Have you ever felt conflicted about being a Christian entrepreneur? You may encounter situations where you are pulled to work full-time in ministry or business, surrounded by opinions of what you should do. Moreover, the side-by-side pressures from these two and the lack of understanding peers can get incredibly overwhelming. But always remember: you are not alone in your fight. Seek God.
In this episode, we talk to Mike Thakur, a Christian entrepreneur, on how to seek God in everything, including business. Mike shares how this mindset guided his attitude in serving customers and his views on money. His love for God also helped him create a genuine community with startup entrepreneurs and self-sustaining communities.
Listen to the episode if you want to find out how you can thrive as a Christian entrepreneur!
Mike Thakur is an entrepreneur with a huge heart for service, who has founded five startups in the business and non-profit space. As the founder of WorkLodge, he supports businesses and entrepreneurs with a flexible workspace and fosters a community. Each year, the social enterprise contributes a percentage of gross revenue to the Gabriel Foundation, a non-profit they founded to help the underprivileged.
If you’re interested in learning more about Mike’s work, you can check his website, LinkedIn, and Instagram to keep up with his projects. You can also listen to The Mike Thakur Show on his website, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.
- Learn how Mike views the importance of community and exceptional service.
- Discover how you can seek God in business.
- Understand how we are not owners but rather stewards of money and success.
[02:42] Mike’s Elevator Pitch
- Mike rebuilds amazing workspaces and makes them accessible to small or mid-sized businesses.
- He uses the money he makes from that to change the world through The Gabriel Project.
- Listen to the full episode to learn about Mike’s Guinness World Record participation as a speaker in the recent Podfest!
[05:38] Mike’s Experiences with Startups
- Mike shares his experiences working with five different startups. These startups include an internet consultancy, an electronics reseller business, a church, a coworking office space, and The Gabriel Project.
- At one period, he ran the largest sales team in an entire business and reaped about a billion dollars in revenue.
- For him, being hyper-focused is a critical part of his personality that gets him to make things happen. He has a very singular “go big or go home” mind process.
[12:35] Fusing Faith and Business
- Mike has experienced working entirely on business, entirely on ministry, and a hybrid of the two.
- His experiences led him to focus on business primarily, using it to support a non-profit to help others.
- We usually value what we are involved in the most, making us opinionated about what others are doing. That is why we need to seek God.
[16:41] All About WorkLodge
- WorkLodge was founded on a need to create and provide a workspace and community for entrepreneurs. This was before co-working spaces became a trend.
- Established in 2013, the company has helped many entrepreneurs focus on their business by providing facilities.
- The goal was to build a meaningful network of organic, two-way relationships.
[22:21] A Heart for Exceptional Service
- For Mike, exceptional service is treating everyone the same as you would with God.
- A heart for service means caring and being genuinely interested in others. When you genuinely care, there is no need for a “checklist.”
- As a business, they have set guiding principles and core values early on to help them discover what they aspire to be. They want to be authentic, passionate, generous, humble, and be a little “bonkers.”
- One of their principles is to do what’s best for the business, including taking care of people. Processing everything through that lens helps Mike find answers and know the directions he needs.
[29:04] The COVID Impact on the Community
- From a staffing perspective, there is a lot of anxiety, worry, and fear surrounding the pandemic.
- It’s hard for him to see colleagues’ businesses fail. Their empty coworking space amplifies that feeling of loss.
- The current employment situation makes it hard for Mike and his team to recruit and get the staffing level back up.
- He believes that communities are more important now than ever. Social media is popular because it fosters connection with others. But then, Mike believes that online interactions can never replace physical ones.
- With their business’s nature, they didn’t see a lot of success with their membership base conducting virtual get-togethers.
[37:26] The Struggle with Money
- Mike shares how he hates money. He hates what it does, what it stands for, what it does to society, the world, and people.
- It’s heartbreaking how people do things they don’t want to do for the paycheck.
- Two forces create the endless pursuit of money: creating systems where things are expensive and borrowing money to get them. It’s a cycle that keeps us trapped.
- Learn to live modestly. Don’t spend more than what you make; do not become a slave to anything. Remember to always seek God.
[41:46] Defining of Success
- Mike owes his success to having a childhood where he never got free money; he always had to work for it.
- There are many CEOs who grew up poor. Their experiences help them manage and stretch their money, guiding them to be more careful with their expenditure.
[45:57] Stewardship Over Money
- Mike shares the internal pressure he feels as a leader in keeping his customers and staff satisfied through his business.
- As a leader, he has to pivot, change, and evolve quicker and faster.
- Another layer of this pressure is the urge to help people through his non-profit organization.
- He views money as a gift from God and a way of God’s trust in him. Because of this, he always aims to handle his finances well.
[51:10] The Gabriel Project
- Gabriel Project is a full-on 501(c)(3) organization. Their goal is to give at least 10% of their gross revenue.
- It focuses on three specific areas: orphan children and children in extreme situations, women victims of human trafficking and physical abuse, and folks who need emergency assistance. The majority of the focus is on the first two.
- They partner up with organizations and support groups for their cause. The Gabriel Project aims to create self-sustaining communities that can help each other.
- Their goal is to send a couple of people who are experts in entrepreneurship and spiritual development to a developing area. Listen to the full episode to learn more about the international projects of the Gabriel Project!
[1:03:27] Making Things Work
- We all have the ability to learn, grow, develop, and create. What we do with the skills we learned is down to us for a lot of it.
- You have to learn to do the hard work and hustle for the results you want.
- Mike believes that anyone can do great things with the right drive and motivation.
[1:07:59] The Mike Thakur Show
- Mike started his podcast because he struggled to find Christian entrepreneurs with whom he can relate.
- Through the podcast, he hopes to inspire and make connections with fellow Christian entrepreneurs.
- Moving forward, he wants to continue figuring out the balance of devoting time to seek His Kingdom and keeping that perspective within the business.
5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode
[21:33] “People need to be connected to other people. We are built in the image of a God who is three in one, there is clearly something there. He isn’t an island, and we aren’t made to be that either”
[22:22] “The idea of exceptional service is . . . the Bible says that whatever you do, do it as if you do it for God.”
[50:13] “Because I feel like the more (money) you get, the more you feel like you’re gonna wrap your hands around it. And the more pressure you feel about not wanting to lose it all, and I’m having to fight hard to keep the perspective that I’ve got nothing to lose, because it’s not mine anyway.”
[1:04:54] “We have to just accept that we were created with the ability to learn, grow, develop, create. What do we do with that is down to us for a lot of it.”
[1:06:45] “I genuinely believe anybody can do anything with the right drive and motivation.”
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