Strong Family Businesses, Strong Nation

What a great day we spent on Monday at the Christian Home Educators Fellowship (CHEF) of Missouri conference. It was an excellent day of information-packed wisdom to continue to prepare our family for having a greater beneficial impact for our community and nation both now and into the next generations.

We learned from many seasoned leaders yesterday and will learn more today. One highlight for our entire family was attending three sessions by Wade Myers at New Venture Lab on developing entrepreneurial family businesses. I strongly believe that developing strong, god-fearing businesses will provide the catalyst for bringing our country back to prosperity.

A key reason for us moving to the country was to provide an environment for our children to develop entrepreneurial skills and thinking like our fathers many years before us. The lessons learned on the farm of hard work, risk and reward, service to others and reliance on God for provision are the seedbed principles for strong businesses, strong families and strong nations.

Through Wade’s vast experience in starting, running and growing many businesses with both successes and failures, we came away from his sessions yesterday with a treasure trove of ideas and action steps to help us along our way. Some of the key lessons from Wade included:

  • Rely on God’s providence then…
  • Prepare diligently (don’t just go into a business venture half-cocked…it will likely fail).
  • Be prepared for opportunities.
  • Work on perfecting your business model which includes knowing your industry, customers and product/service and developing good financial and operational plans. In developing your business model, be “approximately right rather than precisely wrong.”
  • Always start with the customer: what they need and address their pain points. Don’t start with what you want to offer; start with what the customer needs.
  • Attack the negatives of existing products or services and solve these for the customer.
  • Never build infrastructure where capacity already exists.
  • Don’t try to change customer behavior. It is difficult to do and will likely fail.
  • Be different, not just better. Fill in the statement: “We’re a lot like so and so, but different in this way… (list the five or six way different).” But don’t be so different that the customer doesn’t get it!
  • “Fire adjust, fire adjust…” instead of “aim, aim, aim.…” Work towards the bullseye.
  • Always focus on the customer.

These were just a few of the excellent lessons Wade taught on Monday.  And we learned a whole lot more with more to come today.  For further support, Wade has some really good tools on his New Venture Lab website to help you started in business or improve an existing business.

What types of businesses have you started and what key points of wisdom would you suggest?

Larry Braley

About Larry Braley

Blessed husband to a wonderful, virtuous woman and father of five, a daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Raised on a midsize farm in the midwest during my childhood and early teen years. Moved away for several years to live the corporate life. Glad to be back in the country raising my family, teaching life skills and developing our mini-farm.
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