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How to Define Success & Reconcile Business with Faith with TJ Kastning

by | Jul 13, 2020 | Q&A | 0 comments

For some people, it is hard to reconcile money and business with their faith and biblical principles. People tend to allow their bank accounts, material possessions, and jobs to take over their lives and define their success.

In today’s episode, TJ Kastning, owner of Ambassador Search Group, will talk about his experience as a follower of Christ and recruiter. He will share how he defines success and failures with God and how he incorporates his love for people in his business. Tune in to this podcast to discover more!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
  1. Discover how to reconcile money and business with your faith.
  2. Learn about God’s role in our successes and failures.
  3. Find out how love for people can improve your business relationships.


Episode Highlights

[01:32] About TJ Kastning

  • TJ helps companies become excellent by finding people that will fit their culture and job requirements.
  • He acts as a representative for both the client and candidate, helping both parties build a long-term and sustainable relationship.
  • TJ grew up and currently stays in a small town in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

[05:40] Pandemic-Induced Trends in the Workplace

  • Although there hasn’t been an influx of people because of the lockdown, TJ agrees people can now see more clearly the advantages of living in rural areas.
  • One of the most observed trends is working remotely.
  • Everybody is realizing the value of relationships and alliances. This trend has become an opportunity to show how much our relationships mean, whether personal or commercial.
  • A lot of companies are shifting to a mindset of “How can we help?”

[09:03] How the Pandemic Changed TJ’s Role

  • The majority of TJ’s searches have been put on hold as companies try to figure out the current situation.
  • TJ saw this as an opportunity to invent new ways to serve and develop relationships by bringing other levels of experience. These include new services such as interview coaching for clients and candidates.
  • They are trying to find more ways to bring more value to the hiring process.
  • The pressure has made TJ and his team more creative, making them better leaders and better servants.

[12:20] TJ’s Hobbies

  • TJ is into autocross, where car enthusiasts gather in a big parking lot or runway, build their own race tracks using cones, and then drive around these cones as fast as possible.
  • Having a son made TJ more critical of risk assessment when it comes to his hobbies.
  • When it comes to hobbies where you are putting yourself at risk, you need to consider your other responsibilities as a husband, a parent, or a business partner.
  • TJ does not see it as losing freedom; he is stepping up his level of risk management.

[20:25] TJ’s Leather Goods Businesses

  • TJ’s involvement with was his formative business experience where he developed his confidence around what he could contribute to other people.
  • It helped him develop relationships, opening doors for his other leather business, Marlondo Leather.
  • Through the other relationships he had developed, TJ was able to bring people together.
  • There is value in enjoying the struggle and going through the process.

[25:45] God’s Trials in Our Lives

  • The trials given by God are for our perfection, and it is through these trials that we become refined.
  • We need to recognize the relevance of these trials, especially in the age of social media, where we only see the façade of success. 
  • Truly successful people go through disappointments and discouragement.
  • Embrace and be grateful for these bitter experiences. They are opportunities for growth.

[29:00] Reconciling Business with Faith

  • In the big picture, TJ believes that success will be in eternity – to be recognized by God for loving God and loving others as yourself.
  • TJ recognizes that while his success is ultimately his responsibility, he does not discredit the role of the Lord’s will.
  • He would not trade business for his soul, and if TJ were forced to choose, he would seek the direction of his faith.
  • While running his business, TJ seeks to be a great leader and model servant, living his Christian ideals in the service of his clients, employees, candidates, and vendors.

[38:06] Love in Business

  • Love is to seek the best for other people, coming from a heart of care, compassion, grace, and mercy.
  • Good and loving service is aligning business interests and helping each other achieve goals.
  • In TJ’s line of business, it’s important to develop a relationship, looking out for alignments in the client and the candidates’ motivation and outlook.

[45:41] Working With Clients as Partners

  • Telling people what they need to hear is essential in moving things forward.
  • However, it should come from a position of competency and authority, not anger or disappointment.
  • If you approach clients with “here’s an opportunity of how we can do that,” then they will see you as a partner in their journey.
  • TJ’s responsibility is to point out and address things that somebody who is focused on a different problem cannot see.

[47:50] Integrity

  • People have a “scammy” perception of the sales industry in general, but it is more impactful in recruitment because it directly involves people’s lives.
  • Integrity is the foundation of trust, and trust is the foundation of relationships.
  • Compromising your integrity will lead to short-term gains but will limit the meaningful impact you can have.

[55:17] Future of Recruiting

  • The low employment market will need a tremendous amount of outreach to develop relationships.
  • This is to introduce the right opportunities and manage the process of the right companies wooing the right candidates.
  • Companies would need recruiters, as high unemployment would mean an influx in resumes and applications, which they need to carefully sift through.
  • TJ and his company can help address that problem.

[58:51] Valuable Skill Sets

  • Servant leadership, having an intrinsic belief in the value of improving the condition of other people, is a skill that will never go out of style.
  • In any date, pattern, or economy, companies would want to hire a person with that skill.
  • Communication and problem-solving skills are also important.
  • Leaders will come out of this tough situation.

[01:03:47] Key Takeaways

  • Loyalty is a two-way street. If you want your people to be loyal to you, be loyal to them
  • Tell your people why we need to make a collective sacrifice.
  • Be productive—you can take time for yourself, but do not slack off.
  • For TJ, “seek” is the first step in the process. And often, if we are asking the right questions, the “go” and “create” part will follow.

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

“The point of the trial that God gives us is for our perfection and to persevere in these trials, because through these trials, we are continuously refined.”

“The actual reality that truly successful people experience is one of deep valleys and bitter disappointment and discouragement.”

“We don’t grow without pain, and it’s an opportunity.”

“I don’t want to be the man who trades his soul for the world. And my business is not as important as my soul. And if it comes to that, then I know which direction I’m choosing.”

“Love is to seek the best for other people. […] It comes from a heart that is not vindictive or judgmental or selfish. It comes from a heart of care and compassion and grace and mercy.”

About TJ

TJ Kastning is passionate about meaningful work with meaningful relationships. Starting his own exploration of recruiting in 2011, he is now Ambassador Search Group’s visionary and creator. He has partnered with over 40 companies to find exceptional people. 

To know more about TJ and his work, you can visit his firm’s website. You may also reach him through LinkedIn or through email at

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To growing and becoming all we are created to be,


Connect with the SeekGoCreate Network:
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