The Resource Allocation Odds Game (EditED)
Let’s talk a little more about pain and sacrifice.
Not every promising idea or opportunity works out, and that’s okay.
Unsuccessful attempts are a part of every investment process, even when you are investing into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Robert Kiyosaki (a secular real-estate investor) acknowledges this principle when he says:
“9 in 10 startup businesses will fail in the first 5 years. Most people are unwilling to accept a 10% rate of success and think it’s too risky. I’m just willing to start 10 businesses”.
Secular business people are exceptionally gifted at finding and using Biblical principles to create financial success. His saying mirrors what is written in Proverbs:
“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” – Proverbs 24:16
It is inevitable for ministries to experience losses and let-downs, because those things are part of the process of growing. However, ministries must determine which risks they are willing to take.
A ministry opportunity is fruitful if it has a high probability of creating an asymmetric upside, and it has a worst-case scenario that is not detrimental to your ministry.
(You may even discover that there is a way to mitigate the damage further or undo the damage altogether.)
When you find an opportunity like this, take it, and don’t worry about whether or not it’ll work out.
If you make a habit of investing in fruitful opportunities, AND you are willing to take the hit and try again if it doesn’t work out, you are guaranteed to see fruit in your ministry.
Now, you should know that I’ll never tell you to do something I haven’t tried myself.
In my own life, I failed 4 businesses and lost thousands of dollars before I successfully started Clickmill. I called up best-selling business authors to ask questions that I felt were stupid and humiliating. However, I was willing to feel dumb if it meant getting the answers I needed. I was 100% willing to start 10 businesses, or even 50 businesses, if that’s what it took to get 1 successful business. In the end, it only took me 4 failed attempts, because each time I learned a valuable lesson. By the 5th attempt, I knew all the problems I would run into and how to deal with them. Additionally, by this point my competitors had already given up after their first or second try – which meant I was the only one left running the race. The only thing that made me different was how many failures I was willing to endure. When I started my 5th business, Clickmill, the probability of success was higher than it had been before.
Run the race as if to win.
Even after starting Clickmill, I continued the process of trial and error by sending over 4,000 hand-typed emails to get my first 10 ministry clients. 10 out of 4000 is not a good percentage. According to the numbers, that was a massive failure. Yet you are sitting here in my course, not someone else’s. When I sent those emails, I knew those odds were the best I could get at the time, and I also knew that growth would come if I just kept going. I was willing to sacrifice the time, energy, and effort necessary to get those results, as long as it meant getting better results in the future.
In the same way, Jesus healed ten lepers and only one came back to him (Luke 17:11-19).
Strategic failure is absolutely acceptable, and you should do it as often as possible.
If there is a high potential for gain and a low potential for loss, it’s probably time to take massive action – especially if the upside brings people into the kingdom.