in any startup you're always going to hit bumps and the question is are going to be able to power through those bumps and make sure that you can execute because that's the big question that an investor is always going to ask we have a rule in our bank that if we're given a $1000000.00 or more loan through it per individual we don't just look at the financial see statements either my son or myself will personally goal this is that organization and look and talk to the owners because we can determine because you can have a phenomenal financial statement but at the owners or owners are doing things that you don't feel are good parents business principles we don't give more because you've got to have those foundations in place 1st it's very critical thank you the next question has to do with once you've attained money how do you invest it are stocks good investments are there good stocks and bad stocks what about cryptocurrency That's a new thing how can you tell the difference between investing and gambling. Well. You can tell it about 6 months later usually. After the ship they crash. But this is you know this something this was looking up called the 5 stages of a bubble so if you're ever interested in looking at cryptic currency you know a year ago the kind of exuberance that was taking place this like expectation of this infinite unbelievable rocket that was going to go up forever these are all the signs of a bubble which is almost guaranteed to crash and lose you money. But. I would say seek the advice of experts because if you think that you're going to be Mr Merrill Lynch go in run your business during the day and then at night time you're going to be this super stock trader there's going to be alpha you know taking these incredible risks are going to think you're very smart well the stock market's going up and you're you're betting on margins and you're making 2030 percent a year but then when it goes the other way you won't be able to react fast enough and you will lose everything that you've made and possibly more on the debt that you've taken to try to do that so I would say find a good financial manager talk to people that you know a savvy not just somebody that is struggling financially but something that actually has some success and that will go a long way towards making good decisions but it's a Ultimately. You can invest in others but the best investments you can make are the investments in yourself. So whether that's your education or if you really feel a cold the entrepreneurial spirit put your money where your mouth is maybe not all of it if it's your 1st time but. You know that because that investment in yourself it's debt free and it can take you so much further than investing in someone else. That is so true I will invest in companies that I can control if I can't control the company I'm not going to invest it just because of that reason. I think 1 thing I would add is that you can tell what the business going to be successful by whether their personal finances are in line if people are living their lives and you hadn't been just showing out there you know with that it probably would not a good sign for example it's not a. Significant thing to be extra into the stock market if you own a lot of money yourself and you're over your head in debt and so on to the best investment you can make for your personal finances to pay off your debts but what I'm hearing is that. Here. In yourself things that are quality. People kind of stocks like the sanity the next big thing but what you all are talking about is more quality and that's actually it's like 1 of these famous last words when you some of the investments and this watch this. So maybe you can add on to that if maybe stocks is didn't seem like something anyone really does here what is a prudent investment is realistic the best option is there something else hedge fund managers what is the best investment. Actually then it is fair to say that you know none of us invest in stocks so you know I do have a significant holding in the in the stock market as well but that's carefully selected and we don't take tremendous risk when we doing OK thank you and we also do hedge funds and also do you know look at emerging markets to try to get a balance in a portfolio that's not. Sara Lee correlated so that is a correction or a down maybe 1 category can increase to make up to some of the losses that you've made in the other categories. The other thing is important is to do lettering and things like that I think it's very critical and doing more conservative type investments the thing is where you've got to realize is that if you think you're ahead of the stock market you're never going to be you know we vest in a lot of bonds that's our that's our main focal point of a Q bonds and you know we try to guess where the market's going to go and bonds and we can't I we every time we guess we usually guess wrong so we decided well we're going to do is just systematically every month we invest so many bonds per month and we just latter it in every month continue to invest or our money as we go forward that way we're we're not making a huge an increased investment I mean you know huge profits but we don't lose them either thank you thank you for. Hiring another question here what are your thoughts on getting government grants and other types of grants to make a business success I think they're asking if you know aside from that there their money out there that are sure I'm happy day in sound that our companies actually just over the border from the U.S. and Canada and Canada has a lot of different programs that are designed to help stimulate commerce and growth in their manufacturing sector and so I'll give you an example of 1. Anything that we do from an R. and D. perspective to create a new product they will fund 60 percent of both the labor and materials to create those products and so we look at that we say hey that's a really good investment so what we'll do is we'll staff up in that area and we'll create new innovative products that they will write you know they basically write us a check for and they were able to take that innovation to market and be able to utilize that to create a unique selling proposition for our company now that's not the case in every. Country certainly not in the United States of being an American I thought and this is cool they're handing out free money but you know I use that tongue in cheek there are a lot of different grants there are a lot of different organizations that want to foster a certain type of development of different ideas and if you can access those or find those type of things that gives you a leg up because it's really free money if you qualify so Danny pointed the story we should all move to Canada Well there's plenty of space there. Are the next question we have is I've been able to save $50000.00 pay off school day and I have $50000.00 what is the best financial investment if there are certain sector segment that I should do with that money how can I grow that money. I'll give you 1 idea. We're encouraging the spirit of prophecy and the Bible to seek the security of homeownership and Denzel would tell you you don't make your money when you sell what you make it when you buy it so if you can find a good deal to buy something secure that rather than pay rent your whole life that's my suggestion most of us our age have appreciated assets so when you sell your house you make a lot of money double your investment for example and people think now the House are way out of the market but what will it be 20 years from now time should last you see what I'm saying maybe with bitcoins then I don't know but the whole point of. Your. Dental sit I'll let me just say let me just underscore that again investing in your own personal needs is a is a good 1 if you get a good deal on it to begin with that's what I would say. The 1 thing I would also add there is don't invest in something you don't understand you know the stock market or a business that you have no clue about there's a whole right things to say to yourself What am I good at and what can I understand and does it make sense to me because that will allow you to make a more informed decision on how to invest your money and doesn't something you can understand you should take a contrarian view so if you had $50000.00 in your pocket right now I just found it in there and you're like well I don't really have anything to spend it on if you don't need that money for a while it actually could make a lot of sense to put that into either an index fund or a basket of stocks if you think maybe it's 10 years or more before you need to tap it because over time you're looking at probably you know a 6 to 7 percent or 8 percent return on that money on average now the stock market can get take big diets and go down what can have big dips and go up but if you kind of draw a line in the long run you're going to be making that kind of money it really depends when you're going to need that money in the future and if you need it soon you probably don't to tie it up in something that could bounce around. I like real rental properties our son when he was in college bought a house he moved into the garage made an apartment and rented out the 3 bedroom house portion to pay his mortgage payments by the time he graduated from college he had it all paid for he's kept it the last 15 years and you know he makes really good money on it. So this question came from some people that are having the opposite problem they need the money so 1 person asked Would you please donate to my startup but other than that. There's a legit question here what is the best way to solicit donations out incumbents donors at your causes as worthy to be supported. Well I think it's definitely back they're going to look at you personally do you know how to work do you know how to spend extra hours I think that 1 of the biggest problems we have in the United States is child labor laws because you all grew up in a time when that you weren't allowed to work and other than 3 hours an afternoon or something you know and as a employer I see that as a very great problem to you actually getting money because I don't know that you're going to put in the hours that you need to. Write. A good. For make sure that you work I like what you said earlier then you know that people buy into you not just the project donations and my experience in working with nonprofit is a lot about relationships people need to know you they need to know what you're doing you've got to cultivate that before you ask for the money and I think we forget that a lot of times we go looking for money but we haven't really built the relationships with the people and cared about them 1st Maybe you have to go along with that then still if you can talk a little bit of a sigh missions or maybe that is there a place where they can apply or I have an idea or I have a ministry is there a place I can at lease we're going to go to it Lisa. I try to get funny. Looks hundreds of projects a year and $1150.00 plus projects and as we look at these projects we look at track history look at the people that are behind it we look at what they are doing like for example if someone comes and says I have an idea it's going to take life had some the said it's going to take a $1000000.00 And we want you to give a $1000000.00 of it you know that goes in the file 13 Real quickly OK What we're and I don't I'm not trying to be facetious is just that we look for we're projects where I'm looking at a project I'm going to need $100000.00 the projects going to be let's say a prize could be a $100000.00 I have raised money here I have this person this person's help me already and I need 50000 dollars to complete the project those are the types of projects we look at because we've seen that people put their effort in they've already looked at different prop. Ideas and they've gotten other people to buy in before we step in. Because it gives you a valid it validates the people that you're dealing with I make sure that you're dealing with people that are that you that you can work with that have connections with other people to start getting believe in so it so let's say that we get a connection and we we get along and you and we do a small 0 project with you and we like what you do then we say OK well if you do this then I'd go to the some other friends and say This person has a great project you know if we put this project in this in this together we can fund a bigger idea but you can't just start out and jump off into the deep in you've got to start slowly go through the projects and and look at it from an idea the problem is most people have an idea but we don't know whether they're going to go through with that idea lot of people have ideas and you give money and guess what happens they spend the money and no idea and it never comes to fruition because they've not done the pain in the the work to get to. The result that you need last question for each of you maybe you can all answer this short 1 minute to minute answer. I'm a young person here a young professional in I look up to the leaders that A.S.I.. I don't know where to begin I don't know what to do next I want to receive guidance and mentorship how can i give me mentorship and guidance. To each of you you see as I so I'll just very briefly answer that I've grown up an aside this is actually my 35th A.S.I. in a row I started come when I was 7 years old and I want to I share that because I was able to grow up in this context and I have found a tremendous benefit you know you say how can I get it know you need to go get it from the mentor you need you know entrepreneurs are active people find somebody respect that's doing something that you think is positive and say hey can I come learn from you put the onus on the person to come and say I want to learn I want to teach A.S.I. is full of people that have all kinds of backgrounds and experiences and if you're willing to look at us as a resource come talk to us you know you'll find the most are very happy to share what we can and help however we can but this is the place where you can do it come to as many a size as you can was the story here that's. That's right Steve Dyckman dad years ago told Brett 9 when we were young he says just start showing up he says show up at A.S.I. and you know it has been a life changing experience to show up but I and I think that talking at A.S.I. is 1 place where you can you can even go talk to Denzel McNeil Yes you know. It's just you can meet and greet people and people will help you I've got some young people that I'm kind of mentoring and taking on they call me or I've actually taken them on and say here's something that you need to do you know and it's an interactive experience. How I did it here is when I came to I joined 1 of the boards I got involved and when I got involved I started I saw the different people that were in that board there were 2 people particularly that I really. I thought those people really are intelligent men they're both men by the way and they and they. And I always said because it could have been a woman they could not say because there's a couple business woman and women in that group that were very very successful but I went to these 2 particular person people and I became their friends I started walking with them 1 man today I still I talk to him every so many months he's a little too he's older now once passed away but 1 particular gentleman in gentleman on the even tell you his name is name's Tom Zapara I would make a point because I was very a fascinated with how he ran his business and how he did his business and I actually got to be as friend and we would go for walks every time we were together we'd go for walks and he'd say Denzil tell me what your problems are and I tell about my problems and what I want to or I'm facing in my business he says So what do you do about it and I'd tell my ideas and he'd say well that's Have you ever thought of this have you thought of that that's a stupid idea you know I mean he's very blunt and I appreciated that and he would tell you that and I appreciate that but realistically the people that you really want to be mentors are people that are busy they're they have their business they're in they're busy they want to help but they're not going to go out and say hey I want to be a mentor they're not going to do that but they're looking for friendship as well so they love and most Yeah most older people like to tell their stories OK I like if you want to if I have time I'd love to tell you my whole story to not take too long but the point is that we love to share our knowledge but we just got to get to know you well enough to be able to do that I think that's that's the part that's important if you're if you say I just want to mentor that's not going to work you have to go out and seek these people out and want you seek them out become their friends and not just become their friends just because you want to get something from you truly want to learn something 1 thing I learned from these people more than anything else and I don't mean this the wrong way when I sat around my 1st board mean I was really blown away by all these Barry and important wealthy men and women that were around the table and 1 thing I learned was. Is that they weren't any more intelligent than I was and I don't mean that in the wrong way but they had all this experience and they had all this knowledge that I wanted to learn so I didn't have to make those same mistakes and that's what I really learned and that's what I really appreciated was the fact that I know each 1 of you is probably way brighter than I am so the so the secret is not to take the it's not the intelligent part it's that the knowledge and experience that these people these men and women have that you want to learn from so you don't have to make the same mistakes. I think I would add the idea that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and there are more than $2000.00 persons in the Bible the deal with money and possessions I'm not going to read off $2000.00 but I do have 1 favorite and it's proverbs 3rd chapter most of you know the Book of Proverbs it is a book of wisdom it's not right and wrong it's just wisdom and if you pray through the book of sought proverbs you can do it in a month 1 chapter a day but proverbs the 3rd chapter says trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't depend on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge him he'll direct your paths so don't be wise in your own eyes most of us have many degrees here and we can depend on our own wisdom but should we see God 1st that's the idea then here's the bottom line of all this honor the Lord with your possessions and the 1st fruits of all your increase so your barns will be filled with plenty in your vats who overflow with new wine no better business partner than the Lord Himself. Well according to Zig Ziglar the best way to have a friend is to be a friend and so I think as does was saying starting off a friendship is a great place to start be interested get to know you know know the person that you want to learn from and in particular have a respect a respect for their for that for their time a respect for their they capabilities in their experience because I goes a long way to you know particularly when very very successful business people are typically very very busy and they want to make sure that their time is being used well and that it's being appreciated and 1 place to do that is an exhibit hall each of these exhibitors is actually investing their time right now so they're really easy to go up to and and if you would just start down the aisle and make it a decision to talk to everyone you would learn a lot and you would make some friends and do what Denzel it would give you a start on what Denzel suggesting thank you so much for all of your time I know that you all are very busy individuals So again thank you so much for your time Michel maybe it's close with a word of prayer you have no problem Father in heaven I thank you so much just for the chance to learn from each other and thank you that you do have councils for us about finance and money and you are the God as our provider you provide the ideas and you provide the funds and so when I just pray that you will guide each 1 of us as we are seeking to know how to best manage our money best go forward in the things that you put on our hearts I pray that you are you and that you would continue to lead and guide in the greatest thank you in Jesus in this media was produced by audio for 40 years on avenues Lehmann's services and industry. If you would like to learn more about. These. Site ministers. Or if you would like to this free service leave the. Body of verse.

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